Residential Building Envelope Energy Retrofit Methods, Simulation Tools, and Example Projects: A Review of the Literature
2. Systematic Literature Review on Worldwide Building Envelope Energy Retrofit
3. Materials and Systems in Envelope Energy Retrofit
3.1. Conventional Retrofit Measures
3.2. New Retrofit Measures
3.2.1. Phase Change Material (PCM)
3.2.3. Integrated Systems
3.3. Example Retrofit Projects
4. Energy Simulation Software in Energy Retrofit
5. Case Studies Based on Modeling Different Envelope Energy Retrofits
5.1. Development of the Case Study Computer Model for Sensitivity Analysis
5.2. Results of the Computer Modeling
6.1. Findings and Recommendations
- Use of more energy-efficient windows with different U-Value, SHGC, and emissivity properties (e.g., triple-pane, argon-filled, low-e glass)
- Incorporation of exterior/extra rigid insulation in walls, roof, ceilings, and slabs
- Use of materials having higher reflectance as a roofing material (i.e., cool roof)
- Installation of multi-functional energy-efficient façade and integrated systems (e.g., MEEFS, APSC&VU TU, and ASP&EA TU)
- Incorporation of advanced solar or double-skin façade systems (e.g., ASTF and SGPVTM)
- Use of operable shading systems
- Installation of super-insulated glass units using aerogel
- Use of aerogel/PCM-infused construction materials
- The impact of these envelope ECMs is higher in the colder climate zone (i.e., 20% vs. about 6%).
- Air sealing shows the highest impact on buildings in both climate zones. The energy-saving was about 3.5% and 30% in warm and cold climate zones.
- The roof’s thermal resistance shows the most negligible impact in buildings with a small roof-to-wall surface area ratio.
- Improving the U-Value of windows was found to be a more effective ECM in cold climate zones, as its energy-saving impact can be more than 15% (from −10% to about +5%).
- Improving walls’ R-Value in both climate zones shows a relatively high impact. In the warmer region, the energy-saving effect is about 2%, and in the colder region, the energy saving can be 20%.
6.2. Strength and Limitations
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
|AEO||Annual Energy Outlook||HVAC||Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning|
|APSC&VU TU||Advanced Passive Solar Collector & Ventilation Unit Technological Unit||LCA||Life cycle assessment|
|ASP&EA TU||Advanced Solar Protection & Energy Absorption Technological Unit||MDF||Medium-density fiberboard|
|ASTF||Active Solar Thermal Façade||MEEFS||Multi-functional energy-efficient façade system|
|BIPV||Building-integrated PV||OSB||Oriented Strand Board|
|CMU||Concrete masonry unit||PCM||Phase Change Material|
|DEEP||Database of energy efficiency performance||PV||Photovoltaic|
|DOE||Department of Energy||RECS||Residential Energy Consumption Survey|
|ECM||Energy Conservation Measure||SGPVTM||Single-channel glazed photovoltaic thermal module|
|EIFS||Exterior insulating finish system||SHGC||Solar heat gain coefficient|
|EPS||Expanded polystyrene||SRI||Solar Reflectance Index|
|ESCO||Energy service company||TRM||Textile reinforced mortar|
|ETICS||External thermal insulation composite system||VIP||Vacuum insulated panel|
|ETMMS||Exterior thermal & moisture management system||XPS||Extruded polystyrene|
|GUI||Graphic User Interface|
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|Heat Control Mechanisms||Examples|
|Insulation||Fiberglass batt, Spray foam, Aerogel, Expanded Polystyrene|
|Air sealing||Spray foam|
|Radiations control||Aluminum sheet, Window films with various solar heat gain coefficients|
|High heat capacity||Phase Change Material (PCM) and materials with high specific heat (e.g., brick and stone)|
|Forms of Insulation Material|
|Blankets (batts or rolls)|
|Loose-fill (blown-in or poured-in)|
|Category||Material||Thermal Conductivity (W/m·K)|
|Natural Lightweight Aggregates||Perlite||0.04–0.06|
|Expanded or extruded Polystyrene||0.030–0.038|
|Polyurethane and Polyisocyanurate||0.023|
|Building Envelope Component||Retrofit Method|
|Windows||Add exterior window film.|
|Add exterior shading or overhang and light shelves.|
|Roof||Install cool/warm roof or reflective covering|
|Main entrance or garage||Add vestibule|
|Install high R-value roll-up receiving doors|
|Air leakage||Air sealing measures|
|Objective, Building Type, or Location of the Study||Proposed Envelope Retrofit Measures||Energy Simulation Tool||Energy Saving||Reference|
|Historical Building||Replacing single glass with different options, including double glazing filled with air or argon and triple glazing filled with krypton||TRNSYS||About 20–28% and 6.6–26% decreases in heating and cooling loads, respectively.||Guattari et al. |
|Historical building||Application of insulation layer made of reed and innovative tile system||EnergyPlus||Decrease in energy consumption||Pertosa et al. |
|-||ETMMS||-||Decrease in ice dam formation and energy consumption||Ojczyk |
|A residential building in Italy||Application of cool-green roof||-||Reduction in overheating hours by 98%||Pisello et al. |
|Historical building||Application of innovative tile system with higher reflectance rate||-||-||Boarin et al. |
|School||Add Exterior insulating finish system (EIFS), replace windows, rigid insulation on the roof, and slab insulation.||EnergyPlus||Up to 32% for whole-house retrofit packages.||Pacific Northwest National Laboratory |
|Office Building||Exterior window film, exterior window shading, wall insulation, roof insulation, and cool roof||EnergyPlus||Decrease in energy consumption. Up to 25% reduction in energy consumption is feasible, and up to 50% is also achievable after a deep retrofit.||Pacific Northwest National Laboratory |
|Materials and systems containing PCM and aerogel||Application of different products containing nanomaterial such as aerogel. These products include aerogel under-floor mats, panels, and pre-coupled gypsum boards with aerogel. |
Application of Micronal P.C.M. to plaster, Trombe walls, etc.
