Abstract: The paper describes the project facade4zeroWaste which includes the development, architectural design relevance, grants of patents, results of pre-certification testing’s and the product publication in the time frame from 2009 till 2017. Aim of the research project facade4zeroWaste was the idea of a recyclable facade insulation system that can easily be dismantled after its lifetime and reused thanks to an innovative grip fixing system consisting of mushroom-shaped heads and loops - Grip fixing instead of adhesive. The project won numerous prices and awards like the EQAR - Recycling Prize 2015 or the Innovation Award for Architecture and Building 2017. The project is a contract research project tasked by Sto SE & Co. KGaA, Germany and Sto GesmbH, Austria. The façade system was presented to the public in January 2017 as the product Sto Systain R (R = render: seamless plaster layer surface) on the building fair BAU 2017 in Munich. *
Abstract: The trend of achieving sustainable development in the area of new, eco-friendly materials remains topical for many experts concerned with developing new materials applicable worldwide in civil engineering as well as elsewhere. Our research team has for many years been developing non-traditional materials that meet the current requirements. These materials are made with organic fibers – waste natural fibers produced by agriculture or waste industrial (locally produced) fibers. Their thermal and acoustic insulation properties are very close to those of conventional insulation materials (expanded polystyrene, extruded polystyrene, mineral wool, polyurethane foam), which are still finding broad use in the Czech Republic despite their harmful impact on the environment. The paper focuses on the various uses of several types of textile fibers (mainly by-products) in the development of modern insulation materials with a high value added. These materials bear several specific advantages over conventional insulations, which enable, among others, easier installation. Some of the newly developed insulations can also be used as core insulations in the manufacture of vacuum insulation panels (VIP).
Abstract: Fire safety is an important feature of healthy internal environment. If a fire breaks out, the interior of fire compartments within the building is exposed to very high temperatures and further phenomena accompanying the burning process. All of them impact the boundaries of the compartment structures, including the structures that are located inside them. Some structures serve the load bearing function hand in hand with fire barriers, some are only fire barriers. As to the dramatic increase of temperature, its impact upon the opposite surface of the fire separating structure should be considered, in particular regarding the behavior of the load bearing elements and their stability. This is topical at the present day, since the conventional construction materials are seen to give way to wooden sandwich structures that are preferred especially for their thermal insulation properties, low weight, small thickness and speediness of construction. The article uses dynamic simulation to illustrate how these modern structures react to high temperatures within specific time intervals, offering comparisons with traditional brick structures.
Abstract: The tightening of requirements for energy performance of buildings (EPB) during the period of 2013 to 2021 gradually results in designing buildings with requirements four times lower than we were accustomed to design and construct for many years (U-values, demand of heat for heating). It is necessary to pay increased attention to this topic due to the aforementioned reasons and gradually preparing the laic public, but mainly the professional public for designing, assessment and construction in accordance with the development of EPB requirements. The objective of this paper is to point out the actual requirements for the construction of single storey family houses. Theoretical assumptions, legislative and normative environment are stated for assessment of their thermal insulation properties. The paper contains comparison and analysis of calculated EPB values of the selected representatives of single-storey family houses representing a large portion of their construction in the practice at the present time.
Abstract: To fill the gap between the students’ knowledge of building physics, their comprehension of the different phenomena, and their capability of deploying building simulation with simulation tools, an integrated teaching approach for a course in a MS program in Energy Engineering has been adopted and tested for five years. In approximately 90 hours, the fundamentals of building physics are presented, starting from the thermodynamic balance of the indoor air volume, moving to the analysis of unsteady state thermal conduction in the envelope components, and to the convection and long wave radiation interactions at the external and internal surfaces, to conclude with the internal gains and the solar radiation. For each of the listed items, the students are first introduced to the topic with an exhaustive overview, then the main controlling equations are derived, their numerical or analytical solution analyzed, to conclude with a step-by-step implementation of a detailed solution, in a general productivity spreadsheet. At the end of the course, the spreadsheet has become a comprehensive simulation tool that, despite the limitations in computational efficiency, can favorably compare to the most diffuse tools available on the market, in terms of both detail and results, while allowing the students an insight into the physics and simulation of buildings thermal performance.
Abstract: Typical years are developed from the analysis of multi-year series, selecting actual months to assembly in a single reference year, representative of the long-term typical weather. Some statistical techniques are generally involved in the development process to ensure true frequencies, sequences and cross-correlations of the weather quantities: as regard the reference year built according to the European technical standard EN ISO 15927-4:2005, TRYEN, the method is based on the Finkelstein-Schafer statistics. In this work, we exploit the same statistic with a different target: to develop an extreme reference year, ERY, by identifying those candidate months far from being representative of the long-term weather data distribution. These new artificial extreme years are composed of statistically “non-representative” months warmer in the summer and colder in the winter - which means with daily dry bulb temperature and global solar irradiation higher in summer or lower in winter than the long-term averages respectively. The analysis is performed for five Italian localities belonging to the Alpine Regions and to Sicily. Aiming to assess the efficacy of the proposed procedure, TRYEN and ERY are compared and both used to simulate the energy performance of 48 simplified buildings, parametrically built by varying insulation level, windows’ size, orientation and SHGC and kind of opaque elements.
