Special Issue "Building Thermal Envelope"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy and Buildings".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Jorge de Brito
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049–001 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: sustainable construction (recycled aggregates in concrete and mortars); bridge and building management systems; buildings service life (prediction); life cycle assessment; construction technology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Maria da Glória Gomes
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: building physics; thermal and energy performance of buildings (laboratory and field experiments, modelling and simulation); sustainable and energy efficient materials and solutions; wind action and natural ventilation of buildings

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The increasing requirements in building thermal and energy performance standards and the need for designing net-zero energy buildings, while still enhancing indoor comfort conditions, lead to a demand for more efficient thermal building envelope solutions. In fact, the effective use of building thermal envelopes, as an interface between outdoors and indoors, plays a key role in sustainable and energy-efficient building design. Therefore, there is a need for a continuous search for innovative materials, construction solutions, and technologies that manage the energy and mass transfer between buildings and the external environment, taking into account not only climatic changes but also user preferences. Knowledge concerning the performance of building thermal envelope solutions and existing design support tools, such as building performance simulation, is crucial for stakeholders to make informed decisions with respect to the definition and implementation of energy-efficient strategies for new and refurbished buildings.

This Special Issue intends to provide an overview of existing knowledge related to various aspects of building thermal envelopes.

Original research (theoretical and experimental), case studies, and comprehensive review papers are invited for possible publication in this Special Issue. Relevant topics to this Special Issue include but are not limited to the following subjects:

  • Building envelope materials and systems envisaging indoor comfort and energy efficiency;
  • Building thermal and energy modelling and simulation;
  • Lab test procedures and methods of field measurement to assess the performance of materials and building solutions;
  • Smart materials and renewable energy in building envelopes;
  • Adaptive and intelligent building envelopes;
  • Integrated building envelope technologies for high-performance buildings and cities.

Prof. Dr. Jorge de Brito
Prof. Dr. Maria da Glória Gomes
Guest Editors

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 papers will be 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. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 1800 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

  • building envelope materials and systems envisaging indoor comfort and energy efficiency
  • building thermal and energy modelling and simulation
  • lab test procedures and methods of field measurement to assess the performance of materials and building solutions
  • smart materials and renewable energy in building envelopes
  • adaptive and intelligent building envelopes
  • integrated building envelope technologies for high-performance buildings and cities

