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  1. Decommissioning of the Foundation Test Facility (FTF)
    After 21 years of service, the FTF finally has been decommissioned and returned to the control of the UMore Park administration.  The land will be utilized for playing fields in the larger context of the residential development being planned for UMore Park.  The research conducted at the FTF has been codified in the Minnesota Residential Energy Code (MN Rules, chapter 1322) thus creating an enduring legacy to the many Faculty, Students and Staff who worked at the FTF over the years.
     
  2. Improvements in Foundation Energy Simulation Tools
    Accurate inclusion of foundation heat transfer in whole building energy simulation tools such as DOE's EnergyPlus remains problematic, especially in terms of accounting for 3-dimensional and phase change effects.  Research on a new PRF (Periodic Response Factor) approach based on a State-Space analysis of the earth/building system is currently underway.  This methodology is showing promise of enabling full 3-dimensional, transient earth contact heat transfer to be included in whole building simulations (such as EnergyPlus) without requiring execution of a detailed simulation (such as BUFETS) either in parallel or iteratively with the building energy simulation.
     
  3. Application of the MN Rules Chapter 1322 Foundation Performance Criteria
    The 2009 MN Residential Energy Code including the foundation performance criteria compliance option finally is in force.  The first known application of the option occurred out-of-state (!).  In this retrofit installation, the selected compliant design consisted of open-cell spray foam insulation in a stand-off frame over masonry block walls.  The rim joist cavities were flashed with 2 to 3 in. of closed-cell spray foam insulation and then filled with open-cell spray foam.  The entire system was covered with gypsum without any warm-side vapor retarders.  Note that foundation insulation systems that are fully compliant with the performance option can be found on this site.