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What is a building heat loss form factor?

posted 19 Dec 2016, 18:04 by Donna Bartsch   [ updated 19 Dec 2016, 18:23 ]
What is form factor?
The compactness of a building, or the ratio of external area to floor area is an important consideration in designing a home for energy efficiency.  Taking this ratio into account through the design phase does not cost any extra, yet its impact on future living energy cost may be significant.

The heat loss form factor = external surface area (walls, floor and roof) / total floor area.

The more compact your home, the more efficient it will be.  This is resultant from the linear relationship between heat loss and insulation values.

A square or rectangular shape or form has the best form factor and is the most efficient when it comes to reducing heat loss.  The following diagram demonstrates the significance of shape and form.

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