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Buildings 2018, 8(4), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8040047

On the Influence of Thermal Mass and Natural Ventilation on Overheating Risk in Offices

1
School of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney AU, Camperdown, NSW 2006, Australia
2
Building 2050 Research Group, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland
3
ESTIA SA Lausanne, EPFL Innovation Park, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 January 2018 / Revised: 15 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupant Comfort and Well-Being)
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Abstract

Free cooling strategies are gaining importance in design practice due to the increased risk of overheating in well-insulated buildings with high internal loads such as offices. The state of the art highlights that the most efficient passive solution for indoor temperature stabilization and control is the integration of thermal mass with an optimized ventilative cooling profile to enhance the thermal cycle of heat storage. Due to its cyclical behavior, thermal mass effects are difficult to predict and quantify with the traditional steady-state approach to building thermal performance. Dynamic thermal simulations help to assess a building’s behavior under transient situations, including the thermal mass influence. However, building codes usually include thermal simulations based on standard assumptions: typical meteorological year (TMY), standard occupancy, standard daily-based lighting and appliances profiles, and standard weekly-based occupancy. Thus, when assumptions change, the actual behavior of the building may vary consistently from the predicted conditions. In this paper, we focused on the ability of thermal mass to contrast the influence of variations from the standard assumptions, especially in relation to climate and ventilation profiles. The results show the necessity of encompassing different risk scenarios when evaluating a free cooling solution performance. Among the different scenarios simulated, natural ventilation misuse shows greater influence on the thermal indoor environment, especially if coupled with low thermal mass. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermal inertia; thermal mass; natural ventilation; passive cooling; energy efficiency; overheating; thermal simulations; future proofing; climate change mitigation thermal inertia; thermal mass; natural ventilation; passive cooling; energy efficiency; overheating; thermal simulations; future proofing; climate change mitigation
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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 (CC BY 4.0).
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Brambilla, A.; Bonvin, J.; Flourentzou, F.; Jusselme, T. On the Influence of Thermal Mass and Natural Ventilation on Overheating Risk in Offices. Buildings 2018, 8, 47.

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