Energy Performance of Different Types of Double Skin Facades in Various Climates

Jun 14, 2017

This paper explores thermal and energy performance of double skin facades (DSFs) in different climate types, specifically focusing on three typologies: box window, corridor type, and multistory DSFs. These systems were investigated and analyzed to answer the question of how the different DSFs perform in comparison to each other, as well as a typical curtain wall (single skin façade used as a baseline), in a multitude of climate applications. The utilized research methods included two-dimensional heat transfer analysis (finite element analysis) and energy modeling. Heat transfer analysis was used to determine heat transfer coefficients (U-values) of all analyzed facade types.

Results indicate that there is little variation in thermal performance of the different DSF types, but that all DSF facades would have significantly improved thermal performance compared to the baseline single skin facade. Energy modeling was conducted for an office space, which would be enclosed by the analyzed facade types. Individual energy models were developed for each facade type and for 15 different climates, representing various climate zones and subzones. The results were analyzed to compare energy performance of DSFs and baseline single skin facade, as well the performance of DSFs in various climate types. The results indicate significant differences between the DSFs and single skin facade, but less variations between the different typologies of investigated DSFs. Moreover, the results show what would be the effect of DSFs in different climate types on energy performance, heating, cooling, and lighting loads.

keywords: Double skin facade, energy efficiency, energy consumption, energy use intensity, climate types

Ajla Aksamija, PhD, LEED AP BD+C, CDT (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Presented at: 
ARCC 2017 Conference – Architecture of Complexity (Salt Lake City, UT)
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC)
University of Utah

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