In St. Louis, Washington University students have been working for nearly two years on a design entry – the CRETE House – for Solar Decathlon 2017, a biennial competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. At stake is $2 million in prize money for university teams from around the world that have been working to design and build full-size, solar-powered houses.
The Washington University team’s students have been working with the Precast/Prestress Concrete Institute to design and cast sandwich panels featuring Thermomass insulation products.
“Concrete will last 100 years,” explains Yin, an internationally recognized expert on green development. It also boasts a high heat capacity, or thermal mass. On a summer afternoon, concrete walls absorb the warmth of the sun, slowing the rise of interior temperatures. On a summer evening, natural ventilation releases the heat back outside, dispersing it into the cool night air.
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