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Natural Ventilation in Double-Skin Faade Design for

Office Buildings in Hot and Humid Climate










Pow Chew Wong










A thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of

Doctor of Philosophy




at

The University of New South Wales
Australia



December, 2008


I

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank my Supervisors, Professor Deo Prasad and Professor Masud
Behnia, and my co-Supervisor Mr. Steve King, for their unfailing guidance and
patient for me throughout my quest in fulfilling one of the hardest tasks in my life
yet.

My thanks and appreciation also go to those who gave up their valuable time and
effort to guide, advise and teach me, especially to Dr. Nathan Groenhout, Dr.
Graeme S. Wood, Mr. KW Ng, Mr. Sherman Heng and Ms. Gabi Duigu.

My greatest love and appreciation would go to my wife, Joyce, who has been
supporting me day and night, giving me un-surpassing encouragement and love to
help me to complete this Thesis. My love also goes to my three children; Jonathan,
Janice and Jessica, for their understanding in lighten my load during the hectic
period of completing my work.

Lastly, I would like to thank my family overseas for their great patient and
support, which has made my study somewhat much more enjoyable and a great
sense of fulfillment.











II

Abstracts


The specific climatic conditions and to certain extent the preferred living style in
the hot and humid climate of Singapore, most of the electricity consumed in
buildings goes towards air-conditioning and refrigeration, especially in work
places like commercial and institutional buildings, which are mostly designed to
be fully air-conditioned. It is argued that by combining appropriate natural
ventilation strategies with advanced technologies in building faade design will be
able to reduce energy consumption in high-rise office buildings in the tropics.

This research seeks to find a design solution for reducing the energy usage in high-
rise office buildings in Singapore. There are numerous methods and techniques
that could be employed to achieve the purpose of designing energy efficient
buildings. The Thesis explores the viability of double-skin faades (DSF) to
provide natural ventilation as an energy efficient solution for office buildings in
hot and humid environment by using computational fluid dynamic (CFD)
simulations and case study methodologies.

CFD simulations were used to examine various types of DSF used in office
buildings and the behaviour of airflow and thermal transfer through the DSF; the
internal thermal comfort levels of each office spaces were analyzed and compared;
and an optimization methodology was developed to explore the best DSF
configuration to be used in high-rise office buildings in the tropics. The correlation
between the faade configurations, the thermal comfort parameters, and the
internal office space energy consumption through the DSF is studied and
presented.

The research outcome of the Thesis has found that significant energy saving is
possible if natural ventilation strategies could be exploited with the use of DSF. A
prototype DSF configuration which will be best suited for the tropical environment
III

in terms of its energy efficiency through cross ventilation strategy is proposed in
this Thesis. A series of comprehensive and user-friendly nomograms for design
optimization in selecting the most appropriate double-skin faade configurations
with considerations of various orientations for the use in high-rise office buildings
in the tropics were also presented.







































IV


Table of Contents


Acknowledgements I
Abstract II
Table of Contents IV
List of Figures XII
List of Tables XVII
List of Graphs XIX
List of Acronyms XXI


Chapter 1: Introduction 1

1.1 Introduction 1
1.2 Sustainable development 2
1.3 Energy consumption in commercial buildings 4
1.4 Air conditioning in office buildings and human comfort 5
1.5 Faade design for office buildings 6
1.6 Energy consumption for office buildings in Singapore 7
1.7 Natural ventilation and indoor environment 9
1.8 Thermal comfort standards 10
1.9 Adaptive thermal comfort model and natural ventilation in buildings 11
1.10 Thermal comfort analysis and double-skin faades 12
1.11 Research questions 13
1.12 Scope of research 14
1.13 Methodology 15
1.14 Structure of Thesis 15


V

Chapter 2: Thermal Comfort in Hot and Humid Climates 17

2.1 Evolvement of thermal comfort studies 17
2.2 Definitions of thermal comfort 18
2.3 Important parameters in thermal comfort 19
2.4 Measurement of thermal comfort 20
2.4.1 Psychrometric chart 22
2.4.2 Thermal comfort indices 23
2.4.3 Thermal comfort studies 26
2.5 Questions of adaptability and human comfort 27
2.6 Adaptive thermal comfort model 29
2.7 The ASHRAE Standard 55-2004 31
2.8 Passive solar design in a hot and humid climate 34


Chapter 3: Natural Ventilation Designs in a Hot and Humid Climate 38

3.1 Introduction 38
3.2 The choice of natural ventilation 39
3.3 Natural ventilation and indoor air quality 40
3.4 Development of sustainable designs in buildings 42
3.5 Natural ventilation designs 43
3.5.1 Natural ventilation strategies and techniques 45
3.5.2 Natural ventilation designs in the tropics 48
3.5.3 Natural ventilation research 52
3.6 Natural ventilation and office buildings 54
3.6.1 Natural ventilation and bio-climatic office building designs 55
3.7 Energy consumption for office buildings in the tropics 56
3.7.1 The tropical climate of Singapore 57
3.7.2 Energy usage for office buildings in Singapore 59
3.8 Natural ventilation and double-skin faades 60
VI

Chapter 4: Double-Skin Faades and Natural Ventilation 61

4.1 Intelligent faades 61
4.2 Double-skin faades (DSF) 62
4.2.1 Introduction 62
4.2.2 Classification of double-skin faades 64
4.2.3 Thermal transfer through double-skin faades 70
4.2.4 Design considerations for double-skin faades 71
4.3 Natural ventilation in double-skin faades 73
4.4 Implementation of double-skin faades in office buildings 74
4.4.1 Examples of double-skin faade buildings 74
4.4.2 Fire protection in double-skin faades 78
4.4.3 Sunshading in double-skin faades 79
4.4.4 Effect of nigh-time ventilation in double-skin faades 80
4.4.5 Condensation in double-skin faades 80
4.4.6 Review of the limitations of double-skin facades 81
4.5 Case study for double-skin faade buildings 82
4.5.1 Stadttor (City Gate) at Dsseldorf, Germany 82
4.5.1.1 The faade system (double-skin corridor faade) 83
4.5.1.2 Natural ventilation 84
4.5.1.3 Conclusion 84
4.5.2 Occidental Chemical Center at Niagara Falls,
New York, USA 85
4.5.2.1 The faade system (double-skin multi-storey faade) 86
4.5.2.2 Ventilation systems 86
4.5.2.3 Conclusion 87
4.5.3 Super Energy Conservation Building, Kiyose City,
Tokyo, Japan 87
4.5.3.1 The faade system (double-skin multi-storey faade) 88
4.5.3.2 Ventilation systems 88
4.5.3.3 Conclusion 89
VII

4.6 Concluding remarks 89


Chapter 5: Computational Fluid Dynamics 90

5.1 Simulating naturally ventilated double-skin faade 90
5.1.1 Building simulation programs 90
5.1.2 Simulating buildings with double-skin faades 92
5.1.3 Coupling CFD and building energy simulations 93
5.1.4 The choice of using CFD program 94
5.2 CFD software 95
5.2.1 Theoretical background for CFD software 95
5.2.2 Grid resolution in CFD software 96
5.2.3 Verification and validation in CFD 97
5.2.4 Constraints for CFD simulation 97
5.3 Research into CFD simulation for building design 100
5.3.1 CFD simulation in building design 100
5.3.2 CFD approaches in indoor environment simulation 105
5.4 A case study of a CFD simulation for double-skin faade 107
5.4.1 Thermal considerations 108
5.4.2 Fluid dynamics considerations 108
5.4.3 Modelling of the faade 109
5.4.4 Findings 109
5.5 Review of several building simulation software packages 110
5.5.1 Apache software 110
5.5.2 Flovent software 111
5.5.3 Microflo software 111
5.5.4 Phoenics software 112
5.5.5 Airpak software 112
5.5.6 Conclusion 113
5.6 Airpak CFD software 114
VIII

5.6.1 The Airpak CFD software 114
5.6.2 Buoyancy-driven flows and natual convection in Airpak 116
5.6.3 Radiation simulation in Airpak 117
5.6.4 Solution procedures in Airpak 117
5.6.5 The validation of Airpak software 119
5.7 Conclusion 122


Chapter 6: Research Methodology 123

6.1 Introduction 123
6.2 Research strategies in architectural research 124
6.2.1 Literature review 125
6.2.2 Research approach: Qualitative versus Quantitative 127
6.3 The knowledge gap and research questions 130
6.4 Research methods for a tropical double-skin faade 132
6.4.1 Building simulation methodology 132
6.4.2 Computational Fluid Dynamic and Airpak software 133
6.4.3 The CFD Modelling 134
6.4.3.1 Stage 1 Single office 134
6.4.3.2 Stage 2 Office blocks 136
6.4.3.3 Stage 3 Optimization 137
6.4.3.4 Stage 4 Nomograms 137
6.5 Goals for the research 137
6.6 Limitations of the research 138


Chapter 7: Preliminary Modelling 140

7.1 Preliminary modeling 140
7.1.1 The geometry of the CFD model 140
IX

7.1.2 The construction materials used for the model 140
7.1.3 The heat sources in the model 141
7.1.4 The boundary conditions of the model 141
7.2 Strategies in modelling 143
7.3 Analysis of preliminary models 144
7.4 Discussion 149
7.5 Initial findings 151
7.6 Progressive modelling 154
7.6.1 Comparison of results for single-skin and
double-skin faades 157
7.7 Conclusion 161


Chapter 8: Multi-Storey Building Modelling 162

8.1 Stage 1 of the multi-storey modeling 162
8.1.1 Simulation results for South facing DSF system 165
8.1.2 Simulation results for North facing DSF system 169
8.1.3 Analysis of results and findings for Stage 1 170
8.2 Stage 2 of the multi-storey modelling 172
8.2.1 Simulation results for South facing DSF system 175
8.2.2 Simulation results for North facing DSF system 177
8.2.3 Analysis of results and findings for Stage 2 178
8.3 Stage 3 of the multi-storey modelling 180
8.3.1 Simulation results for South facing DSF system 183
8.3.2 Simulation results for North facing DSF system 185
8.3.3 Analysis of results and findings for Stage 3 186
8.4 Comparison results for different orientations 188
8.5 The complete 18-storey office building 190
8.6 Conclusion 191

X


Chapter 9: Parametric Studies of Optimization 193

9.1 Strategies for natural ventilation optimization 193
9.1.1 Investigation of different opening locations on
the outer pane of DSF system 194
9.1.2 Investigation of different opening sizes on
the outer pane of DSF system 198
9.1.3 A new type of DSF configuration for hot and
humid climate 199
9.1.4 Investigation of different shaft heights of DSF system 200
9.1.5 Investigation of different air gap sizes with
optimum shaft height 206
9.1.6 Comparison of Fan and Shaft ventilation methods 209
9.1.6.1 Analysis of Fan and Shaft ventilation methods 214
9.1.7 Investigation of sun shading devices to the DSF system 214
9.1.8 Summarizing of results and findings for optimization 217
9.2 An improved DSF system for the tropics 218
9.3 Limitations of the research 220
9.4 Nomograms for natural ventilation designs with DSF system 221
9.4.1 Formulation of the nomograms 221
9.4.2 The application of the nomograms 225
9.4.3 The limitations of the nomograms 231
9.5 Conclusion 232


Chapter 10: Contributions and Future Works 234

10.1 Contributions of the research work 234
10.2 Viability of natural ventilation for office buildings in the tropics 235
10.3 Conclusion 236
XI

10.4 Recommendations for future works 236
10.5 Final note 238


References 240


Appendix A 257
Selected benchmarking simulation results.


Appendix B 272
Selected optimization simulation results.


Appendix C 276
Selected referred papers submitted to International Conferences and
International Journals.













XII

List of Figures

Chapter 1
Figure 1.1 Energy consumption by sectors
Figure 1.2 Electricity consumption by sectors

Chapter 2
Figure 2.1 Thermal exchanges between the human body and its
environment
Figure 2.2 Representation of graphical comfort scale
Figure 2.3 Olgyays bio-climatic chart in metrics, modified for warm
climates
Figure 2.4 Psychrometric Chart
Figure 2.5 The PPD as a function of PMV
Figure 2.6 The psycho-physiological model of thermal perception: the
adaptive model
Figure 2.7 Neutralities predicted and compared with results of field
experiments
Figure 2.8 Acceptable ranges of operative temperature and humidity
Figure 2.9 Air speed required to offset increased temperature
Figure 2.10 Acceptable operative temperature ranges for naturally conditioned
spaces
Figure 2.11 Cross ventilation

Chapter 3
Figure 3.1 Natural ventilation through buildings
Figure 3.2 Ventilation rate for good indoor air quality
Figure 3.3 Relation between airflow rate, pollution level and
energy demand
Figure 3.4 Wind velocity gradients for urban spaces: (a) wooded,
(b) countryside and (c) open country
XIII

Figure 3.5 Wind patterns around buildings
Figure 3.6 Airflow patterns through rooms for various sizes and positions of
openings
Figure 3.7 Velocity of airflow is increased outside the room if the inlet is
larger than the outlet (a); velocity of airflow is increased inside the
room if the inlet is smaller than the outlet (b); internal partition
positions will affect the airflow patterns (c & d)
Figure 3.8 Wind patterns altered by different layouts of groups of
buildings
Figure 3.9 Louvers can deflect the airflow upwards or downwards
Figure 3.10 A canopy over a window tends to direct airflow upwards (d); a gap
between the canopy and the wall will create a downward pressure
(e); airflow within a room will improve if a louvered sunshade is
used
Figure 3.11 The inlet of the wind tower can usually be closed to keep out dust
or cold air
Figure 3.12 Wind catchers in the oriental courtyard houses of Iraq
Figure 3.13 Wind towers in the Bastakia district of Dubai
Figure 3.14 Map of Singapore
Figure 3.15 Electricity consumption among different sectors in
Singapore

Chapter 4
Figure 4.1 Typical double-skin faade construction
Figure 4.2 Plan and Section of box window faade
Figure 4.3 Examples of double-skin faades
Figure 4.4 Section through the multi-storey faade of the Victoria Ensemble in
Cologne
Figure 4.5 Consolidated classification tree diagrams
Figure 4.6 Heat transfer through double-skin faade

XIV

Figure 4.7 Exterior views and the cavity space within the double-skin
faade
Figure 4.8 Exterior view and faade details for One Peking Road
Figure 4.9 Exterior view of Jiu Shi Tower
Figure 4.10 City Gate at Dsseldorf, Germany
Figure 4.11 The corridor faade system showing the inner vertically pivoted
windows and the faade cavity
Figure 4.12 The Occidental Chemical Center at Niagara Falls
Figure 4.13 The Super Energy Conservation Building at Kiyose City,
Tokyo

Chapter 5
Figure 5.1 Isometric view of the office room
Figure 5.2 Overview of the solution method
Figure 5.3 Simulation model used for the validation constructed in Airpak

Chapter 6
Figure 6.1 Section through the model (with external space at the left)
Figure 6.2 Rear elevation of the model

Chapter 7
Figure 7.1 Sectional elevation of the single office module
Figure 7.2 Longitudinal section of the single office module
Figure 7.3 Isometric view of the CFD model
Figure 7.4 The single office module with studied openings A, B, C,
D & E
Figure 7.5 Location points for taking the simulation results
(section of model)
Figure 7.6 Example of velocity vectors generated through simulation
Figure 7.7 Example of temperature contours generated through simulation

XV

Figure 7.8 Thermal Environment Conditions for Human Occupancy,
ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2204
Figure 7.9 Ventilation Comfort Chart of Singapore
Figure 7.10 Standard curtain walling model
Figure 7.11 Double-skin faade model
Figure 7.12 Nomogram showing the acceptable thermal comfort conditions
(shaded area) for standard curtain wall system
Figure 7.13 Nomogram showing the acceptable thermal comfort conditions
(shaded area) for double-skin faade system

Chapter 8
Figure 8.1 Model geometry of Stage 1 of the 6-storey building
Figure 8.2 Boundary conditions and ranges of parameters used in the CFD
simulations
Figure 8.3 Location points for monitoring the simulation results (Stage 1)
Figure 8.4 Thermal Environment Conditions for Human Occupancy from
ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2004
Figure 8.5 Location points for recording the simulation results (Stage 2)
Figure 8.6 Model geometry of Stage 2 of the 18-storey office building
Figure 8.7 Location points for monitoring the simulation results (Stage 3)
Figure 8.8 Model geometry of Stage 3 of the 18-storey office building
Figure 8.9 The model of the complete 18-storey office building

Chapter 9
Figure 9.1 Investigation of different opening locations (L1) for the outer pane
of DSF system
Figure 9.2 Schematic drawing showing selected points for monitoring
simulation results
Figure 9.3 Investigation of different opening sizes for the outer pane of DSF
system

XVI

Figure 9.4 A new type of double-skin faade model for hot and
humid climate
Figure 9.5 Model configurations for simulations
Figure 9.6 Location points for monitoring the simulation results (for the
extended shaft model)
Figure 9.7 Isometric view 3.6m shaft with openings at outer pane of DSF
Figure 9.8 Velocity vectors study of air velocity magnitudes and its moving
directions
Figure 9.9 Temperature contours study of temperature distribution within the
office spaces
Figure 9.10 Velocity particle traces study of air flow patterns within the office
spaces
Figure 9.11 Pressure contours study of external and internal pressures acted
onto the building
Figure 9.12 Configurations of the model for simulations
Figure 9.13 CFD models for Shaft and Fan configurations
Figure 9.14 Locations of record for thermal comfort parameters (example for
the mechanical fan at the top of the double-skin faade)
Figure 9.15 Study of the effects of sun shading device within the DSF sir gap
Figure 9.16 An improved new type of double-skin faade model for hot and
humid climate
Figure 9.17 Three Axis of the nomogram
Figure 9.18 Limits and Linear Spacing of the nomogram
Figure 9.19 Non-comfort Zone of the nomogram
Figure 9.20 Comfort Zone of the nomogrma
Figure 9.21 Nomograms for the DSF design in the tropics





XVII

List of Tables

Chapter 4
Table 4.1 Double-skin faade buildings with various ventilation types and
faade systems

Chapter 5
Table 5.1 Comparison of typical functions of ES and CFD programs for
building performance studies

Chapter 6
Table 6.1 Reproduced from Glesne, C., & Peshkin, A. (1992): Becoming
qualitative researchers: An introduction

Chapter 7
Table 7.1 Simulation results A
Table 7.2 Simulation results B
Table 7.3 Simulation results C

Chapter 8
Tables 8.1 Simulation results for P1, P6 and P11 of different boundary
conditions (Stage 1 - South facing DSF system)
Tables 8.2 Simulation results for P1, P6 and P11 of different boundary
conditions (Stage 1 - North facing DSF system)
Tables 8.3 Simulation results for P1, P6 and P11 of different boundary
conditions (Stage 2 - South facing DSF system)
Tables 8.4 Simulation results for P1, P6 and P11 of different boundary
conditions (Stage 2 - North facing DSF system)
Tables 8.5 Simulation results for P1, P6 and P11 of different boundary
conditions (Stage 3 - South facing DSF system)

XVIII

Tables 8.6 Simulation results for P1, P6 and P11 of different boundary
conditions (Stage 3 - North facing DSF system)
Tables 8.7 Comparison of selected simulation results for different orientations
of DSF system

Chapter 9
Table 9.1 Table showing sample of simulation results for different opening
locations (L1)
Table 9.2 Simulation results at locations P1a, P6a and P11a (various air gap
sizes)
Table 9.3 Simulation results at locations P2a, P7a and P21a (various air gap
sizes)



















XIX

List of Graphs

Chapter 5
Graph 5.1 Measured hourly outdoor temperatures
Graph 5.2 Measured results (Series 1) vs. Airpak simulation results
(Series 2)

Chapter 8
Graph 8.1 Comparison of Operative Temperatures for South facing DSF
(Stage 1)
Graph 8.2 Comparison of Operative Temperatures for North facing DSF
(Stage 1)
Graph 8.3 Comparison of Operative Temperatures for South facing DSF
(Stage 2)
Graph 8.4 Comparison of Operative Temperatures for North facing DSF
(Stage 2)
Graph 8.5 Comparison of Operative Temperatures for South facing DSF
(Stage 3)
Graph 8.6 Comparison of Operative Temperatures for North facing DSF
(Stage 3)
Graph 8.7 Comparison of Operative Temperatures for four major orientations
of DSF system

Chapter 9
Graph 9.1 Graph showing the temperatures (
o
C) comparison for different
opening locations
Graph 9.2 Graph showing the air velocity (m/s) comparison for different
opening locations
Graph 9.3 Indoor Operative Temperatures (
o
C) taken at locations P1a, P6a and
P11a (various shaft heights)

XX

Graph 9.4 Indoor Operative Temperatures (
o
C) taken at locations P2a, P7a and
P12a (various shaft heights)
Graph 9.5 Indoor Operative Temperatures (
o
C) taken at locations P1a, P6a and
P11a (various air gap sizes)
Graph 9.6 Indoor Operative Temperatures (
o
C) taken at locations P2a, P7a and
P12a (various air gap sizes)
Graph 9.7 Comparison of Fan and Shaft configurations in relation to
thermal comfort parameters
Graph 9.8 Indoor Operative Temperatures (
o
C) taken at locations P1a, P6a and
P11a (1.5m shaft)
Graph 9.9 Indoor Operative Temperatures (
o
C) taken at locations P1a, P6a and
P11a (2.5m shaft)
Graph 9.10 Indoor Operative Temperatures (
o
C) taken at locations P2a, P7a and
P12a (1.5m shaft)
Graph 9.11 Indoor Operative Temperatures (
o
C) taken at locations P2a, P7a and
P12a (2.5m shaft)
Graph 9.12 Comparison of indoor Operative Temperatures (
o
C) for different
DSF systems













XXI

List of Acronyms

ACH Air change hour
AHU Air handling unit
ASEAN Association of Southeast Asian Nations
ASHRAE American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning
Engineers
ASHVE American Society of Heating and Ventilation Engineers
BMS Building management system
BRE Building Research Establishment
CFD Computational fluid dynamic
DBT Dry-bulb temperature
DOE Department of Energy
DSF Double-skin faade
EREN Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network
ES Energy simulation
ET Effective temperature
GDP Gross domestic product
HVAC Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning
IAQ Indoor air quality
LES Large Eddy Simulation
MRT Mean radiant temperature
NV Natural ventilation
OT Operative temperature
PD Percentage dissatisfied
PLEA Passive and Low Energy Architecture
PMV Predicted mean vote
PPD Predicted percentage dissatisfied
RANS Reynolds Average Navier-Stokes
RH Relative humidity
XXII

RNG Random number generator
SET Standard effective temperature
VAV Variable air volume
VOC Volatile-Organic-Compound
WEF World Economic Forum




1
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION

This Chapter provides an overview of the backgrounds for energy
consumption, faade design, natural ventilation and thermal comfort issues in
high-rise commercial buildings in the tropics, and set out the research
questions, scope and methodology of the research and the structure of the
Thesis.

1.1 Introduction

The amount of energy used and spent in the modern world has been escalating
in an alarming way. Air-conditioning accounts for the major portion of the total
energy consumption used for the operation of most of the present high-rise
buildings. The situation is even more alarming in the case of high-rise
buildings in a hot and humid climate where greater energy consumption is
desired to provide comfort in the man-made environment. However, the call for
energy efficient building design is growing and the situation is particularly
critical for the design of office buildings, because the energy consumed by this
building type constitutes the most energy usage intensive built environment
within the building industry sectors.

This thesis seeks to find a design solution for reducing the energy usage in
office buildings, in particular those in the tropics. There are numerous methods
and techniques that can be employed to achieve the purpose of designing an
energy efficient building and the latest development in faade technology of
double-skin faade system claims to be able to reduce energy usage
substantially by allowing natural ventilation especially for commercial
buildings. With that in mind, the thesis explores the viability of double-skin
faades in providing natural ventilation as an energy efficient solution for
office buildings in a hot and humid environment.

Double-skin faades (DSF) are multiple layer skin constructions, with an
external skin, an intermediate space and an inner skin. The external and
2
internal skins can be either single glaze or double glazed glass panes of float
glass or safety glass. An adjustable sun-shading device is usually installed in
the intermediate space for thermal controls. This research has involved the
study of various types of DSF used in office buildings, and the behaviour of
airflow and thermal transfer through the DSF, and the internal thermal comfort
levels are analyzed through the use of computational fluid dynamic (CFD)
simulations.



1.2 Sustainable development

Environmental damage and current climate change concerns are directly linked
to human activity. The economic blueprint for industrialised societies was first
publicly questioned in 1968 by the newly founded international think-tank, the
Club of Rome. In 1972 members of this group published the now-famous
report, The Limits to Growth, putting forward the idea that economic
development must be combined with environmental protection. In 1984, the
United Nations Assembly gave the then Prime Minister of Norway, Gro
Harlem Brundtland, the mandate to form and preside over the World
Commission on Environment and Development, also known as the Brundtland
Commission. The work of the Commission led to the release in 1987 of the
report entitled Our Common Future, also called the Brundtland Report, which
popularized the term sustainable development and its definition as meets the
needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to
meet their own needs. Today the Commissions work has been recognized for
having promoted the values and principles of sustainable development.

At the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, heads of states committed their nations to
exploring ways of achieving development which fulfils current needs without
compromising the capacity of future generations to fulfils theirs. The notion
of sustainable development was based on an awareness of environmental risk.
It was also seen as a social project that seeks to reconcile ecological, economic
3
and social factors. This concept of sustainable development is based on three
principles:
- Consideration of the whole life cycle of materials
- Development of the use of natural raw materials and renewable
energy sources
- Reduction in the materials and energy used in raw material extraction,
product use and the destruction or recycling of waste

The Kyoto Summit in 1996 was designed to achieve more concrete measures
after the Rio Summits emphasis on social and cultural factors. Under the
Kyoto Protocol, participating nations pledged to bring average greenhouse gas
emissions over the period 2008 to 2012 back to 1990 levels. To keep to this
agreement, the industrialised countries need to make progress in three areas:
- Reductions in energy consumption
- Replacement of energy from fossil reserves by energy from renewable
sources
- Carbon storing

The principles of the Rio Declaration are connected with the formulation of a
development plan for the 21
st
century, known as Agenda 21. The
recommendations in Agenda 21 are:
- protection of the earths atmosphere
- integrated land-use planning and management
- combating deforestation
- preservation of fragile ecosystems
- promotion of sustainable development in a rural and agricultural
context
- maintenance of biodiversity
- an environmentally rational approach to biotechnology
- protection of the oceans and coastlines
- protection of water supplies and quality
- environmentally acceptable treatment of waste, including toxic
chemicals, radioactive and other dangerous waste, solid waste and
waste water
4

In 2002, the World Summit on Sustainable Development, or commonly called
Earth Summit 2002, was help in Johannesburg, South Africa. The participating
nations had renewed their commitment to the principles defined in the Rio
Declaration and the Agenda 21 objectives. They pledged to develop national
sustainable development strategies to be implemented before 2005.

Implementation of the measures agreed at Kyoto has wide-ranging implications
in terms of land use, urban planning and architecture. The attempt to reduce the
consumption of energy and natural resources, bring down greenhouse gas
emissions and produce less waste will have a particularly significant impact on
the building and civil engineering sectors.

The application of sustainable development principles to building is one of the
most efficient responses we have to the need to reduce greenhouse effect and
the destruction of our environment. Such a response is based on three
complementary, closely linked tenets:
- Social equity
- Environmental caution
- Economic efficiency



1.3 Energy consumption in commercial buildings

Global consumption of primary energy to provide heating, cooling, lighting
and other building related energy services grew from 86 exajoules in 1971 to
165 exajoules in 2002. This is an everage annual growth rate of 2.2% per year
(Price et al., 2006). Energy demand for commercial buildings grew about 50%
faster than for residential buildings during the same period.

Energy demand in buildings is driven by population growth, the addition of
new energy-demand equipment, building and appliance characteristics, climatic
5
conditions, and behavioural factors. The rapid urbanization that is occurring in
many developing countries has important implications for energy consumption
in the building sector.

The two most important sources of energy demand in the U.S. commercial
buildings are space heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems,
which accounted for 31% of total building primary energy use; and lighting,
which accounts for 24% of total building primary energy use (USDOE, 2005).
The results for large commercial buildings in many other countries are thought
to be similar to those for the United States, although no such statistical
breakdown is available for other IEA member nations or for the developing
world.

The above statistic has called for a great attention to reduce energy usage for
commercial buildings to in turn reducing the emission of Green House Gases.
This is also the thought behind the aims of this Thesis to focus unto proposing
an effective way to reduce energy consumption of office buildings in the
tropics to give a little contribution to the building sector.



1.4 Air conditioning in office buildings and human comfort

The Larkin Building built in 1960 at Buffalo, USA by Frank Lloyd Wright is
thought to have been the first air-conditioned building in the world where
cooled air was pumped into the building via specially designed air-ducts. The
popularity of the International Style that followed saw the upsurge of buildings
with strong geometric forms, with an emphasis on large windows and a curtain
wall system.

This preferred style at that time, and the advances in technology caused the
dissociation of the buildings indoor environment from their surrounding
climate. An office building which is not constrained by daylight, ceiling height
6
and plan depth could have a deeper plan, lower ceiling height and greater floor-
to-envelope ratio, which has a great impact on the occupants and the effect on
human comfort is tremendous.



1.5 Faade design for office buildings

The late 19
th
century saw a time of accelerated economic growth that led to a
global building boom. Real estate values skyrocketed, especially in the city
center areas and together with the advancement of building technology like
steel skeleton construction and the invention of elevators, this led to the
creation of the first high-rise building. Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM)
in New York achieved the true curtain wall system for office buildings during
the middle of the 20th century. Since then, glass curtain wall buildings have
appeared everywhere, under the influence of the so call International Style,
until in the late 20
th
century office buildings with glass faades had become a
normal feature in all the cities around the world and the building facades for
our offices had degenerated into monotonous surfaces.

Since the awareness of the need for energy efficiency increased dramatically in
the wake of the oil crisis of the 1970s, the design of smooth glass containers for
most of our office buildings, which rely heavily on artificial means to provide
an acceptable internal environment, has come under intense scrutiny. The
building faade has become even more increasingly important in recent years
in the areas of research and development as a result of growing awareness of
the importance of sustainable living. High-rise buildings are within the critical
category, as more than 80% of the faade for these types of building are
constructed using some sort of glazing for their envelopes. The urgency to
improve the energy usage of our glass-box office buildings with original
curtain wall design has thus led to the development of intelligent skin to
clothe these ever more demanding functional spaces created by mankind. The
term breathing skin was also developed for faade systems that allow the
7
required external energy to enter the indoor environment but at the same time
to expel any unwanted built-up heat within it. The present technologies have
allowed very complex faade systems to be developed and to function
according to the clients requirements so as to dramatically reduce the energy
usage of large buildings.

The availability of technologies, the desire for an all-glass facade and the
commitment to improve the energy usage of large buildings had lead to the
development of double-skin faade, which originally is a European Union
architectural phenomenon believe to be able to improve indoor air quality
through natural ventilation without the acoustic and security constrains of
naturally-ventilated single-skin facades.



1.6 Energy consumption for office buildings in Singapore

The 2000 World Competitiveness Yearbook, complied by the World Economic
Forum (WEF), ranked Singapore 25
th
out of 45 countries in terms of energy
intensity or the amount of commercial energy consumed per dollar of GDP.
This could be due to the fact that Singapore depends heavily on air-
conditioning to cool its buildings all year round. The hike in recent oil prices
and the global decline in the supply of fossil resources, together with the
growing international concern about carbon dioxide emissions and greenhouse
effects, have all resulted in a call for an effective use of energy resources.

The 1998 Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change, to which Singapore is a signatory, established a legally
binding obligation on the developed countries to reduce their emissions of
carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by an average of 5.2% below 1990
levels by the years 2008-2012. Singapores energy consumption growth over
the period 1980-1995 was 11.9%. The average annual growth in GDP over the
same period was around 7.6%. All this means that Singapore will come under
8
increasing international pressure to reduce its CO
2
emissions and to directly
lower its energy consumption.

Energy consumption in Singapore can be attributed to the three main sectors of
industry, residential and commercial buildings, and transport (Figure 1.1). In
the hot and humid climate of Singapore, most of the electricity consumed in
buildings goes towards air-conditioning and refrigeration, especially in work
places like commercial and institutional buildings, which are mostly designed
to be fully air-conditioned. Figure 1.2 shows the distribution of electricity
consumption in the building sector, with commercial and industrial buildings
constituting close to two-thirds of the total electrical energy consumed.


Energy Consumption in Singapore by Sectors
29%
34%
37%
Transport
Industries
Buildings
(Residential/
Commercial)

Figure 1.1 Energy consumption by sectors (Source: Power Supply Pty Ltd)


9
Electricity Consumption in the Building Sector
18%
25%
57%
Public Residential
Buildings
Private Residential
Buildings
Commercial/Industrial
Buildings

Figure 1.2 Electricity consumption by sectors (Source: Power Supply Pty Ltd)



1.7 Natural ventilation and indoor environment

Most vernacular buildings in the world were naturally ventilated designed,
even though some of the buildings have been compromised by the additions of
internal walls and mechanical systems. Natural ventilation has become an
increasingly attractive method for reducing energy use and costs, and for
providing acceptable indoor air quality in order to maintain a healthy,
comfortable and productive indoor climate. In favorable climates and building
types, natural ventilation can be used as an alternative to air conditioning plants
with savings of 10%-30% of total energy consumption.

However, using natural ventilation to prevent overheating within a building
presents a great challenge to maintaining acceptable indoor air quality (IAQ)
standards. Controlling indoor air quality appears to be more of a concern
during winter periods when interior spaces need to be heated to provide
10
acceptable thermal comfort and most of the windows in a building may be
closed. The control of airflow rates then becomes the ultimate consideration.

For summertime cooling, important considerations are internal heat loads,
external solar gains, building characteristics such as thermal mass and
insulation levels, the overall building floor area, and site layout. Controlling
airflow rates is not as much of a concern here, as long as the occupants are
comfortable. The higher the airflow rate the greater the cooling effect.



1.8 Thermal comfort standards

There are a number of international thermal comfort standards that have make
substantial contribution to the knowledge of thermal comfort. The main
thermal comfort standard is ISO 7730, which is based upon the predicted mean
vote (PMV) and predicted percentage of dissatisfied (PPD) thermal comfort
indices (Fanger, 1970). The standard also provides methods for assessing the
local discomfort caused by draughts, asymmetric radiation and temperature
gradients. Other thermal comfort standards include ISO 8996, which describes
six methods for estimating the metabolic heat production and it is an important
requirement in the use of ISO 7730 and the assessment of thermal comfort. ISO
9920 provides a database of the thermal properties of clothing and garments
that based upon measurements on heated manikins, and ISO 7726 supports
thermal comfort assessment with measuring instruments.

Thermal comfort research carried out in Europe and the USA during the mid-
20
th
century was mainly concentrated on using climate chamber studies. The
thermal comfort standards of ASHRAE Standard 55, Thermal Environmental
Conditions for Human Occupancy, were first established in 1966. Since then,
there had been a number of revisions to incorporate the latest understanding
and findings of thermal comfort. The ASHRAE Standard 55 derived its results
from laboratory experiments using a thermal-balance model of the human
11
body. Six key variables were identified as affecting the perception of thermal
comfort, namely air temperature, radiation, relative humidity, air movement,
clothing and metabolic rate. The standard attempted to provide an objective
criterion for thermal comfort by specifying personal and environmental factors
that will produce acceptable interior thermal environment for at least 80% of a
buildings occupants. The standard defined thermal comfort as the condition
of mind which expresses satisfaction with the thermal environment and is
assessed by subjective evaluation (p. 2). It also defines thermal sensation as a
conscious feeling, commonly graded into categories of cold to neutral to hot.

The ASHRAE Standard 55 was originally developed to provide guidelines for
centrally controlled HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning)
systems. The general application of the standard has limited the efforts to
develop more person-centered strategies for thermal control in naturally
ventilated or mixed-mode buildings. Such strategies may provide important
social and environmental benefits through energy consumption reduction and
increase occupant satisfaction and work efficiency, especially in office
buildings.



1.9 Adaptive thermal comfort model and natural ventilation
in buildings

The primary limitation of the original ASHRAE Standard 55 is its one-size-
fits-all approach where clothing and activity are the only modifications one
can make to reflect seasonal differences in occupant requirements. The
standard has allowed important cultural, social and contextual factors to be
ignored which lead to an exaggeration of the need for air conditioning in
indoor environment. In view of the standard limitation, many researchers
argued that the level of occupant satisfaction with indoor environment and the
energy consumption of buildings could be reduced if we allowing people
greater control of their indoor environments. This has lead to the development
12
of adaptive thermal comfort model with consideration for naturally ventilated
buildings.

The latest ASHRAE Standard 55 -2004 has incorporated the adaptive thermal
comfort model with an analytical method based on the PMV-PPD indices and
the introduction of the concept of adaptation with a separate method for
naturally conditioned buildings. The standard is intended for use in design,
commissioning and testing of new or existing buildings and other occupied
spaces (residential or commercial) and their HVAC systems.

One important criterion in applying an adaptive model for thermal comfort like
ASHRAE Standard 55-2004 is the possibility of individual control. Occupants
of naturally ventilated buildings have possibilities for changing the air velocity
in the indoor environment by operating the windows and can often create an
acceptable environment even with a relatively high indoor temperature.
Psychological adaptation also plays an important part in naturally ventilated
buildings because the occupants have a more direct contact with the external
weather, and higher temperatures are expected for the indoor environment.



1.10 Thermal comfort analysis and double-skin faades

A number of interesting investigations and findings are reported in the
literature pertaining to passive ventilation in buildings and the thermal
performance of double-skin facades. Even though most of the research has
been done in temperate conditions, it has revealed a close link between natural
ventilation design and the function of a double-skin faade.

Grabe et al. (2001) developed a simulation algorithm to investigate the
temperature behaviour and the flow characteristics of double faades with
natural convection through solar radiation. Ziskind et al. (2002, 2003), Bansal
et al. (1994), Hamdy and Fikry (1998), and Priyadarsini et al. (2003) reported
13
similar natural convection ventilation studies. Most of these have used the
concept of stack effect or the solar chimney and found that passive ventilation
in summer is possible even for multi-storey buildings. In particular Priyadarsini
et al. (2003) have established the energy efficiency of a stack system used in
residential buildings in a hot and humid climate region. Li and Delsante (2001)
went a step further to investigate the effects of natural ventilation caused by
wind and thermal forces in a single zone building with two openings.
Ventilation graphs are plotted using the air change parameters (thermal air
change, wind air change and the heat loss air change) for design purposes.

Gratia and Herde (Gratia and Herde 2004) also attempted to look at the impact
of double-skin faade facing a southern direction in a temperate climatic
condition. Thermal analysis using simulation software for the different seasons
of a year was done for a low-rise office building with and without double-skin
faade. It was found that significant energy saving is possible if natural
ventilation could be exploited through the use of a double-skin faade.



1.11 Research questions

Natural ventilation strategies and double-skin construction are not new
concepts and much research and development has been done to improve on
those ideas. In fact most of the vernacular architecture in the tropics uses much
natural ventilation concepts in ventilating the indoor environment. Double-skin
curtain walls were also first used at the Steiff Factory in Giengen, Germany
during the early twentieth century.

Although attempts have been made in recent years to use double-skin faades
to introduce natural ventilation into high-rise buildings in Europe, China and
Hong Kong, most of these buildings are located in the temperate countries.
There are still questions remains to be answered that formed the basic research
questions for this thesis as follow:
14

Whether double-skin faades are able to provide acceptable indoor
conditions for the high-rise buildings occupants under natural
ventilation strategies in hot and humid climate regions.

If that is possible, the question will be what is the opening window
regime during the day would need to be, so that natural ventilation
could be introduced.

This will also lead to the question of the possibility for formulating
some useful guidelines for designing double-skin faade for high-rise
buildings in the tropics.

The above are the main questions raised in this Thesis that hoped to answer
satisfactory and it was discussed in greater length in Chapter 6.



1.12 Scope of research

This research seeks to find a design solution for reducing the energy usage in
high-rise office buildings in the tropics, and more specifically in the tropical
island of Singapore. There are numerous methods and techniques that could be
employed to achieve the purpose of designing energy efficient buildings. The
thesis explores the viability of double-skin faades to provide natural
ventilation as an energy efficient solution for office buildings in a hot and
humid environment by using computational fluid dynamic simulations and a
case study methodology.





15
1.13 Methodology

Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) has become a useful tool for designers in
the study of indoor and outdoor environmental conditions in building design
especially for the close observations of thermal and energy transfer between
different environments. Furthermore, the parameters such as air velocity and
relative humidity solved by CFD are critical for designing an acceptable indoor
comfort environment. CFD techniques have been applied with considerable
success in building design and their advantages in analyzing ventilation
performance have been reported by Murakami (1992) and Liddamant (1992).
Papakonstantinou et al. (2000) have demonstrated that numerical solutions for
ventilation problems can be obtained quickly and in good agreement with
experimental measurements.

CFD simulations for a series of modular office spaces will be studied and
analyzed and the emphasis will be on the use of natural ventilation strategies in
providing acceptable indoor environment conditions in a tropical environment
like Singapore. The results will be compared against the findings from the case
studies for double-skin faade buildings completed in recent years, to study the
differences and to learn of any constructive lessons.

A comprehensive methodology in simulating the high-rise office buildings is
proposed and a new type of double-skin faade configuration for the use in the
tropics is recommended. A series of initial design rule of thumb in the form of
nomograms are proposed at the end for designers who wanted to design high-
rise office buildings using double-skin faade in the hot and humid climate.



1.14 Structure of Thesis

The first three Chapters of the Thesis will look at the research and findings of thermal
comfort studies and standards formulated in the world, the various natural ventilation
16
strategies and their positive impact on high-rise office building design in reducing
energy consumption, the use of double-skin faade technologies in achieving energy
efficient building designs, and how all these could help in providing an option for the
future of high-rise office building design in the tropic. These Chapters will explain the
gap in the research and the supportive arguments for carrying out the whole
painstaking work for this thesis.

Chapters 4, 5 & 6 will explain the methods used to achieve the goals of formulating
some design guidelines for using double-skin faades for high-rise office buildings in a
hot and humid climate.

Chapters 7, 8 & 9 will present the results and the findings of the research and propose
some options for naturally ventilating high-rise buildings in the tropic.

Chapter 10 will list the achievements of the research work and the limitations and
recommend future follow-up to the work that has been done.

















17
Chapter 2 Thermal Comfort In Hot and Humid
Climates

This Chapter provides a general overview of what are thermal comfort and the
development of adaptation models for supporting the introduction of natural
ventilation strategies to be used in double-skin facades system.