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
A Study on Changes of Window Thermal Performance by Analysis of Physical Test Results in Korea
Energies 2019, 12(20), 3822; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12203822 - 10 Oct 2019
Abstract
The interest in zero energy buildings is increasing in South Korea. Zero energy buildings need to save energy by using passive technology. The window performance is important to the thermal insulation of the building. Also, the government regulates the window performance through regulation [...] Read more.
The interest in zero energy buildings is increasing in South Korea. Zero energy buildings need to save energy by using passive technology. The window performance is important to the thermal insulation of the building. Also, the government regulates the window performance through regulation and standards. However, it is difficult to predict window performance because the components of the window have become complicated due to the various materials used in the glass and frame. Based on window performance standards and regulations, the quality of window performance was managed. In this research, to consider thermal performance in proper window design in South Korea, we confirmed the impact on the thermal performance of the window through various kinds of materials and shapes. The authors also propose a window shape classification and frame calculation method based on actual test results. The authors analyzed the thermal performance data of the windows provided by the Korea Energy Agency and confirmed the change in the thermal performance of the windows by year and by frame material. The average U-value of the window decreased from 2012 to 2015 and maintained similar values until 2017. In 2018, this value was decreased to comply. Also, the authors confirmed the U-value of the windows through actual physical experiments and confirmed the change in thermal performance by the construction of the windows based on the results. The results show, in the case of aluminum windows, the U-value corresponding to Grade 3 (1.4–2.1 W/m2·K) was as high as about 60%. Regarding the analyzed results of the U-values of PVC windows, Grade 3 (U-value of 1.4–2.1 W/m2·K) accounted for about 35%, and Grade 2 (U-value of 1.0–1.4 W/m2·K) for about 29%. This paper also confirmed that the frame U-value of the PVC windows is lower than the frame U-value of the aluminum windows. Therefore, the authors proposed the performance index of the glazing part in PVC and aluminum window design. The results of this research can be used as basic data to identify problems in the method of determining the performance of windows in Korea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Thermal Envelope)
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Open AccessArticle
Thermally Anisotropic Composites for Improving the Energy Efficiency of Building Envelopes
Energies 2019, 12(19), 3783; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12193783 - 05 Oct 2019
Abstract
This article describes a novel application of thermal anisotropy for improving the energy efficiency of building envelopes. The current work was inspired by existing research on improved heat dissipation in electronics using thermal anisotropy. Past work has shown that thermally anisotropic composites (TACs) [...] Read more.
This article describes a novel application of thermal anisotropy for improving the energy efficiency of building envelopes. The current work was inspired by existing research on improved heat dissipation in electronics using thermal anisotropy. Past work has shown that thermally anisotropic composites (TACs) can be created by the alternate layering of two dissimilar, isotropic materials. Here, a TAC consisting of alternate layers of rigid foam insulation and thin, high-conductivity aluminum foil was investigated. The TAC was coupled with copper tubes with circulating water that acted as a heat sink and source. The TAC system was applied to a conventional wood-framed wall assembly, and the energy benefits were investigated experimentally and numerically. For experimental testing, large scale test wall specimens were built with and without the TAC system and tested in an environmental chamber under simulated diurnal hot and cold weather conditions. Component-level and whole building numerical simulations were performed to investigate the energy benefits of applying the TAC system to the external walls of a typical, single-family residential building. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Thermal Envelope)
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Open AccessArticle
Natural Ventilation Effectiveness of Awning Windows in Restrooms in K-12 Public Schools
Energies 2019, 12(12), 2414; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12122414 - 23 Jun 2019
Abstract
Using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), this study explores the effect of a different number of awning windows and their installation locations on the airflow patterns and air contaminant distributions in restrooms in K-12 (for kindergarten to 12th grade) public schools in Taiwan. A [...] Read more.
Using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), this study explores the effect of a different number of awning windows and their installation locations on the airflow patterns and air contaminant distributions in restrooms in K-12 (for kindergarten to 12th grade) public schools in Taiwan. A representative restroom configuration with dimensions of 10.65 m × 9.2 m × 3.2 m (height) was selected as the investigated object. Based on the façade design feasibility, seven possible awning window configurations were considered. The results indicate that an adequate number of windows and appropriate installation locations are required to ensure the natural ventilation effectiveness of awning windows. The recommended installation configuration is provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Thermal Envelope)
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Open AccessArticle
The Application of Building Physics in the Design of Roof Windows
Energies 2019, 12(12), 2300; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12122300 - 16 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper deals with a small but important component in a building envelope, namely roof windows in pitched roofs. Building physics methods were used to support the search for new solutions which correspond to the maximum extent for requirements for passive house level [...] Read more.
This paper deals with a small but important component in a building envelope, namely roof windows in pitched roofs. Building physics methods were used to support the search for new solutions which correspond to the maximum extent for requirements for passive house level design. The first part of the paper summarizes the key phenomena of heat transfer, mainly based on a comparison of vertical windows in walls. The results of repeated two-dimensional heat transfer calculations in the form of parametric studies are presented in order to express the most important factors influencing thermal transmittance and minimum surface temperatures. Several configuration variants suitable for technical design are discussed. It was found that a combination of wood and hardened plastics in the window frame and sash is the preferred solution. The resulting thermal transmittance can be up to twice as low as usual (from 0.7 down to 0.5 W/(m2·K), with further development ongoing. Surface temperature requirements to avoid the risk of condensation can be safely fulfilled. Concurrently, it is shown that the relative influence of thermal coupling between the window and roof construction increases with the improvement of window quality. Specific attention was given to the effect of the slanting of the side lining, which was analyzed by simulation and measurement in a daylight laboratory. The increase in thermal coupling due to slanting was found to be negligible. Motivations for specific building physics research are mentioned, such as the need to study the surface heat transfer in the case of inclined windows placed in a deep lining. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Thermal Envelope)
