People & Buildings

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Masters Conference 2021/22


session 3

Building Energy Demand and Embody Energy

Green Facade Features for Office Buildings in The Future Climate

Wilanda Rachbuakhao

The UK government’s regulation of carbon emissions plans to reach net-zero carbon by 2050 due to the climate change crisis and the increasing demand for energy in commercial buildings in London. Passive building fabric design strategies that decrease load consumption and enhance employees’ well-being and productivity in office buildings have been investigated. The green façade strategy is one of the passive solutions to satisfy this issue not only for new buildings but also for retrofitting existing ones.

This work aims to evaluate the impacts of green facades on thermal comfort and wellbeing quality inside the environment of an office building in London. A number of green façade scenario studies with various conclusions about how energy and daylight react to changing input conditions are the result.

The proposed study will respond to the orientation of the future climate of London to achieve useful daylight and thermal performance in office buildings. Facade-integrated vegetation offers solutions to commercial buildings’ envelopes to ensure comfortable indoor conditions in relation to the outdoor microclimate. The findings suggest that the application of green façade design features can solve glare discomfort and enhance thermal comfort indoors.

#Green façade #Plants #Office buildings #Building envelope #Thermal performance #Glare

Building energy demand

Embodied Carbon comparison between Vernacular Architecture and modern techniques in Albania

Aurora Baba and Gjergj Islami

Rapid industrial developments, including construction, have increased considerably the level of Co2 released into the atmosphere in the past year, requiring the cooperation of architects to find better materials during the design phase, to reduce those figures.

Today in Albania, despite the continued growth of high-rise facilities, about 83% of buildings are individual 1-2 floors dwellings with armed concrete and bricks, whereas 4.2% are built with adobe bricks and timber before 1945. Being fully functional they represent an opportunity to rethink the way low-high building materials are chosen.

This study investigated traditional vernacular techniques and the impact of building 2-3 floors houses with local earth techniques on energy consumption and CO2 footprint compared to modern reinforced concrete systems currently in use.

The energy assessment was carried out through simulations of scenarios designed for the most widespread typologies, relying on in-depth knowledge of construction techniques and was performed using Revit 2019 with the integration of Insight and H\B:ERT.

The rammed earth model not only had an annual operational energy consumption of 8% lower than b/a construction but it also had a CO2 footprint almost 50% lower than the technique most used for construction in Albania.

#Vernacular architecture #CO2 emission #Rammed Earth #Albania Carbon footprint #Energy consumption

Building energy demand

Comparative analysis of wall materials toward improved thermal comfort, reduced emission, and construction cost in tropical buildings

Mark Alegbe

According to the United Nations, Africa faces the greatest threat due to climate change. This research stems from the growing concerns for buildings in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in Nigeria, the most populous nation in the continent, to respond to the issues of climate change by addressing the carbon emissions arising from using non-renewable and high embodied energy materials in the construction of buildings.

The work investigates the use of timber and its combination with brick in different design alternatives as a suitable replacement for concrete in the tropics towards enhanced building performance, indoor comfort and reduced global warming impacts. The investigation relies on Meteonorm 8 and Climate Consultant 6.0 for weather data collection, DesignBuilder v6 for simulation of the residential case buildings; under Naturally Ventilated Conditions (NVCs), and One-Click LCA software for lifecycle assessment of the buildings.

The results show that while the timber building has the least global warming impact, it faces the most significant threat of being the most expensive. The timber/brick alternative accounts for the most improved operative temperature, while the concrete building has the highest carbon emissions during the building lifecycle but with the least emissions in the maintenance (B1-B5) and end-of-life (C1-C4) lifecycle stages.

#Thermal Comfort #Embodied Carbon #Lifecycle Assessment #Emissions #Tropics

Building embodied energy

An Evaluation of Window Parameters Effects on Daylight and Energy Saving in Residential Building in Saudi Arabia: An integrated optimisation and sensitivity analysis

Shima H. AlDhaheri

Windows are a vital component of a building envelope that affects thermal and luminous levels; hence, they are a leading variable in buildings’ energy performance and occupants’ well-being. Due to the often-conventional utilisation of windows and the absence of adequate design standards in Saudi Arabia, this study illustrates an approach to evaluate windows performance, providing a design criterion for designers and architects. With housing accounting for 50% of total energy demand, a typical residential unit in Yanbu was taken as a case study. The proposed approach evaluates windows’ parameters simultaneously using Genetic-Algorithm (GA) optimization and multiple linear regression sensitivity analysis methods. The aim is to investigate their interlocking relationship while highlighting the most influential parameters affecting cooling loads and daylight performance. Utilizing DesignBuilder®, the GA optimization generated 4710 combinations, with 109 optimum solutions. The study highlighted the importance of taking a holistic approach when optimising windows, considering both cooling and lighting energy. It was found that when considering only cooling load, lighting energy increased by 57%. Additionally, when windows parameters are optimised, they can reduce total energy consumption by 27%. Also, results revealed that glazing has the most substantial impact on both cooling and lighting energy among window parameters.

#Windows performance #Genetic-Algorithm #sensitivity analysis #daylight #energy saving

Building energy demand

Optimising Operational Energy in High-Rise Office Buildings in the UK The path towards Net Zero Carbon

Arta Ibrahimi

The built industry is shifting towards a zero carbon future, yet only 1% of the world’s buildings are defined as net-zero. A framework by the UK Green Buildings highlights three key steps to achieve this goal: reducing emissions through efficiency, on-site or off-site renewable energy and using offsetting schemes to address the remaining balance.

The high-rise office buildings have experienced a considerable rise recently, spending 68% of total non-domestic electricity use in the UK. Such buildings have a high energy demand and renewable energy sources aren’t well suited for those structures. The current energy and emissions assessment method in England is compliance modelling, which presents a performance gap.

This study will evaluate the possibilities for optimising the energy use in a typical high-rise building. The analyses go beyond the scope of compliance modelling, addressing the performance gap by ensuring there would be no discrepancies in in-use measured and predicted energy, followed by the integration of renewables to address the remaining energy demand.

Design and climatic applicability synthesise the primary outcomes of this study. The findings in this paper suggest that a typical fully glazed high-rise office building is unfeasible to become net-zero in operation, without appropriate environmental design solutions.

#Operational Carbon #Energy Efficiency #Renewables #High-rise #Net Zero Carbon

Building energy demand