2.1 Evolvement of thermal comfort studies

In the early 1920s Houghten and Yagloglo (1923) attempted to define the
comfort zone at the ASHVE (American Society of Heating and Ventilation
Engineers) laboratories. In England, Vernon and Warner (1932) and later
Bedford (1936) carried out empirical studies among factory workers in relation
to industrial hygiene. However, the studies of thermal comfort got their real
momentum during and after World War II , involving not only fields like
engineering, but also the areas of physiology, medicine, geography and
climatology. In architecture, Victor Olgyay (1963) was the first to bring
together findings of the various disciplines and interpret these for architectural
purposes.

Although thermal comfort studies began more than a century ago, more
significant research was carried out by Fanger in 1970, explaining that thermal
comfort is an influential factor in human performance and that mans
intellectual, manual and perceptual performance is at the highest when he is
experiencing thermal comfort. An improvement in environmental conditions
occurred as a result of people spending most of their lives in an artificial
climate. The aim of creating artificial climates was to adaptat the thermal
environment so that every individual is in a state of thermal comfort. Ruck
(1989) went as far as to say that the human factor is the principal concern in the
design of buildings, where human well-being and performance should be
considered as much as the human need for a suitable and stimulating
environment.

18

2.2 Definitions of thermal comfort

The definitions for thermal comfort are manifold and it is a difficult task to
pinpoint, which is most accurate, and which best explains the state of human
response. The following are some acceptable definitions of thermal comfort:

Fanger (1970, p13) defined thermal comfort for a person as the condition of
mind that expresses satisfaction with the thermal environment. Due to the
biological variations in people, the aim is to create optimal thermal comfort in
such a way as to provide that the highest possible percentage of a groups feels
thermal comfort.

Givoni (1976, p3) defined thermal comfort as the absence of irritation and
discomfort due to heat or cold, and as a state involving pleasantness.

O Callaghan (1978, p43) defined thermal comfort as the study of the effects of
climatic impact on human response.

The ASHRAE (2004, p.2) definition of comfort is the condition of mind that
expresses satisfaction with the thermal environment; it requires subjective
evaluation. This clearly embraces factors beyond the physical or
physiological. Figure 2.1 shows schematically the thermal exchange between
the human body and its environment through radiation, evaporation and
convection processes.


19


Figure 2.1 Thermal exchanges between the human body and its environment
(Source: Design Primer for Hot Climate, Konya, 1980, p.26)



2.3 Important parameters in thermal comfort

The variables that affect thermal comfort can be grouped in to three categories,
namely environmental, personal and contributing factors.
Environmental factors include air temperature, air movement, humidity
and radiation.
Personal factors means metabolic rate or activity and clothing.
Contributing factors include food and drink, acclimatization, body
shape, subcutaneous fat, age and gender.

Air temperature is the most important environmental factor and is measured by
the dry bulb temperature (DBT). This will determine the convective heat
dissipation with any air movement. Air movement is measured in m/s
(velocity, v) and it affects the evaporation of moisture from the skin and thus
gives an evaporative cooling effect. Humidity in the air will affect the
20
evaporation rate and is expressed by relative humidity (RH, %), absolute
humidity or moisture content (AH, g/kg), or vapour pressure (p, kPa).
Radiation exchange will depend on the mean temperature of the surrounding
surfaces and is referred to as the mean radiant temperature (MRT). The mean
radiant temperature cannot be measured directly but can be approximated by
globe temperature measurements.

The metabolic rate may be influenced by food and drink, and the state of
acclimatization. Clothing is one of the dominant factors affecting heat
dissipation. The unit for the thermal comfort measurement of the clothing
effect is clo. This corresponds to an insulation cover over the whole body of a
transmittance (U-value) of 6.45 W/m
2
K (a resistance of 0.155 m
2
K/W). 1 clo is
the insulating value of a normal business suit with cotton underwear. Shorts
with short-sleeved shirts would be about 0.25 clo, heavy winter suit with
overcoat will give around 2 clo and the heaviest arctic clothing is around 4.5
clo (Szokolay, 1997, p.9).



2.4 Measurement of thermal comfort

The ASHRAE Scale used in laboratories and the Bedford Scale used in field
studies are the most frequently applied scales, producing similar results for
human comfort experiments. They use a seven-point scale, where 3 means hot
and 3 means cold. Table 2.1 below shows the comparison of the two scales.

In laboratory studies factors influencing thermal sensation, especially clothing,
are reduced to a minimum, and an independent environmental variable is
manipulated, while the dependent variable, comfort level are isolated from
external influences (de Dear, Leow and Foo, 1991). In field studies, personal
factors are left uncontrolled, so the results are more representative of real-life
conditions (Ruck, 1989).

21


Table 2.1 Comparison of thermal comfort scales
(Source: PLEA Notes: Thermal Comfort, 1997, p.15)


The original ASHRAE scale used numbers from 1 to 7 where 1 meant cold and
7 meant hot. The graphic scale used by Woolard in a Solomon Islands study
shown in Figure 2.2 below used a scale from 1 to 7.




Figure 2.2 Representation of graphical comfort scale
(Source: PLEA Notes: Thermal Comfort, 1997, p.15)


Olgyay (1953) in his bio-climatic chart (Figure 2.3) has the dry-bulb
temperature (DBT) on the Y-axis and the relative humidity (RH) on the X-axis.
The aerofoil shape in the middle is the comfort zone. Curves above the aerofoil
22
show how air movement can extend the upper limits of thermal comfort and
lines below the aerofoil show how radiation could extend the lower limits of
the comfort zone. According to Olgyay, cool-humid conditions are often
referred to as dank and hot-dry as torrid or scorching.



Figure 2.3 Olgyays bio-climatic chart in metrics, modified for warm climates
(Source: Introduction to Architectural Science, Szokolay, 2004, p. 21)


2.4.1 Psychrometric chart

The atmosphere is a mixture of air and water vapour. The science dealing with
this mixture is called psychrometry and the graphic representation of various
attributes of this mixture is the psychrometric chart (Figure 2.4). The attributes
represented in the chart are dry bulb temperature (
o
C), absolute humidity
(g/kg), saturation humidity, relative humidity lines (%), wet bulb temperature
lines (
o
C), specific volume lines (m
3
/kg), and enthalpy lines (kJ/kg).

Psychrometric process can be traced on the chart by locating the status point on
the chart of known quantities and all other quantities can then be read from the
chart. At the center of the chart, at DBT 25
o
C and RH 50%, a small circle
marks a reference point, to be used in conjunction with the uppermost scale.
This is often used in air conditioning calculations. By locating the status point
of outdoor air and projecting a line from the reference point through this status
23
point to the uppermost scale, it will give the sensible heat/total heat (HS/H)
ratio.



Figure 2.4 Psychromertic Chart
(Source: PLEA Notes: Thermal Comfort, 1997, p. 13)


2.4.2 Thermal comfort indices

Most of the indices of warmth were developed within the first 50 years of the
20
th
century, both empirically and analytically, and were established from
controlled chamber studies with fit young Americans and Europeans.
Inevitably they specify an optimum value that has been assumed to apply
equally to all people.

Empirical indices and analytical indices were developed mainly for defining
limits of comfort, setting exposure thresholds, and determining the optimum
control measures for thermal comfort. Examples of some of the empirical
indices are:
24

Effective temperature (Houghten and Yagloglou, 1923),
Operative temperature (Winslow, Herrington & Gagge, 1937),
Wet bulb globe temperature (Yaglou and Minard, 1957),
Equivalent temperature (Dufton, 1932 & 1933),
Equatorial comfort index (Webb, 1960),

and some of the examples of the analytical indices are:
Predicated 4-hour sweat rate (McArdle and collaborators, 1947),
Index of thermal stress (Givoni, 1963),
Predicted mean vote (PMV),
Standard effective temperature (Nishi and Gagge, 1977),
Index of thermal sensation (Gagge).

Macpherson (1962) suggested that there were many factors not recognised by
the various indices and that the most important of these was acclimatization.
The static models like the PMV approach denies the role of acclimatization. O
Callaghan (1978) developed models for thermal comfort in three areas of
human response, namely physical, physiological and sociological. The physical
model defined the body as a thermal system, in which heat exchange between
the body and the environment through the skin and clothing occurs. The
physiological model explained the subjective responses to the thermal
environment and the involuntary actions that occur when the body is outside
the neutral state, like sweating and shivering. The sociological model denotes
the factors that mostly prevent the application of the accepted human comfort
criteria to the environmental conditioning of interiors.

Fangers (1970) comfort equation is probably the most meticulous and detailed
analysis of human thermal relationships with the proximal environment. He
stated that the thermal balance of the body is influenced by air temperature,
mean radiant temperature, relative air velocity and relative humidity, and by
personal parameters called activity level or metabolic rate and clothing thermal
25
resistance. The dependence of these parameters on each other in providing
thermal comfort was discussed by Kut (1970).

The PMV (predicted mean vote) and the PPD (predicted percentage
dissatisfied) form the basis of the formulation of ISO 7730:1994,
Determination of the PMV and PPD indices and specification of conditions for
thermal comfort. According to the standard, the PMV equation can be written
as:

PMV = (0.303 x e
-0.036xM
+ 0.028) x {(M-W)
-3.05 x 10
-3
x [5733-6.99(M-W)-p
a
]
-0.42 x [(M-W)-5815] -1.7 x 10
-5
M(5867-p
a
)
-0.0014 x M(34-t
a
) 3.96 x 10
-8
x f
cl
x [(t
cl
+273)
4
(t
r
+273)
4
]
-f
cl
x h
c
x (t
cl
- t
a
) }

where: f
cl
is the ratio of mans surface area while clothed to mans surface area
while nude; t
a
is the air temperature
o
C; t
r
is the mean temperature
o
C; p
a
is the
partial water vapor pressure Pa; h
c
is the convective heat transfer coefficient
W/(m
2
K); t
cl
is the surface temperature of clothing
o
C.

The PMV equation above can be calculated for different combinations of
metabolic rate, clothing, air temperature, mean radiant temperature, air velocity
and air humidity. The t
cl
and h
c
can be solved by iteration. The PMV index
predicts the mean vote of the votes of a large group of persons on the following
7-point thermal sensation scale:

+3=hot, +2=warm, +1=slightly warm, 0=neutral, -1=slightly cool, -2=cool,
-3=cold

The predicted percentage dissatisfied (PPD) is found as a function of the
predicted mean vote (PMV) from the equation below and can be represented as
the graph in Figure 2.5.


26
PPD = 100 95 x e
-(0.03353 x PMV4 + 0.2179 x PMV2)




Figure 2.5 The PPD as a function of PMV
(Source: ISO 7730:1994, Determination of the PMV and PPD indices and
specification of conditions for thermal comfort, p.3)

Auliciems (1981) went on to propose a psycho-physiological model of thermal
comfort, which is also the basis of his adaptation hypothesis. Later on, the two-
node model of the JB Pierce laboratories and the ET* (and SET) indices
derived from this form the basis of ASHRAE Standard 55-1992: Thermal
environmental conditions for human occupancy.


2.4.3 Thermal comfort studies

Dry bulb temperature is the most useful measure for the specification of
comfort. For the measurement of the magnitude of discomfort or stress, the
other environmental factors like humidity, radiation and air movement should
be taken into consideration. Most of the thermal comfort models used the DBT
(dry bulb temperature) as an index of thermal comfort or neutrality. Drysdale
(1950) had demonstrated that at or near comfort level the best measure of
thermal conditions is the dry bulb temperature. Macpherson (1962) found that
the simpler the index chosen, the more likely it is to prove satisfactory and the
27
simplest index of all is the DBT; and also under ordinary conditions in still air
the DBT in itself is a better index of warmth than is effective temperature and
any other composite index.

In recent years, there have been further findings in the effectiveness of the
thermal indices developed to represent thermal comfort in specific climatic
zones. Williamson et al. (1995) found that the PMV overestimates warm
discomfort, especially in warm climates. Karyono (1996) found that people in
South East Asia (hot and humid climate) prefer up to 6K higher temperature
than suggested by Fanger, and this is explained as the result of adaptation of
people to higher outdoor temperatures.

De Dear, Leow and Foo (1991) carried out a study on both air-conditioning and
naturally ventilated buildings in Singapore and found that air-conditioned
buildings showed similar results but naturally ventilated buildings showed 3K
warmer than Fangers values. De Dear, Leow and Ameen (1991) had also
carried out climate chamber experiments on thermal acceptability in Singapore.
They found that the upper limit of the acceptable comfort zone at 70% RH was
27.6
o
C and at 35% RH was 27.9
o
C. The results were in line with the
predictions of the current international comfort standard, ISO 1984, despite the
fact that the empirical bases of the standard were subjects from much colder
climates in northern Europe and the US.



2.5 Questions of adaptability and human comfort

Physiological neutrality or thermal equilibrium does not necessarily mean
comfort but other factors such as past experiences, socio-cultural factors, habits
and expectations will influence perceptions of thermal comfort. The original
ASHRAE standard 55 was developed through laboratory tests of perceived
thermal comfort with the limited intent of establishing optimum HVAC levels
for fully climate-controlled buildings. Therefore the standard was initially
28
applied universally across all building types, climates and populations. As a
result, even in relatively mild climatic zones it was hard to meet the standards
requirement of thermal comfort without mechanical systems. Many argued that
the standard ignored the importance of cultural, social and contextual factors. It
was argued that giving people greater control of indoor environments and
allowing temperatures to more closely track patterns in the outdoor climate
could improve levels of occupant satisfaction with indoor environments and
reduce energy consumption. This argument was supported by the research done
by de Dear and Brager (1998), which they found that when occupants have
control over operable windows and are accustomed to conditions that are more
connected to the natural swings of the outdoor climate, the subjective notion of
comfort and preferred temperatures changes as a result of the availability of
control, of different thermal experience and of resulting shifts in occupant
perceptions or expectations. Such issues are particularly relevant with regard to
naturally ventilated buildings.

By responding to the above questions, an alternative thermal comfort standard
based on field measurements could account for contextual and perceptual
factors absent in a laboratory setting. Research focusing on three primary
modes of adaptation, namely physiological, behavioral and psychological,
emerged to deal with the issues. Physiological adaptation (also known as
acclimatization) refers to biological responses that result from prolonged
exposure to characteristic and relatively extreme thermal conditions.
Behavioral adaptation refers to any conscious or unconscious action a person
might make to alter their bodys thermal balance. The psychological adaptation
refers to an altered perception of and reaction to physical conditions due to past
experience and expectations. This research work led to the formation of the
latest ASHRAE Standard 55 in 2004.






29
2.6 Adaptive thermal comfort model

Auliciems (1981) formulated an adaptive model of thermoregulation within
which thermal preference was seen as the result of both physiological
responses to immediate indoor parameters (those measured by the indices) and
expectations based on climato-cultural determinants (past experiences).
Figure 2.6 below shows the adaptive model by Auliciums.



Figure 2.6 The psycho-physiological model of thermal perception: the
adaptive model (after Auliciems, 1981)


The adaptive model subsequently was investigated and verified by de Dear in
Darwin (1985), Schiller and Auliciems in San Francisco Bay Area (1988),
Busch in Bangkok (1990), de Dear, Leow and Ameen in Singapore (1991) and
de Dear and Fountain in Townsville (1994). Much more discussion on the
matter was carried out and it became evident that the notion of a constant or
static optimum was no longer an acceptable hypothesis. In a major report to
30
ASHRAE, de Dear, Brager and Cooper (1997) exhaustively analysed all
research reports from both naturally ventilated and mechanically controlled
buildings, and concluded that while a mechanistic model of heat transfer may
well describe the responses of people within closely controlled thermal
environments like air-conditioned space, it is inapplicable to naturally
ventilated premises because it only partially accounts for processes of thermal
adaptation to indoor climate.

Figure 2.7 shows the comparison of responses by people at the same location in
a different environment, i.e. air conditioned buildings and naturally ventilated
buildings. The observed results are even higher than the adaptive model
predictions.




Figure 2.7 Neutralities predicted and compared with results of field
experiments
(Source: PLEA Notes: Thermal Comfort, 1997, p.47)




31
2.7 The ASHRAE Standard 55-2004

The ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2004, Thermal Environment Conditions for
Human Occupancy, deals with thermal comfort in the indoor environment. It
may be used for residential or commercial buildings or for new or existing
buildings. It can apply to occupied spaces such as means of transportation like
cars, trains, planes and ships.

The standard defines an acceptable thermal environment as one in which there
is 80% overall acceptability, based on 10% dissatisfaction criteria for general
thermal comfort plus an additional 10% dissatisfaction that may occur on
average from local thermal discomfort. The standard also specifies separate
percentages of acceptability levels for the various physical variables that may
cause local discomfort, with ranges from 5% to 20%.

The standard does not cover hot or cold stress in thermally extreme
environments or comfort in outdoor spaces. It also does not address non-
thermal environmental conditions like air quality or acoustics or the effect of
any environmental factors on non-thermal human responses like the effect of
humidity on health.

The standard includes requirements for providing thermal comfort using the
PMV-PPD method for determining acceptable operative temperatures for
general thermal comfort followed by additional requirements for humidity, air
speed, local discomfort and temperature variations with time.

The PMV-PPD method of calculation to determine the comfort zone is
incorporated into Standard 55, which is more consistent with ISO 7730 that
will provide a more accurate estimation of the acceptable range of the thermal
conditions for a particular situation. Using the PMV-PPD model, the
acceptable range of operative temperatures is shown in a psychrometric chart
for people wearing two different levels of clothing: 0.5 clo (typical for summer
or cooling season) and 1.0 clo (typical for winter or heating season). The
32
graphic comfort zones (Figure 2.8) correspond to a PPD of 10% (thermal
discomfort). The graphic zones are only applicable for metabolic rates between
1.0 to 1.3 met and air speed of less than 0.20 m/s.


Figure 2.8 Acceptable ranges of operative temperature and humidity
(Source: ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2004, Section 5.2.1)


The operative temperature limits in the standard are based on a limit of air
speed of less than 0.20 m/s, but higher levels of air movement can be beneficial
for improving comfort at higher temperatures. Figure 2.9 below shows the
relationship between elevated air speed and a rise in temperature above the
upper limit of the comfort zone. This graph is especially important for
commercial buildings that are primarily in cooling mode in order to reduce
energy use while improving comfort.


33


Figure 2.9 Air speed required offsetting increased temperature
(Source: ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2004, Section 5.2.3)


Section 5.3 of the standard is a new method for determining acceptable thermal
conditions in naturally conditioned spaces. It is applicable to spaces where the
thermal conditions are regulated primarily by the occupants through opening
and closing of windows, with no mechanical cooling and with metabolic rates
ranging from 1.0 to 1.3 met. Figure 2.10 below shows the graph for the range
of acceptable operative temperatures as a function of outdoor temperature. The
model has accounted for peoples clothing adaptation and local thermal
discomfort and no humidity limits and air speed limits are required for using
this method.


34


Figure 2.10 Acceptable operative temperature ranges for naturally conditioned
spaces
(Source: ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2004, Section 5.3)

Building systems should be designed so that at design conditions the thermal
conditions of the spaces can be maintained within the specifications and also
within the expected extreme conditions. While the ASHRAE standard specifies
conditions that will satisfy 80% of the occupants, that still leaves 20%
dissatisfied. The best way to improve upon this level of acceptability is to
provide occupants with personal control of their thermal environment, enabling
them to compensate for inter- and intra-individual differences in preference.



2.8 Passive solar design in a hot and humid climate

The first step in the bioclimatic design approach is to examine the climatic
conditions of a buildings location and to establish the nature of the climatic
problem in order to relate the climate to human requirements. One good way is
to plot out the comfort zone onto the psychrometric chart. The next step would
be the choice of a passive control strategy.

35
The four design variables that have the greatest influence on thermal
performance for buildings are shape, fabric, fenestration and ventilation. In
most countries there are regulatory requirements for the insulation of envelope
elements, walls, roof and windows. These may stipulate a maximum U-value
or a minimum R-value that must be achieved by the construction. A quick look
at any table of U-values would let one know that the weakest point of any
building envelope is the window, which depends on elements like glazing,
frame and exposure. A window with a sealed double glaze unit would have a
U-value of 2.7 to 4.5 W/m
2
K, depending on the type of frame. A good window
must perform five functions, namely to provide a view; to admit daylight;
reduce heat loss; admit solar heat during cold condition and allow controllable
ventilation. Passive solar heating in its simplest form requires no more than a
good window facing the equator.

A sensible air velocity can be relied on to provide physiological cooling. The
critical point is to ensure an air velocity at the body surface of the occupants.
This may be provided by cross-ventilation by means of the wind effect. A
stack-effect alone, which relies on the rise of warm air, cannot be relied on for
this purpose.

Cross ventilation demands that there should be both an inlet and an outlet
opening. The difference between positive pressure on the windward side and
negative pressure on the leeward side provides the driving force (Figure 2.11).
The inlet opening should face within 45
o
of the wind direction dominant during
the most overheated periods. To produce the maximum total airflow through a
space, both inlet and outlet openings should be as large as possible. The inlet
opening will define the direction of the air stream entering. To get the
maximum localized air velocity, the inlet opening should be much smaller than
the outlet. The positioning of the inlet opening, louvers or other shading
devices as well as the aerodynamic effects outside will determine the direction
of the indoor air stream.

36

Figure 2.11 Cross ventilation
(Source: Introduction to Architectural Science, Szokolay, 2004, p.16)

In a hot and humid climate the diurnal variation is very small (often less than
5K); thus the mass effect in providing thermal comfort cannot be fully relied
upon. As the humidity is high, evaporation from the skin is restricted and
evaporative cooling might not be effective or desirable. The designer must
ensure that the interior does not become warmer than the outside by providing
adequate ventilation to remove any excess heat input. Beyond the prevention of
heat gains the only passive cooling strategy possible is the physiological
cooling effect of air movement through cross ventilation. The solar orientation
should be the dominant consideration, as we cannot influence the solar
incidence. North and South walls could have large openings and rooms could
be arranged in one row, to allow both inlet and outlet openings for each room
for ventilation purposes.

Natural ventilation has served as an effective passive cooling design strategy to
reduce energy usage in the tropical regions. The vernacular architecture in
those regions has long been using this strategy to cool their buildings and the
results are promising. But lives in the past two to three decades have changed
dramatically. People tend to be more accustomed to air-conditioned
environments, especially in the urban areas. These dramatic needs for large
amounts of electricity and fuel have alarmed many due to the depreciation of
natural resources and negative environmental impacts on the whole world. The
development of green building designs has captured the attentions of many
and ways have been fought to introduce passive designs to modern buildings
especially to high-rise buildings in urban areas, as these huge urban built
environments usually constitute more than one-third of the energy usage in
37
cities. Therefore passive design strategies and new construction technologies
have in recent times been introduced to design environmentally friendly high-
rise buildings in various parts of the world in the past ten to fifteen years.

In the next two Chapters natural ventilation designs in tropical regions will be
discussed in depth and the focus will be on how natural ventilation strategies
could be applied to high-rise office buildings with the use of the newly
developed double-skin faade systems.


























38
Chapter 3 Natural Ventilation Design In a Hot and
Humid Climate

This Chapter provides the important design issues and strategies for natural
ventilation in high-rise office buildings in particular for the hot and humid
climatic conditions.

3.1 Introduction

Natural ventilation can supply fresh air for interior spaces, the cooling of the
interior by convection and the cooling of the inhabitants under certain
circumstances. The forces producing natural ventilation in buildings result
from air changes caused by differences in temperature, the so-called stack
effect, and by air movement or flow produced by pressure differences. Even
though the movement of air at a relatively slow pace resulting from the stack
effect may be adequate to supply fresh air and produce convection cooling,
these forces are rarely sufficient to create the required air movement for
thermal comfort in certain hot zones of a living space. The only natural force
one can rely on for this purpose is the dynamic effect of wind, and great effort
must be made to capture this force.



Figure 3.1 Natural ventilation through buildings
(Source: Design Primer for Hot Climate, Konya, 1980, p.52)


39
3.2 The choice of natural ventilation

A good design for energy efficient buildings should include, but not be limited
to, the following criteria:

A good performance of the building envelope
An appropriate selection of heating and cooling systems and daylight
An acceptable quality of indoor climate in terms of thermal comfort,
ventilation effectiveness and indoor air quality

The conscious effort to reduce energy consumption after the 1973 oil crisis saw
the reduction of energy usage in the building sector, but it also resulted in the
emergence of sick building syndrome and building related sickness among
building occupants. This was mainly due to the effort to increase the insulation
levels of building envelopes and to reduce air infiltration by sealing the
building envelope in order to reduce energy losses from the building. This led
to a rethink of the original function of the built environment, which was to
protect the occupants against harsh outdoor climates and at the same time to
provide a comfortable and healthy indoor environment. The conservation of
energy became the new concern. This set in train the new era of energy
efficient design in the 1990s; of design integrating the passive concepts of
heating, cooling and indoor climate conditioning.

In relation to the criterion of good energy efficient design and the issue of
unhealthy built environments, natural ventilation appears to be a very attractive
solution to ensure both good indoor air quality and acceptable comfort
conditions in many regions. Natural ventilation seems to provide an answer to
many complaints about the use of mechanical ventilation systems, and it can
provide a more energy efficient, healthier and more comfortable environment if
integrated properly.

However natural also means that behavior will be random, and efficient
control of the building will be difficult. Furthermore, in many urban
40
environments outdoor air conditions and acoustics may not be acceptable
because of air and noise pollution. Natural ventilation in this kind of situation
will need special design features in order to avoid a direct link between indoor
and outdoor environments. In order to be effective, natural ventilation also
requires a high degree of permeability within the building and this can cause
security risks and conflicts with fire or safety regulations. In the case of deep-
plan design, fresh air delivery or a good mixture of air may not be possible
without special design considerations.

Natural ventilation design therefore certainly requires careful design
considerations at a very early stage of the design process and needs to involve
all professional expertise to produce an energy efficient and healthy building.



3.3 Natural ventilation and indoor air quality

Optimum indoor air quality may be defined as air that is free of pollutants that
cause irritation, discomfort or ill health in the occupants. A poor environment
can manifest itself as a sick building, in which occupants experience symptoms
of illness during the period of occupation.

Natural ventilation as a strategy for achieving acceptable indoor air quality is
essentially based on the supply of fresh air to a space, and the dilution of
indoor pollution concentrations (Liddament et al., 1990). The effectiveness of
the ventilation needed to ensure acceptable indoor air quality depends on the
amount and the nature of the dominant pollutant source in a space, and quality
of the incoming air. If the emission characteristics are known, it is possible to
calculate the ventilation rate necessary to prevent the concentration from
exceeding a pre-defined threshold concentration. Wouters et al. (1996)
developed a simple graph to demonstrate the ventilation rate required to
achieve acceptable indoor air quality with natural ventilation design (Figure
3.2). The graph shows that the pollution level decreases exponentially with the
41
airflow rate and if we know the recommended pollution level we can easily
define the required airflow rate. In practice, if a sufficient ventilation rate is
achieved to control the dominant pollutant, it will be sufficient to maintain the
remaining pollutants below their respective threshold concentrations.


Figure 3.2 Ventilation rate for good indoor air quality
(Source: Natural Ventilation in Buildings, Allard F., 1998, p.3)


For a naturally ventilated building the energy demand will increase directly in
proportion to the ventilation rate, will vary as a function of time and depend on
the wind characteristics and the thermal state of the building. Occupant
behavior such as opening or closing windows and doors will have a substantial
impact on the total energy consumption of a building. Figure 3.3 shows the
effect of airflow rate as a function of both the pollution level and the energy
demand.

42

Figure 3.3 Relation between airflow rate, pollution level and energy demand
(Source: Natural Ventilation in Buildings, Allard F., 1998, p.4)



3.4 Development of sustainable designs in buildings

The natural ventilation concept works well in temperate countries, especially in
Europe, not only because of a culture that favors generous ventilation to
provide air freshness, and the commitment to reduce energy usage, but also
because it is strongly associated with peoples love of the outdoor environment.
This has produced a wider tolerance for temperature fluctuations than in the US
culture, where a constant temperature environment at a low set point of around
68
o
F (20
o
C) is preferred during the summer. In the United Kingdom, green
building practices are also considered progressive, socially responsible and
correct. As European economies have not enjoyed the same amount of success
as the United States economy, every construction project that is funded is
highly visible to the public and must demonstrate long-term sustainability. To
this end, in the UK the Building Research Establishment (BRE) has created a
rating system (Environmental Assessment Method) that gives an indication of
the environmental-friendliness of a building. This system is an effective way of
encouraging green building design, and a building that is considered green
becomes not only a good reflection on the designers but also on those that work
in the building.

43
The US Department of Energy (DOE) is also very much aware of the need for
sustainability and its Center of Excellence for Sustainable Development as well
as the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network (EREN) encourages
green buildings that are designed using an integral approach. These energy
efficient buildings should be designed to promote conservation of energy
resources, use renewable energy, conserve water, consider environmental
impacts and waste management, reduce operation and maintenance costs, etc.
A green building is ideally designed with its entire life cycle in mind.



3.5 Natural ventilation designs

Natural ventilation is thought of as a low energy cooling strategy which can
provide year round comfort, with the availability of user control, and at a low
capital and maintenance cost. A key consideration in adopting natural
ventilation is climate. But climate is not necessarily the primary barrier to the
use of natural ventilation in building design. The main problem could be a lack
of design tools and of an understanding of the principles of natural ventilation.

The use of natural ventilation is not a new concept by any means, and
civilizations have used a great deal of creativity to maintain thermal comfort
for their built environments. This has been expressed particularly in vernacular
architectures. Air-conditioning was only extensively used in building design
from the early twentieth century, for many reasons, one of which was the
abundant availability of cheap energy during that time. This gave the
designers the freedom to use air conditioning.

The general design guidelines and criteria for natural ventilation design involve
consideration of:

Site design location, orientation and layout of buildings on site
including landscaping;
44

Design program indoor air quality requirements, ventilation cooling
requirements;
Building design building form, distribution of internal spaces,
location and sizing of openings;
Opening design selection of types of opening and their operational
features.

Physical features such as neighboring building walls, trees etc., which may
influence air movement, must be taken onto account in natural ventilation
design as shown in Figure 3.4. There is a difference between the shelter
provided by windbreaks composed of plants, and that provided by buildings, as
the extent of shelter depends not only on height but also on the degree of
permeability.
Figure 3.4 Wind
velocity gradients for
urban areas: (a) wooded,
(b) countryside, and
(c) open country
(Source: Design Primer
for Hot Climate, Konya,
1980, p.36)

Air movement or winds are equally affected by buildings, whose length, height
and roof pitch all influence the wind patterns and in so doing have a distinct
impact on the surrounding microclimate. The same is true of groups of
buildings. Great care must be taken in the layout to minimize any channeling or
funneling effects, which can more than double the wind velocity and cause
strong turbulence. Figure 3.5 shows how a vortex is formed in front of a
building facing the wind and results in an unpleasant wind effect at ground
level. This undesired effect could be reduced by introducing a canopy near the
ground level. The problem increases if a low building is located in front of a
tall building. The wind velocity at ground level between low buildings,
however, is usually less than the prevailing wind velocity.
45











Figure 3.5 Wind patterns around buildings
(Source: Design Primer for Hot Climate, Konya,
1980, p.37)


3.5.1 Natural ventilation strategies and techniques

Natural ventilation is in effect a form of passive design and can be categorized
as cross ventilation, stack ventilation and the use of night cooling or thermal
mass. The concept of cross ventilation is simple and has to do with pressure
differentiation between the outdoor and indoor environment. When wind hits
one side of a building (the windward side), the air will speed up in order to
flow around the building to the opposite side of the building (the leeward side).
This creates a positive pressure on the windward side and a negative pressure
on the leeward side. If windows are open in a building, air will be forced to
enter from the windward side and will leave at the leeward side, which creates
a force for air crossing through the building. As long as the outdoor
temperature is lower than the indoor temperature cross ventilation can be very
effective in cooling down the indoor spaces. The effectiveness of cross
ventilation design will depend on factors like the size and distance of adjacent
buildings, predominant wind directions, the interior layout of the building
concerned, sizes and locations of windows, and climatic conditions.

46
The larger the windows, the higher will be the indoor air speeds, provided both
the inlet and outlet openings are increased at the same time. When a room has
unequal openings and the outlet is larger, higher interior maximum velocities
and average speeds are obtained (Figure 3.6). Care must be taken not to impede
cross ventilation with incorrectly designed interior partitions and to ensure
effective air movement by the correct positioning and sizes of openings.
Satisfactory ventilation is possible in buildings when air has to pass from one
room to another as long as the connection between the spaces remains open for
the required ventilation (Figure 3.7).




Figure 3.6 Airflow patterns through rooms for various sizes and positions of
openings
(Source: Design Primer for Hot Climate, Konya, 1980, p. 53)





47


Figure 3.7 Velocity of airflow is increased outside the room if the inlet is
larger than the outlet (a); velocity of airflow is increased inside the room if the
inlet is smaller than the outlet (b); internal partition positions will affect the
airflow patterns (c & d)
(Source: Design Primer for Hot Climate, Konya, 1980, p.53)

The concept of the stack effect has to do with temperature differentiation
between the indoor and outdoor environment. Hot air will rise within a
building and escape through an opening at the roof and pull cooler air from
outside into the building. This will create a cross airflow within the interior
space and create ventilation for the building. A stack will increase this effect,
and the longer the stack the greater the airflow obtained. Stack ventilation will
work irrespective of whether there is any prevailing wind available.

The concept of night cooling rests on the fact that outdoor temperatures are
usually lower at night than during the day. Cooler night air is brought into the
interior space to flush out warm stale air that has accumulated during the day.
The night cooling concept is relatively simple to implement but consideration
should be given to security risks if leaving windows open during the night, to
the uncomfortable effect of over-cooling, and condensation issues on the inside
face of windows if air-conditioning is used the next day.

Thermal mass is incorporated into a building structure to absorb heat during the
daytime hours in order to keep the interior space cool. Cooler outside air can be
brought in to bring the temperature of the thermal mass back down to pre-
occupancy levels at night. Typically this mass is incorporated into ceiling
spaces and walls in the form of masonry construction. This is an effective
method of providing ventilation to buildings.
48


3.5.2 Natural ventilation designs in the tropics

In hot regions airflow is encouraged in order to promote cooling by
evaporation and a feeling of comfort from the air movement if the outdoor air
temperature is below the temperature in the building. In warm-wet regions the
floors of the traditional airy pavilion-like houses are sometimes raised on stilts
for better exposure to prevailing breezes, which tend to be damped by
surrounding vegetation. This method of construction also enables cooling of
the floor from below especially during nighttime. The hot and dry regions have
also developed good strategies for controlling daylight and shading, natural
ventilation and heat storage.

Natural ventilation in combination with an optimization of the microclimate
has always been the main feature of vernacular architecture in hot and humid
climates and most of the countries in this region have well developed
sustainable buildings. Air movement is known to significantly improve the
thermal comfort conditions. In a warm climate as in the tropics provision for
air movement must be a major consideration in deciding on the layout of
groups or clusters of buildings. The effect of tall buildings must be analysed
and it must be kept in mind that if a low building is situated in the wind
shadow of a high block the air flowing through the low building could be in a
direction opposite to that of the wind (Konya, 1980). Figure 3.8 shows a
checkerboard layout with buildings staggered rather than lying in a rigid row
would give a more uniform airflow within a cluster of buildings.

49


Figure 3.8 Wind patterns altered by different layouts of groups of buildings
(Source: Design Primer for Hot Climate, Konya, 1980, p.55)

In the humid tropics it is important also to ensure that air flows into a room at a
level that will suit its function. Louvers can deflect the airflow upwards or
downwards as shown in Figure 3.9. A canopy over a window tends to direct
airflow upward and a gap between a canopy and the wall ensures a downward
pressure that could be further improved by introducing a louvered sunshade
(Figure 3.10).




Figure 3.9 Louvers can deflect the
airflow upwards or downwards
(Source: Design Primer for Hot
Climate, Konya, 1980, p.54)

50





Figure 3.10 A canopy over a window tends to
direct airflow upwards (d); a gap between the
canopy and the wall will create a downward
pressure (e); airflow within a room will improve if a
louvered sunshade is used (f).
(Source: Design Primer for Hot Climate, Konya,
1980, p.54)



Wind catchers and wind towers (Figure 3.11) can be found in hot climate areas
ranging from Pakistan through the Gulf States to Egypt and North Africa.
Although the form and details may vary from region to region, the basic
principle of catching unobstructed higher-level breezes remains the same. In
some places the catchers are unidirectional and orientated to catch favorable
breezes, while in other places pivoted scoops and multi-directional towers
utilize winds from any directions. In the oriental courtyard houses of Iraq and
in Dubai, as shown in Figures 3.12 and 3.13, a series of wind catchers on the
roof provides natural ventilation for a basement room where the residents
normally take their summer afternoon siesta. Each catcher is connected to the
basement by a duct contained between the two skins of a party wall, which is
cooled during the night by natural ventilation. The surfaces of the internal party
wall remain at a lower temperature than the rest of the interior space
throughout the day because it does not receive any direct solar radiation. The
incoming air is cooled by conduction when it comes into contact with the cold
inner surfaces of the duct walls. After passing through the basement the air
flows into the courtyard, helping to ventilate this area during the daytime.


51




Figure 3.11 The inlet of the wind
tower can usually be closed to keep
out dust or cold air.
(Source: Design Primer for Hot
Climate, Konya, 1980, p.56)








Figure 3.12 Wind catchers in the oriental Figure 3.13 Wind towers in
courtyard houses of Iraq the Bastakia district of Dubai
(Sources: Design Primer for Hot Climate, Konya, 1980, p.56)



52
3.5.3 Natural ventilation research

Much research has been devoted to natural ventilation designs in the past two
to three decades due to the increasing awareness of greenhouse gas emissions
and the need for energy efficient buildings. Researchers mainly concentrated
on natural ventilation strategies like cross ventilation or stack effect and natural
ventilation devices like solar chimney or wind tower to investigate their effects
on ventilation rate in buildings. External wind influences and the effects of
thermal convection onto natural ventilation in buildings are also being studied.

Gan (1998) had investigated the air movement in a naturally ventilated room
induced through the use of a Trombe wall during the summer cooling of
buildings. He found that the ventilation rate induced by the buoyancy effect of
the Trombe wall increases with the wall temperature, solar heat gain, wall
height and thickness. The ventilation rate will also increases with the increase
in distance between the inlet and outlet openings and the width of the channel
of the Trombe wall. To maximize the ventilation rate for summer cooling, the
interior surface of the storage wall should be insulated.

Solar chimney utilizes solar radiation energy to build up stack pressure and
driving airflow through the chimney channel. It is used for ventilation, passive
solar heating and cooling of buildings. Trombe wall, in which the sun-facing
wall of a channel is glazed, could be considered as a special type of solar
chimney. Barozzi et al. (1992) conducted experimental tests on a 1:12 scale
model of solar chimney and the results were then used to validate a 2-D
laminar flow computational fluid dynamics simulation model. Bansal et al.
(1994) used a solar chimney coupled with a wind tower to induce natural
ventilation. It was found that the effect of a solar chimney was relatively much
higher for lower wind speeds. Bouchair (1994) studied the performance of a
typical cavity used as a solar chimney in inducing ventilation into a house. It
was observed that the properly designed solar chimneys can be used for
daytime ventilation as well as night cooling in hot climates by driving cooler
outdoor air into buildings using the thermal energy stored during the daytime.
Chen et al. (2003) conducted experimental tests on solar chimney model with
53
uniform wall heat flux and different chimney inclination angles. It was found
that a maximum airflow rate was achieved at an inclination angle around 45
o
for a 200mm gap and 1.5m high chimney. The airflow rate is about 45% higher
than that for a vertical chimney of similar conditions. Mathur et al. (2006)
conducted similar investigation as Chen et al. (2003) using mathematical and
experimental models to look at inclined roof solar chimney summer
performance for natural ventilation and found that optimum inclination at any
place varies from 40
o
to 60
o
depending upon latitude. More recent study carried
out by Gan (2006) used solar heated open cavities like solar chimney and
double facades in enhancing natural ventilation of buildings. It was found that
the optimum cavity width for maximizing the buoyancy-induced flow rate was
between 0.55m and 0.6m for a solar chimney of 6m high but the increase of the
ventilation rate was small when the width was larger than 0.7m. The ventilation
rate in a double faade of four-storey high generally increased with cavity
width but decreased with floor level from bottom to top. These research
findings had shown that ventilation rate in a building can be improved
dramatically by introducing natural draft device such as solar chimney or
Trombe wall, which uses solar energy to build up stack effect.

Li et al. (2001) presented analytical solutions derived for natural ventilation in
a single-zone building with two openings. Natural ventilation induced by
combined wind and thermal forces were studied and they found that external
wind can either assist the buoyancy force or oppose the airflow. For assisting
winds, the flow is always upwards and for opposing winds, the flow can either
be upwards or downwards depending on the relative strength of the two forces.
This study gives a better understanding of airflow within a building with
natural ventilation. Moeseke et al. (2005) carried out studies on the wind
pressure induced natural ventilation on multi-storey office building with focus
on wind incidence and large-scale environment density influences. They found
that wind incidence influences air movements qualitatively while environment
density influences air change hours (ach) levels within the building. They
showed that wind driven natural ventilation is possible even in urban area.

54
Ziskind et al. (Ziskind et al. 2002, 2003) and Letan et al. (2003) carried out
studies on passive ventilation by natural convection of a one-storey detached
building and a multi-storey building using heated vertical ducts to enhance
stack effect. They found that passive ventilation in summer and passive heating
in winter are feasible for both building types using similar method.

Priyadarsini et al. (2004) and Wong et al. (2004) conducted experimental
studies on stack effect in enhancing natural ventilation in high-rise residential
buildings in Singapore. The study shows that the external wind effect is the
most important factor that determines the natural ventilation performance of
the building. The passive stack effect does not enhance air velocity within the
building however the use of active stack strategy could significantly increase
the average air velocity within the building by 47% and within the particular
rooms where the stack was located by 54%.

The use of natural ventilation strategies and devices are feasible solution to
ventilate not only single storey building but also for multi-storey building.
Even though there are many variables in making a naturally ventilated building
a success, but the effort is worthwhile in consideration of a bigger picture of
environmental benefits in doing so.



