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Cost Effective Energy Efficient Design for Buildings Using Exterior Masonry Walls - "More Bang for Your Buck" 

SEPTEMBER 10, 2015


Samantha Bruton



Thursday September 10, 2015 at 12:00 PM 
Thursday September 10, 2015 at 1:00 PM 

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JW Marriott - Room 201
10 S West Street
Room 201
Indianapolis, IN 46204

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The MIdwest Masonry Council, as part of the Indianapolis Chapter CSI Trade Show, is hosting an masonry education seminar. It will be a 1-hour session, offering (1) AIA CEU's.The seminar will be located in Room 201 at the JW Marriott. Lunch will be provided. The room is located next to the trade show exhibit space. 


For most climates in the United States, the prescriptive building envelope requirements in the energy code (ASHRAE 90.1-2010) mandate that single wythe exterior masonry walls must have continuous insulation.  This greatly impacts the cost of these wall systems because the insulation must be protected, often with coverings that have lower durability than masonry and thus higher maintenance costs.  In addition, prescriptive insulation requirements often mislead designers into assuming that high R values in the building envelope are needed for the building to be considered “energy efficient”. Yet, increasing envelope insulation levels may have only a minimal effect on the overall building energy performance, especially for walls with a high thermal mass.  In fact, studies on building energy use have shown that improving the efficiency of lighting systems, and/or the heating and cooling systems, can result in a much greater reduction in energy consumption than simply increasing envelope thermal resistance, depending on building occupancy, operating schedules, and climate zone.

The University of Louisville recently completed an investigation on the energy used by building archetypes that are typically constructed with single wythe masonry exterior wall systems. Archetype warehouse, supermarket and box retail building configurations were investigated.   For a range of climate zones, various code-compliant (ASHRAE 90.1-2010 and National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB-2011)) alternative construction configurations for each archetype were examined for energy efficiencies and construction costs.

When compared to code prescriptive building configurations, alternative warehouse designs using single wythe concrete masonry walls without external insulation can readily be shown to be code compliant using whole building energy analysis.  Moreover, these alternative configurations produce substantial yearly energy costs savings at significantly lower construction costs.

The results from this study, as well as those from a previous study on cost effective energy efficient design for school systems will be presented.

The presentation will address the following learning objectives:

•   Present an over view of the results of the “ALTERNATIVE ENERGY EFFICIENT DESIGNS FOR SINGLE WYTHE MASONRY STRUCTURES” investigation that was recently completed at the University of Louisville.

•   Quantify the effects of building envelope design, including fenestration, on overall energy conservation.

•   Quantify the effects of other systems such as lighting and HVAC system design on the overall energy efficiency and cost effectiveness of the design.

•   Present an brief overview of the results of an earlier U of L Study on “Cost Effective Energy Efficient School Designs for Kentucky”, including effects of exterior cavity wall insulation, envelop configurations and select MEP systems on yearly energy performance of these types of buildings. 


Dr. Mark McGinley, Ph.D., PE, FASTM

Dr. Mark McGinley, Ph.D, PE, FASTM is a Professor and Endowed Chair for Infrastructure Research, Civil and Environmental Engineering, J.B. Speed School of Engineering University of Louisville.  Dr. McGinley is a structural engineer and building scientist with an excess of 25 years of research and forensic engineering practice in building systems. Prior to joining U of L, he served 20 years at North Carolina A & T State University in the Civil, Architectural, Agricultural and Environmental Engineering Department. He is an expert in masonry building systems, in particular, masonry building envelopes.

  Dr. McGinley's research has included research on the structural performance of masonry walls, water penetration experiments on envelopes and the building envelope performance of brick veneer and steel stud wall systems. He has also been involved in, multidiscipline efforts on the evaluation of the energy systems of existing buildings and demonstration projects evaluating condensing heat exchangers and thermal mass effects of night time ventilation. He has been a primary author of all seven editions of the Masonry Designers Guide.

Dr. McGinley has been actively involved in the Masonry Society and ASTM on committees C-12 and C15 and currently chairs the Subcommittee on Lab accreditation and the Task groups on the Bond Wrench testing Apparatus and Field evaluation of mortars. He received the ASTM Gilbert C. Robinson Memorial Award in 2001 and the ASTM Award of Merit and title of Fellow in 2008. In September 2012, he received the TMS - J.B. Scalzi Research Award for his masonry related research contributions. He is also a member of the Masonry Joint Standards Committee - of the Reinforcing and Connectors Subcommittee and the Flexural Axial Load and Shear Subcommittee.



The trade show will be held on Thursday, September 10, 2015.  The schedule of the day will be:     Masonry Seminar from 12-1pm, Education Seminar from 1-3pm and the Trade Show will be from 3-7pm. 


 There is no cost for this seminar as it is being sponsored by the Midwest Masonry Council, but registration is encouraged.