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Network for Comfort and Energy Use in Buildings Research

Ph D 5

Title of thesis Double-skin facades for Hong Kong
Abstract In this work the objectives were to find out if the overall environmental impact of an office building in a hot and humid climate can be significantly reduced through the optimisation of a double-skin façade (DSF) system by controlling the exhaust airflow using a climate sensitive regulator.
First, the use of energy in buildings has been analyzed by looking at 8 different locations in Asia and five locations in China representing the five different climatic zones. The results of the weather data analysis show significant differences in warm-humid climates. A climate responsive building envelope design should assist the design strategies and try to exploit climatic conditions.
Then, a new energy triangle approach for sustainable building design has been proposed. Following the three steps of this approach can help to develop new building envelope design that has the potential to contribute to sustainable development in Asia. The approach analysed the potential for improving thermal comfort which conserves the use of energy by applying different passive cooling strategies. It became obvious that natural ventilation has different potential for different months of the year. This makes the integration of NV into an air conditioned building necessary but also rather difficult.
Finally, for the study of appropriate DSF design a combined thermal and airflow simulation was chosen. A coupling of thermal and airflow simulation gave the opportunity to model an office room with different types of DSF. The models were validated with measured data. Then, a parametric study was conducted by changing design parameter and measuring the amount of cooling load change.
The work proved that it is possible to design an energy efficient DSF system.
* The amount of heat gain through the buildings envelope can be reduced significantly by designing a ventilated DSF that is optimised in respect to heat transfer.
* With this optimised system also thermal, visual and acoustic comfort of an office building in a hot and humid climate can be significantly improved.
Researcher / Institution Matthias Haase (Supervisor: Dr. Alex Amato)
Department of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
Status / Publication date Thesis ongoing / to complete Aug 2007
Keywords Airflow; Bioclimatic design; Building simulation; Responsive building envelope; Thermal comfort
Related publications Haase, M. and Amato, A., Climate responsive envelopes for sustainable development, International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, CG Publisher.
Haase, M. and Amato, A., Design considerations of double-skin facades in hot and humid climates, Journal of Harbin Institute of Technology (new series), Volume 13, No. Sup. Oct 2006, ISSN 1005-9113, CODEN JHITED
Heiselberg, P. et al. (eds.), (2006), State-of-the-art-report on responsive building elements, Vol. 1, Annex44 publication,
Haase, M. and Amato, A., (2006), Sustainable facade design for zero energy buildings in the tropics, Proceedings of PLEA Conference, 6 - 8 Sep 2006, Geneva, Switzerland.
Haase, M. and Amato, A., (2006), Simulation of double-skin facades for hot and humid climate, Proceedings of Sim Build2006 Conference, 3 - 5 Aug 2006, Boston, USA.
Contact details Matthias Haase
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