3.6 Natural ventilation and office buildings

Conventional office buildings are typically conditioned with mechanical
heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. These mechanical
HVAC systems can maintain fairly constant internal thermal conditions and
can be applied in any geographical location. These systems use a great amount
of energy and the concept of integrating passive natural ventilation into
conventional office buildings has received great attention in recent years. The
occupants are also likely to wish to be involved in ways that can improve
indoor air quality through the introduction of fresh air through building
55
windows. This is in part as a reaction to the problems that result from poorly
maintained conventional HVAV systems that have resulted in sick building
syndrome, Legionnaires disease, etc. Recently ASHRAE has incorporated a
new adaptive model for naturally conditioned spaces in ANSI/ASHRAE
Standard 55-2004, which has already been discussed in detail in Chapter 2.

The use of natural ventilation in European commercial office buildings has
received much attention in recent years and some of the important criteria to be
considered in order to achieve good natural ventilation design for those
buildings are (Whole Building Design Guide, www.wbdg.org/design):

a) Orientation
b) Solar radiation: direct and diffuse radiation
c) Optimum room size for natural ventilation
d) Opening sizes and locations for natural ventilation
e) Faade materials used
f) Opening vents, cross vents, stack effect, cooling pond, etc
g) Wind direction


3.6.1 Natural ventilation and bio-climatic office building designs

During the 1940s and 50s schools of architecture in Canada and the USA were
teaching architectural responses to climate in their professional courses. The
bio-climatic design principles, the principles of designing with climate, were
relatively advanced for low and medium rise buildings up to 1960s. By the
early 60s, cheap oil prices had enabled designers to negate the environmental
factors of a place, which led to a proliferation of the internalized environment
and architecture with high levels of energy consumption.

The bio-climatic approach has offered the designer a solution in office building
designs by focusing on the relationship between the architectural form and its
environmental performance in relation to the climate of the place. The resulting
built form then illustrates how an understanding of the environmental aspects
56
of design that already influence the culture and life of that locality can
contribute to architectural expression. The approach also helps minimize
dependence on non-renewable energy sources. A bio-climatic tall building
should be unique and responsive to the particular environment in which it is
to be built. The buildings particular design approach could be regarded as a
subset of ecological design.

Ken Yeang in his book entitled The Skyscraper: Bio-climatically
Considered, defined a bio-climatic skyscraper as a tall building whose built
form is configured by design, using passive low-energy techniques to relate to
the sites climate and meteorological data, resulting in a tall building that is
environmentally interactive, low-energy in embodiment and operations, and
high quality in performance (1996, p.18). He believed/s the bio-climatic
approach is applicable to all climatic zones and can be applied to high quality
buildings also.

The most obvious justification for the bio-climatic design approach to the
skyscraper is the lowering of life-cycle financial and energy costs which arise
from lowering the energy consumption in the operation of the building.
Another factor is that the climatically responsive building enhances its users
well being by providing a more human high-rise environment, i.e. better
natural ventilation to the internal spaces, increases in overall productivity, etc.
A further justification is the ecological consideration, that is, designing with
climate results in the reduction of the overall energy consumption of the
building through the use of passive devices and strategies.



3.7 Energy consumption for office buildings in the tropics

Architecture and urban design have an important impact on the energy
efficiency and sustainability of society. Building design lost its sustainability
with the introduction of air conditioning systems. Their direct effects on energy
57
consumption can be observed all over the world. For example, in Florida, 47%
of the total energy consumption is used in buildings as compared to 35% used
in transport. More than 90% of energy used is electric energy (FSEC, 2002). In
Brazil, also, 42% of the electricity energy is consumed in buildings (Lamberts
et al., 1997). The average energy consumption of office buildings is
particularly high. In Rio de Janeiro it is around 340 kWh/m
2
(Lamberts et al.,
1997) and the average consumption in ASEAN countries ranges from 200 to
300 kWh/m
2
(Levine et al., 1992).

The first attempt at designing an office building for natural ventilation purposes
in the tropical region is the Menara UMNO building in Malaysia by Ken
Yeang. The building uses wing walls to capture and redirect wind into the
internal spaces. It was claimed that the building has helped to reduce energy
usage dramatically but the initial design intent of using natural ventilation
strategy to ventilate the building has failed due to the occupants behaviour and
preferences in the space usage and the lack of understanding how a naturally
ventilated building should work (Kishnani, 2002).

It is the scope and intend of this Thesis work to focus on the sustainable design
of office buildings in the tropics and in more specific in the country of
Singapore. Therefore it is crucial first to understanding the context of
Singapore in terms of its climatic conditions and energy consumption of office
buildings in that country.


3.7.1 The tropical climate of Singapore

Singapore lies north of the Equator near lat 1.5
o
N and long 104
o
E. Its climate
is characterized by uniform temperature and pressure, high humidity and
abundant rainfall. The climate of Singapore can be divided into two main
seasons, namely the Northeast Monsoon (from December to early March) and
the Southwest Monsoon (from June to September), separated by two relatively
short inter-monsoon periods (late March to May and October to November).
There is no distinct wet or dry season and maximum rainfall occurs in
58
December and April. The drier months are usually February and July. During
the Northeast Monsoon period, the northeast winds prevail, with wind speeds
reaching 8 to 11 m/s in the months of January and February. Southeast or
southwest winds prevail during the Southwest Monsoon period with wind
speeds reaching 6m/s. The sky is mostly cloudy, with frequent afternoon
showers during these times. Light and variable winds occur during the two
inter-monsoon periods.

The temperature differences in Singapore are not distinct, with the minimum
diurnal temperature ranging from 23
o
C to 26
o
C and the maximum diurnal
temperature from 31
o
C to 34
o
C. The diurnal pressure shows no significant
variation, with the maximum pressure usually occurring at 11a.m. and 12
midnights, and the minimum pressure occurring at 5 a.m. and 5 p.m..

The diurnal relative humidity ranges in the high 90s in the early morning to
around 60% in the mid-afternoon. The mean relative humidity value is 84%
and it often reaches 100% during prolonged heavy rain. Figure 3.8 shows the
map of Singapore with indicated directions for Northeast and Southwest
monsoons.


Figure 3.14 Map of Singapore


Northeast
Monsoon
Southwest
Monsoon
59
3.7.2 Energy usage for office buildings in Singapore

An office building can be defined as a building in which spaces are used, or
intended to be used, for rendering services such as agency, commission,
banking, administrative, legal, architecture, engineering and other professional
services. According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapores
statistics, in 2001 there were around 6 million square meters of office space in
the country.

Figure 3.15 below shows the electricity consumption distribution in Singapore
for the year 2001. The consumption of office buildings has been included in the
non-manufacturing sector. It can be seen that 61% of electricity consumption
was in buildings, excluding the industry sector. The domestic sector alone was
responsible for 20%. The consumption of office buildings, part of the non-
manufacturing sector, accounted for 18% of the overall non-manufacturing
sectors consumption. It can therefore be seen that offices are indeed a major
energy user among the various building types.











Figure 3.15 Electricity consumption among different sectors in Singapore
(Source: Singapore Power Annual Report 2001, p.64)


Siew Eang Lee (2002) reported that the energy consumption of office buildings
in Singapore was directly proportional to the gross floor area. While the
Total
Dom.
Non-Manu.
Office
Manu.
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
Building Types
E
n
e
r
g
y

C
o
n
s
u
n
p
t
i
o
n

(
G
w
h
/
y
e
a
r
)
National Total
Domestic
Non-Manufacturing
Office
Manufacturing
60
principal concepts in sustainable design are quite similar for both residential
and commercial buildings, the approaches are different. A low-tech approach
will prevail for most residential buildings due to the cost structure and more
active user behavior. For commercial buildings, a more technical approach will
be more successful, taking into consideration a higher initial investment and
more passive user behavior.



3.8 Natural ventilation and double-skin faades

Great interest has been focused on double-skin faades due to the advantages
claimed for this new technology in terms of energy saving, protection from
external noise, admitting large amounts of daylight, and their high-tech image.
Double-skin faades can provide natural ventilation in buildings by the stack
effect and that this is possible even in conditions of high outdoor noise levels
and high wind speeds. These advantages of the use of double-skin faade
technology in commercial buildings for natural ventilation purposes will be
discussed in depth in the following Chapter 4.











61
Chapter 4 Double-Skin Faades and Natural
Ventilation

This Chapter provides the classification, deign and implementation issues and
selected case studies for double-skin faade systems.

4.1 Intelligent faades

For many people the idea of an intelligent building means the use of
information technology and control systems to make the functioning of the
building more useful to its occupants, in relation to its management or in
respect of the buildings operational purposes. The term intelligent building
has been so widely used and so diversified that needs further clarification.
Some of the definitions for intelligent buildings can be summarized as follows:

- Any building that provides a productive and cost-effective environment
through optimization of its four basic elements, i.e. structure, systems, services
and management and the interrelationships between them (So, T.P. et al).

- A building that creates an environment which maximizes the effectiveness of
the buildings occupants while at the same time enabling efficient management
of resources with minimum life-time costs of hardware and facilities (So, T.P.
et al).

Atkin (1988, p.1) claimed that intelligent buildings should possess three
important attributes, namely:
The buildings should know what is happening inside and immediately
outside.
The buildings should decide the most efficient way of providing a
convenient, comfortable and productive environment for the occupants.
The buildings should respond quickly to occupants requests

62
The above definitions seem to suggest that an intelligent building should have
certain functions similar to the intelligence faculties of living beings. A truly
intelligent building should be closely related to the realms of both artificial and
natural intelligence, with the ability to respond and react to external stimuli in a
predictable manner.

The faade of a building can account for between 15% and 40% of the total
building cost and it may be a significant contributor to up to 40% more of the
cost through its impact on the cost of building services. The intelligent faade
is an integral part of the intelligent building, performing the main function of
protecting the occupants inside the building. Such a faade will allow energy
flows through the building envelope in both directions that will be
automatically controlled for maximum gain and minimum reliance on imported
energy. The faade system is connected to other systems in the building by a
central building management system.



4.2 Double-skin faades (DSF)

4.2.1 Introduction

The concept of a double-skin faade is not a new one as it was introduced
centuries ago, and the first double-skin curtain wall appeared in 1903, in the
Steiff Factory in Giengen, Germany (Internet page of BuildingEnvelopes.org,
History of Double-skin Faades,
http://envelopes.cdi.harvard.edu/envelopes/web_pages/home/home.cfm, last
visited on 28-7-2007). Double-skin faades have been developed to improve air
quality, occupants visual and thermal comfort, acoustic performance and
energy use for modern buildings. The use of double-skin faades has became
popular for many high-rise buildings in Europe and the technology also has
been demonstrated in the Armoury Tower in Shanghai, China (Yeang, 1996),
No.1 Peking Road and the Dragon Air Office which are both located in Hong
63
Kong (Haase, Wong and Amato 2004). These buildings are some of the major
high-rise office buildings that fitted with double-skin faades in the Asia
Pacific.

Double-skin faades are constructions with multiple layers of skins with an
external skin, an intermediate space and an inner skin. The external and
internal skins could be of either single glazed or double glazed float or safety
glass panes. An adjustable sun-shading device is usually installed in the
intermediate space for thermal controls.

The performance of the double-skin faade depends closely on the chosen
means of ventilation within its intermediate space. The modes of ventilation
could be natural (buoyancy driven), forced (mechanically driven) or mixed
(both natural and forced). Since the temperature difference between the outside
air and the heated air within the intermediate space must be significant enough
for natural ventilation to work, the buoyancy driven system alone is not
suitable for use in hot climates. Both the forced (e.g. active wall) and mixed
(e.g. interactive wall) systems could be used in hot climate conditions, but the
latter has the advantage of introducing natural ventilation even for high-rise
buildings.








Figure 4.1 Typical double-skin
faade construction
(Source: Double-Skin Faades
Integrated Planning, Oesterle et al.,
2001, p.134)
64

4.2.2 Classification of double-skin faades

Since their first use, there have been some inconsistencies and ambiguities in
their classifications. Oesterle et al. (2001) attempted to classify double-skin
constructions into four different types, namely box window faades, shaft-box
faades, corridor faades and multi-story faades.

A box window faade (Figure 4.2) consists of a frame with inward-opening
casements. The external pane has openings that allow the ingress and egress of
air, which helps to ventilate both the intermediate and the internal space. The
air cavity of the faade is divided horizontally on a room-to-room basis and
vertically at storey height. It is commonly used where there are high external
noise levels or where special sound insulation between adjoining rooms is
required. A recent built example is the 90-meter-high office building at
Potsdamer Platz 1 by Hans Kollhoff built in Berlin in 2000.



Figure 4.2 Plan and Section of box window faade
(Source: Double-Skin Faades Integrated Planning, Oesterle et al., 2001,
p.13)

A shaft-box faade (Figure 4.3) consists of a system of box windows with
continuous vertical shafts that extend over a number of stories to create a shaft
65
effect. The vertical shafts are linked with the adjoining box windows by means
of a bypass opening and the stack effect draws the air from the box windows
into the shafts and from there up to the top of the shafts where it is emitted. The
faade system has fewer external openings and it helps to provide stronger
thermal uplift within the stack and to insulate against external noise. The 120-
meter-high ARAG 2000 office tower built in 2000 in Dsseldorf is a modern
high-rise building using this particular faade system.

A corridor faade (Figure 4.3) is formed with the intermediate space between
the two skins of the faade closed at the level of each floor, and vertical
divisions for acoustic and fire protection or ventilation. The intake and extract
openings in the external skin are situated near the floor and the ceiling and are
laid out in staggered form from bay to bay to prevent contamination of supply
and exhaust air. Special attention must be given to sound transmission between
rooms when this faade system is used. The 80-meter-high Dsseldorf City
Gate built in 1998 uses a faade corridor that is divided into 20-meter-long
sections for ventilation purposes.

A multi-storey faade (Figure 4.3) has its intermediate space between the two
skins adjoined vertically and horizontally by a number of rooms. The air intake
and extraction of the immediate space occurs via large openings near the
ground floor and the roof and the faade is used as an air duct. It is suitable for
use where external noise levels are very high, as the external layer does not
require any openings over its height. An example of this type of faade
construction is shown in Figure 4.4.









66



Corridor
Faade
Shaft-box
Faade
Figure 4.3 Examples of double-skin faades
(According to Oesterle et al., 2001, pp.16, 20, 23)
67

















Figure 4.3 Examples of double-skin faades (cont.)
(According to Oesterle et al., 2001, pp.16, 20, 23)
Multi-storey
Faade
68


Figure 4.4 Section through the multi-storey faade of the Victoria Ensemble
in Cologne
(Source: Double-Skin Faades Integrated Planning, Oesterle et al., 2001,
p. 24)


Parkin (2003) has reviewed the classifications in depth and proposes a
consolidated classification through the provision of tree diagrams to explain
all the types and subtypes in the classification (Figure 4.5); illustrations of all
main types through 3-D CAD models; and additional examples of 3-D
descriptions of one specific branch (corridor faade) of the consolidated
classification. Poirazis (2004) has also done somewhat similar work in
classification of the different double-skin faades for office buildings and
pointed out that a proper classification is important because it will influence the
design stage of a building that lead to more precise predictions of the
performance of the faade system.

69
Parkin has defined a ventilated double-skin faade as a faade system
containing an additional layer of predominantly glass, positioned on the outside
of an external wall and/or window, separated by a cavity through which air
flows and usually containing a shading device (2003, p. 232). He has
identified five characteristics that are significant in the formulation and
description of the new consolidated classification. These five characteristics
are:

a) Characteristic 1 the formal arrangement: a description of the
arrangement of the air cavity between the exterior and interior skins,
and the extent of the horizontal and vertical partitioning within the
cavity and its interconnectivity as a system.
b) Characteristic 2 the ventilation driving force: the nature of the
ventilation within the faade system being driven by predominantly
natural or mechanical forces.
c) Characteristic 3 the airflow concepts: the type of ventilation airflow
concepts within the cavity and the ability to open and close the external
and internal skins. These include supply, exhaust, return, exterior and
interior air curtains and static air buffer modes.
d) Characteristic 4 the subtype description: meaningful descriptions that
readily identify the sub-types within the classification.
e) Characteristic 5 illustrations of the classification: the means of
depicting the classification through drawings and the like.

The first three characteristics are the major identifiers for the new consolidated
classification. The last two characteristics are there to enhance the description
of the classification.

The clear classification of the faade system could help a great deal in future
research and it could be used as a useful design tool with appropriate
performance information about each faade type and subtype, to assist in
decision making for selection in particular climates.

70


Figure 4.5 Consolidated classification tree diagrams
(Source: according to Parkin, 2003, p.233)


4.2.3 Thermal transfer through double-skin faades

The issue of thermal transfer through an active wall like the double-skin faade
is a complex one. The heat transfer occurs simultaneously for all the
component layers of the double-skin faade under the influence of the
surrounding environmental conditions, the properties of the layers of the faade
and the ventilation system introduced into the double-skin faade. The
overheating of the air gap between the double-skins of the faade is more
evident during high ambient temperatures and it can be reduced by
manipulating the openings of the glazing faade, a well positioned shading
device and the optimization of the width of the air gap between the glazing
panes (Oesterle et al., 2001, p.75). Figure 4.6 below shows an example of heat
transfer through a double-skin faade.
71












Figure 4.6 Heat transfer through double-skin faade
(Source: Internet page of Whole Building Design Guide, Natural Ventilation,
http://www.wbdg.org/design/resource.php)


4.2.4 Design considerations for double-skin faades

The design parameters that have the main influence on the air mass flow and
the temperatures within the double-skin faades are (Gratia and Herde 2007a,
2007b, 2007c, 2007d; Oesterle et al., 2001):

a) The size of the upper and the lower vent of the faade;
b) The depth of the faade and the position of the shading device,
especially the absorption coefficient;
c) The size of the vents of the shading device;
d) The quality of the outer and the inner pane, especially the solar
transmission factor, but also the U-value and the absorption
coefficient.

Outdoor
Indoor
72

Oesterle et al. (2001, pp.30-32) have recommended ten steps for designers in
planning various types of double-skin faades. They are:

1) Checking the constraints suitability of window ventilation for the
available faade systems, economic viability of the systems.
2) Determining the type of construction establishing the matrix of
requirements for determining the appropriate form of double-skin
faade construction.
3) Ensuring a good fresh-air supply planning the dimensions of the
openings and airflow routes into the rooms.
4) Avoiding overheating in the intermediate faade space airflow is
designed in such a way that heat gain does not increase upwards
from floor to floor.
5) Optimising the flow of air size and position of the openings,
adding extra propulsion where required.
6) Planning the conditions for operation varying the size of openings
for thermal and acoustic insulation requirements.
7) Exploiting the construction to the full collaboration and
coordination with the faade planner and other consultants during
the early stage of the design.
8) Putting the dimensions to the test integrating the buildings
physics and the ventilation technology of the faade system with the
mechanical ventilation concept.
9) Integrating clients and users within the planning process the
overall optimisation of the systems will require all parties
involvement in the planning stage to assume a share of
responsibility.
10) Taking the control mechanisms into operation coordinating the
adjustment of the faade functions and the mechanical ventilations
and allowing time for the tuning process before users move in.

As the success of the faade system depends a great deal on the understanding
of the functionality of the faade technologies, the above are just general
73
guidelines for designers who wish to consider implementing double-skin
faade construction in their buildings.



4.3 Natural ventilation in double-skin faades

A number of interesting investigations and findings are reported in the
literature pertaining to passive ventilation in buildings and the thermal
performance of double-skin faades. Even though most of the research has
been done in temperate climate conditions, the studies have revealed a close
link between natural ventilation design and the function of the double-skin
faade. It was found that significant energy saving is possible if natural
ventilation could be exploited through the use of double-skin faade.

For example Grabe et al. (2001) developed a simulation algorithm to
investigate the temperature behaviour and the flow characteristics of double
faades with natural convection through solar radiation. It was found that the
air temperature increased greater near the heat sources that are near the panes
of the window and the shading device. Gratia and Herde (2004a, 2004b, 2004c,
2004d, 2004e, 2007a, 2007b, 2007c, 2007d) attempted to look at natural
ventilation strategies, greenhouse effects and the optimum position of sun
shading devices for double-skin faades facing in a southern direction in a
temperate climatic in the northern hemisphere. They found that sufficient day
or night ventilation rate can be reached by window opening, even if wind
characteristics are unfavourable. If natural cooling strategies are used with
double facades, greenhouse effect is favourable if the faade is facing south.
Thermal analysis using simulation software of different seasons of a year was
done for a low-rise office building with and without double-skin faade. They
further provided some general guidelines in improving natural daytime
ventilation in office building with a double-skin faade and demonstrated that
efficient natural cross ventilation is possible in climatic conditions in Belgium.

74
4.4 Implementation of double-skin faades in office buildings

The double-skin faade is a system that can create opportunities for
maximizing daylight and improving energy performance. There are many
issues to be considered in the development of appropriate faade systems for an
office building. A natural stack effect often develops in the cavity and the
faade can reduce solar gains as the heat load against the internal skin can be
reduced through the ventilated cavity. The relatively new double-skin faade
technology requires greater care in implementation, especially for high-rise
buildings.

The effects of wind and strong thermal uplift are two of the more important
issues that need to be dealt with in design. A precise survey of wind loads
acting on buildings can be obtained through measurements in a wind tunnel or
by using appropriate simulation software. Intelligent control mechanisms have
been used in most double-skin faade buildings to regulate the admittance of
air into the cavity automatically and also closing it up to create a thermal
buffer. Further details of important issues in designing double-skin faades for
high-rise office buildings are discussed below.


4.4.1 Examples of double-skin faade buildings

The following are some examples of existing double-skin faade buildings
constructed in Asia and in Europe. They are examples of the implementation of
both naturally and mechanically ventilated double-skin faade systems. Even
though the information for the summer months performance for One Peking
Road and Jin Shi Tower are not available, but these buildings were chosen due
to their climatic locations which will give the next best examples for the
review.



75

(a) Debis Headquaters, Berlin, Germany - 1997
Architects: Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Christoph Kohlbecker

This 21-storey office building uses a corridor faade system with an exterior
skin consisting of automated, pivoting, 12-mm thick laminated glass louvers.
Minimal air exchange occurs through these louvers when closed. The interior
skin consists of two bottom-hung double-pane operable windows. The upper
window is electrically operated. On the interior of the internal windows are
Venetian blinds. Walkway grills occur at every floor within the 70-cm wide
interstitial spaces and are covered with glass to prevent vertical smoke from
spreading between floors (Figure 4.7). During the summer the exterior glass
louvers are tilted to allow for outside air exchange. The users can open the
interior windows for natural ventilation. Nighttime cooling of the building's
thermal mass is automated during the winter when the exterior louvers are
closed. The users can open the internal windows to admit warm air on
sufficiently sunny days. The building is mechanically ventilated during peak
winter and summer periods.



Figure 4.7 Exterior views and the cavity space within the double-skin faade
(Source: Website of High-Performance Commercial Building Faades,
http://gaia.lbl.gov/hpbf/casest_b.htm)

76


(b) One Peking Road, Hong Kong, China - 2003
Architects: Rocco Design Limited

The 30-storey high-rise office building is the first skyscraper in Hong Kong
and one of the first in the world to power the major part of the building with
solar energy. It has won the top architectural award from the Hong Kong
Institute of Architects for its aesthetics and its environmentally friendly design.
It uses a mechanically ventilated corridor faade double-skin system as an
energy efficient strategy (Figure 4.8).



Figure 4.8 Exterior view and faade details for One Peking Road
(Source: Website of Emporis Buildings, www.emporis.com)







77


(c) Jiu Shi Tower, Shanghai, China - 2000
Architects: Foster and Partners

The 39-storey office building located between the river and two traditional
neighborhoods of Shanghai uses a mechanical ventilated corridor faade
double-skin system as the ventilation strategy (Figure 4.9).




















Figure 4.9 Exterior view of Jiu Shi Tower
(Source: Website of Emporis Buildings, www.emporis.com)




78
Table 4.1 below lists 86 double-skin faade buildings constructed in 15
countries, mainly in Europe, Asia and Northern America for the past 20 years.
The main ventilation mode chosen for those buildings (about 40% of the built
examples) is natural ventilation using a multi-storey faade system.


Ventilation Type DSF Type Number of building
A) Mechanical ventilation
Corridor faade 20
Multi-storey faade 8
Box window faade 2
B) Natural ventilation
Corridor faade 7
Multi-storey faade 34
Shaft box faade 1
Box window faade 6
C) Hybrid ventilation
Corridor faade 4
Multi-storey faade 4

Table 4.1 Double-skin faade buildings with various ventilation types and
faade systems
(Source: Ventilated Double Facades, Belgian Building Research Institute,
2004, p.3)



4.4.2 Fire protection in double-skin faades

A basic treatment for assessing the risks associated with double-skin faades
and for providing protection in the event of fire is discussed by Oesterle et al.
(2001, pp. 83-85) as follows:

79
Fire protection risks:
a) Localization of the fire space difficult to localize the fire space
visually from the outside; difficult to break the toughened glass in
the outer layer; difficult access from outside; sound contact between
inside and outside is difficult.
b) Smoke in the faade intermediate space the air-intake and extract
openings in the outer faade may not provide adequate means of
removing smoke from the intermediate space.
c) Fire may spread from inner faade into the intermediate space.

Fire protection measures:
a) Automatic early fire-warning systems in the rooms and the faade
intermediate space.
b) Automatic activation of the smoke-extraction system for the
faades intermediate space.
c) Automatic fire-fighting systems in the rooms and/or the faades
intermediate space.


4.4.3 Sunshading in double-skin faades

Sunshading in a double-skin faade plays a crucial role in absorbing heat from
sunlight and liberating heat within the intermediate space. The sunshading
surfaces will absorb around one third of the heat passing through the faade
and the heat will be transmitted to the surrounding air through means of
radiation and convection. This helps to block any substantial heat gain in the
interior space.

The position of the sunshading within the air gap of the faade plays a major
role in the distribution of heat gains in the intermediate space. The smaller
space will heat up to a greater extent than the larger space. If the shading is
located close to the inner pane of the faade it will considerably heat the air in
front of the window, and this is undesirable. Therefore sunshading should be
positioned at roughly a third of the depth of the faade cavity, with good
80
ventilation to the outer space above and below the sunshading. A minimum of
15cm between the sunshading and the external skin of the faade is
recommended to give an acceptable ventilation rate within the air gap (Gratia
et al., 2007b).


4.4.4 Effect of nighttime ventilation on double-skin faades

During hot summer days the interior of buildings will absorb a great amount of
heat and this trapped internal heat will still be present throughout the night and
it will be perceived as too warm if the excess heat is not expelled before the
next morning. Nighttime ventilation that permits a natural exchange of air and
heat during summer nights through a controlled opening of windows or flaps
will help to cool down the internal space of the building during the night. A
double-skin faade provides the opportunity for nighttime ventilation and at the
same time gives the security required by just having the internal windows
opened for that purpose.


4.4.5 Condensation in double-skin faades

Wong et al. (2004) carried out studies on the condensation issue in double-skin
faades in a hot and humid climate country, Singapore. TAS and CFD
simulation software was used to determine the energy consumption, thermal
comfort and condensation in a 6-storey building. The differences between the
ambient temperature and that of the glass surface of the faade were found to
be the major cause of condensation during nights of high humidity. The use of
mechanical fans was recommended to remove condensation from the faade
system in hot and humid conditions. The researchers found that east and west
orientations produced the most condensation on the faade and that the south
faade had the least problem. It was also found that on the lower the floor the
condensation rate was lower.


81
4.4.6 Review of the limitations of double-skin facades

There are not many critical review could be found of double-skin facades and
Dr. Karl Gertis of the Fraunhofer Institute of Building Physics in Stuttgart,
Germany had given a relatively comprehensive review on the limitations of the
faade system (Lee E. et al, 2002). A number of the limitations are listed below
which will help to set out the requirement for computer simulations and
drawing conclusions for the research:

a) One cannot achieve a comfortable indoor climate with natural
ventilation alone during most period of the year without active
cooling
b) The boundary conditions of the simulation model are often not
exactly stated so the results are not useful because critical
interpretation cannot be made
c) The actual airflow patterns within the air gap of the faade system
are complex because there is airflow exchange on the leeward and
windward sides of the building and within the air gap itself. The
airspeed in the gap gets smaller with increased of exterior wind
speed due to the air resistance within the faade.
d) The Venetian blinds positioned in the air gap should be reflective to
prevent temperature increase in the air gap.
e) The air temperature in the air gap can create significant thermal
discomfort and forced closure of internal windows designed to
allow natural ventilation.








82
4.5 Case study for double-skin faade buildings

4.5.1 Stadttor (City Gate) at Dsseldorf, Germany
Architect: K.H. Petzinka 51.29
o
N Latitude

This 80-meter-high office building was completed in 1997 and is composed of
two16-storey towers connected at the top with three bridging levels (Figure
4.10). The entire building is enclosed in a glass skin with a huge 50m high
atrium void at the centre, creating a gateway effect. A double skin cavity up
to 1.4m in depth provides an enclosed balcony for all offices. The faade
corridor is divided into 20-meter-long sections by an escape staircase, the
atrium and divisions at the corners of the building.

The building is predominantly naturally ventilated, controlled by a building
management system (BMS) that automatically determines natural ventilation or
mechanical ventilation modes. Natural ventilation is achieved through
computer control of ventilation flaps within the building envelope, which run
in horizontal bands at each floor level. The BMS has sensors for wind,
temperature, rain and sun to provide optimum control strategies for heating,
cooling and fresh air supply. Venetian blinds within the faade cavity are
lowered and raised automatically according to light levels and the need for
nighttime insulation. The ventilated double skin limits the required cooling
loads by ventilating away the solar heat built up in the cavity.






Figure 4.10 City Gate at Dsseldorf, Germany
(Source: Website of High-Performance
Commercial Building Faades,
http://gaia.lbl.gov/hpbf/casest_d.htm)
83
4.5.1.1 The faade system (double-skin corridor faade)

The double-skin faade enveloped three sides of the office floors with the
cavity varying between 0.9 and 1.4m in depth. The outer skin is 15mm
toughened planar glazing of low-iron opti-white glass for maximum
transparency. The inner skin is made of vertically pivoted high performance
timber windows. The full-height double-glazing has a low-E coating. The U-
values of the double skin are 1.2 W/m
2
K and 1.0 W/m
2
K when the vents are
opened and closed respectively. The vertical atrium walls are single glazed
with planar glass. Light transmission through the envelope is 68%. The overall
energy transmission equates to 50%, without the blinds, and 10% with the
blinds lowered.

The venetian blinds of the faade system are located 200mm behind the outer
pane of the system. The blinds are automatically lowered in response to
photocell detectors on each faade, which indicate if the sun is shining on a
particular building faade. Once they are lowered they will tilt to 45
o
, which
will help to reduce glare but still allow daylight into the building. If the sun is
not directly shining on a particular faade, then the blinds are raised. The users
have the facility to override whether the blinds are up or down through a
simple light switch.

Figure 4.11 The corridor faade system
showing the inner vertically pivoted
windows and the faade cavity. (Source:
Website of High-Performance
Commercial Building Faades,
http://gaia.lbl.gov/hpbf/casest_d.htm)
84

4.5.1.2 Natural ventilation

Natural ventilation is predicted to be achievable for 70% of the year for
temperatures between 5
o
C and 22
o
C. Pre-heated mechanical ventilation will be
used for 25% of the year when the temperatures are below 5
o
C, and the
remaining 5% pre-cooled mechanical ventilation is used when temperatures are
above 22
o
C.

For natural ventilation to be operative the users will need to open the inner
windows manually. The ventilation flaps in the outer faade, which admit air
into the cavity, are automatically controlled by the BMS. The atrium is
naturally ventilated. Four areas of glass louvers provide openings in the two
end walls within the atrium. The glass louvers are controlled according to wind
speed and direction. In windy conditions one side can be closed to avoid wind
traveling through the building. Outer offices are side ventilated from the
double-skin cavity and inner offices from the atrium.


4.5.1.3 Conclusion

The performance of the faade system is being monitored and tests have shown
that air leaving the cavity is 6
o
C hotter than incoming air, suggesting that the
system is performing a useful cooling effect. Air coming into the offices is only
1 or 2

degrees hotter than the outside air.

Delivered energy consumption figures for the building are not available, but
during the design phase heating was simulated at 30kWh/m
2
per year. This is
considered a very energy efficient high-rise office building in the region.





85
4.5.2 Occidental Chemical Center at Niagara Falls, New York, USA
Architects: Canon Design Architects 43.00
o
N Latitude

The 9-storey plus basement office building was completed in 1981 and is
located diagonally on an axis with the Rainbow Bridge that links America with
Canada over the Niagara River Gorge (Figure 4.13). The square plan of the
building provides a column-free office space around a central building core.
The building overlooks the Niagara Falls and is located in a cold and cloudy
area, experiencing many of the secondary climatic effects from the colder
northern areas of Canada.

The building uses a building management system (BMS) to control its facilities
such as security, alarm and fire alarm systems, as well as energy management
of the HVAC system. The perimeter lighting system and louvers are controlled
by the BMS to respond to ambient daylight levels. When heat is not required in
the double-skin cavity, sensors will operate venting dampers at the top and
bottom of the cavity to release the warm air at the top of the cavity. The system
is fully equipped with data collection capabilities to provide information on
energy usage patterns throughout the building.



Figure 4.12 The Occidental Chemical Center at Niagara Falls
(Source: U.S. Website of Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov)

86


4.5.2.1 The faade system (double-skin multi-storey faade)

The double-skin faade system wrapped around the building with a 1500mm
cavity acts as a thermal buffer in winter and it can automatically open in
summer to vent away convective warm air. The outer skin of the faade is a
white aluminium curtain walling system with blue-green tinted insulating glass.
It transmits up to 80% of visible light. The inner skin consists of clear single
glazing. The U-value of the double-skin is 1.54 W/m
2
K.

Louvers within the cavity of the double faade are adjustable for solar control
and can be closed at night to increase insulation. They provide an effective
balance between solar shielding and thermal conditioning demands. In summer
and winter the operable louvers in the glazed cavity are automatically adjusted
by means of a photocell controller to prevent direct solar radiation from
entering the building. At night and during other unoccupied hours the louvers
are closed for increased insulation, retaining the conditioned air from daytime
operation. Users can locally override the position of the louvers by wall-
mounted switches within each of the corner offices if required.


4.5.2.2 Ventilation systems

The heating, ventilating and air conditioning needs are met by two low-
pressure variable air volume (VAV) air-handling units. The double-skin serves
to reduce the impact of severe outside temperatures by limiting the effect of
infiltration on the conditioned interior to an acceptable level. The skin serves as
a thermal buffer in winter and vents out the warm air at the top and bottom to
increase airflow for reducing solar build-up within the cavity during summer. It
was estimated that the building consumes less than one-third of the energy
required for a conventionally designed office building of a similar type.


87
4.5.2.3 Conclusion

The building was found to maintain unique energy demand stability when
compared to a conventional office design. This was in agreement with the
results obtained through extensive computer based simulations done for energy
usage prediction for the building during the design stage. It was believed to be
the most energy-efficient building in its particular climatic zone at that time.



4.5.3 Super Energy Conservation Building, Kiyose City, Tokyo, Japan
Architects: Ohbayashi-Gumi 35.80
o
N Latitude

The 3-storey plus basement office building was built in 1982 and was claimed
to be the most energy-efficient building in the world at that time (Figure
4.14). The rectangular plan building has an inclined glass wall on its south
faade with service rooms located at the east and west ends. A rooftop plant
room serves as a buffer to the indoor conditioned spaces below. On the south
side the ground has been excavated to form a sunken garden that allows
windows to the library area at the basement. Earth berming up to the ground
floor window sill level was used on the east, west and north sides of the
building.

A building management system (BMS) is used to operate the heating, cooling
and ventilating plant according to the weather and usage conditions of the
building to optimize energy consumption.








88



Figure 4.13 The Super Energy Conservation Building at Kiyose City, Tokyo
(Source: Website of Obayashi Corporation, www.obayashi.co.jp/english/ir)


4.5.3.1 The faade system (double-skin multi-storey faade)

The double-skin glass wall is only located on the south faade of the building
and is used to preheat incoming air for the air handling units. In summer vents
at the top and bottom of the double-skin are opened to create natural ventilation
and reduce the cooling loads for the building. The main office spaces are
protected from direct solar gain by louvered blinds at the outside of the office
windows within the double-skin cavity.


4.5.3.2 Ventilation systems

The building is fully air conditioned with a variable air volume (VAV) system.
Opening vents in the double-skin faade ensure adequate ventilation of the
cavity in summer. In winter they are opened to admit fresh air, which is
preheated prior to passing through the air conditioning plant. Fresh air inlets on
the north side of the building feed the roof-mounted AHUs in summer.


89
4.5.3.3 Conclusion

The building is very energy efficient. Its annual energy usage of 112 kWh/m
2
is
only about 25% of that of conventional Japanese office buildings annual usage
of 442 kWh/m
2
during the eighties.



4.6 Concluding remarks

Double-skin faade systems provide greater controllability for the occupants
over the thermal exchange between the perimeter zone of buildings and the
outside environment. Outdoor fresh air can be brought into the interior space of
the built environment through natural ventilation strategies (e.g. stack effect,
displacement ventilation, etc) and unwanted radiant heat can be expelled out
into the external environment.

Even though more research needs to be done in order to explore the full extent
of the capabilities of double-skin faade systems in reducing energy usage,
there have been positive and encouraging results from both the research and
industry fields. In particular from the findings of the case studies in Section 4.5
there is great possibility for the multi-storey faade system to reduce energy
usage in high-rise buildings through the use of natural ventilation strategies.










90
Chapter 5 Computational Fluid Dynamics

This Chapter provides the supportive materials for the used of computational
fluid dynamic simulation in the research and its creditability and accuracy in
modelling complex conditions for double-skin faade buildings.

5.1 Simulating a naturally ventilated double-skin faade

5.1.1 Building simulation programs

During the last three or four decades computer simulations of physical
processes have been used in scientific research and in the analysis and design
of engineered systems. Computer simulations are used for environmental
predictions, in the analysis of surface-water quality, in the risk assessment of
underground nuclear-waste repositories, etc. These kinds of predictions are
beneficial in the development of public policy, in the preparation of safety
procedures, and in the determination of legal liability.

In recent years energy simulation (ES) and computational fluid dynamics
(CFD) programs have been used to provide important information about
building performance in building design. ES programs such as EnergyPlus
(Crawley et al. 2000) provide energy analysis for a whole building and the
heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems used. These
programs produced acceptable convection heat results from enclosures and can
provide reasonably accurate estimations of the building energy consumption
and dynamic thermal behaviors of building envelopes. Information on space-
averaged indoor environmental conditions, cooling/heating loads, coil loads
and energy consumption can be obtained on an hourly or sub-hourly basis for a
period of time ranging from a design day to a reference year. However, most
ES programs assume that the air in an indoor space is well mixed, and cannot
accurately predict building energy consumption for buildings with non-uniform
air temperature distributions in an indoor space such as those with
displacement ventilation systems. Furthermore, the spatially averaged comfort
91
information generated by the single node model of ES cannot satisfy advanced
design requirements. Most ES programs cannot determine accurate airflow
entering a building by natural ventilation, while room air temperature and
heating/cooling load depend on the airflow within the space.

CFD programs such as Fluent (Fluent 6.2, 2001) require more precise and real-
time thermal boundary conditions and can provide detailed predictions of
thermal comfort and indoor air quality, such as the distributions of air velocity,
temperature, relative humidity and contaminant concentrations. The
distributions can be used further to determine thermal comfort and air quality
indices such as the predicted mean vote (PMV), the percentage of people
dissatisfied (PPD) due to discomfort, the percentage dissatisfied (PD) due to
draft, ventilation effectiveness and the mean age of air. These programs can
determine the temperature distribution and convective heat transfer coefficients
and can accurately calculate the natural ventilation rate driven by wind effect,
stack effect, or both. Table 5.1 below shows the comparison between the
typical functions of CFD and ES programs for building performance studies.


Building performance study ES CFD
a) Weather and solar impact Yes No
b) Enclosed thermal behaviors Yes No
c) HVAC system capacity Yes No
d) Energy consumption Yes No
e) Thermal comfort (air temperature, air velocity, relative
humidity,
airflow turbulence, etc)
No Yes
f) Indoor air quality (contaminant concentrations) No Yes
g) Air distribution No Yes

Table 5.1 Comparison of typical functions of ES and CFD programs for
building performance studies

92


5.1.2 Simulating buildings with double-skin faades

The ideal simulation software for modeling buildings with double-skin
faades should be able to:
a) correctly model the outdoor climate
b) correctly model the double-skin faade, i.e. the glass skins, shading
devices, natural or mechanical ventilation, etc
c) correctly model the building, i.e. the connection between the faade
and the building
d) correctly model the control systems that influence the performance of
the building

Of course such ideal software does not exist. Each of the simulation software
has its own strengths and limitations. The choice of the most appropriate
software depends on the main objective of the simulation. For example,
whether the goal is to design a new concept for a double-skin faade, or to
determine the indoor thermal comfort of the building, or its yearly energy
consumption, or to study the condensation risk, or to determine the maximum
indoor temperatures during summertime, etc. would have a bearing on whether
to select an ES program or a CFD program. In the case of a naturally ventilated
double-skin faade, wind speed and wind direction are two important sets of
data required for correctly predicting the ventilation around and within the
building. The solar performance of the faade system is also critical and
therefore detailed data of the solar radiation is required. The simulation
software package chosen to model this special faade construction needs to be
able to model the outdoor climate conditions precisely.

A further difficulty is the prediction of the airflow rate in the cavity of the
faade because of the combined buoyancy (stack effect) and wind effects in
natural convection. The airflow rate is unknown and depends on the
temperature profiles. This combined effect of wind and temperature differences
creates a pressure difference between the inlet and outlet of the faade, which
93
determines the airflow rate in the faade cavity. When wind velocities are low
the stack-effect will be dominant, and if the wind velocities are high the wind-
effect will dominate. There is a transition regime between both effects that
may assist or counteract the overall natural convection conditions.

As in the case of naturally ventilated double-skin faade the airflow rate and
the temperature profiles are mutually dependent, the thermal system must be
solved iteratively. There are two choices of method to achieve the goal of
accurately simulating the combined effect of heat and mass flow, i.e. to use a
CFD program, or to use an ES program coupled with a CFD program (Hensen
et al., 2002).


5.1.3 Coupling CFD and building energy simulations

Building energy simulation (ES) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
programs provide essential information about building thermal performance
such as space cooling and heating loads, distributions of indoor air velocity,
temperature and humidity, contaminant concentrations, etc. This information is
important for assessing thermal comfort, indoor air quality and the energy
consumption of a building. In recent years attempts have been made to couple
these two programs in order to provide more accurate predictions of building
behavior (Zhai et al., 2002, 2006). Zhai and Chen (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006)
explored the principles, methodologies, strategies, implementation and
performance of the ES-CFD thermal coupling, and later Wang and Wong
(2006) experimented with the coupling as a natural ventilation strategy in
tropical conditions. Their studies showed that a unique coupled solution may
exist in theory, but different coupling methods can lead to different
performance solutions in terms of computing accuracy, stability and speed.

