Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

Thermal behavior of building walls in summer: Comparison of available analytical methods and experimental results for a case study


building envelope, energy-efficient buildings, passive solar design, energy-saving, thermal simulation


There is a wide variety of thermal analyses that can be used to characterize the thermal behavior of a wall under certain outdoor conditions. The selection of a particular wall configuration for a building project involves not only the outdoor climate, but also the whole building characteristics, orientation, percentage of glazed areas, occupation periods, lifestyles, etc. In this paper we apply common available methods for wall thermal analysis to two particular wall types, a massive brick wall and an insulated brick wall, in order to compare the information given by each method and to evaluate how these methods can help in the selection of a certain type of wall. The studied methods include the estimation of the wall time lag and decrement factor, the harmonically heated slab model, the Athanassouli’s method, and numerical simulations. The study was performed for the walls of a residence for university students and it was built in La Pampa (Argentina). Once the building was finished, the transient thermal behavior of two walls was monitored during one summer week. The experimental results are presented and the fitting with the thermal behavior predicted by each method is discussed. The thermal comfort indicators PMV (predicted mean vote) and PPD (predicted percentage of dissatisfied) were calculated for two flats, at ground floor and first floor respectively.


Tsinghua University Press