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Questions tagged [building-physics]

The application of physics to the built environment, particularly with regard to the movement of heat, air, moisture, pollutants and light through buildings.

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Will this work to prevent my pipes from freezing?

I live in an apartment in the US midwest, and during the winter my pipes freeze unless I trickle my faucet. I think that the point at which it freezes is in a difficult-to-access exterior wall on the ...
capet's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
40 views

How much coil do I need to heat a given length of pipe (as a function of x,y,z)?

I'm imagining heating some water pipes using heating coils similar to these. Under various conditions, would I need to apply almost continuous lengths of heating coil to the entire length of pipe? Or ...
capet's user avatar
  • 743
13 votes
5 answers
672 views

Lowering the heating thermostat at night: is it really worth it?

I've heard some very conflicting information regarding the effect of lowering the house heating thermostat at night. On one hand there are academic papers (such as Thermostat strategies impact on ...
lindelof's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
204 views

MVHR no longer the ventilation of choice in some Nordic countries?

We've covered Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) before here, and it's been the ventilation method of choice for Passivhaus buildings for many years. But I heard something interesting ...
410 gone's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
206 views

Retrofitting insulation in a 4-storey home. Top down or bottom up?

I'm faced with the prospect of wanting to improve the insulation of a 4-storey Victorian (c1890) house in the UK that has solid stone walls and a top floor that is within the non-insulated roof space. ...
Cheeseminer's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
471 views

Should I take advantage of the higher heat pump COP during the warmest part of the day and "bank" heat in the house?

I am aware that heat pumps are able to move more heat into a building per unit of energy input (the "coefficient of performance" or COP) when the source (outside) temperature is higher. My question ...
half-integer fan's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
124 views

How do the criteria for 'best' building insulation change depending on context?

Following on from the question Sheep wool as insulation? , where I started my answer with: Is it one of the best natural insulators? Well, that would depend on your definition of best. and the OP ...
410 gone's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
275 views

What's the purpose of the air pockets in mud building?

I've seen mud buildings that use glass bottles as part of the structure of the wall. Is this for structural stability? For heating and cooling properties? What's the purpose?
Laizer's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
852 views

Is the winter time loss of heat from north facing windows and doors ever outweighed by the gain in circulation in summer?

Is there a point (USDA Agricultural zone) at which the heat loss in the winter time through north facing windows is out weighed by the gain in the circulation of cool air during the summer time. At ...
Daniel Bingham's user avatar
15 votes
5 answers
26k views

How can I determine the U-value (or R-value) of my existing double glazing system?

Is there an easy way to determine the U-value (or R-value) of an existing fitted double glazing system? Two options spring to mind, looking up the value in some kind of database (sadly I have no idea ...
Mark Booth's user avatar
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15 votes
4 answers
268 views

How can I decarbonise my domestic heating, given severe physical constraints?

tl;dr : For the millions of dwellings that have significant physical constraints imposed by the physical fabric of the building, its configuration and location, that rule out heat pumps, biomass and ...
410 gone's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
3k views

How much of my flat heating is going to heat my neighbours flats?

I live in a block of flats with neighbours on 5 sides and only one side open to the outside. I understand that conduction is likely to be the main way I lose or gain heat to or from the neighbours on ...
Mark Booth's user avatar
  • 1,652
7 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is secondary triple glazing a practical way to reduce energy costs?

I have been considering installing secondary double glazing units in my home in an attempt to turn my double glazed windows into triple glazed windows. I understand the law of diminishing returns, ...
Mark Booth's user avatar
  • 1,652
27 votes
4 answers
8k views

Is there a difference in insulation to keep heat in or out?

I know that one of the best ways to save energy at home is insulation. The question is, is there a different method for keeping the heat in when it's cold and keeping the heat out when it's warm? I ...
Carmi's user avatar
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