Insulation Materials for Residential Buildings

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309). This special issue belongs to the section "Building Materials, and Repair & Renovation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2017) | Viewed by 44118

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Building and Energy Technology, Sustainable Built Environment, Linnaeus University, SE-35195 Vaxjo, Sweden
Interests: building technology; energy and material flow analysis; building energy and environmental simulation; building energy and systems analysis; life-cycle modelling of energy, cost and environmental implications of the built environment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The building sector worldwide is expected to play a major role in the transition to a sustainable society with low environmental impact. In this regard, an issue of growing discussion is the effect of material choice on energy use and environmental impacts of buildings.

Insulation plays an important role in improving the energy-efficiency level of buildings and the choice of insulation material can have significant impact on life cycle cost, energy and environmental performance of buildings. Apart from their thermal and physical properties, the choice of insulation material also depends on several other factors, e.g., the required application and performance in different building parts. For this Special Issue of Buildings on “Insulation Materials for Residential Buildings”, we invite original papers dealing with topics such as:

  • Energy and environmental implications of different insulation materials for new residential buildings and existing residential building retrofit applications.
  • Economic implications of different insulation materials.
  • Life cycle analysis and impacts of insulation use in residential buildings, considering aspects such as the production, operation and end-of-life stages of buildings and insulation materials.
  • Acoustic and hygrothermal performance of insulation materials.
  • New and innovative insulation materials.

Papers related to the above themes and also dealing generally with case-studies, experimental analyses and modelling of insulation materials applications in residential buildings are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Ambrose Dodoo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Buildings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • insulation materials
  • residential building
  • energy use
  • environmental impacts
  • cost-effectiveness
  • life cycle implications

