Uninsulated wall assemblies are typical in older homes, as many were built before building codes required insulation. Building engineers need to understand the thermal performance of these assemblies as they consider home energy upgrades if they are to properly predict pre-upgrade performance and, consequently, prospective energy savings from the upgrade. Most whole-building energy simulation tools currently use simplified, 1D characterizations of building envelopes and assume a fixed thermal resistance that does not vary over a building’s temperature range. This study describes a detailed 3D computational fluid dynamics model that evaluates the thermal performance of uninsulated wall assemblies. It accounts for conduction through framing, convection, and radiation and allows for material property variations with temperature. Parameters that were varied include ambient outdoor temperature and cavity surface emissivity. The results may serve as input for building energy simulation tools that model the temperature-dependent energy performance of homes with uninsulated walls.

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