Further research on the subject has verified that the data coupling method,
which transfers interior surface temperatures of enclosures from ES to CFD,
and returns convective heat transfer coefficients and indoor air temperature
gradients from CFD to ES, is the most reliable and efficient coupling method
94
(Zhai and Chen, 2006). Zhai and Chen also proposed a staged coupling strategy
that could reduce the total computing time of a coupling simulation, and
developed a prototype of an integrated ES-CFD building simulation tool to
further examine the accuracy of the results. While the concept and coupling
methodology of the combined ES and CFD programs are still in the process of
maturation, designers are left with the option of using either the ES program or
the CFD program in simulating specific domains for building performance
studies.


5.1.4 The choice of using a CFD program

Since this research is concerned with finding out whether a double-skin faade
is viable for providing energy saving through natural ventilation to high-rise
buildings in the tropics, and more specifically in the context of Singapore, the
conditions that constitute acceptable indoor thermal comfort for high-rise
buildings in the studied context need to be determined with the use of double-
skin faade through natural ventilation strategies. In order to achieve this it
requires numerous simulation runs with different combinations of faade
configurations and outdoor conditions, and certainly with a high degree of
accuracy in the results produced.

In view of the capabilities of ES programs and of CFD programs, as discussed
above and compared in Table 5.1, and of the goal of the research, it was found
that using a CFD program had the potential to achieve the main objective of the
simulation and to produce acceptably accurate results. More importantly, a
CFD program can accurately simulate a naturally ventilated double-skin faade
building.

Therefore, on the basis of the functionalities and the abilities of both types of
programs, the specific goals and requirements of this study determined the
selection of a CFD rather than an ES program, to formulate the numerical
models needed to investigate the issues at hand.

95
5.2 CFD software

5.2.1 Theoretical background for CFD software

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) uses three fundamental conservation
principles involving mass, momentum and energy for simulation. The
simplified governing equations are given below (Airpak Users Manual):


a) Conservation of mass (continuity equation)

t

+ ( ) i u
xi

= 0, (5.1.1)

where is the density of fluid, t is the time, u
i
is the velocity vector
component (u, v, w) and x
i
is the Cartesian coordinate axis of x, y
and z representing space/volume.

b) Conservation of momentum

( ) i u
t

+ ( ) j i
j
u u
x

= -
i x
p

+
j x

|
.
|

\
|

i
j
j
i
x
u
x
u
+ i f , (5.1.2)

where p represents pressure, indicates kinetic viscosity and f
i
is
the body force per unit mass acting on the fluid particles/elements
in x, y or z direction.

c) Conservation of energy

t

( H) +
i x

( u
i
H) =
(

i p i x
H
c
K
x
+ S
H
, (5.1.3)


96
where H is the enthalpy, K is the thermal conductivity of the
element, c
p
is the specific heat and S is a source term.

The above Navier-Stokes and energy equations are applicable to viscous flow
where the transport phenomena of friction, thermal conduction and/or mass
diffusion are concerned. The Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes method
(RANS) is then introduced to model turbulence properties by using mean
turbulent flow to average the flow equations over a time scale much larger than
the turbulent motion. Many turbulence models have been developed based on
RANS, namely one equation model and two equation models such as standard
k- and RNG k-, and the Reynolds-stress model.


5.2.2 Grid resolution in CFD software

Numerical procedure is important for achieving accurate results. In most cases
one would demand a grid-independent solution. Chen and Zhai (2003) have
used Fishers (1995) measured data to investigate the difference that grid
resolution makes to CFD results. They used four sets of grids to simulate the
indoor airflow, namely a coarse grid (22 x17 x 15 = 5,610 cells), a moderate
grid (44 x 34 x 30 = 44,880 cells), a fine grid (66 x 51 x 45 = 151,470 cells)
and a locally refined coarse grid (27 x 19 x 17 = 8,721 cells) that has the same
resolution in the near-wall regions as the fine grid.

When comparing the predicted temperature gradient along the vertical central
line of the room, a course grid resolution was found not to produce a
satisfactory result. The moderate and fine grid distributions produced quite
similar temperature profiles and could be considered as grid independent. They
found that instead of using a global refined grid that may need long
computational time, a locally refined course grid could effectively predict
airflow and heat transfer for indoor airflow investigations.



97
5.2.3 Verification and validation in CFD

Verification and validation are the primary means to assess accuracy and
reliability in computational simulations. Verification is the assessment of the
accuracy of the solution of a computational model by comparison with known
solutions. Validation is the assessment of the accuracy of a computational
simulation by comparison with experimental data. In validation the relationship
between computation and the real world, i.e. the experimental data, is
important, whilst in verification the relationship of simulation to the real world
is not critical. Therefore verification is primarily a mathematical issue and
validation is primarily a physics issue.

Oberkampf and Trucano (2002) extensively addressed the fundamental issues
in verification and validation, such as code verification versus solution
verification, model validation versus solution validation, the distinction
between error and uncertainty, conceptual sources of error and uncertainty, and
the relationship between validation and prediction. They found that the
fundamental strategy of verification is the identification and quantification of
errors in the computational model and its solution, and the fundamental
strategy of validation is to assess how accurately the computational results
compare with the experimental data, with quantified error and uncertainty
estimates for both. In verification activities the accuracy of a computational
solution is primarily measured relative to two types of highly accurate
solutions: analytical solutions and numerical solutions. In validation strategy a
hierarchical methodology that segregates and simplifies the physical and
coupling phenomena involved in the complex engineering system of interest is
employed.


5.2.4 Constraints for CFD simulation

CFD simulation has become less expensive and results have been able to be
obtained faster in the past few of years because of developments in computing
power and capacity. CFD used to be applied to test flow and heat transfer
98
conditions where experimental testing could prove to be very difficult and
expensive. However the CFD results could not always be trusted because of the
assumptions used in the modeling, and the approximations used in simulation
to simplify the complex real problem of an indoor environment. Although a
CFD simulation can always give a result, it may not necessarily be the correct
result.

In order to illustrate some of the practical problems encountered in using CFD
for modeling an indoor environment, Figure 5.1 gives the example of the initial
research work of this thesis in modeling a simple small office room with
displacement ventilation. The room was 3.5m wide, 5.5m deep and 2.7m high
with cold air supply through 2 diffusers at the lower part of the rear wall of the
office. The basic heat sources in the room were computers, occupants and
lighting. Warm air was exhausted naturally through the buoyancy effect from
the front window and expelled through the double-skin faade through the
stack effect. Air temperature, air velocity and relative humidity were the main
parameters used and measured. The study used the standard k- model of
RANS. Some of the more important problems found in this initial simulation
task were as follows:

difficulty in selecting an appropriate turbulence model for the study
difficulty in setting correct boundary conditions
selection of an appropriate grid resolution
estimating the convective heat from the heat sources
using the correct relaxation factors and internal iteration numbers for
simulation


99


Figure 5.1 Isometric view of the office room


Using CFD for simulating the specific problem of an indoor environment is not
an easy task and it requires much understanding of the tool itself. An example
of this encountered in simulating the above task was how to model the supply
air diffusers appropriately and to estimate the appropriate convective heat to
the heat sources in the room. A commercial software package like Airpak
(Airpak, 2003) from Fluent has a library of diffusers that can be selected to
simulate an array of complex diffusers and a whole library range of heat
sources for accurate computation. Without such a library one would find that
only experienced CFD users would know how to model those items properly.

Most CFD programs are generalized and designed to solve flow and heat and
mass transfer, not just to simulate indoor environments. Therefore a user can
fine-tune the parameters and select the many options provided by the program
100
to obtain a result. With different tuning values the CFD results are often not the
same. ASHRAE has developed a guide for using CFD to simulate indoor
environments. The guide helps to establish a CFD model that can simulate a
specific problem and that should be used for verification, validation and
reporting of CFD indoor environment analysis (Chen and Srebric, 2002).



5.3 Research into CFD simulation for building design

5.3.1 CFD simulation in building design

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has become a useful tool for designers
in the study of indoor and outdoor environment conditions in building designs.
It is an effective research facility providing large quantities of data that is
complementary to experimental measurements (Fletcher et. al., 2001). CFD
technique has been applied with considerable success in building design and
the advantages in analysing ventilation performance have been reported by
Murakami and Liddament (1992) as the parameters such as air velocity and
relative humidity solved by CFD are critical for designing an acceptable indoor
comfort environment. Stankovic (Internet page of Technology, Environmental
Engineering in The Tropics, http://www.sia.org.sg) found that the accuracy of
CFD results is critically dependent on boundary conditions. The highest
accuracy of the boundary conditions is normally achieved by combining the
measured specific site data with dynamic thermal simulations.
Papakonstantinou et al. (2000) has demonstrated that numerical solutions for
ventilation problems can be obtained quickly and in good agreement with the
experimental measurements. Computational results are realistic and in good
agreement with the experimental measurements and that computer simulations
are capable of assisting the designer to optimize in building design.

Jaros et al. (2002) established that the characteristics of CFD solved problems
could be grouped under the following:
101

with problems of interest that are transient (unsteady) with time-
variable boundary conditions (e.g. the direction and intensity of solar
radiation, the outdoor temperature, etc)
where fluid flow is predominantly driven by buoyancy forces (natural
or mixed convection)
where heat transfer arrives simultaneously by conduction (in solids),
convection and thermal/solar radiation (in fluid)
where temperature fields have to be solved simultaneously in solids and
surrounding fluids (i.e. conjugate heat transfer problem)

They also found that solar radiation (short wavelength) and thermal radiation
(long wavelength) should be handled separately in CFD simulation. Diffusive
solar irradiation is significant on cloudy days because on clear days the
diffusive intensity of solar radiation accounts for less than 12% of the direct
radiation. The correct choice of the type of fluid flow is a very important aspect
of the CFD simulation too. There are usually regions with and without
turbulence in the same space. The model of turbulence must be able to deal
with laminar and transitional flow at the same time and the RNG k- model of
turbulence appears to be the most suitable choice.

Gan (1995a, 1995b) has carried out detailed research into the effects of
displacement ventilation in building deign using CFD simulation. He used the
standard k-e turbulence model for the prediction of indoor air flow patterns,
temperature and moisture distributions, and taking account of heat transfer by
conduction, convection and radiation. The thermal comfort level and draught
risk are predicted by incorporating Fangers comfort equations in the airflow
model. He found that common complaints of local thermal discomfort in
offices with low turbulent air flow such as displacement ventilation often result
from unsatisfactory thermal sensation rather than draught itself or alone.
Decreasing supply air velocity or increasing supply air temperature reduces the
potential cold thermal discomfort. Optimal supply air conditions of a
displacement system vary with the distance between the occupant and air
diffuser besides cooling load and load distribution. Thermal discomfort in the
102
displacement-ventilated offices can be avoided by optimizing the supply air
velocity and temperatures.

In evaluating room air distribution systems Gan (1995b) uses air-flow model
based on the continuity equation, Navier-Stokes equation, thermal energy
equation and concentration equation together with the k-e turbulence model
equations. He found that the most effective air distribution system for heating
does not coincide with that for cooling. An air supply system that results in
upward displacement flow performs better than conventional air supply
systems such as ceiling diffuser or sidewall slot jet. The supply air velocity for
displacement ventilation should be appropriate so that fresh air can reach
occupants without causing draught. The performance of displacement
ventilation system can be further enhanced when used with a chilled ceiling,
especially when heat gains in the room are large.

Gan (2001) in his research on thermal transmission through the double-skin
facades used CFD for predicting the convective heat transfer coefficient,
thermal resistance and thermal transmittance for a double-glazing unit. The unit
was an unventilated enclosure and the flow within it would be buoyancy-
induced natural convection. A numerical method for predicting the thermal
transmittance of multiple glazing systems under both laminar and turbulent
regimes is presented. The findings are:

o The accuracy of the numerical prediction was found to be influenced by
the turbulence models employed.
o The convective heat transfer coefficient, thermal resistance and thermal
transmittance vary with the air space width between glazing panes up to
about 25mm. After which, the convective heat transfer coefficient
increases slightly with air space.
o Both the convective heat transfer coefficient and thermal transmittance
increase linearly with the temperature difference between the hot &
cold panes of glass.
o The effect of the temperature difference across an air space on the
convective heat transfer coefficient is significant.
103
o For moderate climate conditions, the effect of the temperature
difference on the thermal transmittance may be considered negligible.


MIT (Chen and Srebric, 2000) has developed several Reynolds Averaged
Navier-Stokes (RANS) equation models and Large Eddy Simulation (LES)
models to enhance the capabilities of CFD for use in indoor and outdoor
environment design. The new models have been used to assess building shape
design, to evaluate the effectiveness of natural ventilation in buildings, to
model Volatile-Organic-Compound (VOC) emissions from building materials,
and to calculate indoor environment parameters. A two-layer turbulence model,
a single k-equation turbulence model for near-wall flow and the standard k-
model for flow in the outer-wall region, could accurately predict heat transfer
on a wall. The computing time needed is slightly higher than the standard k-e
model but much lower than a low-Reynolds number k- model. A zero-
equation model (a single algebraic function) is used to simulate transient flow
that significantly reduces computing costs. The coupling with an energy
simulation program gives more accurate results for building energy analysis
and indoor environment design. A new dynamic sub grid-scale model is used
to predict indoor airflow without a homogenous flow direction. The model uses
two different filters to obtain the model coefficient as a function of space and
time. The model can accurately predict flow in a room with a heated floor and
in an office with displacement ventilation.

Manz (2003a, 2003b) used overall convective heat transfer in an air layer
within a rectangular cavity was calculated using CFD code (Flovent ver. 3.1
with revised k- turbulence model with logarithmic wall functions) and
compared with correlations based mainly on experimental results. The
calculated Nusselt numbers do not deviate more than 20% from analytical
correlations. A grid independence analysis showed that variations in grid
spacing had only a very minor impact on the calculated Nusselt numbers.
Flovent is currently being applied to double-skin facades with ventilated or
unventilated cavities that include a shading device. The work involves
combining an optical model for determining absorbed solar radiation in layers
104
of faade elements such as glass panes, roller blinds, etc with CFD modeling
with the objective of increasing the reliability of predictions of these elements
thermal transmission and total solar energy transmission.

Zhai et al. (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006) used the techniques of coupling energy
simulation (ES) programs with CFD simulations (an integrated program
E+MIT-CFD which developed by coupling an ES program E+ with CFD
solver MIT-CFD) to provide energy analysis for a whole building and the
heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems used. Space-
averaged indoor environmental conditions, cooling/heating loads, coil loads,
and energy consumption can be obtained on an hourly or sub-hourly basis for a
period of time ranging from a design day to a reference year.

They found that:

CFD programs make detailed predictions of thermal comfort and indoor
air quality, such as the distributions of air velocity, temperature, relative
humidity and contaminant concentrations. The programs could
determine thermal comfort and air quality indices such as the predicted
mean vote (PMV), the percentage of people dissatisfied (PPD) which
due to discomfort, the percentage dissatisfied (PD) which due to draft,
ventilation effectiveness and the mean age of air.
CFD can determine the temperature distribution and convective heat
transfer coefficients. It can accurately calculate natural ventilation rate
driven by wind effect, stack effect, or both.
CFD needs information such as heating/cooling load and wall surface
temperatures from ES as inputs.
CFD applies numerical techniques to solve the Navier-Stokes equations
for fluid flow. It also solves the conservation equation of mass for the
contaminant species and the conservation equation of energy for
building thermal comfort and indoor air quality analysis.
For buoyancy-driven flows, the Buossinesq approximation, which
ignores the effect of pressure changes on density, is usually employed.
105
The buoyancy-driven force is treated as a source term in the momentum
equations.
CFD solves the equations by discretizing the equations with the finite-
volume method. The spatial continuum is divided into a finite number
of discrete cells, and finite time-steps are used for dynamic problems.
The discrete equations can be solved together with the corresponding
boundary conditions. Iteration is necessary to achieve a converged
solution.
The accuracy of CFD prediction is highly sensitive to the boundary
conditions supplied (assumed) by the user. The boundary conditions for
CFD simulation of indoor air flows relate to the inlet (supply), outlet
(exhaust), enclosure surfaces, and internal objects. The temperature,
velocity and turbulence of the air entering from diffusers or windows
determine the inlet conditions, while the interior surface convective
heat transfers in terms of surface temperatures or heat fluxes are for the
enclosures. These boundary conditions are crucial for the accuracy of
the CFD results.
Room air has a characteristic time of a few seconds while building
envelope has a few hours. CFD simulation must be performed over a
long period for the thermal performance of the building envelope, but it
must use a small time-step to account for the room air characteristics.


5.3.2 CFD approaches in indoor environment simulation

Indoor environments consist of four major components, namely the thermal
environment, indoor air quality, acoustics and the lighting environment.
Building thermal environment and indoor air quality include parameters like air
temperature, air velocity, relative humidity, environmental temperature,
contaminant and particulate concentrations, etc. CFD programs can be used
particularly to deal with problems associated with thermal environment, indoor
air quality and building safety because the programs solve these important
parameters.

106
The applications of CFD in indoor environments are very wide and there are a
number of recent examples of its application for natural ventilation design
(Carrilho da Grace et al., 2002), the study of building material emissions for
indoor air quality assessment (Topp et al., 2001; Murakami et al., 2003),
building elements design (Manz, 2003) and for building energy and thermal
comfort simulations (Bartak et al., 2002; Beausoleil-Morrison, 2002; Zhai and
Chen, 2003). Jiang and Chen (2002) found out that the outdoor environment
has a significant impact on the indoor environment, especially in buildings with
natural ventilation. They recommended that both of the indoor and outdoor
environments together with the combined indoor and outdoor airflow needed to
be studied together.

Almost all the flows in indoor environments are turbulent. CFD can analyse
these turbulent flows by different means, namely direct numerical simulation,
large eddy simulation (LES) and the Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes
equations with turbulence models (RANS).

Direct numerical simulation computes turbulent flow by solving the highly
reliable Navier-Stokes equation without approximations. It requires a very fine
grid resolution to capture the smallest eddies in the turbulent flow in very small
time steps, even for a steady-state flow. Direct numerical simulation would
therefore require a very fast computer and even then it would take years of
computing time to predict an indoor environment.

Large eddy simulation (LES) separates turbulent motion into large eddies and
small eddies (Deardorff, 1970). The method computes the large eddies in a
three-dimensional and time dependent way, while estimating the small eddies
with a sub grid-scale model. When the grid size is sufficiently small, the impact
of the sub grid-scale model on the flow motion is negligible. Sub grid-scale
models tend to be universal because turbulent flow on a very small scale seems
to be isotropic. Since the flow information obtained from sub grid-scale may
not be as important as that from large-scale grids, LES can be used as a general
and accurate tool to study engineering flows. LES has been successfully
applied to study airflow in and around buildings (Emmerich and McGrattan,
107
1998; Jiang and Chen, 2002; Kato et al., 2003), and is much faster than direct
numerical simulation, but it requires a large computer capacity and a long
computing time for predicting indoor environments.

The Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes equations (RANS) with turbulence
models solve the statically averaged Navier-Stokes equations by using
turbulence transport models to simplify the calculation of the turbulence effect.
The use of turbulence models can significantly reduce the requirements for
computer memory and speed and problems can be solved in a few hours of
computing time with a modern PC. The RANS modeling provides detailed
information on indoor environments. The method has been successfully applied
to the analysis of indoor airflow and thermal comfort and of indoor air quality
(Ladeinde and Nearon, 1997). Whether it is LES or RANS modeling, boundary
conditions must be specified in order for the highly nonlinear and interrelated
equations to be used to solve a specific problem of the indoor environment.



5.4 A case study of a CFD simulation for double-skin faade

Grabe et al. (2001) carried out a detailed study of the effects of ventilation with
double-skin faades which provides important guidelines in using CFD
simulation for double-skin faade investigation. They determined that the
simulation of a double-skin faade must yield the following information:

a) The air mass flow through the faade gap to control the possibility
of natural ventilation of the room behind.
b) The temperature of the faade air related to the height of the faade,
which determines the temperature of the supply air in the case of
natural ventilation. It also helps in estimating the cooling load
required in the case of conditioning.
c) The temperature of the faade perimeter to predict possible
deformations of the materials due to thermal elongation.
108

5.4.1 Thermal considerations

In their study Grabe et al. determined that the heat flow was one dimension and
the air mass flow was one directional in either the positive or negative y-
direction. There was no consideration of any diagonal flow or any local,
secondary and reverse currents. The temperature function for the shaft air over
the height of the system was based on the energy transport equation. Only
steady state conditions were considered and single heat sources did not occur.
The molecular heat transport within the air was not considered, only the net
heat flow into and out of the gap in a positive or negative x-direction. The
convective transport was taken as the net heat flow in the main y-direction.

The heat transfer depended on the Rayleigh number, which was determined by
thermal diffusivity, temperature differences and the height of the surface. The
radiative heat exchange between the surfaces and the heat exchange between
the system and the ambient climate was also considered.

The thermal driving force in all buildings constructed with double-skin facades
is always the suns radiation that is absorbed by the surfaces of the double
faade. These surfaces are mainly the shading device, the inner pane and the
outer pane. The absorbed energy, determined by the solar intensity and the
absorption coefficient of the material, leads to an energy flow to and from the
element to its surrounding (either shaft air by convection, the other planes by
radiation or to the external/internal climate by both). The shaft air temperatures
and the constant solar energy together with the temperature of the internal and
external climate determine the temperatures of the surfaces.


5.4.2 Fluid dynamics considerations

In this study only buoyancy forces were considered for the motion of the air.
The sum of energy per mass (Nm/kg) according to the Bernoulli equation
remains the same between point 1 and point 2 of a streamline and may only
109
change its character between static, dynamic, potential and dissipated energy.
The equation is only applicable for systems with constant density p. If a system
is divided into a number of finite subsystems and the fluid properties are
regarded as constant for each subsystem, the pressure might be related to the
respective density. Only 2 subsystems were chosen the external air and the
faade air and only the pressure difference between inside and outside was
considered. With buoyancy driven natural ventilation it is very common to
determine the dissipated energy in a similar way to the determination of the
turbulence losses of pipes.

The temperature distribution over the height of a double-skin faade is
dependent on the mass flow through it. On the other hand the air velocity is
dependent on the density of the air, which is determined by the temperature of
the air. Therefore, the problem has to be solved by an iteration process.


5.4.3 Modelling of the faade

The physical model was closed to the external climate and opened to the
internal climate. It was still fully exposed to the external temperature and to
solar radiation but ventilated with internal air. This also avoided the effect of
wind pressure on the ventilation of the faade. The total height of the faade
was 2.05m, the breadth 0.95m and the total depth (both shafts) was 0.24m.

The monitored results were the flow resistance, especially at the inlet and outlet
of the double-skin faade. The best predicted result observed was to model
both the inlet and outlet as a flange with an abrupt enlargement to the duct
diameter and a diffuser with a preceding abrupt contraction.


5.4.4 Findings

Assuming the same flow conditions for natural ventilation as those used for
mechanical ventilation caused the main problem found. The driving force for
110
natural ventilation is the reduction of the density due to the increase in air
temperature. This increase is greater near the heat sources and thus near the
panes and shading device. The ventilation could be non-symmetrical because
of different magnitudes of the heat sources.

The flow conditions in the double-skin faade were found to be turbulent and
with increasing turbulence the velocity profile became more similar to the
turbulent profile of the pipe flow. This could lead to a better prediction since
resistance factors are usually determined under turbulent conditions. The
researchers found that when using the resistance factor for analysing the flow
characteristics of buoyancy driven ventilation one runs the risk of ending up
with the wrong results.



5.5 Review of several building simulation software packages

5.5.1 Apache software

Apache is a component of the IES Virtual Environment software that is capable
of performing dynamic thermal simulation using hourly weather data. Its
application includes thermal design (heating, cooling and latent load
calculations), equipment sizing, codes and standards checks, dynamic building
thermal performance analysis, systems and controls performance, and energy
use.

The software has a range of building analysis functions including HVAC
systems designs with a strong links with CAD and provides rigorous analysis
and visualization of shading and solar penetration of building designs.
Geometrical building data may be imported from a range of CAD systems via
customized links or DXF files. Building and climatic information can be input
via graphical interfaces and is supported by extensive databases. The output
results are presented in tabular and graphical form and can be exported in a
111
variety of common formats. The software will run on a standard PC with a
minimum 100MB of Ram and it only takes a few days to learn the basic
modules to start any meaningful simulation work.


5.5.2 Flovent software

Flovent software uses CFD techniques to resolve issues in the design and
optimization of ventilation systems. It can calculate and predict airflow, heat
transfer and contamination distribution for built environments. Users will input
building geometry, ambient temperature, the flow rate for air supplies, the
thermal conductivity of solid items, etc. for simulation runs and the output
results are presented in 3-D visualizations of predicted air velocity, temperature
profile streamlines and contaminant concentrations for the built environments.
The software runs on either the Windows NT or UNIX platform and it requires
some degree of knowledge of ventilation systems to master the program.


5.5.3 Microflo software

Microflo is part of the IES Virtual Environment software. It uses CFD
simulation techniques coupled dynamically with thermal simulation for a full
building analysis. It can assess building airflow, air quality and thermal
performance, solving the 3D non-isothermal continuity, momentum, energy
and species conservation equations, and incorporating the k-e turbulence model
using the finite difference method.

The software provides a high level graphical user interface for pre-processing,
including creating 3D models, mesh generation, defining boundary conditions,
run monitoring, etc. It has extensive graphical post-processing tools which
provide coloured cut-planes for any selected variable, 3D arrows with variable
coloring, animated airflow streamlines, 3D animation, flying through, etc.
Currently only orthogonal objects can be used due to the restriction of the
Cartesian co-ordinate system of the program. Non-orthogonal objects like
112
polygons and cylinders will automatically be reformatted into orthogonal
prisms during the mesh generation.

It requires a large amount of memory and of hard disk space to run, and
knowledge of CFD, and an understanding of the environmental physics of
buildings are desirable for using the program.


5.5.4 Phoenics software

Phoenics is a general purpose CFD program that can simulate fluid movement
and heat transfer for a wide variety of applications. It can predict smoke spread
and ventilation in buildings, fire modeling in and around buildings, internal
airflows in ventilated spaces, thermal comfort, contaminant spread and
deposition of airborne sediment, etc. Flair is a reduced version of Phoenics for
use in analyzing airflows in air conditioning and ventilation systems and fire or
smoke spread in buildings.

The software requires very detailed input of the CFD model, for example
details of each inlets and outlets including their attributes, and details of the
domain grid and initialization for the simulation. The program solves for
pressure, temperature, velocity, contamination or smoke and any fluid property
desired to be determined, and display the outputs through 3D visualization of
the domain and plots isosurfaces and streamlines.

It runs on standard PCs but the software requires considerable experience and
knowledge of CFD to be able to obtain accurate results.


5.5.5 Airpak software

Airpak is an easy-to-use design tool for the design and analysis of ventilation
systems that are required to provide acceptable thermal comfort and indoor air
quality solutions. It can accurately model airflow, heat transfer, contaminant
113
transport, and thermal comfort in any ventilation system, as well as external
building flows. Computer models can easily be built for the required
application and quickly tested for a variety of design options to find the best
solution. The software can reduce risks for new designs and improve the
efficiency of current designs, and eliminates the guesswork in designing
ventilation systems for non-standard and one-of-a-kind facilities.

Simulation models can be built with Airpaks object-oriented model building
tools or imported from CAD. Users can specify the ventilation system design,
including types, flow rates, temperatures, and locations of air inlet diffusers
and exhausts; define the thermal boundary conditions that represent heating
loads of occupants, lighting, equipment and external conditions including solar
loads; and define humidity and contaminant boundary conditions. The output
capabilities of the software include full-colour animation, pictures, and plots of
ventilation airflows showing airflow patterns, air turbulence, room air
distribution, temperature distribution, thermal comfort conditions, and
contaminant distribution as well as the ability to automatically generate
detailed quantitative reports specified by the user.

It runs on either Windows, Unix or Linux platforms and users can start using
the software after one day of training.


5.5.6 Conclusion

Besides the reasons given in Section 5.1 for using CFD software instead of ES
software for the purpose of this study, there are still questions regarding which
commercially available CFD software is the most appropriate to be used for the
very specific simulation work of the research.

As the study had to consider the constraints of time, the availability of suitable
software and hardware, and limitations on funding, the criteria for the selection
included the following:

114
Ease of use in terms of user input and learning curve for the software
The ability of the software to quickly test different design options for
the best solution
The software had to allow for user determination of the required
ventilation system design and various boundary conditions that relate to
indoor thermal comfort
The software had to be able to produce reliable results for airflow
patterns, temperature distributions and thermal comfort conditions
The software could be supported by any standard PC in terms of
required RAM memory and hard disk space
The software could be obtained and maintained within the research
budget

In assessing several of the available commercial CFD software packages
described above, Airpak software was found to have obvious advantages over
the others in terms of the listed criteria for the purpose of this research, which
was to find out the viability of double-skin faades in a hot and humid climate
to reduce energy usage in high-rise buildings.



5.6 Airpak CFD software

5.6.1 The Airpak CFD software

Airpak uses object-based model building tools and libraries coupled with
automatic unstructured meshing that enables complex model of building. It
uses the FLUENT CFD solver engine for thermal and fluid-flow calculations.
Its post-processing features also allow results to be tabulated easily for any
ventilation problems at hand. (Airpak Users Manual, 2003)

115
In conducting solid regions, Airpak solves a simple conduction equation that
includes the heat flux due to conduction and volumetric heat sources within the
solid as shown in the following equation:


t

( H) = [ ] T K + S
H
(5.1.4)

where is density, K is conductivity, T is temperature and S
H
is the
volumetric heat source.

Equation 5.1.4 is solved simultaneously with the energy transport equation
5.1.3 in the flow regions (see Section 5.2), to yield a fully coupled
conduction/convection heat transfer prediction.

Airpak predicts the local mass fraction of each species, Y
i
, through the solution
of a convection-diffusion equation for the ith species. This conservation
equation for species takes the following general form:


t

( Y
i
) + ( ) i Y

= - i J

+ S
i
(5.1.5)

where S
i
is the rate of creation by addition from user-defined sources.
An equation in this form will be solved for N-1 species where N is the
total number of fluid phase species present in the system.

There are four turbulence models available in Airpak, namely the mixing-
length zero-equation model, the indoor zero-equation model, the two-equation
(standard k-e) model, and the RNG k-e model. In turbulent flows Airpak
computes the mass diffusion in the following form:

i J

= -
|
.
|

\
|
+
t
t
m i
Sc
D

, Y
i
(5.1.6)

116
where Sc
t
is the turbulent Schmidt number,
t
t
D

(with a default
setting of 0.7).


5.6.2 Buoyancy-driven flows and natural convection in Airpak

Airpak uses either the Boussinesq model or the ideal gas law in the calculation
of natural-convection flows.

The importance of buoyancy forces in a mixed convection flow can be
measured by the ratio of the Grashof and Reynolds numbers as follow:


2
Re
Gr
=
2
v
TL g
(5.1.7)

When this number approaches or exceeds unity, a strong buoyancy contribution
to the flow is expected. Conversely, if it is very small, buoyancy forces may be
ignored in the simulation.

In pure natural ventilation, the Rayleigh number measures the strength of the
buoyancy-induced flow as follows:

Ra =


3
TL g
(5.1.8)

where is the thermal expansion coefficient of = -
p
T
|
.
|

\
|

1
and
is the thermal diffusivity of =
p c
k

.

Rayleigh numbers less than 10
8
indicate a buoyancy-induced laminar flow,
with transition to turbulence occurring over the range of 10
8
< Ra < 10
10
.

117

5.6.3 Radiation simulation in Airpak

The terms radioactive heat transfer and thermal radiation are commonly used to
describe heat transfer caused by electromagnetic waves. All materials
continually emit and absorb electromagnetic waves or photons. The strength
and wavelength of emissions depends on the temperature of the emitting
material. At absolute zero K no radiation is emitted from a surface. Airpak only
consider the wavelengths in the infrared spectrum for heat transfer applications
in its simulation and it provides two models for radiation heat transfer
simulations, namely the surface-to-surface (S2S) radiation model and the
discrete ordinates (DO) radiation model.


5.6.4 Solution procedures in Airpak

Airpak solves the governing integral equations for mass and momentum, and
when appropriate for energy, species transport, and other scalars such as
turbulence. A control-volume-based technique is used with the procedures as
follows:

a) Division of the domain into discrete control volumes using a
computational grid.
b) Integration of the governing equations in the individual control volumes
to construct algebraic equations for the discrete dependent variables
such as velocities, pressure, temperature and conserved scalars.
c) Linearization of the discretized equations and solution of the resultant
linear equation system to yield updated values of the dependent
variables.

The governing equations are solved sequentially, and because the equations are
not linear several iterations of the solution loop must be performed before a
converged solution is obtained. Each iteration consists of the steps outlined
below and illustrated in Figure 5.2:
118

a) Fluid properties are updated based on the current solution. If the
calculation has just begun the fluid properties will be updated based on
the initialized solution.
b) The u, v and w momentum equations are each solved in turn using
current values for pressure and face mass fluxes, in order to update the
velocity field.
c) Since the velocity obtained in Step (b) may not satisfy the continuity
equation locally, a Poisson-type equation for the pressure correction
is derived from the continuity equation and the linearized momentum
equations. This pressure correction equation is then solved to obtain the
necessary corrections to the pressure and velocity fields and the face
mass fluxes such that continuity is satisfied.
d) Where appropriate, equations for scalars such as turbulence, energy,
species and radiation are solved using the previously updated values of
the other variables.
e) A check for convergence of the equation set is made.
f) The above steps are continued until the convergence criteria are met.








119









Figure 5.2 Overview of the solution method



5.6.5 The validation of Airpak software

A traditional approach for examining whether a CFD result is correct is by
comparing the CFD result with corresponding experimental data. The
validation of the Airpak software was carried out by comparing the simulation
results from Airpak with the experimental and simulation results from another
commercial simulation software called FloVent, which was carried out by
Manz (2003). The measured hourly outdoor air temperatures shown in Graph
5.1 were used for piecewise linear interpolation for the transient simulations.
Update
properties
Solve
momentum
equations
Solve pressure-correction (continuity) equation
Update pressure, face mass flow rate
Solve energy, species, turbulence and
other scalar equations
Converged?

STOP
120
The simulation model for the validation is shown in Figure 5.3 and one of the
comparison results is shown in Graph 5.2 below. Series 1 are the measured
surface temperatures for the inner pane in the experimental results at
Measurement Point 2, and Series 2 are the simulation results from Airpak. Both
results were analyzed and compared and it was found that the variation was
within 5% of the acceptable error tolerance.




Figure 5.3 Simulation model used for the validation constructed in Airpak
(Source: according to Manz, 2003)





Inner pane measurement
point 2
121













Graph 5.1 Measured hourly outdoor temperatures
(Source: Numerical simulation of heat transfer by natural convection in
cavities of faade elements by Manz., 2003)


0
5
10
15
20
25
30
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23
Time (h)
I
n
n
e
r

P
a
n
e

S
u
r
f
a
c
e

T
e
m
p

(
C
)
Series1
Series2


Graph 5.2 Measured results (Series 1) vs. Airpak simulation results (Series 2)
(Source: Manz., 2003 and Wong, 2008)

0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
1 4 7 10 13 16 19 22 25
Time (h)
A
i
r

T
e
m
p

(
C
)
Outdoor
Temp
122

The software is selected to be used in this research to model the complex
energy transfer of the double-skin faade in view of the capabilities and good
interface of the Airpak software discussed above. The software is used to
optimise the appropriate opening sizes on the glazing, the width of the
intermediate space and the ventilation rate through the internal office space.



5.7 Conclusion

This Chapter has given a detailed analysis of the background to the choice of
appropriate software to be used for this research, and has demonstrated why
Airpak CFD software was chosen. The next chapter will describe the thinking
underlying the process of selection for a suitable methodology for this research.


















123
Chapter 6 Research Methodology

This Chapter provides the research methodology for the modelling of the high-
rise double-skin faade building using computational fluid dynamic simulation
and set out the knowledge gap and goals for the research.

6.1 Introduction

Architectural research has been conducted throughout the history of
architecture and the development of particular structural forms and building
materials is the outcome of systematic experimentation and observation, and
the application of such building principles to the building projects. On the other
hand, recent development in architectural research has seen its domain
spanning more broadly across a range of topic areas such as design methods,
climate and structural studies, and energy conservation.

Given the breadth and complexity of architectural research, James Snyder in
his edited book titled Architectural Research defined research as systematic
inquiry directed toward the creation of knowledge (Snyder, 1984). It
suggested that the inquiry is systematic in some way and there is a conscious
separation of particular information from our daily experience, and how the
information is categorised, analysed and presented. The creation of knowledge
is not only referred to the grand theories of sciences but new knowledge can
also be attained through different means like testing materials from a number
of building projects; and evaluating different window configurations for better
thermal and wind resistance.

Architectural research is vitally important because of the ever-increasing
proportion of architectural practice involves into unfamiliar domains beyond
the expertise of individual practitioners and beyond the conventional
understanding of the profession as a whole. For example if a project is for a
particular user group with brain disorder whose specific requirements for the
physical environment are not well documented. In this instance, an in-depth
124
research into the matter will certainly helps to develop a satisfactory and
functional built environment for the users. Therefore, architectural research
also important in the success and viability of the profession, in that sense, and
should be pursued continuously for the common good.



6.2 Research strategies in architectural research

In their book titled Architectural Research Methods, Groat and Wang (2002)
had identified seven research strategies in architectural research. They are
interpretive-historical research, qualitative research, correlational research,
experimental research, simulation research, logical argumentation research, and
case studies and mixed-method research.

The interpretive-historical research strategy draws upon evidence derived from
archival or artifactual sources as the research question usually focuses on a
setting or circumstance from the past. The qualitative research strategy seeks to
understand settings and phenomena in a holistic way by focusing on
contemporary social and cultural circumstances. Some of the data collection
tactics used in qualitative research is interviews, focus groups, surveys and
observation.

The important characteristic of the correlational research strategy is the
discovery of patterns or relationships among specified variables of interest in a
particular setting or circumstance. Surveys, observation, mapping and sorting
are some of the data collection tactics used in correlational research. Many
viewed the experimental research strategy as the preeminent standard for
empirical research. It emphasized on the careful manipulation of variables with
the goal of attributing causality.

The simulation research strategy recreated some aspect of the physical
environment in one of a variety mode, from a highly abstract computer
125
simulation to full-scale real life mock-up. In scholarly research, simulation is
increasingly used as an alternative to lengthy and costly physical experiments.
The logical argumentation research strategy uses sequence of logical steps
within a closed system and in architecture it can be used in a philosophical
treatise on architectural aesthetics. Finally, in case study research strategy a
particular setting or circumstance is investigated holistically using a variety of
data collection and analysis tactics.

Increasingly, researchers in many fields, including architecture, are advocating
a more integrative approach to research whereby multiple research strategies
are incorporated in one study, for example combining interpretive-historical
research strategy with qualitative research strategy. They believe these
combining methods provides checks against the weak points in each strategies
and enabling the benefits to complement each other. However, difficulties
might arise when different researchers advocate the combining of research
strategies at different levels of the research process including topic areas;
research design; and tactics in data collection.

Groat and Wang (2002) attempted to propose three combined research
strategies namely two-phase research strategy, dominant-less dominant
research strategy, and mixed-methodology research strategy. The mixed-
methodology research strategy is the most complete level of integration among
two or more research strategies. In this model, the researcher conducts aspects
of both strategies in roughly comparable sequences and with approximately
equals degrees of emphasis. While there is much to be gained in integrating
different research strategies, the researcher may also find that combining
strategies may require a higher level of sophistication in research methodology
than would be expected if a more conventional approach were to be used.


6.2.1 Literature review

A literature review is defined as the totality of activities the researcher
undertakes to use that body of information in such a way that a topic of inquiry
126
can be competently defined and addressed (Groat and Wang, p.46). Thus, a
literature review exists only after the general material has been arranged into a
coherent system, one that has been customized to fit the research question.

A literature review is often confused with an annotated bibliography. An
annotated bibliography is an intermediate point toward the literature review.
The aim of an annotated bibliography is to respond to each reference cited with
a descriptive paragraph of the works goal, its theoretical stance, and most
importantly, its relevance for the investigation. This process helps focus the
emerging research question.

The literature review will make use of the references in the annotated
bibliography and go beyond it to include the following information:

a) An introductory statement of the general intent of the literature
exploration that will include the direction of the proposed research to
come.
b) A summary of the lines of existing research that will provide
background for the proposed research.
c) Observations on the state of the literature in terms of how it can be
expanded by the proposed research. The reviewer needs to identify
specific areas that have not been covered by the extant literature,
arguments that the reviewer wishes to challenge, or subject of study that
can be reconfigured by a new conceptual framework.


The use of literature review in research could be identified as follow:

a) Literature review is used to identify the research question, as topics of
inquiry can emerge from analyzing, critiquing and suggesting
improvement to an extant work. Research questions can emerge from a
comparison of representative works in the literature.
b) Literature review is used to focus the topic of inquiry, as a topic of
inquiry should not be too general. An indicator that a topic of inquiry
127
may be either too broad or too restrictive is the inability to clearly and
simply identify a body of literature to which the topical question can be
referred.
c) Literature review is used to understand the makeup of the research
question.
d) Literature review is used to understand an ideas genetic roots and the
current conceptual landscape of the topic.


Barzun and Graff (1985, p.44-45) emphasised that the researcher must have a
love of order. He or she must have a system that allows for any piece of
information to be retrieved. That means during the initial work on the literature
search, whether on the Internet or in a library, the researcher would need to
drop down information clearly and chronologically for easy retrieve in the
future.


6.2.2 Research approach: Qualitative versus Quantitative

Qualitative research is an enquiry into an identified problem, based on testing a
theory, measured with numbers and analyzed using statistical techniques. The
goal of qualitative methods is to determine whether the predictive
generalizations of a theory hold true.

Quantitative research approach has the goal of understanding a social or human
problem from multiple perspectives. This type of research is conducted in a
natural setting and involves a process of building a complex and holistic
picture of the phenomenon of interest.

The selection of which research approach is appropriate in a given study should
be based upon the problem of interest, resources available, the skills and
training of the researcher, and the audience for the research. Although some
research may incorporate both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, in
their pure form there are significant differences in the assumptions underlying
128
these approaches, as well as in the data collection and analysis procedures
used.

It is important to be able to identify and understand the research approach
underlying any given study because the selection of a research approach
influences the questions asked, the methods chosen, the statistical analyses
used, the interface made and the ultimate goal of the research.

There are three general types of quantitative methods:

a) Experiments they are characterized by random assignment of
subjects to experimental conditions and the use of experimental
controls.
b) Quasi-experiments the studies share almost all the features of
experimental design except that they involve non-randomized
assignment of subjects to experimental conditions.
c) Surveys they include cross-sectional and longitudinal studies
using questionnaires or interviews for data collection with the intent
of estimating the characteristics of a large population of interest
based on a smaller sample from that population.


The three general types of qualitative methods are:

a) Case studies single entity or phenomenon (case) bounded by
time and activity and collects detailed information through a variety
of data collection procedures over a sustained period of time. The
case study is a descriptive record of an individuals experiences
and/or behaviors kept by an outside observer.
b) Ethnographic studies the researcher studies an intact cultural
group in a natural setting over a specific period of time. A cultural
group can be any group of individuals who share a common social
experience, location, or other social characteristic of interest.
129
c) Phenomenological studies human experiences are examined
through the detailed description of the people being studied. The
goal is to understand the lived experience of the individuals being
studied. This approach involves researching a small group of people
intensely over a long period of time.


Quantitative Mode Qualitative Mode
Assumptions
Social facts have an objective reality
Primacy of method
Variables can be identified and
relationships measured
Etic (outside's point of view)
Assumptions
Reality is socially constructed
Primacy of subject matter
Variables are complex, interwoven,
and difficult to measure
Emic (insider's point of view)
Purpose
Generalizability
Prediction
Causal explanations
Purpose
Contextualization
Interpretation
Understanding actors' perspectives
Approach
Begins with hypotheses and theories
Manipulation and control
Uses formal instruments
Experimentation
Deductive
Component analysis
Seeks consensus, the norm
Reduces data to numerical indices
Abstract language in write-up
Approach
Ends with hypotheses and grounded
theory
Emergence and portrayal
Researcher as instrument
Naturalistic
Inductive
Searches for patterns
Seeks pluralism, complexity
Makes minor use of numerical
indices
130
Descriptive write-up
Researcher Role
Detachment and impartiality
Objective portrayal
Researcher Role
Personal involvement and partiality
Empathic understanding
Table 6.1 Reproduced from Glesne, C., & Peshkin, A. (1992): Becoming
qualitative researchers: An introduction.

Table 6.1 above shown the difference between qualitative and quantitative
research methodologies and what the two research approaches encompassed.



6.3 The knowledge gap and research questions

The research questions arise from the commitment in contributing in reducing
global warming due to the harmful by-products of human built environment. In
search of fulfillment to the course of reducing energy usage, the new
technology of using double-skin faade in commercial buildings seem giving
some sort of positive direction to achieve that goal. Literature review is used to
narrow down the scope of the research field, further streamlining the right
research questions to be asked, and in identifying the knowledge gap of the
interest research topic.

This research is carried out using the combined research strategies mentioned
in Section 6.2 in this Chapter by integrating simulation research strategy with
case study research strategy. It is mainly based on the quantitative research
approach by identifying an issue at hand and proposing a theory, then tests it
out vigorously using the most appropriate research strategies at hand. Results
131
are analysed and conclusions established to prove the viability of the theory
proposed.

The research attempts to bridge the gap of looking into the possibilities of
natural ventilation in office buildings specifically in the hot and humid climate
region with the use of double-skin faade. The research questions are:

a) Is the technology of double-skin faade viable in the hot and humid
climatic environment?

b) Could naturally ventilating a commercial building using the double-
skin faade technology possible at all?

c) How well does double-skin faade technology in providing natural
ventilation to the high-rise building in the hot and humid climatic
environment?

d) What will be the window periods for such advance system in order for
it to work in the hot and humid climate?

The unique double-skin faade construction is thought to be able to act as a
stack in providing required ventilation for the internal space. It is the intent of
the research to analyse the airflow patterns induced by the wind & thermal
forces through the double-skin faade into the interior office space and their
effects onto the thermal comfort within the space. Computer simulation is used
to analyse the results obtained through the different opening sizes of the glass
panel and the size of the intermediate space of the double-skin faade with
variation of vent sizes at the rear of the office space to generate an acceptable
cross ventilation rate within the internal space.





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6.4 Research methods for a tropical double-skin faade

6.4.1 Building simulation methodology

The scope of building simulation is wide and it includes the early studies of the
energy and mass flow process in the built environment. Building simulation
tools had been used in the energy performance field since in the 60s and
extended into other fields like lighting, heating ventilation and air-conditioning
(HVAC), airflow, and more recently into areas like heat transfer, acoustics,
control systems, urban and micro climate simulations.

Simulation involves the creation of behavioral models of a building for a
given stage of its development. The development stage can range from as-
designed to as-built to as-operated. The distinction is important as
correctness, depth, completeness and certainty of the available building
information varies over different life cycle stages. The actual simulation
involves executing a model that is deduced from the available information on a
computer. Models are developed by reducing real world physical entities and
phenomena to an idealized form at some level of abstraction. From this
abstraction, a mathematical model is constructed by applying physical
conservation laws.

The modelling and simulation of complex systems requires the development of
a hierarchy of models, which represent the real system at differing levels of
abstraction. The selection of a particular modeling approach is based on a
number of criteria, including the level of detail needed, the objective of the
simulation, available knowledge resources, etc.

Simulation is credited with speeding up the design process, increasing
efficiency and enabling the comparison of broader range of design variants.
Simulation provides a better understanding of the consequences of design
decisions, which increases the effectiveness of the design process as a whole.
133
Simulation has not only increasingly being used during the early design stages;
it is also being applied during the commissioning and operational facility
management phases of a project.


6.4.2 Computational Fluid Dynamic and Airpak software

Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) has become a useful tool for designers in
the study of indoor and outdoor environment conditions in building designs.
The parameters such as air velocity and relative humidity solved by CFD are
critical for designing an acceptable indoor comfort environment.

The complex issues of the need in analysing a number of parameters of thermal
comfort (e.g. humidity, air velocity, etc) at the same time together with the
related changes of different building envelope (double-skin faade) opening
sizes, with acceptable accuracy, the capability of CFD has provided the
appropriate option to be used to test out the theory for the research.

In view of the capabilities and good interface of the Airpak software as
discussed in details in Section 5.5.5, it is selected to be used in this research to
model the complex energy transfer through the component layers of the
multilayer faade of the double-skin through the optimisation of the
appropriate opening sizes on the glazing, the width of the intermediate space
and the ventilation rate through the internal office space. The validation of the
software (Section 5.6.5) has been carried out by comparing the experimental
and simulation results from another commercial simulation software called
FloVent which carried out by Manz H (2003). Both of the results are compared
and analyzed and it was found that the variation is within 5% of the acceptable
error tolerance. A detail analysis of the use and capability of CFD in relation to
the selection of this particular software for this research has been discussed in
Chapter 5.



134
6.4.3 The CFD Modelling

6.4.3.1 Stage 1 Single office

Literature review and case studies had been used to establish the domain and
boundary conditions for the CFD modeling and simulation in this research. The
final goal of this research is to look into the possibilities of natural ventilation
in a high-rise office building in a hot and humid climate condition using
double-skin faade. In order to realise this complex problem, several stages of
different levels of complexity modelling are introduced. Airflow effects
induced by wind and thermal forces onto a single storey office model
constructed are to be observed for the first stage before a complex multi-storey
office with all the thermal comfort parameters included are to be analysed.

In recognition of the complexity of the problem at hand, the modeling of the
computer model has been broken down into several levels. The initial
simulations were concentrated onto a single office space within a high-rise
office building. The single office module in 3D is constructed using Airpak
CFD software with the geometrical dimensions of 3.5m x 5.0m x 2.6m height.
Numerous of simulation runs have been carried out for the benchmarking
purposes in which a typical curtain walling office module was observed and
simplified nomograms had been established to define the initial parameters
for thermal comfort in the tropic region. These results are compared with the
simulation runs from the office module with double-skin faade construction.

The simplified double-skin faade of the office module has openings on each
of the external and internal panes with 6mm thick glass used at the external
pane and 6/12/6mm double glazed used for the inner pane (Figures 6.1 and
6.2). Internal heat sources of two computers, four ceiling lights and two
persons are introduced in the office space for thermal comfort analysis. The
office module has two vents at the rear wall to introduce cross ventilation from
the internal a/c space across the internal office space. For this first stage of the
analysis, combination of different opening sizes and its locations of the
openings together with the different sizes of the vents are looked at and their
135
effects onto the airflow patterns within the double-skin and the internal office
space are observed and analysed.

7000 W 3500
3
5
0
0
V
1
H
1
H
3
H
2
3
5
0
3
5
0
EXTERNAL
WIND
V
DIRECTION
OFFICE


Figure 6.1 Section through the model (with external space at the left)

H
3
3500
V
1
V2
3
5
0
0
H
1
H
2

Figure 6.2 Rear elevation of the model

The simulations are performed under steady state condition using k-epsilon
equation turbulent model. The simulated wind speeds of 1.5m/s and 3.0m/s are
used to model expected ground level wind velocities with ambient temperature
of 30 degree C. The external temperature at the rear wall is set at 23
o
C to
simulate an internal air-conditioning space like internal corridor. Only wind
136
direction which perpendicular to the double-skin faade has been looked at.
The upwind distance from the outer pane of the double-skin faade is set at 7m
to simulate half the distance between office buildings at the city centre. The
results of the airflow velocities, temperatures and the airflow patterns are
recorded and observed with different combinations of glass opening sizes of
the double-skin faade and the vents.


6.4.3.2 Stage 2 Office blocks

The results and findings in Stage 1 are very positive as presented in Chapter 7.
The next step is to model the multi-storey office building within Airpak
environment. Instead of using the software to model the whole high-rise
building in one complete computer model, the office building has been
divided into several blocks vertically. This is done to reduce the simulation
time needed for each simulation run and any mistake or problem in the
modeling process or domain settings will easier be identified and rectified. An
18-storey high building is believed to be a well representation of a high-rise
office building and generate sufficient parameters to be explored within the
scope of the research topic.

The high-rise office building is divided vertically into three office blocks of
6-storey each. Each office block of 6-storey will be modeled with the similar
boundary conditions and simulations were runs to study the thermal comfort of
the internal spaces created. Results were analysed and details of the step-to-
step modeling process were documented in Chapter 8. At this stage, a new type
of double-skin faade configuration to be used in hot and humid climate is
presented.


6.4.3.3 Stage 3 Optimisation

Stage 3 is the optimisation of the configuration of the new type of double-skin
faade presented at the end of Chapter 8. The parameters used for the
137
optimisation are sizes and locations of the openings of the double-skin faade,
the height of the ventilation shaft of the double-skin system, different air gap
sizes, different ventilation modes for the faade system, and the sun shading
location within the faade system. These parameters are found to be most
important in affecting the efficiency of the facade system in providing optimum
internal comfort for the office spaces. The parametric studies of the
optimisation process are presented in Chapter 9.


6.4.3.4 Stage 4 Nomograms

A new revised double-skin faade configuration was presented from the
optimisation studies and a series of nomograms are generated to be used to help
in the initial design process of double-skin faade in hot and humid climate.
The nomograms presented are by no means exhaustive but it will serve as a
general rule of thumb for the design of this very specialised faade system
before serious investment is made.



6.5 Goals for the research

In attempting to answer the research questions raised in the first section of this
Chapter, an extensive research into the relevant subjects was carried out.
Topics like natural ventilation techniques, human thermal comfort requirement
and responses, double-skin faade technologies, building simulation tools,
high-rise building designs in the urban context, and others built environment
criteria that related to the research topic had been studied and critically
reviewed.

The goals of the research are aim to contribute to the reduction of energy usage
and the reduction of CO
2
emission by high-rise office buildings in the tropics.
The research is attempting to use passive solar design concept, in this case
138
natural ventilation techniques, combining with the newly developed double-
skin facades technologies, and applying them onto high-rise office buildings in
the tropics. A series of nomograms for double-skin faade design on high-rise
office buildings in the hot and humid climate are proposed in the hope to help
designers to have a better understanding of the functions of double-skin faade
in providing natural ventilation to high-rise office buildings in the tropics. The
nomograms will also help the designers in decision making and appropriate
selection of design criteria for double-skin faade design in terms of openings
sizes and locations, air gap width, height of stack, etc. These will certainly help
in time saving and shorten the design process.



6.6 Limitations of the research

Due to the complexity of the research topic, certain careful control and defining
the scope of the research is needed. Firstly the research is only deal with the
issue at hand in the hot and humid climatic conditions. This is seen as a
positive approach because there isnt much research being done in that
particular region which related to the topic. Further more it is hoped that the
finding of the research will contribute to the knowledge in that particular area.
Secondly a more specific domain is needed to test the theory of the research
and to apply any useful finding onto it in order to realize the impact of the
research work. Singapore is chosen as the domain and it is seen as an
appropriate choice because it is a developed country of resource dependent and
with high-energy usage per capital. The country is also located in the tropic.

Thirdly the research is only looking into certain building type, namely the
office building. The office building type is chosen because in Singapore it is
one of the highest energy consumption sectors. It will be of greater impact in
the reduction of energy usage if the proposed theory will work for this sector.

139
Fourthly the economical impact of the energy saving and the cost in using the
double-skin faade are not cover in this research. Besides they are not in the
scope of the research, others had covered these topics quite comprehensively in
different published books and journals.

Fifthly, as the research area is new therefore there isnt much existing
information in terms of measured data, etc and not many constructed similar
buildings directly related to the field. In fact, there isnt any naturally ventilated
cavity double-skin faade building in Singapore during this research is being
carried out. Therefore the research has to rely heavily on external sources and
data and the testing of the built environment has to be carried out using
modeling techniques.

Notwithstanding constrains of the research mentioned above, it is a
constructive challenge throughout and the research will provide a specific
answer to a specific issue and filling up a gap within the knowledge in the
mentioned field.

















140
Chapter 7 Preliminary Modelling


7.1 Preliminary modelling

For this first stage of the analysis, combination of different opening sizes and
its locations of the openings for both the outer and inner panes of the double-
skin faade, the different sizes of the vents at the rear wall of the office module,
with different external wind velocities are studied. The effects of these
variations on the airflow patterns, temperatures, relative humidity within the
double-skin faade air gap and the internal office space were observed, and the
thermal comfort for the office space is analysed.


7.1.1 The geometry of the CFD model

The first stage of the whole complex modelling process is to construct a single
storey office module with the geometrical dimensions of 3.5m wide, 5.0m deep
and 3.5m in height with a ceiling depth of 0.9m. Therefore the effective height
of the internal space of the office module is 2.6m in height and has a volume of
45.5m
3
. This size is a typical small office module found in an office building in
Singapore (Lee, 2002). The double-skin faade in front of the office has a
dimension of 3.5m wide and 3.5m high. The simplified double-skin faade
construction has two openings at the outer pane and one opening at the inner
pane with the top ventilated. The office space also has two vents at the rear
wall to introduce cross ventilation, if any, to the internal space. The model is
constructed in 3D in Airpak as shown in Figures 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3.


7.1.2 The construction materials used for the model

The external walls of the office consist of solid brick with density of 1970
kg/m
3
and thermal conductivity of 0.7 W/m-K. The walls are painted with
141
white acrylic paint with emissivity value of 0.9, reflective index of 1.5 and
shading coefficient of 1.

The outer pane of the double-skin faade consists of 6mm clear heat-resistant
glass of 2230 kg/m
3
density and thermal conductivity of 1 W/m-K. The inner
pane is a double glazing of 6/8/6 mm clear heat-resistant glass with similar
density and thermal conductivity as the outer pane. Sun shading located within
the double-skin faade was introduced at the later stage to investigate its effect
on the thermal comfort of the internal space.


7.1.3 The heat sources in the model

There are three main heat sources in this CFD model with two occupants, two
computers and four ceiling lights. They are introduced in the office space for
thermal comfort analysis. Each human model is assigned with 75 W/m
2
of heat
generation based on ASHRAE standards for sedentary office activities with
clothing value (clo) of 1.0 and metabolic rate (met) of 1.2. Heat generated for
the computers are assumed to be 108 W/m
2
and 173 W/m
2
and are assigned
evenly to all the surfaces of the models. Energy saving lighting fixture is used
and heat flux is assumed to be 38 W/m
2
.


7.1.4 The boundary conditions of the model

The simulations are performed under steady state condition using k-epsilon
equation turbulence model. The simulated wind speeds of 1.5m/s and 3.0m/s
are used to model expected ground level wind velocities with ambient
temperature of 30
o
C. The external temperature at the rear wall is set at 23
o
C to
simulate an internal air-conditioning space like internal corridor. Only wind
direction that is perpendicular to the double-skin faade has been looked at.
The upwind distance from the outer pane of the double-skin faade is set at 7m
to simulate half the distance between office buildings at the city centre. The
illumination parameters were set as following:
142

Spectral fraction: 0.5
Diffuse entry angle: 60
o

Refractive index of air: 1.0
Scattering fraction: 1.3
Diffusive solar intensity: 500 W/m
2


The location time and position of the model are set at latitude 1
o
N and
longitude 104
o
E (Singapore location), in 1 July at 10 a.m. (which is usually the
hottest month in Singapore).


Figure 7.1 Sectional elevation of the single office module


Figure 7.2 Longitudinal section of the single office module

143


Figure 7.3 Isometric view of the CFD model


7.2 Strategies in modelling

For the first stage of the analysis, combination of different glass opening sizes
[A, B and C] and its locations together with the different sizes of the
intermediate space [D] and the vents [E=E1xE2] at the rear are looked at
(Figure 7.4) and their effects on the airflow patterns and temperature within the
double-skin and the internal office space are observed and analysed to
determine the level of thermal comfort within the space. Two scenarios had
been looked at for this initial stage of the modelling, i.e. one with air-
conditioning space and one with ambient temperature conditions at the rear of
the building behind air vent E (Figure 7.4). Solar loading that is similar to
morning sun in the middle of the year in a tropical country is modelled to
observe the impact on the thermal comfort for the internal space. Seven
points/locations of the office module were selected to monitor the air velocities
and temperature values for those simulations (Figure 7.5) and some of the more
144
critical results are listed in Tables 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3. The results obtained from
the benchmarking simulations, which is a typical curtain walling system
faade, are compared to the results from the proposed prototype double-skin
faade. Some selected benchmarking results for double-skin faade are
presented in Appendix A. Analysis and findings for the comparison of the two
faade systems are discussed in Sections 7.3, 7.4 and 7.5.
B
A
C
E
D
H
1
H
INTERNAL SPACE
WIND
DIRECTION
A/C
SPACE

Figure 7.4 The single office module with studied openings A, B, C, D & E


7.3 Analysis of preliminary models

A large numbers of simulations were generated with different combinations of
wind velocities (V), glass opening sizes (H1 and H2 are the top and bottom
openings of the outer pane, H3 is the opening of the inner pane), width of air
gaps (W) and vent sizes (V1 & V2) as indicated in Tables 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3.
Twenty (20) of such simulation results and their variables of the parameters are
indicated in Table 1, Table 2 and Table 3. The difference between the
simulations generated in Table 7.1 and Table 7.2 is that the vents area. The
area of the vent has increased 100% for the models in Table 7.2. Simulations
15 and 16 are generated with a narrower air gap of 300mm to investigate if
there is any influence on the indoor comfort level. Simulations 17 to 20 are
computed with two openings at the outer pane of the double-skin faade with
300mm air gap.
145


Figure 7.5 Location points for taking the simulation results (section of model)

Simulation 1 2 3 4 5 6
V (m/s) 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.0 3.0 3.0
H1 (mm) 0 0 300 0 0 300
H2 (mm) 200 300 0 200 300 0
H3 (mm) 200 300 300 200 300 300
W (mm) 450 450 450 450 450 450
V1 (mm) 300 300 300 300 300 300
V2 (mm) 600 600 600 600 600 600
P1 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp,
o
C)
0.83
30
0.86
30
0.97
30.02
1.55
30
1.63
30
1.88
29.99
P2 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp,
o
C)
0.25
30.12
0.41
30.08
0.51
30.05
0.39
30.02
0.71
30.02
0.97
29.97
P3 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp,
o
C)
0.12
30.58
0.22
30.40
0.08
30.37
0.21
30.10
0.40
30.09
0.15
29.69
P4 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp,
o
C)
0.05
31.70
0.05
31.74
0.05
31.11
0.01
30.75
0.01
30.86
0.02
30.13
P5 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp,
o
C)
0.11
24.19
0.11
24.21
0.17
23.82
0.03
24.08
0.03
24.16
0.27
23.66
P6 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp,
o
C)
0.22
30
0.40
30
0.11
30.12
0.40
30
0.75
30
0.22
29.92

Table 7.1 Simulation results A
P1
P2
P3
P4
P5
P6
P7
146
Simulation 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
V (m/s) 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0
H1 (mm) 0 200 0 300 0 200 0 300
H2 (mm) 200 0 300 0 200 0 300 0
H3 (mm) 200 200 300 300 200 200 300 300
W (mm) 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450
V1 (mm) 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300
V2 (mm) 1200 1200 1200 1200 1200 1200 1200 1200
P1 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp,
o
C)
0.86
30
0.94
30
0.90
30
0.97
30
1.59
30
1.83
29.90
1.68
30
1.88
29.96
P2 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp,
o
C)
0.24
30.03
0.39
29.97
0.40
30.03
0.54
30.01
0.39
29.99
0.75
29.72
0.71
30
1.05
29.90
P3 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp,
o
C)
0.14
30.21
0.08
29.81
0.24
30.14
0.07
30.01
0.25
29.92
0.18
28.70
0.43
29.97
0.15
29.22
P4 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp,
o
C)
0.05
31.17
0.05
30.50
0.05
31.19
0.05
30.66
0.01
30.33
0.01
29.08
0.01
30.46
0.02
29.48
P5 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp,
o
C)
0.04
24.36
0.09
23.88
0.04
24.36
0.07
23.95
0.02
25.15
0.19
23.55
0.03
26.06
0.13
23.68
P6 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp,
o
C)
0.20
30
0.05
29.96
0.36
30
0.12
30.02
0.36
30
0.07
29.59
0.68
30
0.22
29.80

Table 7.2 Simulation results B

Simulation 15 16 17 18 19 20
V (m/s) 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.0 3.0
H1 (mm) 0 200 200 300 200 300
H2 (mm) 200 0 200 300 200 300
H3 (mm) 200 200 200 300 200 300
W (mm) 300 300 300 300 300 300
V1 (mm) 300 300 300 300 300 300
V2 (mm) 600 600 600 600 600 600
P1 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp,
o
C)
0.78
30
0.48
30
0.90
30
0.93
30
1.77
30
1.83
30
P2 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp,
o
C)
0.36
30.04
0.47
30
0.74
30
0.67
30
1.40
30
1.28
30
147
P3 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp,
o
C)
0.21
30.27
0.08
29.96
0.73
30.07
0.90
30.03
1.35
30.01
1.74
30.01
P4 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp,
o
C)
0.05
31.35
0.05
30.63
0.20
30.77
0.29
30.22
0.41
30.18
0.54
30.08
P5 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp,
o
C)
0.07
24.32
0.14
23.87
0.06
32.48
0.06
32.14
0.01
31.35
0.01
31.18
P6 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp,
o
C)
0.34
30
0.07
30
0.06
29.97
0.29
30.86
0.29
30.24
0.71
30.18
P7 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp,
o
C)
-
-
-
-
0.31
30
0.42
30
0.58
30
0.80
30

Table 7.3 Simulation results C

It was observed that by just changing the glass opening sizes of the double-skin
faade with similar external wind velocity would not contribute much to the
indoor thermal quality of the office. This was due to the indoor airflow
velocities are almost similar for each case. (e.g. Simulations 7 & 9)

The locations of the glass opening on the outer pane of the double-skin faade
will have effect onto the indoor thermal and airflow velocity. It was found that
the higher the opening is located from the floor level it will generate a stronger
stack effect within the air gap which in turn will pull more air out from the
office space through the vents at the rear wall. The temperature generated
within the office space is much desirable and closer to human comfort
requirement. The airflow pattern created will be a good cross ventilation effect
with cool air coming into the office space from the vents and right across and
above the internal space and discharge out through the high level opening at the
inner pane. (e.g. Simulations 7-14)

A narrower air gap between the double-skin faade constructions will provide a
more desirable indoor thermal level as it generates stronger stack effect which
pulls more air out from the internal office space. (e.g. Simulations 1 and 15)

148
There is not much of an advantage to provide larger vents at the rear of the
space in order to provide cross ventilation to the internal space. The resultant
air movement and temperature of the internal space are not much better as
compared to smaller vent sizes. This might give a slightly better condition if
the external wind velocity is stronger but it will not be able to justify the cost in
providing a larger vent opening. It might also not be feasible for some
construction constrains with big vents. (e.g. Tables 7.1 & 7.2)

Simulations 17-20 show that the indoor airflow velocities are the most
desirable with 2 openings on the outer pane of the double-skin faade. The
indoor temperatures are also lower as compared to only one opening at the
outer pane. The internal airflow pattern is different from the outer pane with 1
opening on the faade. The warm air from the air gap is passing through the
opening of the inner pane right across the office space and exit through the rear
vents. This will have an undesirable mixing of warm air to the internal cool air
at the rear of the office.

Figure 7.6 shows an example of the velocity vectors generated through one of
the simulations with particular boundary conditions specified. The red colour
shows the highest velocity and the blue colour shows the lowest velocity for
that particular simulated result.


Figure 7.6 Example of velocity vectors generated through simulation
149

Figure 7.7 below shows an example of the temperature contours generated
through one of the simulations with boundary conditions specified as in Figure
7.6. The green colour shows the highest temperature within the model and the
blue colour shows the lowest temperature for that particular simulated result.



Figure 7.7 Example of temperature contours generated through simulation



7.4 Discussion

All simulations, be it the benchmarking cases or the double-skin scenarios,
generated cross ventilation effects from the internal a/c space across the office
space and discharged out through the internal pane opening into the
intermediate space of the double faade. The strength of the cross ventilation
will mainly depend on the airflow resistances within the intermediate space and
the internal office space, together with the pressure differences between them.
The magnitude of the internal ventilation will depend on the summation of the
airflow resistances and in turn control by the smallest cross section area of the
opening within the space.
150

The first group of simulations has the opening areas comparison of
D>A/B/C>E (Figure 7.4). When the areas of A/B/C increased in the same
proportion by as much as 50%, the airflow velocities at P2, P3 and P6 have
increased almost 100% but at P4 remained the same. The temperatures
observed are almost the same at all points or locations.

The airflow velocities within and around the double faade have doubled with
the wind velocity increased by 100%. But the airflow velocities within the
internal space, P4 and P5 have reduced 5 and 4 times respectively.

It could be concluded from the above results that by just changing the glass
opening sizes of the external and internal panes of the double-skin faade it
will not contribute much to the indoor thermal quality of the office space. This
was due to the indoor airflow velocities being almost similar for each case.

The location of the glass openings on the outer pane of the double-skin faade
in relation to the inner pane will have effect onto the indoor thermal and
airflow velocity. It was found that the higher the opening is located from the
floor level it will generate a stronger stack effect within the air gap which in
turn will pull more air out from the office space through the vents at the rear
wall. The temperature generated within the office space is much desirable and
closer to human comfort requirement. The airflow pattern created will be a
good cross ventilation effect with cool air coming into the office space from the
vents and right across and above the internal space and discharged out through
the high level opening at the inner pane. The opening areas comparison for
these findings are D>B=C>E.

The combination of larger rear vents and a high level external opening in the
opening areas comparison of D>B=C=E gives the most desirable results. The
internal temperature at P4 has reduced by 0.45K to 0.65K, depending on the
wind velocities. A narrower air gap between the double-skin faade will
provide a more desirable indoor thermal level also as it generates stronger
stack- effect which extract more air out from the internal office space.
151

The second group of simulations with two external openings produced slightly
better results as compared to only one external opening. The indoor
temperatures are lower but the airflow velocities increased tremendously. The
internal airflow pattern is different from the single external opening on the
faade. The warm air from the air gap is passing through the opening of the
inner pane right across the office space and exit through the rear vents. This
will have an undesirable mixing of warm air to the internal office space and the
a/c space at the rear of the office.

Solar loading has been introduced to the third simulations group with high-
level external opening. The area of the external opening is smaller by 2.5-4
times as compared to the internal opening. This was done to control the amount
of external hot airflow from entering the intermediate space but allowing as
much internal room air as possible to be discharged into the air gap of the
double-skin faade. This will have to rely upon sufficient stack effect to be
generated. The area of opening for the intermediate space is also smaller than
the internal pane opening. These groups of simulation by far gave the lowest
internal temperature at P4 but the internal airflow velocities are low. The stack-
effect combined with the thermal buoyancy effect within the intermediate
space of the double-skin faade has produced a stronger suction for cross
ventilating the internal office space. The opening areas comparison for these
findings are C>D>B=E.



7.5 Initial findings

Thermal sensation plays a major role in the perception of comfort and the
comfort parameters are highly subjective. Some of these parameters are air
temperature, the relative humidity of the air, the local air velocity and human
activity. A comprehensive explanation of thermal comfort is listed in Chapter 8
of ASHRAE Fundamentals. (ASHRAE Fundamentals, 1993) and thermal
152
comfort in the hot and humid climate has been discussed in Chapter 2. Figure
7.8 below shows the operative temperature ranges for naturally ventilated
spaces with 90% and 80% acceptable limits indicated. This graph shows that
there is a broader acceptable temperature ranges for naturally ventilated spaces.
For air velocity lower than 1m/s and temperatures difference between radiant
and ambient of lower than 4K, the operative temperature (Top) would need to
be adjusted according to the formula Top=Ata + (1-A)Tr, where ta is the
ambient air temperature and Tr is the radiant temperature.

Air movements determine the convective heat and mass exchange of the human
body with the surrounding air. In hot and humid climate, high air velocities
will increase the evaporation rate at the skin surface and results in cooling
sensation. The recommended upper limit of indoor air movement is usually
0.8m/s for human comfort and such air velocity permits the interior space to be
1-2 degree higher than the human comfort temperature to maintain desirable
comfort level (Hien and Tanamas, 2002).



Air speed < 0.2m/s
Difference between radiant & air temp < 4C
Top = Ata + (1-A)Tr
V <0.2m/s 0.2-0.6m/s 0.6-1m/s
A 0.5 0.6 0.7

Figure 7.8 Thermal Environment Conditions for Human Occupancy,
ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2004
153

The initial findings confirmed that double-skin faade did improve the thermal
comfort of an internal office space by reducing the temperature from 1.0
o
C to
1.5
o
C, with the external wind velocities between 1.5m/s to 3m/s. The internal
temperatures are still considered a bit high (as the model constructed for this
preliminary investigation is only considered a one storey space) but the
situation will be expected to improve when multi-storey spaces are linked
together in a high-rise building when the stack effect of the air gap will
increase tremendously. The results could be improved by using wind turbine at
the top of the faade to increase the airflow velocity at the intermediate space
to give effective airflow speed within the internal space. This will be looked at
during the next stage of the development of the research.

The correlations between the areas of openings play a significant role in
providing natural ventilation for an internal office space in the hot and humid
climate. The initial CFD modelling and the analysis of the results had found
that a high level single opening at the outer pane of the double-skin faade
would create a desirable cross ventilation airflow pattern at the internal office
space. The cross ventilation effect will bring the cool air from the internal air-
conditioned space across the internal space and prevent the warm air from the
air gap entering the office space. The other option could be using wind turbine
to increase the air velocity at the air gap to give effective airflow speed within
the internal space. This will be looked at and analysed further in the next stage
of the development of the research work.

The design of two openings (one at high and one at low levels) on the outer
pane of the faade by far is the best solution. The internal air velocities
between 0.2-0.5 m/s observed could provide more than 80% of human
satisfaction for comfort, as shown in Figure 7.9. Due care should be given to
deal with the warm air coming into the internal space through the air gap
especially for higher wind velocity experienced at the high level of a high-rise
building.


154


Figure 7.9 Ventilation Comfort Chart of Singapore (Source: Priyadarsini,
Cheong and Wong, 2004)


The issue of fire spreading within the multi-story double-skin faade is an
important one. Most high-rise buildings will have to provide some sort of
automatic fire protection system like sprinkler system within the habitable
space, and this system could be extended to the intermediate space of the
faade construction. Alternatively smoke extract system could be provided to
the intermediate space of the double-skin faade in which linked to the
automatic fire protection system of the building. Fire shutter could also be
installed at the internal pane opening for blocking any fire or smoke spreading
in the event of a fire breakout in the building.



7.6 Progressive modelling

The initial single office module in 3D is constructed with the geometrical
dimensions of 3.5m x 5.0m x 3.5m in height. Numerous simulation runs have
been carried out for the benchmarking purposes in which a typical curtain
155
walling office module was observed and a simplified nomogram has been
established to define the initial parameters for thermal comfort in the tropical
region. These results are compared with the simulation runs from the office
module with double-skin faade construction.

Following-up with the simulations analysis of a single office module discussed
above, the computer model is extended vertically to incorporate a concealed
ground floor space which usually used as shop front space for most high-rise
office buildings. The office space is only starting at 1
st
level. Two different
groups of modelling are constructed at this stage. First group is the
benchmarking model with standard curtain walling system generally used in
most modern high-rise office buildings (Figure 7.10). The other group is
replaced with a standard vertically vented double-skin faade construction
(Figure 7.11).

The modelling parameters (Figure 7.11) for the double-skin faade model and
the simulation boundary conditions are stated below. The strategy is to break-
down a very complex problem of simulating a multi-storey high-rise building
into a 6-storey building block. Simulations will be run for the 1
st
building
block of 6-storey for the modelling of the office building from ground floor to
6-storey. Subsequently another 6-storey building block of the model will be
constructed for modelling of the office building from 7-storey to 12-storey. The
last building block will be the modelling of the office building from 13-storey
to 18-storey. The building height of 18-storey or about 60m high will constitute
the majority of the office buildings height in a medium to medium-dense
modern city. This will give a good representation for investigating the problem
at hand.

Model Parameters:
Width of Room = 3.5m
Depth of Room = 5.0m
Height of Room = 3.5m
Rear Ventilation = 0.3m x 0.6m

156
Standard curtain wall & Double-skin Faades Parameters:
A = External Faade Opening
C = Internal Faade Opening
D = Air Gap
E = Rear Ventilation Slot

CFD Simulation Boundary Conditions:
> Steady State Condition
> Solved With Radiation, Species, IAQ/Comfort and Solar
Loading
> k- Turbulence Model
> Wind Perpendicular To Building Faade
> Wind Speed = 0m/s 3m/s
> Ambient Temperature = 22
o
C 30
o
C
> Relative Humidity = 70% 100%



Figure 7.10 Standard curtain walling model
Concealed Ground
Floor Space
157

Figure 7.11 Double-skin faade model


7.6.1 Comparison of results for single-skin and double-skin faades

The results obtained from the benchmarking simulations, which is a typical
curtain walling system faade, are compared to the results from the proposed
prototype double-skin faade. The results of the benchmarking are first
presented in the form of a nomogram here for the research. There are many
ways in representing huge amount of information generated through
simulations, which could be in the form of graphs, tables, charts (e.g.
Pychrometric Chart), spreadsheet, customised computer programs, etc. These
methods of representation are valid but some could be very time consuming to
formulate and others could be too complicated to be use effectively by
designers. After much consideration in finding a way to formulate the results
into useful information that could be used by others in design purposes,
nomogram has been chosen. Even though nomogram traditionally has been
used to represent mathematical relationships or laws in graphical form, but it
Concealed Ground
Floor Space
158
provides an easy way to quickly and accurately finding an answer to a rather
complex problem. Nomogram is also be able to comprehensively represent a
complex correlation between different variables to generate desirable and
acceptable conditions or results, if it is constructed appropriately. The detail
construction, formulation and usage of the nomogram used in this research are
presented in Chapter 9, Section 9.4.

The nomograms are formed by three axes, which represent the three most
important parameters in thermal comfort analysis. The parameters are air
temperature, air velocity and relative humidity. Boundaries of thermal comfort
are plotted onto the nomograms from the analysis of the simulation results and
they are compared to see whether there are any advantages for using double-
skin construction for an office building in the tropical climate. The area
bounded by the acceptable thermal comfort limits is shaded, showing the
extent of acceptable indoor conditions. Figures 7.12 & 7.13 have shown that
there are positive points in using the double-skin construction, as the shaded
area for the double-skin faade is larger than the normal curtain walling
construction, even though this finding is only representing the low level results
for the high-rise office building in study. These findings are encouraging as the
double-skin faade construction does improve the internal thermal comfort for
a naturally ventilated office space by as much as 10%, as compared to
conventional curtain wall system.



159


Figure 7.12 Nomogram showing the acceptable thermal comfort conditions
(shaded area) for standard curtain wall system


160


Figure 7.13 Nomogram showing the acceptable thermal comfort conditions
(shaded area) for double-skin faade system


An example of an acceptable internal thermal comfort condition is shown at
Point B (which could have air temperature=25
o
C, relative humidity=70% and
air velocity=0.5m/s) in the nomogram in Figure 7.13 above. Point A is not an
acceptable thermal comfort condition, which could have the values of air
temperature=22
o
C, air velocity=0m/s, and relative humidity=60%.






A
B
161
7.7 Conclusion

This initial stage of the research work has shown that double-skin faade has a
possibility to provide acceptable internal thermal comfort for office space
through natural ventilation strategy in the hot and humid climate. These results
have helped to answer the first question set out in the Research Questions
section mentioned in Chapter 1.

A specific research methodology has then been developed following this
finding to systematically explore the use of double-skin faade on high-rise
office building in the tropical climate and to find out the possible opening
window in terms of periods of time of the day that double-skin faade could
provide acceptable indoor thermal environment. This will help to answer the
second research questions that set out in Section 1.11. The methodology and
findings of the investigation are presented in Chapters 8 and 9.


















162
Chapter 8 Multi-Storey Building Modelling


8.1 Stage 1 of the multi-storey modelling

The initial model was constructed as a single-room condition to test out
whether double-skin faade is able to provide a better indoor environment
under the hot and humid climate as compared to typical single-skin curtain
wall. In the earlier Chapter it was found that double-skin faade does perform
better compared to single-skin curtain wall system.

The positive finding has confirmed the possibility of introducing double-skin
faade to the hot and humid climatic condition in a country like Singapore.
This will bring us to the next stage of the modelling by extending the numerical
model to a six-storey building. The choice of implementing a six-storey high
building for the next stage for analysis is because the height of the overall
building will give a sufficient complexity to study the problem at hand and the
height is also being defined as high-rise building in the context of Singapore
situation.

The first block (Stage 1) of the six-storey building (Figure 8.1) consists of a
ground floor (which is not served by the double-skin faade, as this will be the
typical design for any high-rise building) and 5 stories of office spaces above.
The double-skin faade is a ventilated-shaft with a design of 2.8m from ground
level. In earlier findings it is a practical and economical option to introduce a
shaft to improve the stack effect of the natural ventilation and in turn will
improve the airflow rates required to reach thermal comfort level within the
interior office space.

The parameters and boundary conditions for this stage of the modelling are
listed below and shown in Figure 8.2:

Multistory Space (6-storey)
DSF faade system is orientated towards South and North
163
Simulations run for 2 periods of time => morning (10 am) and
afternoon (2 pm)
Wind direction => Perpendicular to the wall system
Wind speed => 0.5m/s to 3m/s
External temperature => 26
o
C to 30
o
C
Relative humidity => 70% to 100%
DSF opening size for inner pane => 300mm
Air gap size => 300mm to 1200mm
Vent size => 300mm x 600mm

WIND
GROUND FLOOR
VENT
2
8
0
04
0
0
0
WIND
3
5
0
0
1st FLOOR
2nd FLOOR
3
5
0
0
VENT
DSF
3rd FLOOR
2
1
5
0
0
3
5
0
0
WIND
WIND
VENT
4th FLOOR
3
5
0
0
5th FLOOR
3500
3
5
0
0
Figure 8.1 Model geometry of Stage 1 of the 6-storey building


164
The heat sources for this CFD model will only be introduced at alternate floor,
starting from 1
st
-storey. This was done to reduce the complexity of the model
and computing time, but at the same time will be able to give a comprehensive
view of the indoor thermal comfort of the office spaces. Each alternate floor
will have two occupants, two computers and four ceiling lights, which are the
same as the initial single office model discussed in Chapter 7. Each human
model is assigned with 75 W/m
2
of heat generation with clothing value (clo) of
1.0 and metabolic rate (met) of 1.2 for sedentary office activities. Heat
generated for the computers are 108 W/m
2
and 173 W/m
2
respectively and the
heat flux of the lighting fixture is assumed to be 38 W/m
2
each.
WIND - 0m/s to 3m/s
DSF FACING SOUTH / NORTH
D
S
F


O
P
E
N
I
N
G
OFFICE SPACE
V
E
N
T


S
I
Z
E
3
0
0

x

6
0
0
External Temperature - 26C to 30C
Relative Humidity - 70% to 100%
3
0
0
D
S
F


O
P
E
N
I
N
G
AIR GAP SIZE
300 - 1200
3
0
0

Figure 8.2 Boundary conditions and ranges of parameters used in the CFD
simulations


Boundary conditions for wind velocity, external temperature and relative
humidity were set to the ranges similar to the climatic conditions for
Singapore. The ambient temperature in Singapore is hot with high humidity
165
and relatively low wind velocity throughout most of the year. Only the
optimum opening sizes on the inner pane and the air gap sizes of the double-
skin faade (DSF) are being considered (as shown in Figure 8.2 above) for this
stage of simulations, based on the findings from the preliminary modelling in
Chapter 7. The optimum vent size at the rear wall was found to be 300mm by
600mm from previous findings and the condition behind the vent is an external
space with ambient temperature conditions (26
o
C 30
o
C). The scope of the
problem in investigation has been narrowed down and carefully controlled
to find the optimum DSF configuration for use in Singapore climatic
conditions.


8.1.1 Simulation results for South facing DSF system

The first group of simulations is generated with the DSF system constructed at
the south facing faade of the building only. The simulation periods are at 10
a.m. or 2 p.m. on either 15 January or 1 July of the month with wind direction
perpendicular to the DSF wall and with wind velocities of 0.5 m/s, 1.5 m/s and
3 m/s. The external ambient temperatures were set from 26
o
C to 30
o
C with
relative humidity ranging from 70% to 100%. The opening size for the inner
pane of the DSF system used is 300mm. The air gap sizes used for the DSF are
300mm, 600mm, 900mm and 1200mm. The air vent size at the rear office wall
is fixed at 300mm x 600mm.

