Earlier this week the project team began a seasonal experiment to test the passive performance of the envelope to resist exterior temperatures fluctuations over the course of 72 hours (3 days). To complete this study, the heating and cooling systems are completely disabled for the duration of the period (though the ERV remains in operation to supply code required minimum ventilation).
Earlier forms of this same test have shown interesting returns, generally showing the envelope is able to maintain a steady temperature range. Observations from June remained outside of the comfort zone entirely, however, though night temperatures clearly dropped into the comfort range. Effort by the resident to purge warm interior air in the evenings could have altered this, though high humidities in the Southeast-US often negates such efforts.
We'll keep you posted as to what we find this time around!
The New Norris House is a design/build effort from the University of Tennessee's College of Architecture and Design. Began in 2009, the home was designed and built by UT students in collaboration with Clayton Homes. The built project is now complete and the final phase of the project has begun. A team of 4 people (2 living in the home, and 2 graduate researchers) will rigorously document the experience via qualitative assessments and quantitative measurements, posting results to this blog.