To delay fossil energy depletion and implement the Paris Climate Change Accord, the South Korean government is attempting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the establishment of the 2030 Roadmap. The insulation performance of external walls is being continuously enhanced in the architectural domain. However, Korea’s policy and construction market focuses only on the heat resistance of buildings’ external walls to enhance the insulation performance, leading to an increased thickness of the insulation materials. In this study, the relationship between the surface reflectivity and insulation thickness of external walls was examined to formulate an effective insulation strategy for buildings in Korea. Office buildings of 12 regions in the Korean Peninsula were considered. The dynamic energy simulation program EnergyPlus was used to perform the heating and cooling load analyses. The present worth method was adopted to perform the economic analysis. The analysis of the cooling and heating loads indicated that a change occurred not only in terms of the latitude but also between the Eastern and Western regions. The energy consumption could be reduced by increasing the reflectivity in the Southern region and lowering the reflectivity in the Northern region, based on the total load. In addition, a higher latitude corresponded to a higher energy saving effect owing to the increased insulation thickness. In the case of Jeju Island and Busan, regions with a relatively large cooling load and small heating load, the total load is little affected by insulation thickness at high reflectivity. If the external skin was considered to have the optimal reflectivity, the regions for optimal insulation thickness could be divided into three categories: north, central and south.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited