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See detailAn inverse modelling approach to estimate the hygric parameters of clay-based masonry during a Moisture Buffer Value test
Dubois, Samuel ULg; McGregor, Fionn; Evrard, Arnaud et al

in Building & Environment (2014), 81

This paper presents an inverse modelling approach for parameter estimation of a model dedicated to the description of moisture mass transfer in porous hygroscopic building materials. The hygric behaviour ... [more ▼]

This paper presents an inverse modelling approach for parameter estimation of a model dedicated to the description of moisture mass transfer in porous hygroscopic building materials. The hygric behaviour of unfired clay-based masonry samples is specifically studied here and the Moisture Buffer Value (MBV) protocol is proposed as a data source from which it is possible to estimate several parameters at once. Those include materials properties and experimental parameters. For this purpose, the mass of two clay samples with different compositions is continuously monitored during several consecutive humidity cycles in isothermal conditions. Independently of these dynamic experimental tests, their moisture storage and transport parameters are measured with standard steady-state methods. A simple moisture transfer model developed in COMSOL Multiphysics is used to predict the moisture uptake/release behaviour during the MBV tests. The set of model parameters values that minimizes the difference between simulated and experimental results is then automatically estimated using an inverse modelling algorithm based on Bayesian techniques. For materials properties, the optimized parameters values are compared to values that were experimentally measured in steady state. And because a precise understanding of parameters is needed to assess the confidence in the inverse modelling results, a sensitivity analysis of the model is also provided. [less ▲]

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See detailCoupling building energy simulation and computational fluid dynamics: Application to a two-storey house in a temperate climate
Barbason, Mathieu ULg; Reiter, Sigrid ULg

in Building & Environment (2014), 75

This article reports the coupling of a building energy simulation (BES) made with TRNSYS with a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation made with ANSYS FLUENT and its application to a typical ... [more ▼]

This article reports the coupling of a building energy simulation (BES) made with TRNSYS with a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation made with ANSYS FLUENT and its application to a typical Belgian two-storey house. The coupling scheme developed in this study aims to improve the overheating prediction for buildings. This phenomenon is becoming increasingly frequent in Northern Europe due to increased insulation and a lack of sun protection and natural cooling strategies. Complementary contributions of the two numerical approaches are underlined and used to obtain accurate results in an acceptable computing time, even in a thermally stratified room. The space and time coupling is discussed to obtain an optimised tool in which BES is in charge of the primary portion of the effort, while CFD intervenes punctually on one room of interest. The numerical results are compared both qualitatively and quantitatively to the experimental results, and the improved accuracy of the coupled tool compared with a standalone BES is underlined. [less ▲]

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See detailAn adaptive thermal comfort model for hot humid South-East Asia
Nguyen, Anh Tuan ULg; Singh, Manoj Kumar ULg; Reiter, Sigrid ULg

in Building & Environment (2012), 56

The present paper presents a full procedure to develop an adaptive comfort model for South-East Asia. Meta-analysis on large number of observations from field surveys which were conducted in this region ... [more ▼]

The present paper presents a full procedure to develop an adaptive comfort model for South-East Asia. Meta-analysis on large number of observations from field surveys which were conducted in this region was employed. Standardization and bias control of the database were fully reported. Statistical tests of significance and weighted regression method applied in the analyses strengthened the reliability of the findings. This paper found a great influence of ‘Griffiths constant’ on the establishment of adaptive comfort equation and proposed an appropriate value. The adaptive comfort model generated is applicable to naturally ventilated building under hot and humid conditions of South-East Asia. The mean neutral comfort temperature (operative temperature, effective temperature, standard effective temperature) in naturally ventilated and air-conditioned building was compared and the differences have been discussed. The similar neutral standard effective temperature in both naturally ventilated and air-conditioned building proposes a new idea to implement SET* into building simulation tools to assess thermal comfort without the attention of building classification. Through the analysis, the effectiveness of behavioral adaptive actions on occupant’s thermal perception has been argued. The extended PMV-PPD model for hot humid conditions was examined and its applicability was recommended. Other comfort related issues, the differences and similarities between various adaptive comfort models were also addressed. [less ▲]

