Cool Skins: Exploring the Cooling Potential of Lightweight, Ventilated Cladding Systems
The heating of the exterior building skin by solar radiation is a significant problem with regards to cooling season thermal performance. Lightweight construction systems are particularly prone to problems under these conditions, yet often rely merely on insulation devised for the winter months to reject the heat of the summer months. In recent decades, ventilated roof systems have demonstrated their effectiveness at reducing cooling season loads by way of solar radiation-induced convection behind the roofing. It is evident from recent research that ventilated cladding systems can have similar benefits; yet the existing research on the subject focuses on massive cladding and does not address the lightweight cladding systems that correspond to lightweight construction methods. Of particular interest in this research is the role of openjoint versus continuous ventilated cladding with respect to solar radiation-induced convection. Physical mockups and computational fluid dynamics computer simulation were used to compare non-ventilated, open-joint ventilated, and continuous ventilated cladding with respect to heat rejection.