There are a total of 18 location points being identified to record the simulation
results on thermal comfort parameters. Figure 8.3 shows six of those location
points that are 0.8m above the office floor level and 0.2m away from the two
human figures. These six points are chosen to monitor the thermal comfort
conditions experienced by the occupants. Tables 8.1 show some of the
comparative results for the simulation with different parameters used for the
boundary conditions and DSF configurations taken at P1, P6 and P11 (Figure
8.3). The indoor Operative Temperature (OT) calculated in the above table was
using the formula stated in Figure 8.4 and the value was used to identify
166
acceptable thermal comfort for naturally ventilated spaces in hot and humid
climate using the graph given in the same figure.





Figure 8.3 Location points for monitoring the simulation results (Stage 1)





P1
P2
P6
P7
P11
P12
1
st
Floor
3
rd
Floor
5th Floor
167



Simulation Orientation Date Time Air
Temp.
o
C
Wind
Vel.
m/s
Air RH
%
Air Gap
Size
mm

S1-1

South

15 Jan

2pm

28

1.5

80

300

S1-2

South

15 Jan

2pm

28

1.5

80

600

S1-3

South

15 Jan

2pm

28

1.5

80

900

S1-4

South

15 Jan

2pm

26

1.5

80

300

S1-5

South

15 Jan

10am

26

1.5

80

300

S1-6

South

15 Jan

10am

28

1.5

80

300

Simulation

Floor
Level
Temp.
o
C
Air
Vel.
m/s
Radiant
Temp.
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C

S1-1
1
28.5
0.04 29.93 70.49 1.99 29.22
3
29.08 0.01 29.52 77.3 1.8 29.30
5
29.47 0.01 29.64 75.59 1.85 29.56

S1-2
1
29.95 0.02 32.96 70.69 2.41 31.46
3
30.67 0.04 31.50 76.60 1.97 31.09
5
30.72 0.03 31.19 75.42 2.13 30.96

S1-3
1
29.99 0.03 32.48 70.61 2.38 30.59
3
30.47 0.06 32.25 77.40 2.04 31.36
5
30.43 0.04 31.98 76.25 1.9 31.20

S1-4
1
27.49 0.04 28.98 70.54 1.8 28.24
3
28.15 0.05 29.45 76.39 1.66 28.80
5
27.40 0.03 28.67 75.44 1.6 28.04
168

S1-5

1
27.38 0.02 28.74 70.22 1.97 28.06
3
28.07 0.04 29.59 76.13 1.62 28.83
5
27.61 0.03 28.81 74.85 1.59 28.21

S1-6

1 28.41 0.03 29.73 70.17 1.92 29.07
3 29 0.01 29.38 77.04 1.78 29.19
5 29.26 0.01 29.5 75 1.84 29.38

(Note: Shaded results are acceptable thermal comfort conditions)
Tables 8.1 Simulation results for P1, P6 and P11 of different boundary
conditions (Stage 1 South facing DSF system)




Air speed < 0.2m/s
Difference between radiant & air temp < 4C
Top = Ata + (1-A)Tr
V <0.2m/s 0.2-0.6m/s 0.6-1m/s
A 0.5 0.6 0.7


Figure 8.4 Thermal Environment Conditions for Human Occupancy from
ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2004

26
29.5
169



8.1.2 Simulation results for North facing DSF system

The second group of simulations is generated with the DSF system constructed
at the north facing faade of the building only. The simulations period are at 10
a.m. or 2 p.m. on either 15 January or 1 July of the month with wind direction
perpendicular to the DSF wall and with wind velocities of 0.5 m/s, 1.5 m/s and
3 m/s. The external ambient temperatures were set from 26
o
C to 30
o
C with
relative humidity ranging from 70% to 100%. The opening size on the DSF
system used is 300mm. The air gap sizes used for the DSF are 300mm,
600mm, 900mm and 1200mm. The air vent size at the rear office wall is fixed
at 300mm x 600mm. Tables 8.2 show some of the comparative results for the
simulation with different parameters used for the boundary conditions and DSF
configurations taken at P1, P6 and P11 (Figure 8.3).


Simulation Orientation Date Time Air
Temp.
o
C
Wind
Vel.
m/s
Air RH
%
Air Gap
Size
mm

S1-1a

North

15 Jan

2pm

28

1.5

80

300

S1-2a

North

15 Jan

2pm

28

1.5

80

600

S1-3a

North

15 Jan

2pm

28

1.5

80

900

S1-4a

North

15 Jan

2pm

26

1.5

80

300

S1-5a

North

15 Jan

10am

26

1.5

80

300

S1-6a

North

15 Jan

10am

28

1.5

80

300

170



Simulation

Floor
Level
Temp.
o
C
Air
Vel.
m/s
Radiant
Temp.
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C

S1-1a
1
28.78
0.03 34.16 72.1 2.17 31.47
3
29.83 0.03 35.97 67.84 2.41 32.90
5
29.31 0.04 36.21 69.91 2.4 32.76

S1-2a
1
30.23 0.03 37.17 72.39 2.59 33.70
3
31.42 0.04 35.45 67.6 2.57 33.44
5
30.88 0.03 37.76 69.73 2.68 34.32

S1-3a
1
30.24 0.04 36.65 72.31 2.55 33.45
3
31.22 0.06 36.1 68.4 2.6 33.66
5
30.65 0.05 34.66 70.65 2.45 32.66

S1-4a
1
27.75 0.03 33.21 72.14 1.98 30.48
3
28.92 0.06 33.94 67.39 2.16 31.43
5
27.56 0.03 35.31 72.99 2.12 31.44

S1-5a

1
27.66 0.03 33.17 72.53 1.97 30.42
3
28.81 0.04 35 67.85 2.22 31.91
5
27.79 0.03 35.21 72 2.14 31.50

S1-6a

1 28.68 0.03 34.12 72.46 1.90 31.40
3 29.75 0.02 34.79 68.78 2.34 32.27
5 29.40 0.02 35.5 73.14 2.33 32.45

Tables 8.2 Simulation results for P1, P6 and P11 of different boundary
conditions (Stage 1 North facing DSF system)


8.1.3 Analysis of results and findings for Stage 1

Selective results for South facing DSF with external wind velocity of 1.5m/s
and air humidity of 80% respectively are tabulated in Tables 8.1. The variable
parameters in consideration for this instance are external air temperature, the
171
DSF air gap size and the time of the day. Results for S1-1, S1-2 and S1-3
(South facing DSF) as shown in Tables 8.1 and Graph 8.1 indicated that the
DSF air gap size of 300mm gives the best result for the particular conditions in
a natural ventilated space. The findings are the same for the Northern
orientation faade as presented in Tables 8.2 and Graph 8.2. In most cases the
lower floor of the office space would generate the lowest operative temperature
due to the stack effect provided by the DSF configuration. This has enhanced
the natural ventilation strategy to provide better internal thermal comfort
condition for the office spaces.

There is not much of a difference in terms of the internal thermal comfort
conditions for either period of time in a given day (morning or afternoon) as
seen in the results for S1-4 and S1-5 for South facing DSF and for S1-4a and
S1-5a for North facing DSF. There is an internal temperature difference of
0.5
o
C for the mid-floor of North facing DSF and this could be due to the slower
internal air velocity generated (Tables 8.1 and 8.2). The overall results for 1
st

July for both faade orientations (South and North) are slightly better than 15
th

January for most conditions.

The South facing DSF configuration has produced an 80% Acceptability Limit
for the 300mm air gap size for external temperatures between 26
o
C and 28
o
C,
according to the Thermal Environment Conditions for Human Occupancy from
ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2004 as indicated in Figure 8.4. This is tabulated
in accordance with the context that the office building is located in the
Northern Hemisphere of tropical climate like the country of Singapore. The
North facing DSF configuration did not produce any acceptable internal
thermal comfort condition for the office space (Tables 8.2 and Graph 8.2) as
the operative temperatures for all the floors are above 30
o
C. Even though the
results for the North facing DSF during the period of 1
st
July is slightly better
than the period of 15
th
Jan but it still does not provide an acceptable internal
thermal comfort condition. This has again confirmed that the southern
orientation is the best facing for buildings in the Northern Hemisphere.
172
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
1st Floor 3rd Floor 5th Floor
S1-1
S1-2
S1-3
S1-4
S1-5
S1-6

Graph 8.1 Comparison of Operative Temperatures (
o
C) for South facing DSF
(Stage 1)

29
30
31
32
33
34
35
1st Floor 3rd Floor 5th Floor
S1-1a
S1-2a
S1-3a
S1-4a
S1-5a
S1-6a

Graph 8.2 Comparison of Operative Temperatures (
o
C) for North facing DSF
(Stage 1)



8.2 Stage 2 of the multi-storey modelling

The Stage 2 of the simulation model (Figure 8.6) consists of a 6-storey office
spaces. A fan is introduced at the bottom portion of the ventilated-shaft design
of the DSF to simulate the continuity of the airflow from the stage 1 model.
The flow rate of the fan is calculated to be 5.57m
3
/s from simulation results
173
from Stage 1. The parameters and boundary conditions for this stage of the
modelling are listed below (also as shown in Figure 8.2):

Multistorey Space (6-storey)
DSF faade system is orientated towards South and North
Simulations run for 2 periods of time => morning (10 am) and
afternoon (2 pm)
Wind direction => Perpendicular to the wall system
Wind speed => 0.5m/s to 3m/s
External temperature => 26
o
C to 30
o
C
Relative humidity => 70% to 100%
DSF opening size for inner pane => 300mm
Air gap size => 300mm to 1200mm
Vent size => 300mm x 600mm

The heat sources for this stage of CFD model will only be introduced at
alternate floors also, namely at 7
th
, 9
th
and 11
th
. Each alternate floor will have
two occupants, two computers and four ceiling lights, which are the same as
the initial single office model discussed in Chapter 7. Each human model is
assigned with 75 W/m
2
of heat generation with clothing value (clo) of 1.0 and
metabolic rate (met) of 1.2 for sedentary office activities. Heat generated for
the computers are 108 W/m
2
and 173 W/m
2
respectively and the heat flux of
the lighting fixture is assumed to be 38 W/m
2
each. Figure 8.5 below shows the
location points selected for obtaining thermal comfort parameters for analysis.


174


Figure 8.5 Location points for recording the simulation results (Stage 2)



P1
P2
7
th
Floor
P6
P7
9
th
Floor
P11
P12
11th Floor
175
3
5
0
0
3500
10th FLOOR
3
5
0
0
9th FLOOR
WIND
WIND
3
5
0
0
2
1
0
0
0
8th FLOOR
DSF
VENT
3
5
0
0
7th FLOOR
3
5
0
0
WIND
VENT
6th FLOOR
VENT
11th FLOOR
WIND
3
5
0
0
FAN

Figure 8.6 Model geometry of Stage 2 of the 18-storey office building


8.2.1 Simulation results for South facing DSF system

The simulation period are at 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. on either 15 January or 1 July of
the month with wind direction perpendicular to the DSF wall and with wind
velocities of 0.5 m/s, 1.5 m/s and 3 m/s. The external ambient temperatures
were set from 26
o
C to 30
o
C with relative humidity ranging from 70% to 100%.
The opening size on the DSF system used is 300mm. The air gap sizes used for
the DSF are 300mm, 600mm, 900mm and 1200mm. The air vent size at the
rear office wall is fixed at 300mm x 600mm.
176


Simulation Orientation Date Time Air
Temp.
o
C
Wind
Vel.
m/s
Air RH
%
Air Gap
Size
mm

S2-1

South

15 Jan

2pm

28

1.5

80

300

S2-2

South

15 Jan

2pm

28

1.5

80

600

S2-3

South

15 Jan

2pm

28

1.5

80

900

S2-4

South

15 Jan

2pm

26

1.5

80

300

S2-5

South

15 Jan

10am

26

1.5

80

300

S2-6

South

15 Jan

10am

28

1.5

80

300

Simulation

Floor
Level
Temp.
o
C
Air
Vel.
m/s
Radiant
Temp.
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C

S2-1
7
28.81
0.06 31.11 74.12 1.91 29.96
9
28.87 0.03 30.52 74.47 1.89 29.70
11
30.18 0.08 32.08 72.56 2.07 31.13

S2-2
7
30.24 0.04 33.98 74.29 2.37 32.11
9
30.46 0.05 32.43 73.88 1.87 31.44
11
31.42 0.08 33.65 72.72 1.91 32.54

S2-3
7
30.29 0.05 33.58 74.21 2.28 31.94
9
30.23 0.07 33.23 74.59 1.96 31.73
11
31.14 0.10 34.38 73.69 2.10 32.76

S2-4
7
27.79 0.06 30.09 74.14 1.71 28.94
9
27.91 0.06 30.45 73.62 1.76 29.18
11
28.11 0.09 31.13 72.78 1.82 29.62
7
27.66 0.06 29.83 73.80 1.86 28.75
177
S2-5 9
27.85 0.05 30.58 73.92 1.72 29.22
11
28.32 0.09 31.22 72.23 1.81 29.77

S2-6

7 28.72 0.05 30.83 73.77 1.87 29.78
9 28.88 0.02 30.38 76.35 1.88 29.63
11 29.97 0.07 31.72 72.66 1.64 30.85

(Note: Shaded results are acceptable thermal comfort conditions)

Tables 8.3 Simulation results for P1, P6 and P11 of different boundary
conditions (Stage 2 South facing DSF system)


8.2.2 Simulation results for North facing DSF system

This group of simulations is generated with the DSF system constructed at the
north facing faade of the building with similar boundary conditions and DSF
system configurations as the south facing faade in section 8.2.1.

Simulation Orientation Date Time Air
Temp.
o
C
Wind
Vel.
m/s
Air RH
%
Air Gap
Size
mm

S2-1a

North

15 Jan

2pm

28

1.5

80

300

S2-2a

North

15 Jan

2pm

28

1.5

80

600

S2-3a

North

15 Jan

2pm

28

1.5

80

900

S2-4a

North

15 Jan

2pm

26

1.5

80

300

S2-5a

North

15 Jan

10am

26

1.5

80

300

S2-6a

North

15 Jan

10am

28

1.5

80

300


178
Simulation

Floor
Level
Temp.
o
C
Air
Vel.
m/s
Radiant
Temp.
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C

S2-1a
7
28.58
0.06 37.26 70.08 2.39 32.92
9
30.07 0.05 38.66 61.95 2.83 34.36
11
29.86 0.10 38.98 69.70 2.71 34.42

S2-2a
7
30.03 0.06 39.21 70.48 2.26 34.62
9
31.65 0.05 38.19 68.72 2.17 34.92
11
31.43 0.09 39.88 69.54 2.39 35.66

S2-3a
7
29.82 0.07 39.77 70.38 2.27 34.80
9
31.46 0.06 38.86 63.23 3.01 35.16
11
31.27 0.11 38.76 70.43 2.78 35.02

S2-4a
7
27.45 0.05 35.31 71.14 2.25 31.38
9
29.16 0.06 36.69 65.39 2.46 32.93
11
28.11 0.08 38.46 72.76 2.44 33.28

S2-5a
7
27.36 0.06 36.29 70.55 2.24 31.82
9
29.05 0.05 37.73 63.18 2.40 33.39
11
28.34 0.09 39.39 71.89 2.37 33.86

S2-6a

7 28.59 0.06 37.24 70.42 2.17 32.92
9 29.99 0.06 37.45 64.23 2.74 33.72
11 29.95 0.08 39.68 72.96 2.63 34.82

Tables 8.4 Simulation results for P1, P6 and P11 of different boundary
conditions (Stage 2 North facing DSF system)


8.2.3 Analysis of results and findings for Stage 2

The selected results for both South and North facing DSF configurations are
having similar parameters as Stage 1 for direct comparison. The external wind
velocity is 1.5m/s and air humidity is 80% respectively and the variable
parameters in consideration for this Stage are external air temperature, the DSF
air gap size and the time of the day, as tabulated in Tables 8.3 and Tables 8.4.
Results for S2-1, S2-2 and S2-3 (South facing DSF) as shown in Tables 8.3 and
179
Graph 8.3 indicated that the DSF air gap size of 300mm gives the best result
for the particular conditions in a natural ventilated space, as in Stage 1 also.
The findings are the same for the Northern orientation faade as presented in
Tables 8.4 and Graph 8.4. In most cases the lower floor of the office space
would generate the lowest operative temperature due to the stack effect
provided by the DSF configuration.

There is not much of a difference in terms of the internal thermal comfort
conditions for either period of time in a given day (morning or afternoon) as
seen in the results for S2-4 and S2-5 for South facing DSF but for North facing
DSF morning period has a higher operative temperatures compare to afternoon
period (as indicated in S2-4a and S2-5a). This could be due to the higher
internal radiant temperatures generated during this particular period of time
(Tables 8.4).

The South facing DSF configuration has produced an 80% Acceptability Limit
for the 300mm air gap size for external temperature of 26
o
C up to 9
th
Floor as
indicated in Tables 8.3. The North facing DSF configuration did not produce
any acceptable internal thermal comfort condition for the office space (Tables
8.4 and Graph 8.4) as the operative temperatures for all the floors are above
31
o
C.

26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
7th Floor 9th Floor 11th Floor
S2-1
S2-2
S2-3
S2-4
S2-5
S2-6

Graph 8.3 Comparison of Operative Temperatures (
o
C) for South facing DSF
(Stage 2)
180

29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
7th Floor 9th Floor 11th Floor
S2-1a
S2-2a
S2-3a
S2-4a
S2-5a
S2-6a

Graph 8.4 Comparison of Operative Temperatures (
o
C) for North facing DSF
(Stage 2)



8.3 Stage 3 of the multi-storey modelling

The Stage 3 of the simulation model (Figure 8.8) consists of a 6-storey office
spaces. A fan is introduced at the bottom portion of the ventilated-shaft design
of the DSF to simulate the continuity of the airflow from the stage 2 model.
The flow rate of the fan is 17.7m
3
/s and it was calculated from Stage 2
simulations. There is a 1m high parapet at the rooftop of the office building
model.

The parameters and boundary conditions for this stage of the modelling are
listed below:

Multistorey Space (6-storey)
DSF faade system is orientated towards South and North
Simulations run for 2 periods of time => morning (10 am) and
afternoon (2 pm)
Wind direction => Perpendicular to the wall system
Wind speed => 0.5m/s to 3m/s
181
External temperature => 26
o
C to 30
o
C
Relative humidity => 70% to 100%
DSF opening size for inner pane => 300mm
Air gap size => 300mm to 1200mm
Vent size => 300mm x 600mm

The heat sources for this stage of CFD model will only be introduced at
alternate floors also, namely at 13
th
, 15
th
and 17
th
. Each alternate floor will have
two occupants, two computers and four ceiling lights, which are the same as
the initial single office model discussed in Chapter 7. Each human model is
assigned with 75 W/m
2
of heat generation with clothing value (clo) of 1.0 and
metabolic rate (met) of 1.2 for sedentary office activities. Heat generated for
the computers are 108 W/m
2
and 173 W/m
2
respectively and the heat flux of
the lighting fixture is assumed to be 38 W/m
2
each. Figure 8.7 below shows the
location points selected for obtaining thermal comfort parameters for analysis.
182


Figure 8.7 Location points for monitoring the simulation results (Stage 3)


P1
P2
13
th
Floor
P6
P7
15
th
Floor
P11
P12
17th Floor
183
WIND
WIND
3
5
0
0
12th FLOOR
FAN
13th FLOOR
VENT
14th FLOOR
3
5
0
0
2
1
0
0
0
3
5
0
0
WIND
DSF
WIND
VENT
15th FLOOR
VENT
16th FLOOR
3500
3
5
0
0
3
5
0
0
17th FLOOR
3
5
0
0
1
0
0
0
Figure 8.8 Model geometry of Stage 3 of the 18-storey office building



8.3.1 Simulation results for South facing DSF system

The simulation periods are at 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. on either 15 January or 1 July
of the month with wind direction perpendicular to the DSF wall and with wind
velocities of 0.5 m/s, 1.5 m/s and 3 m/s. The external ambient temperatures
were set from 26
o
C to 30
o
C with relative humidity ranging from 70% to 100%.
The opening size on the DSF system used is 300mm. The air gap sizes used for
the DSF are 300mm, 600mm, 900mm and 1200mm. The air vent size at the
rear office wall is fixed at 300mm x 600mm.
184
Simulation Orientation Date Time Air
Temp.
o
C
Wind
Vel.
m/s
Air RH
%
Air Gap
Size
mm

S3-1

South

15 Jan

2pm

28

1.5

80

300

S3-2

South

15 Jan

2pm

28

1.5

80

600

S3-3

South

15 Jan

2pm

28

1.5

80

900

S3-4

South

15 Jan

2pm

26

1.5

80

300

S3-5

South

15 Jan

10am

26

1.5

80

300

S3-6

South

15 Jan

10am

28

1.5

80

300

Simulation

Floor
Level
Temp.
o
C
Air
Vel.
m/s
Radiant
Temp.
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C

S3-1
13
28.11
0.2 28.28 77.35 1.33 28.2
15
28.16 0.15 27.48 77.6 1.35 27.82
17
29.57 0.09 28.55 75.09 1.62 29.06

S3-2
13
29.51 0.21 31.04 77.5 1.8 30.28
15
29.72 0.17 29.35 77.01 1.36 29.54
17
30.84 0.09 30.1 75.38 1.42 30.47

S3-3
13
29.53 0.21 30.67 77.44 1.75 30.1
15
29.52 0.19 30.15 77.77 1.44 29.84
17
30.51 0.11 30.83 76.31 1.62 30.67

S3-4
13
27.06 0.22 27.16 77.37 1.15 27.11
15
27.2 0.18 27.38 76.76 1.22 27.29
17
27.5 0.1 27.58 75.41 1.34 27.54

S3-5
13
26.93 0.22 26.96 77.05 1.3 26.94
15
27.12 0.17 27.5 77.09 1.21 27.31
17
27.73 0.1 27.68 74.83 1.33 27.7
185

S3-6

13 28.02 0.19 27.93 77 1.32 27.98
15 28.18 0.15 27.34 79.52 1.34 27.76
17 29.33 0.08 28.27 75.29 1.13 28.8

(Note: Shaded results are acceptable thermal comfort conditions)

Tables 8.5 Simulation results for P1, P6 and P11 of different boundary
conditions (Stage 3 South facing DSF system)


8.3.2 Simulation results for North facing DSF system

This group of simulations is generated with the DSF system constructed at the
north facing faade of the building with similar boundary conditions and DSF
system configurations as the south facing faade in section 8.3.1.


Simulation Orientation Date Time Air
Temp.
o
C
Wind
Vel.
m/s
Air RH
%
Air Gap
Size
mm

S3-1a

North

15 Jan

2pm

28

1.5

80

300

S3-2a

North

15 Jan

2pm

28

1.5

80

600

S3-3a

North

15 Jan

2pm

28

1.5

80

900

S3-4a

North

15 Jan

2pm

26

1.5

80

300

S3-5a

North

15 Jan

10am

26

1.5

80

300

S3-6a

North

15 Jan

10am

28

1.5

80

300



186
Simulation

Floor
Level
Temp.
o
C
Air
Vel.
m/s
Radiant
Temp.
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C

S3-1a
13
27.88
0.18 33.5 74.38 1.87 30.69
15
29.14 0.15 33.72 69.58 2.05 31.43
17
29.62 0.08 35.84 75.04 2.24 32.73

S3-2a
13
29.28 0.2 36.22 74.53 2.33 32.75
15
30.96 0.17 35.55 68.79 2.06 33.26
17
30.88 0.08 37.38 75.34 2.04 34.13

S3-3a
13
29.19 0.21 35.89 74.45 2.28 32.54
15
30.75 0.18 36.33 69.59 2.14 33.54
17
30.55 0.1 38.11 76.28 2.22 34.33

S3-4a
13
26.93 0.2 32.34 74.47 1.66 29.64
15
28.57 0.17 33.58 68.68 1.92 31.08
17
27.55 0.08 34.87 75.34 1.96 31.21

S3-5a
13
26.59 0.21 32.17 74 1.8 29.38
15
28.43 0.18 33.75 68.97 1.89 31.09
17
27.77 0.1 35.01 74.81 1.92 31.39

S3-6a

13 27.69 0.18 33.2 73.89 1.85 30.44
15 29.45 0.16 33.58 71.22 2.02 31.52
17 29.4 0.07 35.6 75.23 1.75 32.5

(Note: Shaded result is acceptable thermal comfort condition)

Tables 8.6 Simulation results for P1, P6 and P11 of different boundary
conditions (Stage 3 North facing DSF system)


8.3.3 Analysis of results and findings for Stage 3

The selected results for both South and North facing DSF configurations are
having similar parameters as Stages 1 and 2 for direct comparison. The external
wind velocity is 1.5m/s and air humidity is 80% respectively and the variable
parameters in consideration for this Stage are also external air temperature, the
DSF air gap size and the time of the day, as tabulated in Tables 8.5 and Tables
187
8.6. Results for S3-1, S3-2 and S3-3 (South facing DSF) as shown in Tables
8.5 and Graph 8.5 indicated that the DSF air gap size of 300mm gives the best
result for the particular conditions in a natural ventilated space, as in Stages 1
and 2. The findings are the same for the Northern orientation faade as
presented in Tables 8.6 and Graph 8.6. In most cases the lower floor of the
office space would generate the lowest operative temperature due to the stack
effect provided by the DSF configuration, as in Stages 1 and 2 also.

There is not much of a difference in terms of the internal thermal comfort
conditions for either period of time in a given day (morning or afternoon) as
seen in the results for S3-4 and S3-5 for South facing DSF, and results for S3-
4a and S3-5a for North facing DSF.

The South facing DSF configuration has produced an 80% Acceptability Limit
for the 300mm air gap size for external temperatures between 26
o
C and 28
o
C as
indicated in Tables 8.5 and Graph 8.5. The North facing DSF configuration did
not produce any acceptable internal thermal comfort condition for the office
space except for the lower floor for 300mm air gap configuration with external
air temperature of 26
o
C during morning period (Tables 8.6 and Graph 8.6).

25
26
27
28
29
30
31
13th Floor 15th Floor 17th Floor
S3-1
S3-2
S3-3
S3-4
S3-5
S3-6

Graph 8.5 Comparison of Operative Temperatures (
o
C) for South facing DSF
(Stage 3)

188
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
13th Floor 15th Floor 17th Floor
S3-1a
S3-2a
S3-3a
S3-4a
S3-5a
S3-6a

Graph 8.6 Comparison of Operative Temperatures (
o
C) for North facing DSF
(Stage 3)



8.4 Comparison results for different orientations

The simulation results for the three stages of the modelling have shown that the
South-facing orientation provide a better outcome compared to the North-
facing direction. The optimum air gap size for the double-skin faade
construction is found to be 300mm and the best results were obtained during
the morning period.

Tables 8.7 below recorded the comparison of selective results between the four
major orientations for a double-skin faade installation for a typical high-rise
office building. The results show that the South-facing faade has the best
outcome followed by the East-facing faade during the morning period in the
month of January. The North-facing and the West-facing faades do not
provide an acceptable indoor thermal comfort for the purposes of office
function in a high-rise building. Graph 8.7 shows the comparison of operative
temperatures for the four orientations, which has further reinforced the
simulation results, that the best orientation for installing double-skin faade for
high-rise office building in the tropics is the South-facing orientation.


189
Simulation Orientation Date Time Air
Temp.
o
C
Wind
Vel.
m/s
Air RH
%
Air Gap
Size
mm

S3-5

South

15 Jan

10am

26

1.5

80

300

S3-5a

North

15 Jan

10am

26

1.5

80

300

S4-5

East

15 Jan

10am

26

1.5

80

300

S4-5a

West

15 Jan

10am

26

1.5

80

300



Simulation

Floor
Level
Temp.
o
C
Air Vel.
m/s
Radiant
Temp.
o
C
RH
%
OT
o
C

S3-5
(South)
13
26.93
0.22 26.96 77.05 26.94
15
27.12 0.17 27.5 77.09 27.31
17
27.73 0.1 27.68 74.83 27.7

S3-5a
(North)
13
26.59 0.21 32.17 74 29.38
15
28.43 0.18 33.75 68.97 31.09
17
27.77 0.1 35.01 74.81 31.39

S4-5
(East)
13
27.16 0.16 27.61 76.93 27.38
15
27.28 0.14 27.77 76.37 27.52
17
27.61 0.13 28.06 74.93 27.84

S4-5a
(West)
13
26.88 0.15 32.33 77.23 29.6
15
27.09 0.17 33.54 76.83 30.32
17
27.3 0.11 34.97 75.28 31.14

(Note: Shaded results are acceptable thermal comfort conditions)

Tables 8.7 Comparison of selected simulation results for different orientations
of DSF system

190
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
13th Floor 15th Floor 17th Floor
South
North
East
West

Graph 8.7 Comparison of Operative Temperatures (OT) for four major faade
orientations of DSF system




8.5 The complete 18-storey office building

With the completion of the three stages of simulations, numerous simulation
runs had been carried out with various ambient temperatures, different external
air velocities, different orientations of the double-skin faade, different periods
of time during the day, etc in order to find out the appropriate window periods
for acceptable indoor conditions for office workers in the Singapore context.
These findings will be of outmost important as an indication whether double-
skin faade is really possible to be used as a mean to introduce natural
ventilation to the high-rise buildings in the tropics. The results and findings
will also bear an important decision in how to carry out the optimization of the
faade system for the whole high-rise office building, which will be discussed
in detailed in Chapter 9.

Figure 8.9 shows the complete 18-storey office building with typical multi-
storey double-skin faade configuration. The proposed DSF starts from 1
st

storey at 2.8 meters from ground level up to the 17
th
storey with 1-meter
parapet above the roof level. The office spaces are assumed to be divided into a
number of small office usages and are tenanted out to various occupants. All
191
office spaces are assumed to face the DSF at the front and facing open corridor
at the rear.

2
8
0
0
WIND
4
0
0
0
1st FLOOR
GROUND FLOOR
VENT
WIND
WIND
WIND
3
5
0
0
3
5
0
0
2nd FLOOR
DSF
VENT
6
3
5
0
0
3
5
0
0
3
5
0
0
16th FLOOR
17th FLOOR
VENT
3500
1
0
0
0

Figure 8.9 The model of the complete 18-storey office building



8.6 Conclusion

The completion of this stage of research has found a new type of double-skin
faade configuration for use in the tropic and the optimum orientation for the
192
faade is South-facing. The findings helped to answer the second research
questions set out in Section 1.11 that the acceptable opening window for
introducing natural ventilation into the office space using double-skin faade
system are between 10am in the morning and 2pm in the afternoon for a hot
and humid climate condition. These findings also confirmed the review done
by Dr. Karl Gertis (Section 4.4.6) that double-skin faade cannot provide
acceptable indoor climate condition with natural ventilation alone for most
period of the year.

It is also the intent of this research to find an optimum faade configuration for
the high-rise office building in the tropic. The next Chapter has been devoted to
present the optimisation of this faade system and to propose a refined faade
configuration and to present a series of nomograms to help designers in their
design process for double-skin faade for high-rise office building in hot and
humid countries.



















193

Chapter 9 Parametric Studies of Optimization



9.1 Strategies for natural ventilation optimization

The completion of the 18-storey building analysis in previous Chapter had
revealed that only the South facing DSF system is viable in terms of providing
acceptable internal thermal comfort through natural ventilation in hot and
humid climatic conditions. The analysis is confined to using a multi-storey
faade DSF system which could provide the maximum extraction force
required to ventilate the internal office spaces through combined wind and
stack effects. The following strategies are designed to further investigate
possibilities to improve the ventilation rates within the office spaces by
modifying the configurations of the DSF system. The strategies are:

a) Modify the ventilated shaft by introducing openings onto the outer
pane of the DSF system. Different sizes and locations for the
openings will be investigated and their effects onto internal thermal
comfort for the office spaces are observed.
b) Extending the ventilation shaft of the DSF system above the roof
level to find out their effects onto the ventilation rates within the
internal office spaces.
c) Compare the results of the extended shaft design with the
installation of mechanical fan at the top part of the DSF system.
This is the comparison between natural ventilation and mixed mode
ventilation for thermal comfort using DSF in the hot and humid
climate.
d) Investigating the effect of sun shading device to the DSF system.
e) Computation of graphs and nomograms to help in the design
process of using DSF system in the hot and humid climate.
194

9.1.1 Investigation of different opening locations on the outer pane of
DSF system

In this investigation openings are introduced on the outer pane of the DSF
system. The optimum opening location will be investigated for providing the
lowest indoor temperature and relative humidity and at the same time giving
acceptable indoor air velocities for carrying out normal office tasks. Figure 9.1
shows the various locations (L1) of the opening under investigation. The 1
st

location (Opening A) selected is the midway between the ceiling and the
ground level of the next floor. The 2
nd
location (Opening B) is at the ceiling
level. The 3
rd
location (Opening C) is at the same level as the opening of the
inner pane. The 4
th
location (Opening D) chosen is at the mid height of the
room and the 5
th
location (Opening E) is 300mm above the floor level of the
room. The outer pane opening size used for this investigation is 200mm.

The boundary conditions used for the simulation are:
- Wind speeds of 0.5m/s, 1.5m/s and 3m/s
- External temperatures between 26
o
C to 30
o
C
- Relative humidity between 70% to 100%
- DSF air gap size of 300mm
- Inner pane opening size is 400mm
- Rear wall vent size is 300mm x 600mm




(i) Opening A (ii) Opening B
L1
L1
195



(iii) Opening C (iv) Opening D




(v) Opening E

Figure 9.1 Investigation of different opening locations (L1) for the outer pane
of DSF system


Measurements of indoor conditions for air temperature, air velocity and relative
humidity are investigated at 1.2m above floor level and at the center of the
office space. There are four measurement points (C1, C2, C3 and C4) selected
across the internal room space as indicated in Figure 9.2. Table 9.1 shows a
sample of the measurements taken from the simulations with external
temperature of 30
o
C, wind velocity of 1.5m/s and relative humidity of 80%.
L1
L1
L1
196
OFFICE
1
2
0
0
500 1000 1000 500 500
C1 C2 C3 C4
OUTDOOR

Figure 9.2 Schematic drawing showing selected points for monitoring
simulation results


C1 C2 C3 C4
Opening A Temp (
o
C) 30.08 30.12 30.16 30.14
Velocity (m/s) 0.11 0.04 0.02 0.02
Relative
Humidity (%)
79.74 79.61 79.51 79.55
Opening B Temp (
o
C) 30.1 30.18 30.2 30.19
Velocity (m/s) 0.09 0.03 0.02 0.03
Relative
Humidity (%)
79.69 79.45 79.4 79.42
Opening C Temp (
o
C) 30.09 30.13 30.17 30.10
Velocity (m/s) 0.11 0.1 0.09 0.04
Relative
Humidity (%)
79.72 79.6 79.49 79.71
Opening D Temp (
o
C) 30.22 30.21 30.22 30.21
Velocity (m/s) 0.07 0.05 0.04 0.04
Relative
Humidity (%)
79.36 79.38 79.35 79.39
Opening E Temp (
o
C) 30.23 30.23 30.2 30.21
Velocity (m/s) 0.05 0.02 0.03 0.03
Relative
Humidity (%)
79.33 79.33 79.42 79.39

Table 9.1 Table showing sample of simulation results for different opening
locations (L1)
197
30
30.05
30.1
30.15
30.2
30.25
C1 C2 C3 C4
Opening A
Opening B
Opening C
Opening D
Opening E

Graph 9.1 Graph showing the temperatures (
o
C) comparison for different
opening locations
0
0.02
0.04
0.06
0.08
0.1
0.12
C1 C2 C3 C4
Opening A
Opening B
Opening C
Opening D
Opening E

Graph 9.2 Graph showing the air velocity (m/s) comparison for different
opening locations

Graphs 9.1 and 9.2 had shown the temperature and air velocity comparison for
the four measuring points of the different opening locations. Opening A has the
lowest indoor temperature and Openings D & E having the highest
temperatures. Even though Opening C has the highest internal air velocities
compared to the rest, three out of four of the velocity values are higher than
0.08m/s, which is the maximum acceptable indoor air velocity for operation of
normal office tasks. Opening D would provide the best indoor air velocity
required. Opening A gives the second best solutions as far as air velocity is
198
concerned. After analyzing all the simulation results and taking all the thermal
comfort parameters into consideration, Opening A would give the optimum
result as compared to the rest of the options.


9.1.2 Investigation of different opening sizes on the outer pane of DSF
system

Following from the above findings, different opening sizes are used to
investigate the optimum size for the 1
st
location. The opening sizes used are
150mm, 300mm and 450mm. Figure 9.3 below shows the configuration for the
model used in the simulations. The boundary conditions for this stage of the
simulations are similar to the investigation for the optimum opening locations
discussed in section 9.1.1. The findings show that opening size of 300mm
provides the optimum ventilation rates for the internal office space and gives
the most desirable thermal comfort conditions.
300
D
S
F


O
P
E
N
I
N
G D
S
F


O
P
E
N
I
N
G
Relative Humidity - 70% to 100%
DSF FACING SOUTH / NORTH
External Temperature - 26C to 30C
WIND - 0m/s to 3m/s
D
S
F


O
P
E
N
I
N
G D
S
F


O
P
E
N
I
N
G
3
0
0
3
0
0

x

6
0
0
V
E
N
T


S
I
Z
E
AIR GAP SIZE
OFFICE SPACE
3
0
0

Figure 9.3 Investigation of different opening sizes for the outer pane of DSF
system
199
9.1.3 A new type of DSF configuration for hot and humid climate

From the above investigations, a new type of DSF system (Figure 9.4) has
emerged for the use in the hot and humid climate. The new DSF faade system
is a combination of Multi-storey faade configuration with specific openings
located at the outer pane of the system. The openings at the outer pane are
located above the ceiling level and usually there will be spandrel panels behind
at these portions of the building construction. In view of that, this new faade
configuration will not have negative impact onto the external aesthetic of the
high-rise building design.

WIND
WIND
WIND
WIND
V 1
GROUND FLOOR
2
8
0
0
1st FLOOR
4
0
0
0
V 16
V 2
C 1
E 1
C 2
2nd FLOOR
3
5
0
0
3
5
0
0
V 3
E 2
C 15
DSF
E 15
6
3
5
0
0
3
5
0
0
V 17
C 16
16th FLOOR
E 16
17th FLOOR
3
5
0
0
C 17
3500
D


Figure 9.4 A new type of double-skin faade model for hot and humid climate
200

9.1.4 Investigation of different shaft heights of DSF system

With the optimum openings location and size obtained for the outer pane of
the DSF system, the next step is to investigate the different heights of the DSF
system above the roof level. The shaft heights being selected are 1.5m, 2.5m
and 3.6m and Figure 9.5 below shows the parameters for the model used in
simulations. The optimum opening size for the outer pane is 300mm and the air
gap size is set at 300mm also for this investigation.

There are 18 points being carefully selected for the CFD model to record the
parametric results in order to compute the thermal comfort indices generated.
Thermal comfort parameters (e.g. air temperature, air velocity, relative
humidity, air pressure, radiant temperature, etc) are recorded for 1
st
, 3
rd
and 5
th

floors of the internal office spaces and three points at the double-skin faade
itself, namely at the bottom, middle and top parts. Figure 9.6 shows all the
location points selected for the simulation results.
S
H
A
F
T


H
E
I
G
H
T
1
.
5
m
,

2
.
5
m

o
r

3
.
6
m
WIND - 0m/s to 3m/s
V
E
N
T


S
I
Z
E
3
0
0

x

6
0
0
D
S
F


O
P
E
N
I
N
G
D
S
F


O
P
E
N
I
N
G
3
0
0
AIR GAP SIZE
300
External Temperature - 26C to 30C
Relative Humidity - 70% to 100%
DSF FACING SOUTH / NORTH
WIND - 0m/s to 3m/s
D
S
F


O
P
E
N
I
N
G D
S
F


O
P
E
N
I
N
G
OFFICE SPACE
3
0
0

Figure 9.5 Model configurations for simulations
201



Figure 9.6 Location points for monitoring the simulation results (for the
extended shaft model)

P1a P2a
P3a
P4a
P5a
P16a
P17a
P18a
P6a P7a
P8a
P9a
P10a
P11a P12a
P13a
P14a
P15a
202


Figure 9.7 Isometric view 3.6m shaft with openings at outer pane of DSF


Figure 9.7 showing the Airpak modelling screen plot of the isometric view for
the model under investigation. The model is constructed with a 6-storey block
office building with extended DSF shaft above the roof level.

Figures 9.8 to 9.11 are the screen plots of one of the simulation results
obtained. From the velocity vectors plot (Figure 9.8) one could observe that the
airflow patterns within the office spaces for all the floors are similar. It is
flowing in a clock-wise direction from the top of the room to the bottom part
with a strong velocity at the high level. The flow does not create a cross
ventilation effect within the room space.
203


Figure 9.8 Velocity vectors study of air velocity magnitudes and its moving
directions




Figure 9.9 Temperature contours study of temperature distribution within
the office spaces
204


Figure 9.10 Velocity particle traces study of air flow patterns within the
office spaces




Figure 9.11 Pressure contours study of external and internal pressures acted
onto the building
205
Temperature contour study from Figure 9.9 has shown that the lower floor of
the office space has lower internal temperatures compared to higher floor. Top
floor would be the hottest and it might require some sort of mechanical means
to provide a better thermal comfort environment. It is interesting to find out
that the back portion of the office for all the floors are having higher
temperatures compare to the front part. This could be due to the warm air has
been brought to the back part of the office space caused by the airflow pattern
generated.

The velocity particle traces plot in Figure 9.10 shows that the wind velocity has
been slowed down when it approaches the faade system of the building block.
This has created a strong upturn force when the wind hitting the wall surface
and created a drastic and irregular turbulence patterns over and above the
extended shaft of the DSF system.

The pressure contour plot in Figure 9.11 showing higher pressure is inserted at
the faade system at the lower floor of the building. It created a cone shape
pattern in front of the faade. The pressure inside the air gap of the DSF system
is also higher at lower level and gradually decreases while it goes higher. This
is also true for the pressure within the office space for different floors.

26.5
27
27.5
28
28.5
29
29.5
30
30.5
Level 1 Level 3 Level 5
1.5m Shaft
2.5m Shaft
3.6m Shaft
4m Shaft

Graph 9.3 Indoor Operative Temperatures (
o
C) taken at locations P1a, P6a
and P11a (various shaft heights)
206
26.5
27
27.5
28
28.5
29
29.5
30
Level 1 Level 3 Level 5
1.5m Shaft
2.5m Shaft
3.6m Shaft
4m Shaft

Graph 9.4 Indoor Operative Temperatures (
o
C) taken at locations P2a, P7a
and P12a (various shaft heights)

Both of the graphs 9.3 and 9.4 show that the 3.6m-shaft is the optimum
solution and gives better indoor operative temperatures for offices at all the
floors. The height of the shaft is about the same as one-storey high and this will
be a better solution in terms of construction cost and architectural aesthetic of
the building design. Some of the selected shaft heights investigation results are
presented in Appendix B with comparison of thermal comfort profiles for two
selected simulations that show the 3.6m-shaft is the better solution.


