A Life-Cycle Analysis of the Thermal Energy Transfer in Prototypical Air Force Office Building Construction Using Best Value Insulation Standards
Date of Award
Master of Science in Engineering Management
Department of Systems Engineering and Management
Brent T. Langhals, PhD
The United States Department of Defense (DoD) possesses over 560,000 buildings and structures around the world which require electricity to maintain and operate. The energy costs associated with the operations of these building is approximately $4 billion per year. Sustainable infrastructure management is a crucial opportunity to improve and establish a prudent, manageable, and successful DoD budget. This research identified, modeled, and simulated thermal energy-efficient standards in building construction in order to recognize the best value standards as opportunities for potential cost savings. EnergyPlus and OpenStudio Building Performance Simulation (BPS) software was used to model the energy flow into and out of buildings to determine the annual energy costs for two prototypical DoD office buildings developed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The simulation inputs of building size, location, and insulation materials were varied to determine their effects on the energy cost. The results showed that exceeding construction code with R-15 wall insulation was consistently the most cost effective. Exceeding the construction code with R-60 roof insulation was more cost effective in the large facility located in the cold and mild climates. Lower than construction standard roof insulation was more cost effective in hot climates and in mild climates for the small facility. The research results indicate that designers, engineers, and policy makers in the Air Force should consider facility life-cycle costs to lower annual facility sustainment costs. Accepting the construction code without performing an energy flow analysis of the facility during the design phase forfeits the opportunity to improve the life-cycle energy cost.
DTIC Accession Number
Canfield, Michael E., "A Life-Cycle Analysis of the Thermal Energy Transfer in Prototypical Air Force Office Building Construction Using Best Value Insulation Standards" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 3228.