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

960 KiB  
Article
Lightweight Concrete Containing Phase Change Materials (PCMs): A Numerical Investigation on the Thermal Behaviour of Cladding Panels
by Patrick Bamonte, Alessio Caverzan, Nataša Kalaba and Marco Lamperti Tornaghi
Buildings 2017, 7(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings7020035 - 25 Apr 2017
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 7068
Abstract
The use of phase change materials (PCMs) in building elements has gained increasing popularity in recent years because of the potential energy savings that result from the heat stored during variable temperature–time histories. This paper describes the results of non-linear numerical analyses on [...] Read more.
The use of phase change materials (PCMs) in building elements has gained increasing popularity in recent years because of the potential energy savings that result from the heat stored during variable temperature–time histories. This paper describes the results of non-linear numerical analyses on sandwich panels characterized by different geometry and consisting of an innovative concrete, i.e., lightweight concrete with aggregates containing PCMs. The amount of embedded PCMs has no equal in the literature, and this calls for a detailed assessment of its thermal performance within a typical building element. The heat transfer process inside the panels is modelled via finite elements in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the addition of PCMs with regard to insulation. The results show that adding PCMs may significantly reduce (by up to 20%) the energy required for cooling in the hot season, while the reduction of the energy required for heating in the cold season is lower (up to 10%). Moreover, there is a significant reduction in the instantaneous power required, both for heating and cooling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insulation Materials for Residential Buildings)
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6429 KiB  
Article
A Multi-Parametric Mathematical Approach on the Selection of Optimum Insulation Thicknesses in Buildings
by John Gelegenis and Petros Axaopoulos
Buildings 2017, 7(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings7010015 - 21 Feb 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 5458
Abstract
Detailed simulations have indicated optimum insulation thicknesses of walls’ insulation for a variety of cases. Simplified analytical relations have also been proposed to the same aim, allowing the extraction of more general results, with limited accuracy however, as imposed by mathematical simplicity requirements. [...] Read more.
Detailed simulations have indicated optimum insulation thicknesses of walls’ insulation for a variety of cases. Simplified analytical relations have also been proposed to the same aim, allowing the extraction of more general results, with limited accuracy however, as imposed by mathematical simplicity requirements. In this sense, a variety of important parameters are ignored, such as: the existence of any glazing at the wall, the absorptance of the wall, the base temperature of the heated space which the referred to wall belongs to and its variation with insulation, the thermal characteristics (thermal capacitance, total heat losses coefficient) and the heat and solar gains of the heated space. An alternative analytical approach is consequently developed here, incorporating all above parameters and in this context accessing the wall as part of the whole heated space, instead of considering it solely as an isolated fabric element. The approach consists of a set of two implicit equations which are easily solved, and enables the investigation of the effects of all principal and secondary parameters on the optimum thickness. The ignorance even of the secondary of these parameters has proved to lead to significant errors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insulation Materials for Residential Buildings)
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4571 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study on Use of Sound Absorption Treatment for Reduction of Environmental Sound Propagation and Reverberation in Staircases: A Case Study in Housing
by Toru Matsuda, Takafumi Shimizu, Hikaru Suminaga, Kimie Yoshitani, Masaru Koike and Yasutomi Matsushima
Buildings 2017, 7(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings7010014 - 18 Feb 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 6994
Abstract
In recent years, many open-plan houses have been proposed not only for comfort reasons, but also as a place to engage in family life. However, in contrast to the fact that this kind of plan makes it easy for people to interact, the [...] Read more.
In recent years, many open-plan houses have been proposed not only for comfort reasons, but also as a place to engage in family life. However, in contrast to the fact that this kind of plan makes it easy for people to interact, the daily life household sounds that occur inside the home may be perceived as noise. It is especially difficult to suppress the propagation of sound and reverberation in staircase and stairwell areas due to the absence of sound-absorbing furniture. In this study, we focused on addressing sound management within the staircase area in open-plan housing where sound absorption is particularly difficult. In order to suppress sound propagation on the upper and lower floors and the reverberation of sound, we placed a thin sound absorption panel on the wall, ceiling, and riser of the staircase. As a result, we were able to confirm that the propagation of sound on upper and lower floors can be suppressed by carrying out the sound absorption treatment on the staircase. Furthermore, we found that in stairway landing areas, the suppression effect of the propagation of sound varies depending on the position of the sound source and the positioning of the sound absorption panel, and that there is a position for placing the sound absorption panel where the sound-absorbing effect is effective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insulation Materials for Residential Buildings)
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3754 KiB  
Article
The Effectiveness of Thermal Insulation in Lightweight Steel-Framed Walls with Respect to Its Position
by Eduardo Roque and Paulo Santos
Buildings 2017, 7(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings7010013 - 16 Feb 2017
Cited by 53 | Viewed by 11378
Abstract
Lightweight steel-framed (LSF) construction, given its advantages, has the potential to reach high standards in energy and environmental performance of buildings, such as nearly zero-energy buildings (nZEB). When compared with traditional construction, LSF system offers distinct benefits in such fields as sustainability, cost-effectiveness, [...] Read more.
Lightweight steel-framed (LSF) construction, given its advantages, has the potential to reach high standards in energy and environmental performance of buildings, such as nearly zero-energy buildings (nZEB). When compared with traditional construction, LSF system offers distinct benefits in such fields as sustainability, cost-effectiveness, constructive process, and safety at work. Despite the benefits of this constructive system, the effect of thermal bridges in LSF elements, caused by the high thermal conductivity of the steel structure, can be a disadvantage. The excessive heat losses or gains through these thermal bridges are more relevant in buildings’ exterior envelope, such as facade walls. These building components’ thermal performance is crucial in the buildings’ overall energetic behaviour, with a direct impact on energy consumption and resulting monetary costs during their operational stage. In this work the influence of the thermal insulation position on its effectiveness is evaluated in LSF facade walls. For this purpose, several LSF wall types are assessed, namely cold, warm, and hybrid construction. The influence of thermal bridges instigated by the steel studs in the LSF walls’ overall thermal performance is evaluated as well. The computations are performed using specialized finite element software (THERM). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insulation Materials for Residential Buildings)
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4957 KiB  
Article
Thermal Conductivity of Straw Bales: Full Size Measurements Considering the Direction of the Heat Flow
by Jean-Philippe Costes, Arnaud Evrard, Benjamin Biot, Gauthier Keutgen, Amaury Daras, Samuel Dubois, Frédéric Lebeau and Luc Courard
Buildings 2017, 7(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings7010011 - 05 Feb 2017
Cited by 59 | Viewed by 11666
Abstract
The thermal conductivity of straw bales is an intensively discussed topic in the international straw bale community. Straw bales are, by nature, highly heterogeneous and porous. They can have a relatively large range of density and the baling process can influence the way [...] Read more.
The thermal conductivity of straw bales is an intensively discussed topic in the international straw bale community. Straw bales are, by nature, highly heterogeneous and porous. They can have a relatively large range of density and the baling process can influence the way the fibres are organised within the bale. In addition, straw bales have a larger thickness than most of the insulating materials that can be found in the building industry. Measurement apparatus is usually not designed for such thicknesses, and most of the thermal conductivity values that can be found in the literature are defined based on samples in which the straw bales are resized. During this operation, the orientation of the fibres and the density may not be preserved. This paper starts with a literature review of straw bale thermal conductivity measurements and presents a measuring campaign performed with a specific Guarded Hot Plate, designed to measure samples up to 50 cm thick. The influence of the density is discussed thoroughly. Representative values are proposed for a large range of straw bales to support straw-bale development in the building industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insulation Materials for Residential Buildings)
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