Optimum Wall Insulation for Cold Climates

by Richard L. Hennessy, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, Mich.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 3, Pg. 529-535

Document Type: Journal Paper


The paper investigates the optimum thickness for insulation in cold areas, considering inflation, taxes, depreciation, and the effect of building with borrowed money. Optimization is based on cost considerations. Those considerations include the cost of the insulation, cost of installation, and the cost of heating, and may be expressed in equation form as Total cost = cost of insulation + annual cost of heating + cost of installation. It will be observed that the above expression contains a mix of present costs and annual costs. To be meaningful all costs must be either present costs or annual costs. Rather arbitrarily, this paper will convert present cost to annual cost.

Subject Headings: Walls | Building insulation | Cold regions | HVAC | Thickness | Taxation | Arbitration

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