Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

Modelling of a thermally activated building system (TABS) combined with free-hanging acoustic ceiling units using computational fluid dynamics (CFD)


TABS, thermal environment, sound absorption, cooling capacity, full-scale measurements, building simulations, computational fluid dynamics


Thermally Activated Building Systems (TABS) have proven to be an energy-efficient solution to achieve optimal indoor thermal environment in buildings. This solution uses the building mass to store heat and by means of water pipes embedded in the concrete slabs adjust the temperature in the premises. The active surfaces of TABS need to be as exposed as possible, but exposing bare concrete surfaces has a negative impact on the acoustic quality in the premises. Acoustic solutions capable of providing optimal acoustic comfort while allowing the heat exchange between the TABS and the room are desirable. This study focuses on the influence of two types of free-hanging ceiling absorbers (horizontal and vertical) on the cooling performance of the TABS. Different scenarios are investigated for each type of sound absorber. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations are used to illuminate the nature of the heat exchange between the TABS and the room and the occupants. The simulations are validated by comparison with full scale measurements in laboratory conditions. The study shows that for equivalent sound absorption levels, free-hanging vertical sound absorbers have a lower impact on the heat exchange between the room and the TABS compared to free-hanging horizontal sound absorbers. Cold air stagnation between the sound absorber units and the TABS has been identified as the major cause of the cooling performance decrease of the TABS.


Tsinghua University Press