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Title: Life cycle energy consumption associated with glass within commercial building envelopes
Author: Kiani, Mohamad Reza.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3598 9187
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2008
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Better thermal performance of glass and glazed units together with advances in modern construction technologies has enabled designers to consider the use of higher proportions of glass in commercial building envelopes. A higher glazing percentage is typically lighter in envelope and building structure, and provides more daylight and solar heat to the interior during winter seasons. On the other hand, there is a potential of excessive solar heat gain during summer. The percentage of glass in the envelope influences the structural loads and consequently the embodied energy for the structure, foundation and envelope. It will also affect the operational energy and the potential for recycling. Review of the literature showed that previous research projects have evaluated the energy implication of individual stages of the life cycle, however to date none have attempted to aggregate the total life cycle energy consumption. A tool has been developed in order to evaluate the whole life cycle energy consumption associated with glass within commercial building envelopes based on the results obtained from structural analysis programme, thermal modelling software as well as gathered data. The tool enabled the analysis of the energy consumption related to manufacturing of envelope components, building structure and foundation, transp011ation, building operation (heating, cooling and lighting), and recycling associated with typical minimum and maximum envelope glazing areas representing a partially glazed (PG) and fully glazed (FG) envelopes with 35% and 90% double glazed units (DGUs). The overall results of life cycle energy analyses, with 25 years life expectancy for the envelope, showed that the life cycle energy consumption associated with glass within FG building can be up to 20% less compared with PG building. Manufacturing energy consumption associated with FG building showed to be up to 17% less compared to PG building due to less use of materials in building structure and foundation, and envelope. Operational energy analysis, within the context of current air-conditioned commercial buildings, indicated that FG building can consume up to 22% more heating and cooling, but 27% less lighting energy compared to PG. This highlighted that lighting energy can be as significant as heating and cooling energy consumption during the building operational period. Furthermore it was shown that manufacturing energy can be as high as 20% of the total heating and cooling energy consumption. Recycling energy analysis revealed there may not be energy saving by recycling glass into window glass especially for long transportation distances. In conclusion, it was shown that the current perception of fully glazed buildings consuming more operational energy than partially glazed buildings is dependent upon the properties of DGUs. In addition this research developed a methodology and a life cycle energy evaluation tool (with certain limitations) to address the key parameters affecting the associated energy consumption related to building envelopes. The tool can be used by building envelope designers to prioritise their designs and selection of materials to reduce the associated life cycle energy impacts. Furthermore suggestions are made for future development of design guidance to aid building envelope designers to easily choose a DGU at the early stages of design which results in the least building heating and cooling energy consumption.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available