• The shell of the home or building is constructed utilizing a single-sided Insulated Concrete Form referred to as SSICFs. It is referred to as single-sided because one side has a structural plywood material that can be removed enabling the concrete thermal mass to have good communication with the interior of the structure. Research is also underway to determine the feasibility of TWT construction utilizing a concrete masonry unit (CMU) (concrete block) or Architectural CMUs. Initial indicators suggest CMUs could be utilized in many TWT applications. 
  • ICFs are an ultra-energy efficient and super strong form of construction.
  • The ICF has an expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation board on the exterior, an interior cavity that concrete is poured into and a removable structural plywood board on the interior. The EPS insulation board and plywood are connected with a polymer or metal webbing to support the poured concrete.
  • Similar to hydronic (water) radiant heated concrete floor system the walls of the TWT structure will also have hydronic tubes embedded in the concrete. The additional surface area and thermal mass enable the walls and floors to act as both a highly efficient heat storage and delivery system.
  • Pumps will circulate a water or a water/glycol solution through the tubes thus delivering efficient heating and cooling to the interior of the building.
  • The method of heat released is infrared radiation. This is the same form of energy used in the old cast iron radiators in schools or the energy (heat) felt around a campfire. The difference being the radiation is coming from a large surface area at a temperature much closer to ideal human conditions, bathing the interior with a warm consistent heat.
  • The lower operating temperatures and the thermal amelioration provide the TWT heating and cooling efficiencies.
  • The temperature of the substantial thermal mass of the structure is slow to change and generally reflects the average 24-hour temperature as opposed to a wood frame structure (minimal thermal mass) which quickly reflects the daily temperature extremes. This more or less 24-hour average temperature in the summer maintains the cool interior of the home.  Modeling utilizing Asheville, North Carolina 2010 data indicated the thermal amelioration resulting from the thermal mass eliminated all but 10-days of cooling requirements for the 2010 cooling season.
  • The type of heat delivered, infrared radiation (IR), also plays a role in the efficiency of the TWT structure. IR heats objects and not the air, as such, the structure’s temerature can be operated at 5-8˚F lower then that of conventional forced air heating systems; this equates to a 12-19% energy reduction.

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