Natural Exposure Test (NET) Facilities -
These facilities are designed to test wall
and roof panels in the natural outdoor environment, rather than in
pristine laboratory conditions.
The purpose of this Natural Exposure Test Facility is to investigate and
monitor the thermal and moisture performance of walls. This
information, including the outside weather conditions, will be
incorporated in a hygrothermal computer-modeling program. This
research project will assist architects, engineers, and home builders in
the selection of wall assemblies appropriate for the geographic region.
The emphasis will be on saving energy, lowering the cost of utilities,
and making homes more comfortable.
The U.S. Department of
Energy, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the EIFS Industry Members
Association thank the Charleston County School District, Baptist Hill
High School, and the Town of Hollywood for facilitating this research.
Funding for construction
was provided by the EIFS Industry Members Association (EIMA).
Note: EIFS = Exterior Insulation Finish System. EIMA is
testing 15 panels of existing and emerging insulated wall technologies.
They chose the most severe conditions for walls - the hot and humid
climate of Hollywood, South Carolina, on John's Island just south of
Charleston. For more information about EIMA and EIFS, visit
www.EIMA.com. A press release from the EIFS Industry Members Association (EIMA) is linked
Below are photos of the
panel construction, where members of EIMA and Oak Ridge National
Laboratory worked together, installing approximately 40 sensors among
the wall layers in each panel.