|-||-||Casini et al. |
|A residential building in South Korea||Addition of PCM to the wall system||DesignBuilder||Up to 40% reduction in energy use depending on the building height and orientation.||Park et al. |
|Application of PCM as a plaster over the ETICS, replacing windows, new roof insulation||EnergyPlus||Reduction in energy consumption by 38%||Ascione et al., 2014 |
|Transportable buildings||Application of PCM gypsum board||EnergyPlus||From 1% to 36% reduction in energy demand||Marin et al. |
|Application of aerogel in glazing system||Different aerogel thicknesses and percentages of windows coverage are studied to evaluate transparent insulation, such as aerogel integrated with glazing systems.||THERM and EnergyPlus||Up to 80% decrease in heating and cooling load is observed after covering 100% of windows with 5 cm double pane aerogel.||Berardi |
|Office building||Application of Nanogel® Aerogel insulation plaster, ThermablokSP board, and SLENTIT aerogel insulation board.||DesignBuilder||71% reduction in energy loss through walls||Filate et al. |
|Thermal insulation composite panels||TRNSYS model||Energy performance improved by 5%||Kolaitis et al. |
|Development of innovative systems||Single-layer XPS with surface finish and composite EPS panel coated on both sides with textile reinforced mortar||-||-||Masera et al. |
|Apartment in Italy||Application of ETICS containing stone wool and BIPV||DesignBuilder model||Decrease in heat loss through walls by 85%||Evola and Margani |
|Cold climate region of Finland and Russia||Application of two different MEEFS, including APSC&VU TU and ASP&EA TU, that work based on thermal storage and phase change material.||EnergyPlus||Total heat consumption was reduced from 69.4 kWh/m2 to 79 kWh/m2 after using the MEEFS system.||Paiho et al. |
|Classification of different ASTFs||Application of ASTFs as a building envelope component||-||Multiple case studies are reviewed, and the energy-saving of each case is reported.||Zhang et al. |
|-||Application of double-skin façade in old residential buildings. The performance of a 90 cm cavity with 20 cm slats is evaluated.||Radiance (To analyze the daylighting performance)||-||Kim et al. |
|Application of PCM wallboard||EnergyPlus||Reduction in annual energy consumption by 6%||Ascione et al. |
|Affordable housing in Spain||Exterior 60 mm EPS wall insulation, 80 mm XPS roof insulation, light-color façade||-||25–88% reduction in energy consumption||Casquero-Modrego and Goñi-Modrego |
|Cross-laminated timber residential buildings in South Korea||Retrofit packages include LED lights, Daylight sensors, Roof insulation, internal blinds, triple-glazed low-E windows, and either a hybrid (Glass wool + EPS) or rock wool wall insulation.||DesignBuilder||Compared to the based buildings with two different wall insulation types, the packages could reduce the energy use up to about 14%.||Cho et al. |
|A residential building in Italy||Application of aerogel as an insulation layer in the wall system||DesignBuilder||About 40% energy saving potential||Fenoglio et al. |
|Two residential buildings in Dubai||Wall U-Value less than 0.3 W/m2·K and Passivhaus windows||DesignBuilder||Up to 13% for each building envelope ECMs||Rakhshan and Friess |
|Project Title/Location||Retrofit Measures in Building Envelope||Energy Saving|
|Abu Dhabi, UAE ||Windows with a higher shading coefficient and a cool roof are used; the airtightness of the buildings is also reduced to 5 ACH50.||From 14.4% to 47.6% is saved in energy consumption.|
|Albany, New York ||Precast insulation panels consisting of EPS covered by OSB were installed over the existing Concrete masonry unit (CMU), and aerogel fabrics were used where there was not enough space.||About 21% and 16% reduction in gas and electricity use, respectively|
|Aspinal Courthouse ||R-10 spray foam on walls, R-35 rigid insulation on the roof, cool roof, and storm panels with low U-Value and SHGC were applied||-|
|Empire State Building ||The existing windows were remanufactured onsite using suspended coated film and gas filling the cavity, and reflective barriers were installed behind the radiators.||Annual energy use reduced from 277 to 189 kWh/m2 (32%)|
|Alexandria, Egypt ||Thermal breaks were added to aluminum frames, and the clear glasses were replaced with double low-e with an air gap glazing system. Batt insulation was also added to the current wall system to increase the R-value up to about 11||The energy consumption was reduced by 7,068,178 kWh/year|
