IRCC’s and Green Construction
For homes in southern climates, radiant barriers and interior radiation control coatings (IRCCs) are an effective, low cost way to improve energy efficiency in homes and conditioned buildings. Any structure that relies on air conditioning for a large portion of the year can benefit from this technology as a way to reduce utility usage in new construction or retrofitting existing buildings.
They work by affecting heat flows into the building. Radiant barrier and IRCC efficiencies are driven by a characteristic called emissivity, or thermal emittance. Emissivity describes the ability of a surface to radiate or “emit” heat. Everything has a prescribed emissivity based on its chemical makeup, from human skin to leaves to rocks to roofing materials. The higher the emissivity, the better able that surface is to release its stored heat energy by radiation. The lower the emissivity, the less able it is to release its stored heat energy by radiation…