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Title: Assessing the environmental conditions in the zone adjoining the façade : a monitoring study in office buildings
Author: Kikira, Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 7659 8686
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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Façade engineering is a rapidly growing and challenging field. The façade is a dynamic element of a building, and impacts on the environmental conditions in the inner zones, and on the occupants' comfort. The basic hypothesis is that the thermal environment in the façade perimeter zones is highly transient and vulnerable. The aim is to define the extent to which the façade perimeter zones are comfortable enough to be used as the occupants' main office workspace. The analysis is based on the spatial and temporal variations in the indoor environmental conditions of buildings with different façade types (fully glazed, ribbed window type, masonry with controlled glazing ratio) and systems (fully airconditioned, mixed mode, naturally ventilated). The study reports the results of extended monitoring of the indoor environment in the façade perimeter of three office buildings in central London. These findings combined with the study on occupants' comfort, give insight into the actual performance and comfort conditions of a non-uniform environment near the façade. It is evident that the variability peaks at the zones adjacent to the windows and diminishes with distance away from them, leading to practically steady-state conditions in the inner zone. During the cold seasons, a gradient in the temperatures is apparent in all buildings, with strong spatial correlations with distance from the façade. The curtain wall buildings expose an occupant who sits near the window to conditions of discomfort up to a distance of at least 0.6m to 1.5m. The masonry construction shows better performance with minimal temperature variability compared to the lightweight curtain wall buildings. The vertical stratification is marginal on average, but becomes significant near the HVAC outlets with subsequent local discomfort. A power law regression model is developed in order to predict the ΔΤ curve in relation to distance from the façade. High fluctuations and strong non-uniformity in temperature and relative humidity within an occupied area result in thermal discomfort conditions depending on climate and orientation. In modern open plan offices where local control is limited, the specific requirements of the façade zone could lead to an increase in overall energy use. A user's comfort near a window will always be compromised in favour of a nicer view; however this study of the actual spatial mapping of the indoor conditions gives insight into the design and spatial use of these zones.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available