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Adobe Thermal Performance

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  • Quentin Wilson
    question: I am trying to find the r-value on 9 thick adobe brick. I live 12 miles from Oklahoma in texas. 75 miles north east of dallas in the sherman/denison
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 6, 2004
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      question: I am trying to find the r-value on 9" thick adobe brick. I live 12 miles from Oklahoma in texas. 75 miles north east of dallas in the sherman/denison texas area.I do a/c for a living and need to figure a heat load on two houses. any help would be appreciated.

      That's a mighty tough question. Adobe has about 140 Effective U-Values according to tne NM Energy Conservation Code Applications Manual. I am looking at 10-in adobe walls in Zone 9 which is Clovis and Roswell which is as close to the Dallas/Dennison area as we are going to get minus some of the humidity. For a Medium Colored Wall the U-Values are North: 0.227; East: 0.198; South: 0.160: West: 0.204  For dark colored walls the values go down 10 to 30%. For light colored walls the values go up 8 to 15%. The ASHRAE Steady State U-Value is 0.263

      R-factor is the reciprocal of U-Value.   ( R = 1/U )

      Because adobe is a storage device rather than a resistance device it performs well beyond predictions based on steady state numbers. The NM numbers are based on the Tesuque Thermal Study Project of the 1970's which used full-sized adobe test cells and computer numbers to mimic adobe's dynamic performance. Adobe often performs better than even the predictions using the NM numbers.

      I do know that there was an entire school district built in the Dallas area with adobe in the 1930's.

      Quentin Wilson
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