Paper Conference

2020 Building Performance Analysis Conference and SimBuild co-organized by ASHRAE and IBPSA-USA


Evaluation of Rammed Earth Assemblies as Thermal Mass Through Whole-Building Simulation

Pragya Gupta, Dana Cupkova, Lola Ben-Alon, Erica Cochran Hameen
School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Abstract: Rammed earth is a low-carbon and nontoxic alternative to conventional construction materials. It was shown to be beneficial in hot climates, making it prominent for resiliency in the face of climate change. However, rammed earth is not broadly implemented due to its low thermal resistance, even though many studies have elaborated the benefits through its mass, specific heat capacity and hygroscopic properties. This paper presents a comparative thermal simulation of rammed earth and mainstream concrete and wood assemblies, accounting for both heat resistivity and capacity. Rammed earth is shown to provide a steady-state indoor temperature levels while decreasing heating and cooling loads in 20%-52% as opposed to conventional assemblies.
Pages: 618 - 625