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Sustainability 2012, 4(9), 1999-2021; doi:10.3390/su4091999

Effects of Roof Pitch on Air Flow and Heating Load of Sealed and Vented Attics for Gable-Roof Residential Buildings

The Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 113 NH, Lincoln, NE 68588-0500, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 June 2012 / Revised: 10 August 2012 / Accepted: 20 August 2012 / Published: 30 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Design and Construction)
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Pitch value is an important consideration in residential gable roof design and construction. However, how roof pitch, coupled with air flows in attic space, affects the energy performance of building attics has been barely investigated. In this paper, a 2D unsteady computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model is employed to investigate the effects of roof pitch on air flow and heating load of both sealed and vented attics for gable-roof residential buildings. The simulation results show that air flow in the sealed attics is steady and asymmetric, while that in the vented attics is a combination of an essentially symmetric base flow and a periodically oscillating flow. For both the sealed and vented attic cases, the heating load is found to increase with the roof pitch, and the heat transfer of turbulent air flow in attic space can be satisfactorily correlated by a simple relationship between appropriately defined Nusselt number and Rayleigh number.
Keywords: attic; roof pitch; air flow; heating load; turbulence; CFD attic; roof pitch; air flow; heating load; turbulence; CFD
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, S.; Shen, Z. Effects of Roof Pitch on Air Flow and Heating Load of Sealed and Vented Attics for Gable-Roof Residential Buildings. Sustainability 2012, 4, 1999-2021.

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