NIST

  • Study on Reflective Roofs in Residential Buildings

    In 1998, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) completed a comprehensive report detailing the effect of solar reflectance on annual heating and cooling costs. There test data came from a tremendous amount of live measurements ran through a computer program.

    TARP or Thermal Analysis Research Program is a program capable of computing hour by hour temperature data on a varietey of conditions within a building. They tested from a variety of locations including.

    • Miami, Florida
    • Phoenix, Arizona
    • Birmingham, Alabama
    • Washington, DC
    • Portland, Maine
    • Bismarck, North Dakota

    The result is a great analysis on the effect that roof reflectivity had on annual heating and cooling costs in different areas in the country.

    We must warn you. The report is lengthy. Here are links directly to the reports Economic Discussion and Summary/Conclusion sections for those who want to get right to it.

    If you are interested in reflectivity and radiant barrier technology you will enjoy the entire report. Please click the link to view the report from the beginning.

    Please enjoy. There is some really great information included.

  • Early Testing for Radiant Barriers & Foil Insulation

    Aluminum foil insulation has been available commercially for over 70 years. Back then, the material was tested by The National Bureau of Standards which is today's NIST or National Institute of Standard's and Technology. They mention this in an excellent article (for anyone who enjoys technology) celebrating their centennial. http://www.100.nist.gov/founding.htm

    The 1950s saw a steady increase in high-rise housing, office buildings, and federal buildings throughout the United States. NIST addressed many aspects of building technology, including new structural designs, structural strength, fire resistance, acoustics and sound insulation, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and building and electrical equipment. Research on thermal insulation led to the evaluation of aluminum foil reflective insulation and was partially responsible for the wide acceptance of glass wool insulation with an aluminum-foil/paper surface.

    What's important about this information is to put it in context. Building construction was booming. Technology was quickly introducing new materials including radiant barriers and fiberglass insulation designs. Rock wool insulation companies recognized that new materials were coming to market. This endangered their hold on local building codes requiring their product.

    In summary, it was a busy time for the insulation industry. But it was a good time for the consumer. Aluminum foil insulation was not only tested, but it was tested by some of the brightest minds and most authoritative government agencies including the National Bureau of Standards.

    The testing data and information that came out of all this was revolutionary and helped educate the consumer, helping them make good choices in construction design and material.

    The information not only showed the effectiveness of radiant barrier technology but showed consumers how conductive, radiation, and convective heat works to heat up or cool off a home. There is also good information on moisture which is a big concern in today's construction and remodeling.

    We're creating a category, "Early Testing for Aluminum Foil Insulation" where you can go directly to find future posts and comments regarding testing for this time in history.

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