|California Department of Motor Vehicles ||A double-layer skin façade with operable vents was installed.||-|
|Stanford Medicine Outpatient and UCLA Center for Health Sciences ||R-15 batt insulation behind masonry wall, external sunshade, curtain wall, and external shading with operable louvers were added||-|
|Portland, Oregon ||Two inches of polyisocyanurate with white asphalt on the roof and translucent cloth shades on a single-pane window||30% reduction in energy consumption|
|ERGO, the Italian headquarters of a major insurance company ||Argon-filled double-pane glass, shading system, ventilated façade with an air gap behind the stone façade, stone façade as thermal mass, glass wool as insulation, and dynamic double-skin façade with computer-controlled blinds were used.||40% reduction in energy consumption|
|Alliance for Sustainable Colorado ||Mylar film is applied on the interior of curtain walls to reflect up to 60% of heat during cooling seasons and reduce internal heat loss in the heating season.||Reached new 135.6 kWh/m2/yr energy consumption|
|Beardmore, Priest River, Idaho ||Extra R-50 exterior wall insulation, high solar reflective material for roofing materials, and an insulated low-e glazing system were used.||-|
|Home on the Range, Montana ||Exterior insulation over concrete block walls, low-e glazing systems, light color over the exterior walls and roof, awnings, and trellises were used to reduce the solar heat gain.||-|
|Glasswood building, Portland, Oregon ||Airtightness was reduced to 0.6 air changes per hour at 50 Pascal pressure by taping the OSB sheathings. Furthermore, high-density cellulose and EPS were added to the cavity and behind the rain screen.||Annual consumption reduced to less than 120 kWh/m2/yr|
|Sunnyvale residential building ||R-13 dense-pack cellulose in the wall cavity, R-12 exterior foam, R-24 polyiso foam in the cavity, spray foam on rim joist and girders, R-12 on slabs, R-38 polyiso over the roof deck, and triple-pane glazing system.||40% reduction in energy consumption|
|Old Danish multi-family house ||Insulation materials containing aerogel-stone wool mixture (thermal conductivity of 0.019 W/(m2·K)) are used, and vacuum panels are installed on the interior face of the wall. Windows thermal properties were improved by installing secondary framing over the existing glazing system.||After applying both envelope and mechanical systems energy retrofit, energy consumption reduced from 162.5 kWh/m2/year to 51.5 kWh/m2/year (68% decrease)|
|Three-liter BASF house, Germany ||High R-value exterior foam sheathing and triple glazed windows were used alongside other mechanical systems retrofit.||The required energy for heating is reduced to 2.6 L of heating oil per square meter.|
|Climate Zone 1A||Climate Zone 6B|
|General Characteristics||Two-story|slab on grade|detached single-family|
|Square footage (ft2)||3565.64|
|Window-to-Wall Ratio (WWR)||15%|
|Cooling System||Direct Expansion (DX) System SEER 13|
|Heating System||Gas Furnace|
|Heating and Cooling Setpoints||76 F (cooling)|71 F (heating)|
|Wall’s R_Value m2·K/W||2.1||3.0|
|Roof’s R_Value m2·K/W||5.5||8.6|
|Windows U_Value W/m2·K||2.0||2.0|
|Building Air Leakage||7 ACH50, 0.5 Shelter Coefficient|
|Min (−40%)||Baseline||Max (+40%)||Min (−40%)||Baseline||Max (+40%)|
|Wall’s R_Value m2·K/W||1.2||2.1||3.0||1.8||3.0||4.2|
|Roof’s R_Value m2·K/W||3.3||5.5||7.7||5.1||8.6||12.2|
|Windows U_Value W/m2·K||1.2||2.1||3.0||1.2||2.0||2.8|
|Air Leakage (ACH50)||4||7||10||4||7||10|
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Kamel, E.; Memari, A.M. Residential Building Envelope Energy Retrofit Methods, Simulation Tools, and Example Projects: A Review of the Literature. Buildings 2022, 12, 954. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12070954
Kamel E, Memari AM. Residential Building Envelope Energy Retrofit Methods, Simulation Tools, and Example Projects: A Review of the Literature. Buildings. 2022; 12(7):954. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12070954Chicago/Turabian Style
Kamel, Ehsan, and Ali M. Memari. 2022. "Residential Building Envelope Energy Retrofit Methods, Simulation Tools, and Example Projects: A Review of the Literature" Buildings 12, no. 7: 954. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12070954