9.1.5 Investigation of different air gap sizes with optimum shaft height

After establishing the optimum shaft height for the new type of DSF system,
the next parameter to look into is the effect of different air gap sizes on the
indoor thermal comfort. Different air gap sizes of 300mm, 600mm, 900mm and
1200mm will be introduced to the DSF system with the optimum outer skin
opening size of 300mm, inner pane opening size of 300mm, and the shaft
height of 3.6m. Figure 9.12 shows the configurations of the CFD model for
simulations with specific conditions.

207
Tables 9.2 and 9.3 show the simulation results for one particular case with
external wind velocity of 3m/s, relative humidity of 80% and external
temperature of 26
o
C. The results were taken at 10am in July for South facing
DSF system at locations P1a, P6a, P11a, P2a, P7a and P12a (Figure 9.6). The
first group of results (P1a, P6a and P11a) is taken next to the occupant located
near to the DSF system and the second group of results (P2a, P7a and P12a) is
taken next to the other occupant in the office away from the faade system. The
results show that the optimum air gap sizes are between 300mm and 900mm as
presented in Graphs 9.5 and 9.6. These findings are agreeing with the results
found by Gan (2006) in the investigation of buoyancy-induced flow in open
cavities for natural ventilation. The research found that the optimum cavity
width for maximizing the buoyancy-induced flow rate was between 0.55m and
0.6m for a solar chimney of 6m high. It also found that the ventilation rate in a
double-skin faade of four-storey high building increased with the cavity width
but the increase was small when the width was larger than 0.7m.

300, 600, 900, 1200
OFFICE SPACE
D
S
F


O
P
E
N
I
N
G
3
0
0
D
S
F


O
P
E
N
I
N
G
3
0
0

x

6
0
0
V
E
N
T


S
I
Z
E
WIND - 0m/s to 3m/s
Relative Humidity - 70% to 100%
External Temperature - 26C to 30C
WIND - 0m/s to 3m/s
DSF FACING SOUTH / NORTH
D
S
F


O
P
E
N
I
N
G
D
S
F


O
P
E
N
I
N
G
3
0
0
3
.
6
m
S
H
A
F
T


H
E
I
G
H
T
AIR GAP SIZE

Figure 9.12 Configurations of the model for simulations
208
Air Gap
Size
Floor
Level
Temp
(
o
C)
Air Vel
(m/s)
Radiant
Temp
(
o
C)
RH
(%)
PMV OT
(
o
C)
300mm Level 1 26.74 0.09 29.04 76.56 1.42 27.89
Level 3 26.79 0.08 29.2 76.33 1.46 28
Level 5 26.94 0.08 29.34 75.68 1.48 28.14

600mm Level 1 26.76 0.1 28.98 76.48 1.41 27.87
Level 3 26.79 0.09 29.05 76.32 1.42 27.92
Level 5 27.01 0.07 29.55 75.35 1.52 28.28

900mm Level 1 26.78 0.1 29 76.38 1.41 27.89
Level 3 26.87 0.09 28.89 75.98 1.41 27.88
Level 5 27.07 0.07 29.33 75.1 1.51 28.2

1200mm Level 1 26.72 0.1 28.95 76.67 1.4 27.84
Level 3 26.9 0.1 29.16 75.86 1.44 28.03
Level 5 27.12 0.07 29.8 74.87 1.56 28.46

Table 9.2 Simulation results at locations P1a, P6a and P11a (various air gap
sizes)

Air Gap
Size
Floor
Level
Temp
(
o
C)
Air Vel
(m/s)
Radiant
Temp
(
o
C)
RH
(%)
PMV OT
(
o
C)
300mm Level 1 26.65 0.3 28.69 76.94 1.17 27.67
Level 3 26.82 0.3 28.92 76.18 1.21 27.87
Level 5 26.96 0.3 29.1 75.58 1.25 28.03

600mm Level 1 26.67 0.33 28.61 76.87 1.14 27.64
Level 3 26.76 0.32 28.76 76.45 1.17 27.76
Level 5 27 0.27 29.29 75.37 1.29 28.15

900mm Level 1 26.69 0.33 28.61 76.79 1.15 27.65
Level 3 26.74 0.3 29.28 76.56 1.24 28.01
Level 5 27.13 0.27 29.27 74.83 1.31 28.2

1200mm Level 1 26.72 0.33 28.61 76.65 1.15 27.67
Level 3 26.74 0.3 29.45 76.57 1.24 28.1
Level 5 27.15 0.26 29.64 74.73 1.35 28.4

Table 9.3 Simulation results at locations P2a, P7a and P12a (various air gap
sizes)

209
27.5
27.75
28
28.25
28.5
Level 1 Level 3 Level 5
300mm Air Gap
600mm Air Gap
900mm Air Gap
1200mm Air
Gap

Graph 9.5 Indoor Operative Temperatures (
o
C) taken at locations P1a, P6a
and P11a (various air gap sizes)

27.5
27.75
28
28.25
28.5
Level 1 Level 3 Level 5
300mm Air
Gap
600mm Air
Gap
900mm Air
Gap
1200mm Air
Gap

Graph 9.6 Indoor Operative Temperatures (
o
C) taken at locations P2a, P7a
and P12a (various air gap sizes)


9.1.6 Comparison of Fan and Shaft ventilation methods

The Fan ventilation configuration (Figure 9.13) uses a fan to extract the air
within the air gap of the double-skin faade in order to improve the ventilation
rates of the internal office space of different levels. The extraction flow rate of
the fan used is 3.5m
3
/s with a wind velocity of 3m/s.
210

The Shaft ventilation configuration (Figure 9.13) uses an extended shaft of
3.5m above the roof level of the building concerned. This method is purely
using the stack effect to extract the air out of the air gap of the double-skin
faade.

Both of the configurations are having double-skin faade of 300mm wide air
gap with openings to the outer skin of the faade. Figure 9.14 shows the
locations (L1, L2, L3 and L4) selected for tabulating the thermal comfort
parameters for the simulations.




Figure 9.13 CFD models for Shaft and Fan configurations
211


Figure 9.14 Locations of record for thermal comfort parameters (example for
the mechanical fan at the top of the double-skin faade)


The comparisons for both Fan and Shaft configurations in relation to
thermal comfort parameters are presented in Graph 9.7 below:

L1 L2 L3 L4
L1 L2 L3 L4
L1 L2 L3 L4
212
Air Temperature Profile for
Different Levels
25.00
25.50
26.00
26.50
27.00
27.50
28.00
28.50
29.00
1 2 3 4
Locations of Measurement
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

(
C
)
Level 1
Level 3
Level 5

Air Temperature Profile for
Different Levels
25.00
25.50
26.00
26.50
27.00
27.50
28.00
28.50
29.00
1 2 3 4
Locations of Measurement
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

(
C
)
Level 1
Level 3
Level 5


Fan ventilation method Shaft ventilation method

Air Velocity Profile for Different
Levels
0.00
0.10
0.20
0.30
0.40
0.50
0.60
0.70
0.80
0.90
1.00
1.10
1 2 3 4
Locations of Measurement
V
e
l
o
c
i
t
y

(
m
/
s
)
Level 1
Level 3
Level 5

Air Velocity Profile for Different
Levels
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
1.1
1 2 3 4
Locations of Measurement
V
e
l
o
c
i
t
y

(
m
/
s
)
Level 1
Level 3
Level 5


Fan ventilation method Shaft ventilation method

Radiant Temperature Profile for
Different Levels
26
28
30
32
34
36
38
1 2 3 4
Locations of Measurement
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

(
C
)
Level 1
Level 3
Level 5

Radiant Temperature Profile for
Different Levels
26
28
30
32
34
36
38
1 2 3 4
Locations of Measurement
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

(
C
)
Level 1
Level 3
Level 5


Fan ventilation method Shaft ventilation method

213
Relative Humidity Profile for
Different Levels
69
71
73
75
77
79
1 2 3 4
Locations of Measurement
%
Level 1
Level 3
Level 5

Relative Humidity Profile for
Different Levels
69
71
73
75
77
79
1 2 3 4
Locations of Measurement
%
Level 1
Level 3
Level 5


Fan ventilation method Shaft ventilation method

PMV Profile for Different Levels
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
1 2 3 4
Locations of Measurement
P
M
V
Level 1
Level 3
Level 5

PMV Profile for Different Levels
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
1 2 3 4
Locations of Measurement
P
M
V
Level 1
Level 3
Level 5


Fan ventilation method Shaft ventilation method

Operative Temperature Profile
for Different Levels
26.00
27.00
28.00
29.00
30.00
31.00
32.00
33.00
1 2 3 4
Locations of Measurement
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

(
C
)
Level 1
Level 3
Level 5

Operative Temperature Profile for
Different Levels
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
1 2 3 4
Locations of Measurement
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

(
C
)
Level 1
Level 3
Level 5


Fan ventilation method Shaft ventilation method

Graph 9.7 Comparison of Fan and Shaft configurations in relation to
thermal comfort parameters
214

9.1.6.1 Analysis of Fan and Shaft ventilation methods

In comparison of values of air temperature, air velocity, radiant temperature,
relative humidity, PMV and operative temperature profiles shown in the graphs
above, the Shaft ventilation method gave a better result as compared to the
mechanical fan method and the configuration of the double-skin faade is much
energy efficient as it doesnt use any mechanical means for the improvement of
the internal ventilation rate of the office spaces.


9.1.7 Investigation of sun shading device to the DSF system

In this investigation, sun shading devices are placed at the centre within the air
gap of the DSF system in front of the office space as shown in Figure 9.15.
This is the most efficient position for the shading devices to be located within a
DSF system as found by Gratia and Herde (2007). In their research they found
that shading device that placed at the middle of the DSF cavity uses the least
cooling load (-20%), followed by shading device placed against the windows
of the outer pane (-6%), then shading device that placed against the windows of
the inner pane of the DSF system. These results applied to either the DSF
system is closed or opened.

The results of different DSF system shaft heights are compared with and
without the installation of sun shading devices as shown in Graphs 9.8, 9.9,
9.10 and 9.11 in order to investigate the effects of sun shading on the indoor
comfort with the faade system. The results had shown that the installation of
sun shading devices might not help in the indoor thermal comfort for a
naturally ventilated building using the DSF system. The sun shading devices
absorbed the heat from the sun and caused the temperature within the air gap to
rise even further as compared to the DSF system without the sun shading being
installed. The increased temperature within the air gap has further heated up the
interior spaces of the office and the effect is quite substantial for lower
ventilating shaft (the 1.5m shaft) as seen in Graphs 9.8 and 9.10.
215




Figure 9.15 Study of the effects of sun shading device within the DSF air gap

27.5
28
28.5
29
29.5
30
30.5
31
31.5
Level 1 Level 3 Level 5
1.5m Shaft -
No Sun
Shading
1.5m Shaft -
Sun Shading

Graph 9.8 Indoor Operative Temperatures (
o
C) taken at locations P1a, P6a and P11a
(1.5m shaft)
P1a P2a
P6a P7a
P11a P12a
216
27.5
28
28.5
29
29.5
30
30.5
Level 1 Level 3 Level 5
2.5m Shaft
- No Sun
Shading
2.5m Shaft
- Sun
Shading

Graph 9.9 Indoor Operative Temperatures (
o
C) taken at locations P1a, P6a and P11a
(2.5 shaft)

27.5
28
28.5
29
29.5
30
30.5
31
31.5
Level 1 Level 3 Level 5
1.5m Shaft
- No Sun
Shading
1.5m Shaft
- Sun
Shading


Graph 9.10 Indoor Operative Temperatures (
o
C) taken at locations P2a, P7a and P12a
(1.5 m shaft)
27.5
28
28.5
29
29.5
30
30.5
Level 1 Level 3 Level 5
2.5m Shaft
- No Sun
Shading
2.5m Shaft
- Sun
Shading

Graph 9.11 Indoor Operative Temperatures (
o
C) taken at locations P2a, P7a and P12a
(2.5m shaft)
217

9.1.8 Summarizing of results and findings for optimization

After numerous attempts and comparisons in optimizing the DSF
configurations in order to find out the window periods for acceptable indoor
thermal comfort conditions for office workers in the Singapore context, there
are a numbers of positive findings observed. These results and findings will be
of outmost important as an indication whether double-skin faade is possible to
be used as a mean to introduce natural ventilation to the high-rise buildings in
the tropics.

The findings for the optimization are summarized below:

a) The optimum location for the opening at the outer pane of the DSF
system is midway between the ceiling and the ground level of the next
floor.

b) The optimum opening size for the outer pane of the DSF system is
300mm.

c) The optimum shaft height above the roof level for the DSF system is
3.6m.

d) The optimum air gap sizes for the DSF system with the optimum shaft
height of 3.6m are in the range between 300mm and 900mm.

e) The use of the DSF system as a ventilated shaft will provide a better
result and is more energy efficient as compared to merely using a
mechanical fan for air extraction purposes. The optimum shaft height of
3.6m has improved the thermal comfort of the high floor levels to meet
the 80% thermal comfort acceptability limits.

218
f) The introducing of sun shading devices within the air gap of the DSF
system do not seems to improve the indoor thermal comfort of the
working spaces.



9.2 An improved DSF system for the tropics

The parametric studies in optimizing the configurations of the DSF system
have lead to the construct of an improved DSF system for use in the tropics.
This improved system (Figure 9.16) is also able to produce a better result as
compared to the typical DSF system with no opening at the outer pane, as
indicated in Graph 9.12. Some of the important findings are tabulated below:

a) DSF system with no openings at external fenestration
Introduction of shaft at the top of the system does not improve much
the indoor thermal comfort conditions.
Installation of fan at the top of the system has improved the comfort
conditions at the lower and middle floors to comfort level (80%
acceptability limits).
Combination of shaft and sun shading device has only improved the
thermal comfort slightly at lower floor.

b) DSF system with openings at external fenestration - Fan with openings vs.
shaft with openings
Both have improved the indoor thermal comfort for lower and middle
floors compared to DSF system with no external openings (90%
acceptability limits).
Shaft with openings combination has improved the high floors
thermal comfort to 80% acceptability limits.

219
27.5
28
28.5
29
29.5
30
30.5
31
31.5
32
32.5
Level 1 Level 3 Level 5
DSF - No
opening
DSF -
Opening
DSF -
Opening with
3.6m Shaft

Graph 9.12 Comparison of indoor Operative Temperatures (
o
C) for
different DSF systems

1st FLOOR
2nd FLOOR
GROUND FLOOR
2
8
0
0
WIND
WIND
4
0
0
0
3
5
0
0
3
5
0
0
6
3
5
0
0
16th FLOOR
17th FLOOR
DSF
WIND
WIND
3500
WIND
3
5
0
0
3
5
0
0
E 1
E 2
E 15
E 17
E 16
C 17
V 17
C 16
V 16
C 15
V 3
C 2
V 2
C 1
V 1


Figure 9.16 An improved new type of double-skin faade model for hot and
humid climate

220
9.3 Limitations of the research

The research work has covered extensively a number of the important aspects
of the DSF system that will affect the thermal comfort of the internal spaces of
an office building in the tropical conditions. In view of the complexity of the
issues, there are a few assumptions made and limitations are acknowledged
before the problem could be effectively investigate into without losing the
focus of the whole research work. Firstly is the lack of existing built examples
of DSF high-rise buildings in the tropical region. This has made it quite
difficult to validate the results and findings from the research directly with any
known field experimental results. This shortcoming could be overcame to
certain extend by installing full size experimental model in a tropical region
and monitor the experimental results for a sufficient period of time. This will
certainly need enough funding, sufficient technical knowledge for constructing
the system and selection of a suitable site for erecting the experimental model.
In view of the time and cost limitation for this research, the next optimum
choice of using simulations technology to investigate the issues for the research
has been chosen together with using the summer period experimental results
from DSF system in temperate countries for validation purposes.

Secondly is the complexity of thermal comfort issues associated with the mere
scale of the high-rise office buildings. The research attempting to introduce
natural ventilation concepts onto high-rise buildings has further diversify the
problem even though it is a challenging and important issue that one needs to
face if reduction of energy usage for built environment in the city is to be
addressed. Therefore this research work has to define a manageable scope and
yet produce a conclusive outcome in order to have satisfactory contribution to
the knowledge. The scope of the research is then defined to investigate a high-
rise building up to 18-storey in height, which is a manageable scale both in
terms of its complexity and the capability of computer facilities available at the
time. The internal office size under investigation is controlled to small office
area with a shallow office plan. This will avoid much more complex issues
221
associated with the effects internal partitions may have on the internal airflow
patterns for large office plan.

The research has looked into all the parameters that affected the human thermal
comfort like air temperature, air velocity, radiant temperature, relative
humidity, PMV vote, etc and by investigating various parametric variables of
the DSF system to achieve the required indoor conditions. There are others
issue associated with the technical part of the DSF system, the day lighting and
condensation issues of the faade system and the building regulations required
for the construction of the faade system in a particular country are not within
the scope of this research.

This research work has achieved to propose a new configuration of DSF
system for the used in tropical countries and developed a series of nomograms
as guideline for used in the initial design of DSF system in those region.



9.4 Nomograms for natural ventilation designs with DSF
system

9.4.1 Formulation of the nomograms

The simplest form of nomogram is a scale such as a Fahrenheit vs. Celsius
scale seen on an analog thermometer or a conversion chart. Nomograms could
be designed from straight scales with a range of interesting formations through
the analyzing of their geometric properties and these seem to be the most
common types. The nomogram design for this research has been formulated
with these advantages in mind.

The reasons and a simple way of reading off the nomograms formed in this
research to help designer in selecting the appropriate DSF system during the
222
design stage of projects have been presented in Chapter 7, Section 7.6.1. The
formulation of the nomogram will be presented in the few simple steps below:

a) Formulation of the Axis of the nomogram

There are three main thermal comfort parameters that determine the
human comfort in the environment, namely the air temperature, air
velocity and relative humidity. These three parameters will also
determine the required Operative Temperature (OT) needed for human
comfort according to the latest ASHREA Standard (2004). Therefore
these three parameters will form the main Axis of the nomogram.
Relative Humidity (%)
Axis
Air Velocity (m/s)
Air Temp. ( C)

Figure 9.17 Three Axis of the nomogram






223
b) Formulation of the Limits and Linear Spacing on the straight scales
of the nomogram

The Limits on the straight scales of the nomogram are determined
from the simulation results that provide the extent of thermal comfort
obtained with various boundary conditions and DSF system
configurations. The determination of the Linear Spacing on the
nomogram scales will then be only a matter of simple division into
appropriate increment.
Limits / Linear Spacing
Relative Humidity (%)
1.0
2.0
1.5
80
0.5
0
20
60
70
25
30
90
100
Air Temp. ( C)
Air Velocity (m/s)

Figure 9.18 Limits and Linear Spacing of the nomogram


c) Determination of the Non-comfort Zone

The Non-comfort Zone is determined from simulation results with
Operative Temperature (OT) that is not acceptable to bring about
thermal comfort to the occupant. The boundary limits of the Non-
224
comfort Zone are formed by just simply joining the three parameters
limits obtained (through simulation results) by means of projection.

Non-comfort Zone
Relative Humidity (%)
1.0
2.0
1.5
80
0.5
0
20
60
70
25
30
90
100
Air Temp. ( C)
Air Velocity (m/s)

Figure 9.19 Non-comfort Zone of the nomogram


d) Determination of the Comfort Zone

The Comfort Zone is determined from simulation results with
Operative Temperature (OT) that is acceptable to bring about thermal
comfort to the occupant. The boundary limits are formed similar to the
method used in forming the Non-comfort Zone.


225
1.0
Comfort Zone
1.5
2.0
60
0
80
0.5
70
Relative Humidity (%)
90
100
20
25
30
Air Temp. ( C)
Air Velocity (m/s)

Figure 9.20 Comfort Zone of the nomogram

9.4.2 The application of the nomograms

A set of 9 nomograms has been developed below in Figure 9.21 for the new
type of DSF system to be used in the tropics. They are coded for easy reference
as Nomogram-S-300, Nomogram-S-600, Nomogram-S-900, Nomogram-N-
300, Nomogram-N-600, Nomogram-N-900, Nomogram-EW-300, Nomogram-
EW-600 and Nomogram-EW-900 respectively. Each of the nomogram consists
of three axes with the most important parameters that affect the human thermal
comfort, namely air temperature, air velocity and relative humidity. Two
triangles are constructed using these three axes, which indicate the acceptable
Operative Temperature of 80% acceptability for human comfort in a natural
ventilated space. The table used to calculate the acceptable Operative
Temperature (OT) and how to use the nomogram have been discussed in depth
in Sections 7.5 and 7.6.1.

226
There are three nomograms constructed for each orientation of the DSF system,
namely the South, North and East/West facing. Each orientation is further
indicated with three different air gap sizes (300mm, 600mm and 900mm) of the
faade system in which will produce different indoor thermal comfort with
various values of the comfort parameters. Earlier finding in the optimization of
the parametric studies show that the air gap size of 1200mm is not an optimum
configuration for the faade system to be used.

Only shaft height of 3.6m is being considered because the shaft heights of 1.5m
and 2.5m will not be able to provide satisfactory indoor thermal conditions. In
fact both of the 1.5m and 2.5m shaft heights gave a higher Operative
Temperature value of 12% and 10% respectively as compared to the optimum
3.6m shaft height.

The shaded area between the two triangles is the acceptable comfort condition
with 80% acceptability. Any combination of the different values of air
temperature, air velocity and relative humidity that fall within the shaded area
will indicate that the condition is acceptable for human comfort. Take an
example if a designer wants to design a South-facing DSF system with 300mm
air gap and 3.6m height shaft, the designer would refer to the Nomogram-S-
300 for an initial idea whether the faade system will give an acceptable indoor
condition in relation to the known air temperature, air velocity and relative
humidity of where the building to be designed is located.


Nomogram-S-300
Application of nomogram

Outdoor thermal conditions:
External air temp. = 25
o
C
External air velocity = 2m/s
Relative humidity = 69%

Intersection point (outdoor
thermal conditions) shown on
the nomogram at the left hand
side will provide an acceptable
indoor thermal condition, with a
South-facing DSF system of
300mm air gap and a 3.6m shaft
height.
227


Nomogram-S-300




Nomogram-S-600

228


Nomogram-S-900





Nomogram-N-300
229


Nomogram-N-600





Nomogram-N-900
230

Nomogram-EW-300





Nomogram-EW-600

231


Nomogram-EW-900

Figure 9.21 Nomograms for DSF design in the tropics


9.4.3 The limitations of the nomograms

All design guidelines and indicators had their limitations and most of them are
limited to the domain and boundary conditions that one has set out during the
initial formulation of those guidelines. Similarly the nomograms that presented
in this research have their limitations. Firstly, the extent of the application of
the nomograms is very much limited by the scope of the research discussed in
Section 9.3. The user would need to find out the three thermal comfort
parameters, namely external air temperature, air velocity and relative humidity,
of where the building is to be designed in order to use the nomograms for
design guides. The nomograms also only applied to external thermal comfort
conditions falling within 20
o
C to 30
o
C of external temperature, 0 to 4 m/s of
external wind velocity and 60 to 100% of relative humidity even though these
232
ranges are believed to produce most acceptable thermal comfort conditions in a
hot and humid region.

Secondly, the nomograms only cover naturally ventilated double-skin faade
systems with 300mm, 600mm and 900mm air gap constructed with a 3.6m
high shaft. The selection of these particular air gap sizes and the height of the
shaft are the results of the optimisation studies carried out in the research,
which will provide optimum internal thermal comfort conditions for the
designed building in the tropic region.

Thirdly, there are only nine nomograms formulated covering four major
orientations. The user will need to make certain assumptions for building
faade that is not facing exactly the major orientations of North, East, South or
West in selecting which nomogram to use for design purposes. These will
certainly has effect on the thermal comfort conditions expected as indicated by
the nomogram when the actual double-skin faade system is constructed.

Even though the nomograms formulated present certain limitations to the user
and they only cover buildings up to 18-storey high, but they still provide a very
useful tool for designers who needed a quick reference and guide to whether
the double-skin faade system that chosen for the new building will be able to
provide satisfactory indoor thermal conditions. These guides also encourage
the designers to first look at the possibilities of using natural ventilation for
their buildings and changing the mind set that only mechanical means are
possible for high-rise buildings ventilation purposes.



9.5 Conclusion

A revised and optimised double-skin faade configuration has been presented
and a careful formulated set of nomograms is proposed to be used for designing
double-skin faade in the tropic. The formulation of the nomograms helped to
233
answer the third research questions set out in Section 1.11 for providing some
useful guidelines for designing high-rise buildings with double-skin facade in
the tropics. These nomograms covered all four orientations of building faade
and applied to optimum air gap sizes of 300mm, 600mm and 900mm with a
roof shaft height of 3.6m. These would certainly help the designers to reduce
design time by just referring to the easy understandable nomograms and
provide an encouragement to those who would like to consider in reducing
energy usage for high-rise office buildings in the tropic.

























234
Chapter 10 Contributions and Future Works


10.1 Contributions of the research work

The research work has bridged the gap of investigating in substantial details the
possibility of using the double-skin faade system as a mean to provide natural
ventilation to the high-rise office building in the tropical region. As there are
not much comprehensive experimental works done on the subject and the lack
of existing double-skin faade buildings built in the tropical region, this
research work will help to provide an overall insight to the use of natural
ventilation strategies together with current building technology of double-skin
faade in the possibility of reducing energy usage for high energy consumption
human built environment like the cities.

The research work found that the double-skin faade system has an advantage
over typical curtain wall system used in high-rise buildings in terms of
reducing cooling loads by allowing passive solar design to be introduced to the
building design. The use of the double-skin faade as a ventilating stack
system has further enhanced the passive design of natural ventilating the
internal spaces of the high-rise building. During the process in attempting to
find out the possibilities and limitations of using the double-skin faade
technology in the tropics, a new type of double-skin faade configuration was
developed which will better respond to the hot and humid climatic conditions.
This new type of faade system is a combination of typical multi-storey faade,
as described in Chapter 4, with certain opening sizes and positioned at specific
locations at the outer and inner panes of the faade systems. The findings have
concluded that this new type of faade system provides a better result as
compared to the typical system by as much as 10% for every storey of the high-
rise building in terms of energy reduction. The results are further improved by
another 5% per storey when an extended shaft of 3.6m is introduced to the new
system. This has constituted a substantial energy saving for a high-rise
building.
235

A set of nine nomograms has been developed to help the designers who wish to
use double-skin faades in their building design in the tropics. The designers
would decide which elevation of their building would be installed with double-
skin faade system and by referring to the nomograms the designers could
obtain the period of time natural ventilation might be introduced to their
building and when secondary mean of ventilation mode like mechanical
ventilation would require. The designers could quickly work out roughly the
viability of using double-skin faade system for that particular project and
advise the client accordingly before any detail planning and commitment are
being made. This is a very handy tool for any designers in saving time and
money before the design is being realized into construction.



10.2 Viability of natural ventilation for office buildings in the
tropics

From the studies of the proposed nomograms constructed from this research,
the opening window period for possible natural ventilation is from 8am to
10am in the morning and from 4pm to 6pm in the evening. A window period of
total four hours out of a ten hours working period (with 1 hour break in
between), which is a quite common daily working hours for office workers in
major tropical city like Singapore. This is a 40% per working hour/day
opportunity for using passive cooling for the building and could reduce
enormous energy usage each day.

The research work has shown that there are great opportunities and possibilities
for introducing passive design to high-rise buildings in the tropics, especially
combining the passive design strategies with cutting edge building
technologies available. Others researcher like Gan (2006) has found also that it
is possible to use a double faade not only for ventilation cooling of the faade
cavity but also enhancing natural ventilation of the building it is incorporated
236
with. Gratia and Herde (2007) further confirmed that double-skin faade could
be considered for building design with the application of natural cooling
strategies. Even though expert understanding of each of the fields mentioned is
important to make things work and the well integration of the two are not easy,
this should not prevent us from venture into helping to reduce the usage of
natural resources of the world.



10.3 Conclusion

The research has achieved the objectives set out in the beginning of this long
process of mentally challenging work. The research question of the viability of
double-skin faade to be used in high-rise buildings in the tropics has been
answered. Natural ventilation strategies could be used together with this unique
faade system to provide satisfactory indoor thermal conditions for high-rise
building in particular periods during a typical hot and humid climatic
condition.

CFD is a feasible tool to be used in early design stage in testing out uncertainty
in building design and it is an economical way to study possibility of solutions
and options for a particular problem. With continuous research works being
carried out in the field of CFD, there will be further cost and time saving in
using this technology for built environment designs.



10.4 Recommendations for future works

This research work has attempted to cover an appropriate scope to produce a
beneficial outcome for the research questions that were asked in the earlier
chapters. The areas of natural ventilation, double-skin faade and high-rise
237
buildings combined are very complex issues that some important parts of the
problem are worth further investigations.

Following are some of the areas of research that could further contribute to the
understanding of the used of the double-skin faade system in the tropics and
helping in reducing energy usage by high-rise buildings:

a) Large office configurations

Large office configurations would have very different effect onto
natural ventilation strategies especially due to the large volume of space
and different internal partitions positions. The internal airflow patterns
would be diversified in which would affect the human thermal
sensation that caused satisfactory in thermal comfort conditions.

b) Mixed mode ventilation strategies

Natural ventilated design building required careful planning at the early
stage of the design process and it will need to incorporate and integrate
with the building structures design and other building services design.
Sometime this optimum design process is not available. Therefore, a
mixed mode ventilation strategy is always good to be put in place in
designing a natural ventilated building.

Mixed mode ventilation strategies would have very different criteria as
to a pure natural ventilated building. Much research have been carried
out in investigating the mixed mode ventilation strategies in buildings
with double-skin faade system in the temperate countries but it is only
at the early stage for research in high-rise buildings in the tropical
region.




238
c) Integration of PV with DSF system

PV technologies are maturing and this could be incorporated with
double-skin technologies to further enhanced energy saving. There are
some positive initial research findings that could support this argument.
Gan (2006) found that integration of photovoltaics (PV) into a double-
skin faade could further enhance natural ventilation of the building and
meanwhile reduce the variation of the flow rate with floor level. Using
indoor air with a lower temperature than that of outdoor air in summer
to ventilate the PV faade would be beneficial to the electrical
performance of PV resulting from the reduced cell temperature and
increased electricity conversion efficiency. This research was carried
out with low-rise building and further works need to be done for high-
rise buildings especially in the tropics.

d) Night ventilation

Night ventilation is a compliment to the natural ventilation strategies
and double-skin faade system has provided the opportunity for it to be
implemented. Night ventilation strategy could further reduce the indoor
temperature over night and help to extend the window period for natural
ventilation.



10.5 Final note

Many new technologies are invented through times and they are continuous to
help in improving the quality of human lives. Wise and appropriate mastering
of these technologies will benefit and prosper the human race. Technology and
architecture are like brother and sister and together they could face the future
of the world. I would like to finish with a quote from the Master Architect of
239
all time, Le Corbusier, whom have acknowledged the importance of the used of
technology in creating beautiful architecture!


You employ stone, wood and concrete, and with these materials you
build houses and palaces; that is construction.
Ingenuity is at work. But suddenly you touch my heart, you do me good,
I am happy and I say: This is beautiful.
That is architecture. Art enters in.

- Le Corbusier, 1927



































240
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257
Appendix A
Selected benchmarking simulation results.

General parameters
Time variation = Steady
Solar loading = 10am, 1 July.
Diffuse solar intensity = 500 W/m
2

Flow regime = Turbulent Two Equation

Room size = 3.6m x 5m x 2.6m (46.8m
3
)
Opening area = 1.08 m
2

Vent area = 0.36 m
2

DSF Glazing = 6mm (outer pane) and 6mm x 8mm x 6mm (inner pane)

Abbreviation used

Temp = Temperature
Vel = Velocity
RT = Radiant temperature
RH = Relative humidity
PMV = Predicted mean vote
OT = Operative temperature
TC = Thermal comfort
Std Dev = Standard deviation
N = Thermal comfort condition not acceptable
Y = Thermal comfort condition acceptable






258
Simulation Cases Table



The following selected simulation results (ss-1 to ss-27) are for double-skin
system. If there is an N indicated under the TC (thermal comfort) column
means the indoor condition is not acceptable, where else if there is a Y
indicated thats mean the indoor condition is within the acceptable limit
according to the ASHREA Standard 55-2004.




ss-1

Temperature = 30
o
C Velocity = 0 m/s RH = 85%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 31.45 0.05 33.85 77.32 2.55 32.65 N
P2 31.38 0.05 34.97 77.59 2.68 33.18 N


Notes:

PMV Min=1.85715, Max=3, Mean=2.05961, Std Dev=0.165451
Temp at back wall = 30
o
C






Cases



Wind
Velocity



Relative
Humidity



Temperature

Curt ain
Wall
Opening
(High
Level)



Vent Size
(Low Level)

Double -
Skin
Faade


Width
of air
gap

Double -
Skin
Faade

Inlet
opening
size

Double -
Skin
Faade

Outlet
opening
size



Room Size


Benchmarking


0m/s -
1.5m/s



60% -
100%


22
0
C - 30
0
C


3.6mx0.3m
= 1.08m
2


2x(0.6mx0.3m)
= 0.36m
2


-



-


-


3.6mx5mx2.6m


Double - Skin



0m/s -
1.5m/s



60% -
100%


22
0
C - 30
0
C


3.6mx0.3m
= 1.08m
2


2x(0.6mx0.3m)
= 0.36m
2


0.3m


0.3mx3.6m
= 1.08m
2


0.3mx3.6m
= 1.08m
2


3.6mx5mx2.6m


259




ss-2

Temperature = 30
o
C Velocity = 0.5 m/s RH = 85%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 32.83 0.07 34.48 71.57 2.74 33.66 N
P2 32.11 0.05 35.62 74.49 2.83 33.86 N


Notes:

PMV Min=1.80065, Max=3, Mean=2.0209, Std Dev=0.218831
Temp at back wall = 30
o
C









ss-3

Temperature = 30
o
C Velocity = 1.0m/s RH = 85%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 31.78 0.01 32.72 75.85 2.47 32.25 N
P2 32.17 0.04 33.41 74.19 2.58 32.79 N


Notes:

PMV Min=1.76256, Max=3, Mean=1.90133, Std Dev=0.148305
Temp at back wall = 30
o
C







260



ss-4

Temperature = 30
o
C Velocity = 1.5 m/s RH = 85%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 31.61 0.04 32.64 76.61 2.44 32.12 N
P2 31.49 0.02 32.77 77.13 2.45 32.13 N


Notes:

PMV Min=1.72711, Max=3, Mean=1.8748, Std Dev=0.149356
Temp at back wall = 30
o
C








ss-5

Temperature = 30
o
C Velocity = 1.0m/s RH = 85%
Solutions = Not Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 31.72 0.11 33.58 76.12 2.51 32.65 N
P2 31.55 0.15 33.05 76.85 2.42 32.30 N


Notes:

PMV Min=1.72691, Max=3, Mean=1.87011, Std Dev=0.147357
Normal under-relaxation used
Temp at back wall = 30
o
C









261



ss-6

Temperature = 34
o
C Velocity = 0 m/s RH = 85%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 34.18 0.10 35.90 70.10 2.95 35.04 N
P2 33.79 0.04 36.82 71.15 3.00 35.30 N


Notes:

PMV Min=2.09, Max=3, Mean=2.7278, Std Dev=0.26179
Temp at back wall = 30
o
C









ss-7

Temperature = 30
o
C Velocity = 1.5 m/s RH = 60%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 31.62 0.04 32.65 76.55 2.44 32.14 N
P2 31.50 0.02 32.79 77.05 2.45 32.14 N


Notes:

PMV Min=1.72706, Max=3, Mean=1.82436, Std Dev=0.11536
Temp at back wall = 30
o
C








262



ss-8

Temperature = 30
o
C Velocity = 1.5 m/s RH = 65%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 31.62 0.04 32.66 76.53 2.44 32.14 N
P2 31.50 0.02 32.79 77.06 2.45 32.14 N


Notes:

PMV Min=1.72698, Max=3, Mean=1.83482, Std Dev=0.120114
Temp at back wall = 30
o
C









ss-9

Temperature = 30
o
C Velocity = 1.5 m/s RH = 70%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 31.62 0.04 32.66 76.54 2.44 32.14 N
P2 31.50 0.02 32.79 77.07 2.45 32.14 N


Notes:

PMV Min=1.727, Max=3, Mean=1.84533, Std Dev=0.126258
Temp at back wall = 30
o
C








263


ss-10

Temperature = 30
o
C Velocity = 1.5 m/s RH = 75%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 31.62 0.04 32.66 76.55 2.44 32.14 N
P2 31.50 0.02 32.79 77.09 2.45 32.14 N


Notes:

PMV Min=1.727, Max=3, Mean=1.85584, Std Dev=0.133617
Temp at back wall = 30
o
C









ss-11

Temperature = 30
o
C Velocity = 1.5 m/s RH = 100%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 31.59 0.04 32.63 76.66 2.44 32.11 N
P2 31.47 0.02 32.76 77.19 2.44 32.12 N


Notes:

PMV Min=1.72689, Max=3, Mean=1.90866, Std Dev=0.183096
Temp at back wall = 30
o
C









264


ss-12

Temperature = 34
o
C Velocity = 1.5 m/s RH = 100%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 34.69 0.01 35.17 80.80 3.00 34.96 N
P2 34.54 0.02 35.01 81.46 3.00 34.78 N


Notes:

PMV Min=2.2445, Max=3, Mean=2.69621, Std Dev=0.318578
Temp at back wall = 30
o
C










ss-13

Temperature = 22
o
C Velocity = 1.5 m/s RH = 60%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 24.84 0.10 28.14 70.76 1.06 26.49 Y
P2 24.19 0.18 28.16 73.56 0.85 26.18 Y


Notes:

PMV Min=-0.656184, Max=3, Mean=0.360306, Std Dev=1.06217
No solar loading night time
Temp at back wall = 30
o
C








265


ss-14

Temperature = 22
o
C Velocity = 0 m/s RH = 100%
Solutions = Not Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 30.61 0.08 32.93 81.12 2.36 31.77 N
P2 30.54 0.08 32.81 81.41 2.33 31.68 N


Notes:

PMV Min=-0.541333, Max=3, Mean=0.683009, Std Dev=1.08609
No solar loading night time
Temp at back wall = 30
o
C










ss-15

Temperature = 24
o
C Velocity = 0 m/s RH = 100%
Solutions = Not Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 30.59 0.08 33.16 81.19 2.38 31.84 N
P2 30.40 0.06 33.06 82.04 2.37 31.73 N


Notes:

PMV Min=0.0379054, Max=3, Mean=1.05121, Std Dev=0.90066
Temp at back wall = 30
o
C









266


ss-16

Temperature = 22
o
C Velocity = 1.5 m/s RH = 100%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 24.94 0.09 27.99 70.33 1.07 26.46 Y
P2 24.36 0.19 28.48 72.82 0.89 26.42 Y


Notes:

PMV Min=0.660857, Max=3, Mean=0.413299, Std Dev=1.12843
Temp at back wall = 30
o
C










ss-17

Temperature = 24
o
C Velocity = 1.5 m/s RH = 100%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 26.78 0.08 29.24 71.18 1.44 28.01 Y
P2 26.25 0.08 29.42 73.44 1.42 27.84 Y


Notes:

PMV Min=-0.0686469, Max=3, Mean=0.777555, Std Dev=0.888892
Temp at back wall = 30
o
C










267


ss-18

Temperature = 26
o
C Velocity = 1.5 m/s RH = 100%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 28.27 0.07 30.18 73.48 1.75 29.22 Y
P2 28.17 0.03 30.54 73.93 1.78 29.36 Y


Notes:

PMV Min=0.526193, Max=3, Mean=1.1483, Std Dev=0.651454
Temp at back wall = 30
o
C











ss-19

Temperature = 28
o
C Velocity = 1.5 m/s RH = 100%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 29.94 0.04 31.29 75.05 2.09 30.62 N
P2 29.89 0.03 31.63 75.26 2.12 30.76 N


Notes:

PMV Min=1.02475, Max=3, Mean=1.5258, Std Dev=0.414738
Temp at back wall = 30
o
C









268


ss-20

Temperature = 30
o
C Velocity = 1.5 m/s RH = 100%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 31.15 0.05 31.88 78.60 2.31 31.52 N
P2 31.00 0.01 31.86 79.27 2.30 31.43 N


Notes:

PMV Min=1.02475, Max=3, Mean=1.5258, Std Dev=0.414738
Temp at back wall = 28
o
C











ss-21

Temperature = 30
o
C Velocity = 0 m/s RH = 100%
Solutions = Not Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 30.85 0.05 32.79 80.02 2.38 31.82 N
P2 30.73 0.03 34.11 80.53 2.53 32.42 N


Notes:

PMV Min=1.69504, Max=3, Mean=1.89521, Std Dev=0.132062
Temp at back wall = 28
o
C









269


ss-22

Temperature = 30
o
C Velocity = 0.5 m/s RH = 100%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 31.97 0.05 32.77 75.03 2.48 32.37 N
P2 31.97 0.05 32.95 75.04 2.50 32.46 N


Notes:

PMV Min=1.6891, Max=3, Mean=1.86642, Std Dev=0.105374
Temp at back wall = 28
o
C











ss-23

Temperature = 30
o
C Velocity = 1.0 m/s RH = 100%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 31.47 0.03 31.98 77.18 2.36 31.72 N
P2 31.47 0.04 32.36 77.18 2.39 31.92 N


Notes:

PMV Min=1.66715, Max=3, Mean=1.78357, Std Dev=0.105544
Temp at back wall = 28
o
C









270


ss-24

Temperature = 28
o
C Velocity = 0 m/s RH = 100%
Solutions = Not Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 30.34 0.08 31.33 82.15 2.15 30.84 N
P2 30.42 0.11 32.04 81.92 2.21 31.23 N


Notes:

PMV Min=1.22895, Max=3, Mean=1.40816, Std Dev=0.171451
Temp at back wall = 26
o
C












ss-25

Temperature = 28
o
C Velocity = 0.5 m/s RH = 100%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 30.47 0.06 30.95 79.33 2.12 30.71 N
P2 30.36 0.06 31.25 80.65 2.16 30.80 N


Notes:

PMV Min=1.24848, Max=3, Mean=1.36056, Std Dev=0.143109
Temp at back wall = 26
o
C











271

ss-26

Temperature = 28
o
C Velocity = 1 m/s RH = 100%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 29.46 0.03 29.96 77.15 1.89 29.71 N
P2 29.46 0.04 30.33 77.14 1.93 29.90 N


Notes:

PMV Min=1.13598, Max=3, Mean=1.25979, Std Dev=0.118216
Temp at back wall = 26
o
C











ss-27

Temperature = 28
o
C Velocity = 1.5 m/s RH = 100%
Solutions = Converged
Temp
o
C
Vel.
m/s
RT
o
C
RH
%
PMV OT
o
C
TC
P1 29.26 0.05 29.77 78.04 1.85 29.52 N
P2 29.01 0.01 29.86 79.19 1.84 29.44 N


Notes:

PMV Min=1.06875, Max=3, Mean=1.22331, Std Dev=0.112814
Temp at back wall = 26
o
C










272
Appendix B
Selected optimization simulation results for different shaft heights.



Table B-1 Boundary conditions and thermal comfort parameters
273

Table B-2 Simulation results for locations P1 and P2

Table B-1 and Table B-2 above show some of the selected simulation results
for different shaft heights. The shaded areas represent acceptable indoor
thermal comfort conditions for that particular DSF system configuration, which
the OT (Operative Temperature) is within the acceptable ranges for naturally
conditioned spaces according to ASHRAE Standard 55-2004.
274


Graphs B-1 Thermal comfort profiles for simulation results dsf-1n

Graphs B-1 above shows the thermal comfort parameters profiles for dsf-1n
simulation with Operative Temperatures for Levels 1, 3 and 5 which are within
the acceptable ranges of indoor thermal comfort conditions, except for Level 5.
275



Graphs B-2 Thermal comfort profiles for simulation results dsf-1q

Graphs B-2 above shows the thermal comfort parameters profiles for dsf-1q
simulation with Operative Temperatures for Levels 1, 3 and 5 which are all
within the acceptable ranges of indoor thermal comfort conditions.

