Ground Heat Transfer/ASHRAE Solar ZEB Article 6
Designing for ZERO Newsletter Series: ASHRAE Journal Solar NZEB Project: Ground Heat Transfer
One of the features that surprises Equinox House visitors is our “slab-on-grade” floor with no underslab insulation. How can a high performance home not have insulation under the concrete floor? Isn’t the floor cold and uncomfortable? The reason is simple. It is the most economical choice without sacrificing comfort and energy efficiency.
The sixth article in our ASHRAE Journal explores energy performance, comfort and economic facets of ground heat transfer for Equinox House. Analyzing floor energy interactions is complex. We conducted transient, three-dimensional heat transfer studies in order to determine variations in house performance throughout the year under varying conditions of floor/earth/insulation with varying indoor comfort conditions. Insulated foundation walls are very important, and convert the earth below a floor into a beneficial thermal mass.