How to get Shading Right
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A version of this article appears in the May/June 2001
issue of Home Energy Magazine.
May 01, 2001
Recent improvements to window technology make substantial air conditioning energy savings possible. However, shading remains a time-tested method to accomplish the same end.
Architectural and site shading can have an even greater impact on reducing daily cooling use than upgrading windows. Using both a prototype building and modeling simulations, a study by our team at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) evaluated the relative impacts of different solar load control strategies. The study points the way toward optimizing the interaction of various methods for reducing solar heat gain. This is helpful,as the wide variety of shading options currently available can make choosing an effective solar load control strategy confusing (see Snapshots of Shading Options,HE Sept/Oct '00,p.20). The prototype house was built in 1998 in Tucson, Arizona, as part of the Department of Energy's Building America program.Its integrated package of energy-saving features includes structural insulated panels (SIPs) for the wall and roof construction, white coating on the roof, spectrally selective windows, architectural shading, an interior location for the air handler and ducts, highefficiency air conditioning equipment, and solar water heating. Building America (see Clean Breathing in Tract Homes,p. 29) works with five building industry teams to produce advanced residential buildings on ...
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