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Open AccessArticle
Integrated Measuring and Control System for Thermal Analysis of Buildings Components in Hot Box Experiments
Energies 2019, 12(11), 2053; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12112053 - 29 May 2019
Abstract
In this paper, a novel integrated measuring and control system for hot box experiments is presented. The system, based on a general-purpose microcontroller and on a wireless sensors network, is able to fully control the thermal phenomena inside the chambers, as well as [...] Read more.
In this paper, a novel integrated measuring and control system for hot box experiments is presented. The system, based on a general-purpose microcontroller and on a wireless sensors network, is able to fully control the thermal phenomena inside the chambers, as well as the heat flux that involves the specimen wall. Thanks to the continuous measurements of air and surfaces temperatures and energy input into the hot chamber, the thermal behavior of each hot box component is analyzed. A specific algorithm allows the post-process of the measured data for evaluating the specimen wall thermal quantities and for creating 2D and 3D thermal models of each component. The system reliability is tested on a real case represented by a double insulating X-lam wall. The results of the 72 h experiment show the system’s capability to maintain stable temperature set points inside the chambers and to log the temperatures measured by the 135 probes, allowing to know both the U-value of the sample (equal to 0.216 ± 0.01 W/m2K) and the thermal models of all the hot box components. The U-value obtained via hot box method has been compared with the values gathered through theoretical calculation and heat flow meter measurements, showing differences of less than 20%. Finally, thanks to the data postprocessing, the 2D and 3D thermal models of the specimen wall and of the chambers have been recreated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Thermal Envelope)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Convergence Characteristics of Average Method Regulated by ISO 9869-1 for Evaluating In Situ Thermal Resistance and Thermal Transmittance of Opaque Exterior Walls
Energies 2019, 12(10), 1989; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12101989 - 24 May 2019
Abstract
In the last few decades, an average method which is regulated by ISO 9869-1 has been used to evaluate the in situ thermal transmittance (U-value) and thermal resistance (R-value) of building envelopes obtained from onsite measurements and to verify [...] Read more.
In the last few decades, an average method which is regulated by ISO 9869-1 has been used to evaluate the in situ thermal transmittance (U-value) and thermal resistance (R-value) of building envelopes obtained from onsite measurements and to verify the validity of newly proposed methods. Nevertheless, only a few studies have investigated the test duration required to obtain reliable results using this method and the convergence characteristics of the results. This study aims to evaluate the convergence characteristics of the in situ values analyzed using the average method. The criteria for determining convergence (i.e., end of the test) using the average method are very strict, mainly because of the third condition, which compares the deviation of two values derived from the first and last periods of the same duration. To shorten the test duration, environmental variables should be kept constant throughout the test or an appropriate period should be selected. The convergence of the in situ U-value and R-value is affected more by the length of the test duration than by the temperature difference if the test environment meets literature-recommended conditions. Furthermore, there is no difference between the use of the U-value and R-value in determining the end of the test. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Thermal Envelope)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Observation of Natural Convection Heat Transfer Performance of a Rectangular Thermosyphon
Energies 2019, 12(9), 1702; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12091702 - 06 May 2019
Abstract
This study experimentally investigates the natural convection heat transfer performance of a rectangular thermosyphon with an aspect ratio of 3.5. The experimental model is divided into a loop body, a heating section, a cooling section, and two adiabatic sections. The heating section and [...] Read more.
This study experimentally investigates the natural convection heat transfer performance of a rectangular thermosyphon with an aspect ratio of 3.5. The experimental model is divided into a loop body, a heating section, a cooling section, and two adiabatic sections. The heating section and the cooling section are located in the vertical legs of the rectangular loop. The length of the vertical heating section and the length of the upper and lower horizontal insulation sections are 700 mm and 200 mm, respectively, and the inner diameter of the loop is 11 mm. The relevant parameters and their ranges are as follows: the input thermal power is 30–60 W (with a heat flux in the range of 60–3800 W/m2); the temperature in the cooling section is 30, 40, or 50 °C; and the potential difference between the hot and cold sections is 5, 11, or 18 for the cooling section lengths of 60, 45, and 30 cm, respectively. The results indicate that the value of the dimensionless heat transfer coefficient, the Nusselt number, is generally between 5 and 10. The heating power is the main factor affecting the natural convection intensity of the thermosyphon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Thermal Envelope)
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Open AccessArticle
Study on the Thermal Performance of a Hybrid Heat Collecting Facade Used for Passive Solar Buildings in Cold Region
Energies 2019, 12(6), 1038; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12061038 - 18 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Passive solar technologies are traditionally considered as cost-effective ways for the building heating. However, conventional passive solar buildings are insufficient to create a relatively stable and comfortable indoor thermal environment. To further increase the indoor air temperature and reduce the heating energy consumption, [...] Read more.
Passive solar technologies are traditionally considered as cost-effective ways for the building heating. However, conventional passive solar buildings are insufficient to create a relatively stable and comfortable indoor thermal environment. To further increase the indoor air temperature and reduce the heating energy consumption, a hybrid heat collecting facade (HHCF) is proposed in this paper. To analyze the thermal performance of the HHCF, a heat transfer model based on the heat balance method is established and validated by experimental results. Meanwhile, the energy saving potential of a room with the HHCF is evaluated as well. When the HHCF is applied to places where heating is required in the cold season while refrigeration is unnecessary in hot season, the HHCF can reduce the heating need by 40.2% and 21.5% compared with the conventional direct solar heat gain window and the Trombe wall, respectively. Furthermore, a series of parametric analyses are performed to investigate the thermal performance of the room with HHCF under various design and operating conditions. It is found that the thermal performance of the HHCF mainly depends on the window operational schedule, the width and the absorptivity of heat collecting wall, and the thermal performance of the inner double-glass window. The modeling and the parametric study in this paper are beneficial to the design and the optimization of the HHCF in passive solar buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Thermal Envelope)
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