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See detailLife-cycle assessment of residential buildings in three different European locations, case study
Rossi, Barbara ULg; Marique, Anne-Françoise ULg; Reiter, Sigrid ULg

in Building & Environment (2012), 51

The paper presents the comparative results of the life-cycle assessment (LCA) of one residential building with two constructive systems in Brussels and one steel frame house located in three different ... [more ▼]

The paper presents the comparative results of the life-cycle assessment (LCA) of one residential building with two constructive systems in Brussels and one steel frame house located in three different European towns: Brussels (Belgium), Coimbra (Portugal) and Luleå (Sweden). In a recent study, a modular building was studied in Coimbra and Luleå. It was shown that in terms of CO2 emissions, the Use Stage was the most harmful stage during the building life-cycle for Coimbra climate. Contrarily, in Luleå, it was the Product Stage, despite energy consumption being higher than Coimbra, due to the way electricity and heat are generated. In the present study, two structural systems are first compared for the Belgian house: steel frame and traditional masonry. A different life-cycle scenario is taken into account for the steel frame house for the three different locations, in which the monthly temperatures, energy mix, heating and cooling systems are defined. The LCA is carried out using the basic tool described in the companion paper. It is worth recalling that the results obtained with the basic tool were verified against Pleiades+Comfie and Equer software, enabling to carry out a complete LCA, for Brussels. Our results confirm that for all the three climates, the Use Stage (Operational energy) is the most harmful period during the building life-cycle and that the energy mix of the country strongly influences the equivalent CO2 emissions related to the Use Stage (Operational carbon) and may entirely reverse the conclusions about the life-cycle carbon footprint of the building. [less ▲]

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See detailLife-cycle assessment of residential buildings in three different European locations, basic tool
Rossi, Barbara ULg; Marique, Anne-Françoise ULg; Glaumann, Mauritz et al

in Building & Environment (2012), 51

The paper deals with the development of a tool used for the life cycle assessment of residential buildings located in three different European towns: Brussels (Belgium), Coimbra (Portugal) and Luleå ... [more ▼]

The paper deals with the development of a tool used for the life cycle assessment of residential buildings located in three different European towns: Brussels (Belgium), Coimbra (Portugal) and Luleå (Sweden). The basic tool focuses on the structure and the materials of the buildings and permits the evaluation of the Embodied energy, Embodied carbon and yearly energy consumption. For that purpose, a different set of original data is taken into account for each location, in which the monthly temperatures, energy mix, heating and cooling systems are defined. The energy consumption, being for heating space or water, for cooling or for lighting is transformed into CO2 emissions to deduce the Operational carbon as well. The influence of the energy mix can therefore be assessed in the basic tool. As a matter of fact, the heating and cooling systems habitually used in the three countries are also of great importance. The District Heating system, is, for instance, incorporated in the basic tool. The presence of solar water heater or photovoltaic panels is also strongly influencing the operational carbon. After a short literature review on building LCA and the description of the basic tool, the software Pleiades+Comfie combined with Equer is used to achieve the complete LCA for one building using two different load bearing frames. The results of the calculations for Brussels climate are verified against these software results. The dependence of the results to parameters such as climate, energy mix and habits is then discussed in the companion paper. [less ▲]

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See detailAn investigation on climate responsive design strategies of vernacular housing in Vietnam
Nguyen, Anh Tuan ULg; Tran, Quoc Bao; Tran, Duc Quang et al

in Building & Environment (2011), 46

Energy conservation issues and environmental problems in recent years have increased interest in traditional architecture which is well known for its energy saving designs. This paper thoroughly ... [more ▼]

