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Title: Energy performance assessment of single storey multiple-skin facades
Authors: Saelens, Dirk
Issue Date: Sep-2002
Abstract: The general aim of this work is to contribute to the energy performance assessment of single
storey multiple-skin facades. To that aim, multiple-skin facades are studied by means of
experiments and numerical simulations. Experimental work was done on naturally and
mechanically ventilated single storey multiple-skin facades. Field experiments showed that good
design and excellent workmanship are of crucial importance to obtain the desired performances.
The measurements allowed to gain insight in the complex nature of the airflow in naturally
ventilated cavities. The measurements on a controlled experimental set-up provided data to
develop and validate a numerical model. In order to evaluate the energy performance of multipleskin
facades, the numerical model was implemented in an energy simulation tool. The results for
a traditional facade solution with exterior shading device, a naturally ventilated double-skin
facade and two mechanically ventilated multiple-skin facades are compared. The results are
particularly sensitive to the modelling of the inlet temperature and the multiple-skin facade model
complexity. By using multiple-skin facades it is possible to improve some components of the
overall building’s energy use. Unfortunately, most typologies are incapable of lowering the
heating and cooling demand simultaneously. Only by combining typologies or changing the
system settings according to the particular situation, a substantial overall improvement over the
traditional insulated glazing unit with exterior shading can be obtained. The results further
indicate that evaluating the energy efficiency of multiple-skin facades can not be performed by
analysing the transmission losses and gains solely. It is imperative to take into account the
enthalpy change of the cavity air and to perform a whole building energy analysis. As a
consequence of the diversity of the results, designers should be aware that multiple-skin facades
do not necessarily improve the energy efficiency of their designs.
ISBN: 90-5682-370-1
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: TH
Appears in Collections:Department of Civil Engineering - miscellaneous

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