Abstract: In building design, the need of optimization algorithms is considerably increasing due to the requirements of enhancing the overall performances, cost and sustainability objectives. An evolutionary algorithm coupled with building simulation code is often used. However, this approach is not widespread in actual application due to the high number of expensive simulation runs required by evolutionary algorithms. For this reason, the selection of an efficient and effective optimization algorithm becomes a key aspect in building design. In the literature there are several works analyzing the performance of different optimization algorithms, most of them by comparing the results obtained for the optimization of analytical test functions. However, there are no evidence-based studies deepening the efficiency and efficacy of these methods by comparing against the true solution of the discrete optimization problems on building design. This study compares the number of cost function evaluations and the percentage of the actual Pareto solutions of three algorithms used for the evaluation of the optimal refurbishment of three reference buildings for which the actual Pareto front is known through a brute-force approach.
Abstract: What Americas Cup and a heritage building have in common? They both aim at innovative technologies and cutting-edge solutions. The owner of the project, an ex-crew member of the most famous sailing match race in the world, pushed the planning team to develop extraordinary solutions for his house. The house, Villa Castelli, is an historical listed building located on the Como lake. During its history, it has been transformed many times, giving as results a non-uniform structure composed by different construction technologies. The aims of the owner were: an overall refurbishment particularly focused on energy efficiency, the exploitation of renewable energy sources based on-site production and a fixed budget. To reach these goals, the energy needs have been reduced improving the performance of the thermal envelope. Then, the building's technical systems have been re-developed in order to exploit as much as possible available renewable energy sources. From the very beginning, it was clear that, for finding optimal solutions, a multidisciplinary approach was necessary. The design approach should be the result of a shared approach integrating different fields, such as creative design, technology, knowledge of material properties, building physics. The great synergy among building envelope retrofitting, innovative technological solutions and the deployment of renewable energy sources allows the transformation of this historical listed building into an outstanding example of a nearly zero energy building (nZEB).
Abstract: Building energy certification is stipulated by law in the majority of the European countries. The intention of these regulations is to offer key performance indicators (KPIs) to relevant and interested stakeholders. Another motivation for implementing these calculation schemes was to compare the energy performance of different buildings. However, existing guidelines for building energy evaluation do not comprehensively outline the input data collection process and the derivation of substantial KPIs. Furthermore, practitioners do not share a common understanding of the approach to energy certificates, resulting in different practical methods and different interpretations of the calculation guidelines. As a result, the envisioned comparability between buildings is not ensured, as a number of studies illustrated in the past.This contribution focuses on a specific uncertainty in building energy evaluation input data, pertaining to zoning and usage assumptions. Toward this end, two case studies are presented. A number of existing buildings (typical Viennese building stock) were subjected to the Austrian normative energy certification calculation. Thereby, different scenarios regarding the zoning and usage profiles of the buildings were developed. On the one hand, the calculated performance of individual (residential) units was compared with the calculated performance of the whole building. On the other hand, calculations considering different usage assumptions in different zones within the building (detailed calculation) were compared to results based on generalized assumptions for the whole building. The evaluation of the case study buildings showed significant differences in KPIs, given different input data (depending on the case study, heating demand showed deviations up to 50%). The results emphasize the importance of a clear documentation of input data assumptions for building-related energy assessment.
Abstract: Energy performance calculations are stipulated by law in most European countries. Thereby, different calculation schemes have been developed in the past years in different countries. The physical processes in buildings were simplified in terms of normative calculation routines in most of these schemes. A major idea behind these simplifications was to enable different stakeholders (practitioners, engineers, and architects) to issue energy certificates without being simulation experts. Moreover, the simplifications needed to be described thoroughly in corresponding guidelines to ensure and facilitate the comparability of the energy performance of different buildings. However, neither of these objectives can be considered to be fully met. Regarding the former, the normative calculation procedures increased in complexity in the past years, so that the issuing of energy certificates requires not only the stakeholder’s expertise but also a comprehensive knowledge of the standards that form the calculation method. Regarding the latter, recent research efforts revealed that many guidelines do not fully cover every aspect of the calculation procedures and the assumptions regarding required input data. Thus, the comparability of energy certificates has to be strongly questioned, as a number of relevant calculation parameters are dependent on the interpretation of the corresponding issuer.Given this background, alternative approaches to building performance evaluation would be of interest. Previous approaches by different researchers suggested so called prescriptive indicators, which can be derived by basic building data (for instance, geometry and thermal quality of the building envelope components). This contribution is based on this concept. In the framework of a master thesis, a number of prescriptive indicators were considered. These indicators were derived for a set of sample buildings. In a parallel effort, energy certificates (encompassing Key Performance Indicators KPIs) were calculated for the sample buildings. It is clear that the prescriptive indicators cannot act as a 1:1 replacement for KPIs in terms of a numeric value. However, their usefulness can be expressed by the relation of the prescriptive indicator and the corresponding KPIs of a building. Thus, the results of the described calculation efforts were ranked. Subsequently, the lists of buildings ranked by the different indicators were compared in order to identify prescriptive indicators, which result in the same or at least similar ranking as the normative key performance indicators. Within this contribution, the suggested prescriptive indicators, the sample buildings, and the results of the analysis are presented and discussed.