Energy conservation issues and environmental problems in recent years have increased interest in traditional architecture which is well known for its energy saving designs. This paper thoroughly investigates vernacular housing designs and evaluates on the aspect of building physics. A new research methodology which is adapted to the natural and social context of Vietnam was proposed and applied. The process was carried out step by step, including: climate zoning, systematic analysis, in-situ survey and building simulations. The results of this study indicate that vernacular housing in Vietnam is creatively adapted to the local natural conditions and uses various climate responsive strategies. Through this study, the most frequently used strategies and their effectiveness were derived. The authors also found that under extreme weather conditions, traditional designs might not be sufficient to maintain indoor thermal comfort. [less ▲]

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See detailThe effect of ceiling configurations on indoor air motion and ventilation flow rates
Nguyen, Anh Tuan ULg; Reiter, Sigrid ULg

in Building & Environment (2011), (46), 1211-1222

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effects of a building parameter, namely ceiling configuration, on indoor natural ventilation. The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code Phoenics was used ... [more ▼]

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effects of a building parameter, namely ceiling configuration, on indoor natural ventilation. The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code Phoenics was used with the RNG k-ɛ turbulence model to study wind motion and ventilation flow rates inside the building. All the CFD boundary conditions were described. The simulation results were first validated by wind tunnel experiment results in detail, and then used to compare rooms with various ceiling configurations in different cases. The simulation results generated matched the experimental results confirming the accuracy of the RNG k-ɛ turbulence model to successfully predict indoor wind motion for this study. Our main results reveal that ceiling configurations have certain effects on indoor airflow and ventilation flow rates although these effects are fairly minor. [less ▲]

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See detailThermal performance study and evaluation of comfort temperatures in vernacular buildings of North-East India
Singh, Manoj Kumar ULg; Mahapatra, Sadhan; Atreya, S.K.

in Building & Environment (2010), 45(2),

Solar passive techniques are being used in vernacular buildings throughout the world. Researchers have done extensive study on thermal performance of vernacular buildings in the different parts of the ... [more ▼]

Solar passive techniques are being used in vernacular buildings throughout the world. Researchers have done extensive study on thermal performance of vernacular buildings in the different parts of the world. Vernacular architecture of North-Eastern India represents the principle of climate-responsive architecture, which still lacks experimental validation and quantitative analysis. Thermal comfort not only makes the occupants comfortable but also governs energy consumption in the building. Detailed field studies on thermal performances of typical traditional vernacular dwellings in different bioclimatic zones have been undertaken. This field study includes detailed survey of 150 vernacular dwellings, field tests and thermal sensation vote of 300 occupants on ASHRAE thermal sensation scale. Field test includes measurement of temperature, humidity, illumination level and building design parameters. Thermal performances of these vernacular dwellings were evaluated for winter, pre-summer, summer/monsoon and pre-winter months of the year 2008. This evaluation is based on ‘adaptive approach’, which is the outcome of the field studies and is now part of ASHRAE standard 55/2004 for predicting comfortable temperature of naturally ventilated buildings. This study also tried to find out the range of comfort temperature in these vernacular buildings for different season of the year. It has been found that these vernacular dwellings perform quite satisfactorily except in the winter months and the occupants feel comfortable in a wider range of temperature. [less ▲]

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See detailBioclimatism and vernaculat architecture of North East India
Singh, Manoj Kumar ULg; Mahapatra, Sadhan; Atreya, S.K.

in Building & Environment (2009), 44(2), 878-888

Vernacular architecture based on bioclimatism concepts was developed and used through the centuries by many civilizations across the world. Different civilizations have produced their own architectural ... [more ▼]

Vernacular architecture based on bioclimatism concepts was developed and used through the centuries by many civilizations across the world. Different civilizations have produced their own architectural styles based on the local conditions. This study is carried out on the vernacular buildings of north-east India across all the bioclimatic zones. A survey of 42 houses, more than 70 years old was carried out at representative locations across all bioclimatic zones. The study has yielded findings relating bioclimatism, socio-economic status and cultural setup to the vernacular architecture of the region. Also, different solar passive features are available in most of these houses, related to temperature control and promoting natural ventilation. These houses are constructed using locally available materials like wood, cane, bamboo, stone, mud, jute, lime and represent unique examples towards sustainable building design. [less ▲]

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