On Valentine’s Night, things “heated up” when the Mark Group performed Thermal Imaging on Building 661, the future headquarters of The Energy Efficient Buildings Hub at The Navy Yard. The thermography test — basically, taking pictures that show infrared radiation — is an important part of the retrofitting process. These images can help the team understand where heat leaks out of a building, which in turn informs decisions about the retrofit.
Before taking the pictures, Building 661 had to get warmed up (the goal is to have the indoor air temperature at least 30 degrees warmer than the outside air temperature). With the power of 12 propane heaters, the interior of the building reached around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. That way, the team could see what areas had the most heat loss. Outdoor conditions were around 38-43 degrees Fahrenheit, and it was a dry night. These cool, dry conditions are ideal for thermography testing, since warmer or wetter conditions would provide skewed results and less contrast in the images. Pictures were taken using an A600 series FLIR camera, and emissivity (the measure of a surface’s ability to emit radiation) was preset to 0.95, which is standard for brick.
Here’s what the team found at Building 661:
- the current doors and windows allow warm air to escape at the edges (you can see the temperature escaping with the “warmer” colors in the images)