The Future of Roofing at ORNL
Thanks to Andre Desjarlais and his colleagues at the Building Technology Research and Integration Center who gave ERA members and staff a tour of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory state-of-the-art facility. According to their modeling, the biggest payoff in saving energy lies in air-sealing systems to prevent leakage in the building envelope. Of special interest – their new research showing that mechanically attached roofing systems lose between 3 to 8% of their energy when compared to fully adhered systems. And, according to ORNL, the colder the climate, the greater the “penalty”. ERA will continue to work with the Oak Ridge researchers to deliver specific findings to the roofing community.
ORNL staff showed us their 2D visual representation of 3.5 million simulations from the Roof Savings Calculator, certain to be one of the tools that points the way to the future of roofing design. Also on the tour, ORNL’s one-of-a-kind large scale climate simulator to test the durability and sustainability of roofing membrane and a prototype of 3D printing technology that can already print a wall, and may someday print the roof over our head, and the rest of the house, as well.