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Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 590;

The Effects of Roof and Wall Insulation on the Energy Costs of Low Income Housing in Mexico

Advanced Materials Research Center (CIMAV-Chihuahua), Miguel de Cervantes 120, Complejo Industrial Chihuahua, Chihuahua 31109, México
Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT), Av. Insurgentes Sur 1582, Ciudad de México 03940, México
Advanced Materials Research Center (CIMAV-Durango), Victoria 147 Norte, Zona Centro, Durango 34000, México
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Lin Lu, Jinqing Peng and Fu Xiao
Received: 6 April 2016 / Revised: 9 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 25 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy Applications and Energy Saving in Buildings)
Full-Text   |   PDF [4486 KB, uploaded 25 June 2016]   |  


Environmental conditions, such as air temperature and solar radiation, have a complex relationship with the energy requirements for heating and cooling of residential buildings. In this work, a comparative analysis of the insulation methods most commonly applied to low income single-family houses in Mexico is presented, in order to find the most energy-efficient combinations of methods for the various climates in this country. A common kind of building, small houses built with hollow cinder block walls and concrete slab roofs, was analyzed considering three insulation scenarios: walls only, roof only and both. We used dynamic simulation to evaluate energy consumption under the climate conditions found in several Mexican cities. From the energy consumption data and the cost of electricity in Mexico, we calculated net annual energy costs, including both annual energy savings and the annualized cost of the initial investment in better insulation. Results of this analysis show that insulating both roof and walls is most effective in cities with cold winters; insulating just the roof is best for temperate climates; and insulating walls (combined with high-albedo roofs) is most effective for cities with year-long warm weather. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermal insulation; wall; roof; residential building; energy cost; PACS; J0101 thermal insulation; wall; roof; residential building; energy cost; PACS; J0101

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Lucero-Álvarez, J.; Rodríguez-Muñoz, N.A.; Martín-Domínguez, I.R. The Effects of Roof and Wall Insulation on the Energy Costs of Low Income Housing in Mexico. Sustainability 2016, 8, 590.

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