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Energies 2018, 11(4), 872; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11040872

On the Effects of Variation of Thermal Conductivity in Buildings in the Italian Construction Sector

1
Department of Architectural Science, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON M5B2K3, Canada
2
Department of Architecture (DA), University of Bologna, Viale Europa 596, 47521 Cesena, Italy
3
Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
4
Department of Architectural Engineering & Technology, TU Delft University of Technology, Julianalaan 134, 2628BL Delft, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 February 2018 / Revised: 30 March 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
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Abstract

Stationary and dynamic heat and mass transfer analyses of building components are an essential part of energy efficient design of new and retrofitted buildings. Generally, a single constant thermal conductivity value is assumed for each material layer in construction components. However, the variability of thermal conductivity may depend on many factors; temperature and moisture content are among the most relevant ones. A linear temperature dependence of thermal conductivity has been found experimentally for materials made of inorganic fibers such as rockwool or fiberglass, showing lower thermal conductivities at lower temperatures. On the contrary, a nonlinear temperature dependence has been found for foamed insulation materials like polyisocyanurate, with a significant deviation from linear behavior. For this reason, thermal conductivity assumptions used in thermal calculations of construction components and in whole-building performance simulations have to be critically questioned. This study aims to evaluate how temperature affects thermal conductivity of materials in building components such as exterior walls and flat roofs in different climate conditions. Therefore, experimental conductivities measured for four common insulation materials have been used as a basis to simulate the behavior of typical construction components in three different Italian climate conditions, corresponding to the cities of Turin, Rome, and Palermo. View Full-Text
Keywords: insulation materials; thermal conductivity; building energy consumption; temperature dependence; high-performance buildings insulation materials; thermal conductivity; building energy consumption; temperature dependence; high-performance buildings
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Berardi, U.; Tronchin, L.; Manfren, M.; Nastasi, B. On the Effects of Variation of Thermal Conductivity in Buildings in the Italian Construction Sector. Energies 2018, 11, 872.

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