Paper Conference

2020 Building Performance Analysis Conference and SimBuild co-organized by ASHRAE and IBPSA-USA


A Building Envelope Characterization Workflow for In-Situ Thermal Performance Assessment

Tyler Pilet, Tarek Rakha
School of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Abstract: As buildings age, retrofits are becoming an increasingly important topic for the ever-growing and aging existing building stock. With 50% of American buildings built before 1980 and only 0.5-1% of existing buildings retrofitted annually, thermography can be used to non-intrusively characterize building envelopes to inform energy modeling, façade design, and project appraisal for potential projects. This paper presents a short review of literature and published methods to characterize existing building envelopes' thermal properties, followed by a preliminary thermography-based methodology to characterize the thermal resistance and thermal mass properties of a building envelope. The proposed methodology utilizes optimization-enabled transient finite elements to characterize envelope thermal properties. The verification of this methodology showcased that the proposed finite-element workflow can adequately characterize an envelope's thermal performance. This methodology serves as a foundation for future research in building envelope defect characterization.
Pages: 180 - 189