Secondary Author(s)

Moyer, Neil; Rudd, Armin F.; Parker, Danny; Chandra, Subrato

Report Number




Cooling; Ducts; Buildings; Cooling energy use; Insulated concrete form; Wood frame construction; Energy simulation; Building performance


Four occupied homes near Dallas, Texas were monitored to compare cooling energy use. Two homes were built with typical wood frame construction, the other two with insulated concrete form (ICF) construction. Remote data loggers collected hourly readings of indoor and outdoor temperature, relative humidity, furnace runtime fraction, total building electrical energy and HVAC energy use. Data was recorded from January through August 2000.

Analysis of the measured data shows that insulated concrete form (ICF) construction can reduce seasonal cooling energy use 17 - 19% over frame construction in two-story homes in the North Texas climate. This result includes adjustments to compensate for differences in miscellaneous energy use, (e.g. lights & appliances), and duct leakage. While each home pair had the same floor plan, elevations and orientation there were some differences that were not accounted for in the measured results. These included occupant impacts, exterior wall color (absorptance) and the absence of an attic radiant barrier in one ICF home.

In addition to analyzing the measured data, two sets of DOE2 simulations were performed. An initial comparison of ICF and frame homes modeled in their as-built condition was followed by a comparison of homes modeled with identical features except for wall construction. Both analyses showed a 13% annual cooling energy savings for ICF over frame construction. This result is comparable to a similar simulation study (Gajda 2001) of a two-story home in the Dallas climate, which saved 15% annually on both heating and cooling.

Date Published





Chasar, Dave, Moyer, Neil, Rudd, Armin F., Parker, Danny, and Chandra, Subrato. Measured and Simulated Cooling Performance Comparison; Insulated Concrete Form Versus Frame Construction." Proceedings of ACEEE 2002 Summer Study, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, Washington, DC, August 2002


Buildings--Energy conservation; Construction industry; Energy consumption; Simulation methods; Data logging

Local Subjects

Buildings - Cooling; Buildings - Ducts


Text; Document


FSEC Energy Research Center® Collection



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