276

Appendix C

Selected referred papers submitted to International Conferences and
International Journals.

A) Energy efficiency in double-skin facade design for high-rise buildings
of glass-metal facade systems in the tropics - published in the
proceedings of the 1st International Tropical Architecture (iNTA),
organised by the National University of Singapore, Singapore, February
2004.
Energy Efficiency In Double-Skin Faade Design For High-Rise
Buildings Of Glass-Metal Faade Systems In The Tropics
Pow Chew WONG
1
, Deo PRASAD
2
and Masud BEHNIA
3

1
RC 1019 Postgraduate Research Centre, Faculty of Built Environment, University of New
South Wales, Australia
2
Centre for Sustainable Built Environment (Solarch), Faculty of Built Environment, University
of New South Wales, Australia
3
The University of Sydney, Australia
Keywords: Tropical, high-rise office buildings, double-skin facade, natural ventilation, heat transfer,
computational fluid dynamic simulation, sustainability
Abstract: The natural resources of the world have been reduced tremendously for the past half a century since
the close of the WWII. The energy used and spent in the modern world has been escalating in an
alarming way. The call for energy efficient building design is increasing and the situation is even more
critical for designing high-rise buildings because the energy consumed by those building type is
constituted for the major part of all the energy used in building industry. The viability of double-skin
faade is studied to provide natural ventilation as an energy efficient solution for the high-rise office
buildings in a hot and humid environment. The behaviour of airflow and thermal transfer through the
double-skin faade and the internal thermal comfort are analysed through the use of computational
fluid dynamic simulations.
1 INTRODUCTION
Double-skin faade is not a new concept as it started centuries ago and the first double-skin
curtain wall appears in 1903, in the Steiff Factory in Giengen, Germany. (Internet page of
BuildingEnvelopes.org, History of Double-skin Facades) Until recently the use of double-skin
facades had became more popular in many high-rise buildings in Europe and most recently the
technology has been demonstrated in the Armoury Tower in Shanghai, China. (Yeang 1996)
Double-skin facades are multiple layer skins construction with an external skin, an
intermediate space and an inner skin. The external and internal skins could be of either single
glaze or double glazed glass panes of float glass or safety glass. An adjustable sun-shading
device is usually installed at the intermediate space for thermal controls. Types of double-skin
constructions include Box Window faade, Shaft-box faade, Corridor faade and Multi-story
277
faade. (Oesterle et al. 2001)
The performance of the double-skin faade depends closely on the chosen ventilation means
within its intermediate space. The modes of ventilation could be natural (buoyancy driven),
forced (mechanically driven) or mixed (both natural and forced). Since the temperature
difference between outside air and the heated air within the intermediate space must be
significant enough for the natural ventilation wall to work, this faade system is not suitable to
be used in the hot climates. Both the forced (e.g. active wall) and mixed (e.g. interactive wall)
systems could be used in the hot climate condition but the latter has the advantage of
introducing natural ventilation even for the high-rise buildings.
The issue of thermal transfer through an active wall like the double-skin faade is a complex
one. The heat transfer occurred simultaneously for all the component layers of the double-skin
faade with the influence from the surrounding environmental conditions, the properties of the
layers of the faade and the ventilation system introduced to the double-skin faade. The
overheating of the air gap between the double-skin faade is more evidence during high
ambient temperature and it could be reduced by manipulating the openings of the glazing
faade, a well positioned shading device and the optimisation of the width of the air gap
between the glazing panes. (Oesterle et al. 2001) Figure 1 below shows an example of heat
transfer through double-skin faade.








Figure 1 Heat Transfer Through Double-Skin Faade

A number of interesting investigations and findings are reported in the literature pertaining to
passive ventilation in buildings and the thermal performance of double-skin facades. Even
though most of the researches are done mainly in temperate countries conditions but they have
revealed close link between natural ventilation design and the function of double-skin faade.
Grabe et al. (Grabe et al. 2001) developed a simulation algorithm to investigate the temperature
behaviour and the flow characteristics of double facades with natural convection through solar
radiation. Similar works on natural convection ventilation also reported by Ziskind et al.
(Ziskind et al. 2002, 2003), Bansal et al. (Bansal et al. 1994), Hamdy and Fikry (Hamdy and
Fikry 1998), and Priyadarsini et al. (Priyadarsini et al. 2003). Most of them are using the idea
of stack effect or the solar chimney concept and found that passive ventilation in summer is
possible even for multi-storey buildings. In particular Priyadarsini et al. (Priyadarsini et al.
2003) have concluded the energy efficiency of stack system used in residential of a hot and
humid climate region. Yuguo Li and Delsante (Li and Delsante 2001) went a step further to
investigate the effects of natural ventilation caused by wind and thermal forces in a single zone
building with two openings. Ventilation graphs are plotted using the air change parameters
(thermal air change, wind air change and the heat loss air change) for design purposes. Gratia
and Herde (Gratia and Herde 2004) attempted to look at the impact of double-skin faade
facing southern direction in a temperate climatic condition. Thermal analysis using simulation
software of different seasons of a year was done for a low-rise office building with and without
double-skin faade. It was found that significant energy saving is possible if natural ventilation
could be exploited through the use of double-skin faade.
This paper attempts to bridge the gap of looking into the possibilities of natural ventilation in
high-rise office buildings specifically in the hot and humid climate region with the use of
double-skin faade. The unique faade construction is thought to be able to act as a stack in
providing required ventilation for the internal space. It is the intent of the research to analyse
Outside
Inside
278
the airflow patterns induced by the wind & thermal forces through the double-skin faade into
the interior office space and their effects onto the thermal comfort within the space. Computer
simulation is used to analyse the results obtained through the different opening sizes of the
glazing and the size of the air gap of the double-skin faade with variation of vent sizes to
generate an acceptable cross ventilation rate within the office space.
2 METHOD
2.1 Computational Fluid Dynamic Simulation
Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) has become a useful tool for designers in the study of
indoor and outdoor environment conditions in building designs. The parameters such as air
velocity and relative humidity solved by CFD are critical for designing an acceptable indoor
comfort environment. CFD technique has been applied with considerable success in building
design and the advantages in analysing ventilation performance have been reported by
Murakami (Murakami 1992) and Liddament (Liddament 1992). Papakonstantinou et al.
(Papakonstantinou et al. 2000) has demonstrated that numerical solutions for ventilation
problems can be obtained quickly and in good agreement with the experimental measurements.
2.2 The Airpak CFD Software
Airpak is an easy-to-use design tool for the design and analysis of ventilation systems which
are required to provide acceptable thermal comfort and indoor air quality solutions. It is a
virtual prototyping software that allows for accurate modelling of airflow, heat transfer,
contaminant transport and thermal comfort. Computer models could be easily built and tested
for variety of design options to find the best solution. Full colour animations, pictures and plots
help to effectively analyse the results obtained.
Airpak uses object-based model building and libraries coupled with automatic unstructured
meshing that enables complex models building. It uses the FLUENT CFD solver engine for
thermal and fluid-flow calculations which provides robust and quick calculations. It post-
processing features also allow fast and comprehensive results for the ventilation problems at
hand. (Airpak Users Manual)
In view of the capabilities and good interface of the Airpak software, it is selected to be used in
this research to model the complex energy transfer through the component layers of the
multiplayer faade through the optimisation of the appropriate opening sizes on the glazing, the
width of the intermediate space and the ventilation rate through the internal office space.
2.3 The Model
The final goal of this research is to look into the possibilities of natural ventilation in a high-
rise office building in a hot and humid climate condition using double-skin faade. In order to
realise this complex problem, several stages of different levels of complexity modelling are
introduced. Airflow effects induced by wind and thermal forces onto a single storey office
model constructed are to be observed for the first stage before a complex multi-storey office
with all the thermal comfort parameters included are to be analysed. Therefore it is the
intention of this paper to report on the findings of the first stage of the problem at hand.
The single storey office module in 3D is constructed in Airpak and the geometrical dimensions
of the office are shown in Figs. 2 and 3. The simplified double-skin faade of the model has
openings on each of the external and internal panes. Heat sources of two computers, four
ceiling lights and two persons are introduced in the office space for future thermal comfort
analysis. The office space also has two vents at the rear wall to introduce cross ventilation to
the space. For the first stage of the analysis which this paper is going to report on the findings,
combination of different opening sizes and its locations of the openings together with the
different sizes of the vents are looked at and their effects onto the airflow patterns within the
double-skin and the internal office space are observed and analysed.
279
7000 W 3500
3
5
0
0
V
1
H
1
H
3
H
2
3
5
0
3
5
0
EXTERNAL
WIND
V
DIRECTION
OFFICE

Figure 2 Section Through The Model (With External Space)
H
3
3500
V
1
V2
3
5
0
0
H
1
H
2

Figure 3 Rear Elevation Of The Model
The simulations are performed under steady state condition using k-epsilon equation turbulent
model. The simulated wind speeds of 1.5m/s and 3.0m/s are used to model expected ground
level wind velocities with ambient temperature of 30 degree C. The external temperature at the
rear wall is set at 23 degree C to simulate an internal air-conditioning space like internal
corridor. Only wind direction which perpendicular to the double-skin faade has been looked
at. The upwind distance from the outer pane of the double-skin faade is set at 7m to simulate
half the distance between office buildings at the city centre. The results of the airflow
velocities, temperatures and the airflow patterns are recorded and observed with different
combinations of glass opening sizes of the double-skin faade and the vents in Tables 1 to 3.
3 SIMULATION RESULTS
There are total 20 simulations generated with different combinations of wind velocities (V),
glass opening sizes (H1, H2, H3), width of air gaps (W) and vent sizes (V1 & V2). The
variables of the parameters are indicated in Figs 2 & 3. The difference between the simulations
generated in Table 1 and Table 2 is the vents area has increased 100% for the models in Table
2. Simulations 15 and 16 are generated with a narrower air gap of 300mm to investigate if there
is any influence to the indoor comfort level. Simulations 17 to 20 are computed with two
openings at the outer pane of the double-skin faade with 300mm air gap.

Figure 4 Location Points For Taking The Simulation Results (Section of Model)

P1
P2
P3
P4
P5
P6
P7
280
Table 1 Simulation Results - A
Simulation 1 2 3 4 5 6
V (m/s) 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.0 3.0 3.0
H1 (mm) 0 0 300 0 0 300
H2 (mm) 200 300 0 200 300 0
H3 (mm) 200 300 300 200 300 300
W (mm) 450 450 450 450 450 450
V1 (mm) 300 300 300 300 300 300
V2 (mm) 600 600 600 600 600 600
P1 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp, C)
0.83
30
0.86
30
0.97
30.02
1.55
30
1.63
30
1.88
29.99




P2 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp, C)
0.25
30.12
0.41
30.08
0.51
30.05
0.39
30.02
0.71
30.02
0.97
29.97




P3 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp, C)
0.12
30.58
0.22
30.40
0.08
30.37
0.21
30.10
0.40
30.09
0.15
29.69




P4 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp, C)
0.05
31.70
0.05
31.74
0.05
31.11
0.01
30.75
0.01
30.86
0.02
30.13




P5 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp, C)
0.11
24.19
0.11
24.21
0.17
23.82
0.03
24.08
0.03
24.16
0.27
23.66




P6 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp, C)
0.22
30
0.40
30
0.11
30.12
0.40
30
0.75
30
0.22
29.92




Table 2 Simulation Results - B
Simulation 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
V (m/s) 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0
H1 (mm) 0 200 0 300 0 200 0 300
H2 (mm) 200 0 300 0 200 0 300 0
H3 (mm) 200 200 300 300 200 200 300 300
W (mm) 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450
V1 (mm) 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300
V2 (mm) 1200 1200 1200 1200 1200 1200 1200 1200
P1 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp, C)
0.86
30
0.94
30
0.90
30
0.97
30
1.59
30
1.83
29.90
1.68
30
1.88
29.96
P2 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp, C)
0.24
30.03
0.39
29.97
0.40
30.03
0.54
30.01
0.39
29.99
0.75
29.72
0.71
30
1.05
29.90
P3 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp, C)
0.14
30.21
0.08
29.81
0.24
30.14
0.07
30.01
0.25
29.92
0.18
28.70
0.43
29.97
0.15
29.22
P4 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp, C)
0.05
31.17
0.05
30.50
0.05
31.19
0.05
30.66
0.01
30.33
0.01
29.08
0.01
30.46
0.02
29.48
P5 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp, C)
0.04
24.36
0.09
23.88
0.04
24.36
0.07
23.95
0.02
25.15
0.19
23.55
0.03
26.06
0.13
23.68
P6 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp, C)
0.20
30
0.05
29.96
0.36
30
0.12
30.02
0.36
30
0.07
29.59
0.68
30
0.22
29.80
281
Table 3 Simulation Results - C
Simulation 15 16 17 18 19 20
V (m/s) 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.0 3.0
H1 (mm) 0 200 200 300 200 300
H2 (mm) 200 0 200 300 200 300
H3 (mm) 200 200 200 300 200 300
W (mm) 300 300 300 300 300 300
V1 (mm) 300 300 300 300 300 300
V2 (mm) 600 600 600 600 600 600
P1 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp, C)
0.78
30
0.48
30
0.90
30
0.93
30
1.77
30
1.83
30




P2 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp, C)
0.36
30.04
0.47
30
0.74
30
0.67
30
1.40
30
1.28
30




P3 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp, C)
0.21
30.27
0.08
29.96
0.73
30.07
0.90
30.03
1.35
30.01
1.74
30.01




P4 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp, C)
0.05
31.35
0.05
30.63
0.20
30.77
0.29
30.22
0.41
30.18
0.54
30.08




P5 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp, C)
0.07
24.32
0.14
23.87
0.06
32.48
0.06
32.14
0.01
31.35
0.01
31.18




P6 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp, C)
0.34
30
0.07
30
0.06
29.97
0.29
30.86
0.29
30.24
0.71
30.18




P7 (Vel, m/s)
(Temp, C)
-
-
-
-
0.31
30
0.42
30
0.58
30
0.80
30

4 DISCUSSIONS
It was observed that by just changing the glass opening sizes of the double-skin faade with
similar external wind velocity would not contribute much to the indoor thermal quality of the
office. This could due to the indoor airflow velocities are almost similar for each case. (e.g.
Simulations 7 & 9)
The locations of the glass opening on the outer pane of the double-skin faade will have effect
onto the indoor thermal and airflow velocity. It was found that the higher the opening is located
from the floor level it will generate a stronger stack effect within the air gap which in turn will
pull more air out from the office space through the vents at the rear wall. The temperature
generated within the office space is much desirable and closer to human comfort requirement.
The airflow pattern created will be a good cross ventilation effect with cool air coming into the
office space from the vents and right across and above the internal space and discharge out
through the high level opening at the inner pane. (e.g. Simulations 7-14)
A narrower air gap between the double-skin faade construction will provide a more desirable
indoor thermal level as it generates stronger stack effect which pull more air out from the
internal office space. (e.g. Simulations 1 and 15)
There is not much of an advantage to provide larger vents at the rear of the space in order to
provide cross ventilation to the internal space. The resultant air movement and temperature of
the internal space are not much better as compare to smaller vent sizes. This might give a
slightly better condition if the external wind velocity is stronger but it will not be able to justify
the cost in providing a larger vent opening. It might also not be feasible for some construction
constrains with big vents. (e.g. Tables 1 & 2)
Simulations 17-20 shown that the indoor airflow velocities are the most desirable with 2
282
openings on the outer pane of the double-skin faade. The indoor temperatures are also lower
as compared to only one opening at the outer pane. The internal airflow pattern is different
from the outer pane with 1 opening on the faade. The warm air from the air gap is passing
through the opening of the inner pane right across the office space and exit through the rear
vents. This will have an undesirable mixing of warm air to the internal cool air at the rear of the
office.
5 CONCLUSIONS
Thermal sensation plays a major role in the perception of comfort and the comfort parameters
are highly subjective. Some of such parameters are air temperature, the relative humidity of the
air, the local air velocity and human activity. A comprehensive explanation of thermal comfort
is listed in Chapter 8 of ASHRAE Fundamentals. (ASHRAE Fundamentals 1993)
Air movements determine the convective heat and mass exchange of the human body with the
surrounding air. In hot and humid climate, high air velocities will increase the evaporation rate
at the skin surface and results in cooling sensation. The recommended upper limit of indoor air
movement is usually 0.8m/s for human comfort and such air velocity permits the interior space
to be 1-2 degree higher than the human comfort temperature to maintain desirable comfort
level. (Hien and Tanamas 2002)
This paper has found that a high level single opening at the outer pane of the double-skin
faade will create a desirable cross ventilation airflow pattern at the internal office space. The
cross ventilation effect will bring the cool air from the internal air-conditioned space across the
internal space and prevent the warm air from the air gap entering the office space. The internal
temperatures are still considered a bit high (as the model constructed for this paper is only
considering a one storey space) but the situation will be expected to improve when multi-storey
spaces are linked together in a high-rise building when the stack effect of the air gap will
increase tremendously. The other option could be using wind turbine to increase the air
velocity at the air gap to give effective airflow speed within the internal space. This will be
looked at and analysed further in the coming development of the research.
The design of two openings (one at high and one at low levels) on the outer pane of the faade
by far is the best solution as found by this paper. The internal air velocities between 0.2-0.5 m/s
observed could provide more than 80% of human satisfaction for comfort, as shown in Figure
5. Due care should be given to deal with the warm air coming into the internal space through
the air gap especially for higher wind velocity experienced at the high level of a high-rise
building. The testing and finding of more and better solutions are not of the scope of this paper
but it is the goal of the research to find out the viability of double-skin faade in providing
natural ventilation as an energy efficient solution for the high-rise office buildings in a hot and
humid environment.

Figure 5 Ventilation Comfort Chart of Singapore
283
REFERENCES
Airpak Users Manual. 2002. Fluent Inc. and ICEM-CFD Engineering.
ASHRAE Fundamentals. 1993. American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air
Conditioning, Atlanta.
Bansal NK, Mathur R, and Bhandari MS. 1994. A Study Of Solar Chimney Assisted Wind
Tower System For Natural Ventilation In Buildings. Building and Environment,
29(4):495-500.
Grabe J, Lorenz R, and Croxford, B. 2001. Ventilation Of Double Facades. Building
Simulation, 229-236.
Gratia E and Herde A. 2004. Optimal Operation Of A South Double-Skin Faade. Energy and
Buildings, 36:41-60.
Hamdy IF and Fikry MA. 1998. Passive Solar Ventilation. Renewable Energy, 14(1-4):381-
386.
Hien WN and Tanamas J. 2002. The Effect Of Wind On Thermal Comfort In The Tropical
Environment. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Building Research and the
Sustainability of Built Environment in the Tropics, Jakarta, Indonesia.
Internet page of BuildingEnvelopes.org, History of Double-skin Facades,
http://envelopes.cdi.harvard.edu/envelopes/web_pages/home/home.cfm
Letan R, Dubovsky V, and Ziskind G. 2003. Passive Ventilation and Heating By Natural
Convection In A Multi-Storey Building. Building and Environment, 38:197-208.
Li Y and Delsante A. 2001. Natural Ventilation Induced By Combined Wind and Thermal
Forces. Building and Environment, 36:59-71.
Liddament MW 1992. The Role and Application Of Ventilation Effectiveness In Design.
Proceedings of International Symposium on Room Air Convection and Ventilation
Effectiveness, University of Tokyo, 59-75.
Murakami S. 1992. New Scales For Ventilation Efficiency and Their Application Based On
Numerical Simulation Of Room Airflow. Proceedings of International Symposium on
Room Air Convection and Ventilation Effectiveness, University of Tokyo, 22-38.
Oesterle, Lieb, Lutz, and Heusler. 2001. Double-Skin Facades Integrated Planning.
Germany: Prestel Verlag.
Papakonstantinou KA, Kiranoudis CT, and Markatos NC. 2000. Numerical Simulation Of
Airflow Field In Single-Sided Ventilated Buildings. Energy and Buildings, 33:41-48.
Priyadarsini R, Cheong KW, and Wong NH. 2004. Enhancement Of Natural Ventilation In
High-Rise Buildings Using Stack System. Energy and Buildings, 36(1):61-71.
Yeang, Ken. 1996. The Skyscraper, Bio-climatically considered; A design primer. London:
Academy Editions.
Ziskind G, Dubovsky V, and Letan R. 2002. Ventilation By Convection Of A One-Storey
Building. Energy and Buildings, 34:91-102.







284
B) Methodology for natural ventilation design for high-rise buildings in
hot and humid climate - published in the proceedings of The 2005
World Sustainable Building Conference (SB05) in Tokyo, Japan,
September 2005.


METHODOLOGY FOR NATURAL VENTILATION DESIGN
FOR HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS IN HOT AND HUMID
CLIMATE


P C Wong
1

D Prasad
2
M Behnia
3


1
Faculty of Built Environment, University of New South Wales, Australia,
jwongpc@hotmail.com
2
Centre for Sustainable Built Environment (CSBE), Faculty of Built
Environment, University of New South Wales, Australia
3
The University of Sydney, Australia


Keywords: thermal comfort, double-skin faade, computational fluid dynamic,
natural ventilation


Summary

The research attempts to look into the viability of double-skin faade in
providing natural ventilation for the high-rise office buildings in hot and humid
environment. The behaviour of airflow patterns induced by wind and thermal
forces through the double-skin faade into the interior office space and their
effects onto the thermal comfort within the space are analysed with the use of
computational fluid dynamic simulations and to identify the possible window
periods for natural ventilation to be introduced to the office space.


1. Introduction

Extensive research has been carried in defining what is thermal comfort and the
parameters that affecting it. All those findings had confirmed the importance of
human factors and human influence towards the creation of a thermally
comfortable indoor environment (Fanger 1970 and Ruck 1989). In more recent
experimental studies concerning the effects of some human factors on the
comfort conditions in particular geographical location, Dear, Leow and Foo
(1991) found that people working in naturally ventilated buildings in hot and
humid country could accept a temperature value of up to 3
0
C warmer than
Fangers values. This with other similar findings especially the newly
published ASHRAE standard 55-2004 (2004) have given the opportunity in
285
introducing natural ventilation for commercial buildings in the hot and humid
region.


1.1 Double-skin Faade and Thermal Comfort

A number of interesting investigations and findings are reported in the
literature pertaining to passive ventilation in buildings and the thermal
performance of double-skin facades. Even though most of the researches are
done mainly in temperate countries conditions but they have revealed close link
between natural ventilation design and the function of double-skin faade.
Grabe et al. (2001) developed a simulation algorithm to investigate the
temperature behaviour and the flow characteristics of double facades with
natural convection through solar radiation. Similar works on natural convection
ventilation also reported by Ziskind et al. (2002, 2003), Bansal et al. (1994),
Hamdy and Fikry (1998), and Priyadarsini et al. (2003). Most of them are using
the idea of stack effect or the solar chimney concept and found that passive
ventilation in summer is possible even for multi-storey buildings. In particular
Priyadarsini et al. (2003) have concluded the energy efficiency of stack system
used in residential of a hot and humid climate region.

Li Y and Delsante (2001) went a step further to investigate the effects of
natural ventilation caused by wind and thermal forces in a single zone building
with two openings. Ventilation graphs are plotted using the air change
parameters (thermal air change, wind air change and the heat loss air change)
for design purposes. Gratia and Herde (2004) attempted to look at the impact of
double-skin faade facing southern direction in a temperate climatic condition.
Thermal analysis using simulation software of different seasons of a year was
done for a low-rise office building with and without double-skin faade. It was
found that significant energy saving is possible if natural ventilation could be
exploited through the use of double-skin faade.

This paper attempts to bridge the gap of looking into the possibilities of natural
ventilation in high-rise office buildings specifically in the hot and humid
climate region with the use of double-skin faade. The unique faade
construction is thought to be able to act as a stack in providing required
ventilation for the thermal comfort of the internal space. Airflow effects
induced by wind and thermal forces onto a single office module constructed are
to be observed for the first stage before a complex multi-storey office with all
the thermal comfort parameters included are to be analysed. Therefore it is the
intention of this paper to report on the findings of the first stage of the problem
at hand.


2. Methodology

2.1 Computational Fluid Dynamic Simulation

Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) has become a useful tool for designers in
the study of indoor and outdoor environment conditions in building designs.
286
The parameters such as air velocity and relative humidity solved by CFD are
critical for designing an acceptable indoor comfort environment. CFD
technique has been applied with considerable success in building design and
the advantages in analysing ventilation performance have been reported by
Murakami (1992). Papakonstantinou et al. (2000) has demonstrated that
numerical solutions for ventilation problems can be obtained quickly and in
good agreement with the experimental measurements.


2.2 Validation of the CFD Software

A virtual prototyping simulation software called Airpak (2002) is used in this
research to model the complex energy transfer through the component layers of
the multiplayer faade through the optimisation of the appropriate opening
sizes on the glazing, the width of the intermediate space and the ventilation rate
through the internal office space. The validation of the software has been
carried out by comparing the experimental and simulation results from another
commercial simulation software called FloVent which was carried out by Manz
H (2003). The measured hourly outdoor air temperature shown in Figure 1 are
used for piecewise linear interpolation for the transient simulations. The
simulation model for the validation is shown in Figure 2 and one of the
comparison results are shown in Figure 3 below. Series 1 are the measured
surface temperatures for the inner pane in the experimental results and Series 2
are the simulation results from Airpak. Both of the results are compared and
analyzed and it was found that the variation is within 5% of the acceptable
error tolerance.
















Figure 1 Measured hourly outdoor air
temperature





Figure 2 Simulation model for the validation

0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
1 4 7 10 13 16 19 22 25
Time (h)
A
i
r

T
e
m
p

(
C
)
Outdoor
Temp
287

0
5
10
15
20
25
30
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23
Time (h)
I
n
n
e
r

P
a
n
e

S
u
r
f
a
c
e

T
e
m
p

(
C
)
Series1
Series2


Figure 3 Comparison between the measured and CFD results



2.3 The CFD Models

The single office module in 3D is constructed with the geometrical dimensions
of 3.5m x 5.0m x 2.6m height (Figure 4). Numerous of simulation runs have
been carried out for the benchmarking purposes in which a typical curtain
walling office module was observed and a simplified nomogram has been
established to define the initial parameters for thermal comfort in the tropic
region. These results are compared with the simulation runs from the office
module with double-skin faade construction.

The simplified double-skin faade of the office module has openings on each
of the external and internal panes with 6mm thick glass used at the external
pane and 6/12/6mm double glazed used for the inner pane (Figure 5). Internal
heat sources of two computers, four ceiling lights and two persons are
introduced in the office space for thermal comfort analysis. The office module
has two vents at the rear wall to introduce cross ventilation from the internal
a/c space across the internal office space.
288


Figure 4 Standard curtain walling for office module

Figure 5 Double-skin faade for office module
289
2.3 The CFD Simulation

In view of the complexity of the problem at hand, the modeling of the
computer model has been broken down into different levels. The initial
simulation was concentrated onto a single office space within a high-rise office
building. The commercial office spaces could be grouped under three different
sizes, namely small (~20m
2
), medium (~50m
2
) and large (>100m
2
). This paper
is focusing on the first office group, which is the small office space.

The simulations are performed under steady state condition using k-epsilon
turbulent model. The simulated wind speeds of 0m/s to 3.0m/s are used to
model expected ground level wind velocities with ambient temperature of 30
0
C and relative humidity of 60% to 100%. The external temperature at the rear
wall is set at 30
0
C to simulate a corridor area open to the external space. Only
wind direction which perpendicular to the double-skin faade has been looked
at for this stage. The upwind distance from the outer pane of the double-skin
faade is set at 3 times the length of the office module.



3. Discussion


3.1 The Analysis of the Simulation Results

For the first stage of the analysis which this paper is going to report on, all
simulations, be it the benchmarking cases or the double-skin scenarios,
generated a cross ventilation effects from the internal naturally ventilated space
across the office and discharged out through the internal pane opening into the
intermediate space of the double faade. The strength of the cross ventilation
will mainly depends on the airflow resistances within the intermediate space
and the internal office space, together with the pressure differences between
them. The magnitude of the internal ventilation will depend on the summation
of the airflow resistances and in turn control by the smallest cross section area
of the opening within the space.

The locations of the glass openings on the outer pane of the double-skin faade
in relation to the inner pane will have effect onto the indoor thermal and
airflow velocity. It was found that the higher the opening is located from the
floor level it will generate a stronger stack effect within the air gap which in
turn will pull more air out from the office space through the vents at the rear
wall. The temperature generated within the office space is much desirable and
closer to human comfort requirement. The airflow pattern created will be a
good cross ventilation effect with cool air coming into the office space from the
vents and right across and above the internal space and discharged out through
the high level opening at the inner pane. This has lead to the selection of
specific type of the double-skin construction, namely the Multi-storey Faade,
which will create the strongest stack effect to pull maximum amount of air
from the internal office space (Oesterle 2001).

290


3.2 Formulation of the Nomogram

The results obtained from the benchmarking simulations, which is a typical
curtain walling system faade, are compared to the results from the proposed
prototype double-skin faade. The nomogram is formed by three axis which
represent the three important parameters in thermal comfort analysis,
temperature, air velocity and relative humidity. Boundaries of thermal comfort
are plotted onto the nomograms from the analysis of the simulation results and
they are compared to see whether there are any advantages for using double-
skin construction for an office building in the tropical climate. Figure 6 has
shown that there are positive points in using the double-skin construction, as
the shaded area for the double-skin faade is larger than the normal curtain
walling construction (left side nomogram), even though this finding is only
represent the low level results for the high-rise office building in study.














Figure 6 Nomograms for benchmarking (left side) and double-skin facade



4. Conclusion

This paper has found that a high level single opening at the outer pane of the
double-skin faade will create a desirable cross ventilation airflow pattern at
the internal office space. It was also found that double-skin faade did improve
the thermal comfort of an internal office space by reducing the temperature
from 1.0
0
C to 1.5
0
C, with the external wind velocity to be around 1.5m/s. The
internal temperatures are still considered a bit high (as the model constructed
for this paper is only considering the low level of a high-rise office building)
but the situation will be expected to improve when multi-storey spaces are
linked together in a high-rise building when the stack effect of the air gap will
increase tremendously. The results could be improved by using wind turbine at
the top of the faade to increase the airflow velocity at the intermediate space
to give effective airflow speed within the internal space. This will be looked at
and analysed further in the coming development of the research.

291
References

Airpak Users Manual. 2002, Fluent Inc. and ICEM-CFD Engineering.

ASHRAE. 2004, ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2004. Thermal Environmental
Conditions for Human Occupancy, Atlanta: American Society of Heating,
Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc.

Bansal NK, Mathur R, and Bhandari MS. 1994, A Study Of Solar Chimney
Assisted Wind Tower System For Natural Ventilation In Buildings. Building
and Environment 29(4): 495-500.

Dear RJ de, Leow KG and Foo SC. 1991, Thermal Comfort in the Humid
Tropics. International Journal of Biometeorology 34: 259-265.

Fanger P.O. 1970, Thermal Comfort. Copenhagen: Danish Technical Press.

Grabe J, Lorenz R, and Croxford, B. 2001, Ventilation Of Double Facades.
Building Simulation, pp 229-236.

Gratia E and Herde A. 2004, Optimal Operation Of A South Double-Skin
Faade. Energy and Buildings 36:41-60.

Haase M, Wong F, and Amato A. 2004, Double-Skin Facades For Hong Kong.
Proceedings of International Conference on Building Envelope Systems and
Technology, pp 243-250.

Hamdy IF and Fikry MA. 1998, Passive Solar Ventilation. Renewable Energy
14(1-4):381-386.

Li Y and Delsante A. 2001, Natural Ventilation Induced By Combined Wind
and Thermal Forces. Building and Environment 36:59-71.

Manz H. 2003, Total Solar Energy Transmittance of Glass Double Facades
With Free Convection. Energy and Buildings 36: 127-136.

Murakami S. 1992, New Scales For Ventilation Efficiency and Their
Application Based On Numerical Simulation Of Room Airflow. Proceedings of
International Symposium on Room Air Convection and Ventilation
Effectiveness, University of Tokyo, pp 22-38.

Oesterle, Lieb, Lutz, and Heusler. 2001, Double-Skin Facades Integrated
Planning. Germany: Prestel Verlag.

Papakonstantinou KA, Kiranoudis CT, and Markatos NC. 2000, Numerical
Simulation Of Airflow Field In Single-Sided Ventilated Buildings. Energy and
Buildings 33:41-48.

292
Priyadarsini R, Cheong KW, and Wong NH. 2004, Enhancement Of Natural
Ventilation In High-Rise Buildings Using Stack System. Energy and Buildings
36(1):61-71.

Ruck NC. 1989, Building Design and Human Performance. New York: Van
Nostrand Reinhold.

Yeang, Ken. 1996, The Skyscraper, Bio-climatically considered; A design
primer. London: Academy Editions.

Ziskind G, Dubovsky V, and Letan R. 2002, Ventilation By Convection Of A
One-Storey Building. Energy and Buildings 34:91-102.





















293
C) Simulation methodology for high-rise office buildings with double-
skin faade in the hot and humid climate published in the
proceedings of The 2008 World Sustainable Building Conference (SB08)
in Melbourne, Australia, September 2008.

SIMULATION METHODOLOGY FOR HIGH-RISE OFFICE
BUILDINGS WITH DOUBLE-SKIN FAADE IN THE HOT AND
HUMID CLIMATE


Pow Chew WONG Ph.D
1

Deo PRASAD Dr. Arch.
2

Masud BEHNIA Dr. Eng.
3


1
Faculty of Built Environment, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia,
jwongpc@hotmail.com
2
Faculty of Built Environment, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia,
d.prasad@unsw.edu.au
3
The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, m.behnia@usyd.edu.au


Keywords: simulation methodology, high-rise office building, double-skin faade,
computational fluid dynamic

Summary
A number of recent investigations and findings are reported in the literature
pertaining to the used of double-skin faade for passive ventilation in buildings
and the researches have revealed close link between natural ventilation design
and the design of double-skin faade. It was found that significant energy
saving is possible if natural ventilation strategy could be exploited with the use
of double-skin faade. In this research, CFD was used to analyse the
correlation between thermal comfort parameters and different double-skin
faade orientations to be used in high-rise office buildings in hot and humid
climate. A comprehensive methodology is proposed and results were presented.


1. Introduction

Extensive research has been carried in defining what is thermal comfort and the
parameters that affecting it. All those findings had confirmed the importance of
human factors and human influence towards the creation of a thermally
comfortable indoor environment (Fanger 1970 and Ruck 1989). In more recent
experimental studies concerning the effects of some human factors on the
comfort conditions in particular geographical location, Dear, Leow and Foo
(1991) found that people working in naturally ventilated buildings in hot and
humid country could accept a temperature value of up to 3
o
C warmer than
Fangers values. This with other similar findings especially the newly
published ASHRAE standard 55-2004 (2004) have given the opportunity in
294
introducing natural ventilation for commercial buildings in the hot and humid
region.

A number of interesting investigations and findings are reported in the
literature pertaining to passive ventilation in buildings and the thermal
performance of double-skin facades. Even though most of the researches are
done mainly in temperate countries conditions but they have revealed close link
between natural ventilation design and the function of double-skin faade.
Grabe et al. (2001) developed a simulation algorithm to investigate the
temperature behaviour and the flow characteristics of double facades with
natural convection through solar radiation. Similar works on natural convection
ventilation also reported by Ziskind et al. (2002, 2003), Bansal et al. (1994),
Hamdy and Fikry (1998), and Priyadarsini et al. (2003). Most of them are using
the idea of stack effect or the solar chimney concept and found that passive
ventilation in summer is possible even for multi-storey buildings. In particular
Priyadarsini et al. (2003) have concluded the energy efficiency of stack system
used in residential of a hot and humid climate region.

Li Y and Delsante (2001) went a step further to investigate the effects of
natural ventilation caused by wind and thermal forces in a single zone building
with two openings. Ventilation graphs are plotted using the air change
parameters (thermal air change, wind air change and the heat loss air change)
for design purposes. Gratia and Herde (2004) attempted to look at the impact of
double-skin faade facing southern direction in a temperate climatic condition.
Thermal analysis using simulation software of different seasons of a year was
done for a low-rise office building with and without double-skin faade. It was
found that significant energy saving is possible if natural ventilation could be
exploited through the use of double-skin faade.

This paper attempts to bridge the gap of looking into the possibilities of natural
ventilation in high-rise office buildings specifically in the hot and humid
climate region with the use of double-skin faade. The unique faade
construction is thought to be able to act as a stack in providing required
ventilation for the thermal comfort of the internal space. Airflow effects
induced by wind and thermal forces on a high-rise office building are observed
with all the thermal comfort parameters included are analysed.

2. Research Methodology

A virtual prototyping computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulation software
called Airpak (2003) is used in this research to model the complex energy
transfer through the component layers of the multiplayer faade through the
optimisation of the appropriate opening sizes on the glazing, the width of the
intermediate space and the ventilation rate through the internal office space.
The validation of the software has been carried out by comparing the
experimental and simulation results from another commercial simulation
software called FloVent which carried out by Manz H (2003). Both of the
295
results are compared and analysed and it was found that the variation is within
5% of the acceptable error tolerance.

In view of the complexity of the problem at hand, the modelling of the
computer model has been broken down into different levels. The initial single
office module in 3D is constructed with the geometrical dimensions of 3.5m x
5.0m x 3.5m in height. Numerous simulation runs have been carried out for the
benchmarking purposes in which a typical curtain walling office module was
observed and a simplified nomogram has been established to define the initial
parameters for thermal comfort in the tropical region. These results are
compared with the simulation runs from the office module with double-skin
faade construction. Following-up with the simulations analysis of a single
office module discussed above, the computer model is extended vertically to
incorporate a concealed ground floor space which usually used as shop front
space for most high-rise office buildings. The office space is only starting at 1
st

level. Two different groups of modelling are constructed at this stage. First
group is the benchmarking model with standard curtain walling system
generally used in most modern high-rise office buildings (Figure 1). The other
group is replaced with a standard vertically vented double-skin faade
construction (Figure 2).

The strategy is to break-down a very complex problem of simulating a multi-
storey high-rise building into a 6-storey building block. Simulations will be
run for the 1
st
building block of 6-storey for the modelling of the office
building from ground floor to 6-storey. Subsequently another 6-storey building
block of the model will be constructed for modelling of the office building
from 7-storey to 12-storey. The last building block will be the modelling of the
office building from 13-storey to 18-storey. The building height of 18-storey or
about 60m high will constitute the majority of the office buildings height in a
medium to medium-dense modern city. This will give a good representation for
investigating the problem at hand.



Figure 1 Standard curtain Figure 2 Double-skin faade
walling model. model.
Concealed
Ground Floor
Space
Concealed
Ground Floor
Space
296

3. CFD Modelling

The first block (Stage 1) of the six-storey building (Figure 3) consists of a
ground floor (which is not served by the double-skin faade, as this will be the
typical design for any high-rise building) and 5 stories of office spaces above.
The double-skin faade is a ventilated-shaft design that is 2.8m from ground
level. In earlier findings it is a practical and economical option to introduce a
shaft to improve the stack effect of the natural ventilation and in turn will
improve the airflow rates required to reach thermal comfort level within the
interior office space.

The heat sources for the CFD model will only be introduced at alternate floor,
starting from 1
st
-storey. This was done to reduce the complexity of the model
and computing time, but at the same time will be able to give a comprehensive
view of the indoor thermal comfort of the office spaces. Each alternate floor
will have two occupants, two computers and four ceiling lights, which are the
same as the initial single office model. Each human model is assigned with 75
W/m
2
of heat generation with clothing value (clo) of 1.0 and metabolic rate
(met) of 1.2 for sedentary office activities. Heat generated for the computers
are 108 W/m
2
and 173 W/m
2
respectively and the heat flux of the lighting
fixture is assumed to be 38 W/m
2
each.

Boundary conditions for wind velocity, external temperature and relative
humidity were set to the ranges similar to the climatic conditions for
Singapore. The ambient temperature in Singapore is hot with high humidity
and relatively low wind velocity throughout most of the year. Only the
optimum opening sizes on the inner pane and the air gap sizes of the double-
skin faade (DSF) are being considered (as shown in Figure 4) for this stage of
simulations, based on the findings from the preliminary modelling. The
optimum vent size at the rear wall was found to be 300mm by 600mm from
previous findings. The scope of the problem in investigation has been
narrowed down and carefully controlled to find the optimum DSF
configuration for use in Singapore climatic conditions.















297
WIND
GROUND FLOOR
VENT
2
8
0
04
0
0
0
WIND
3
5
0
0
1st FLOOR
2nd FLOOR
3
5
0
0
VENT
DSF
3rd FLOOR
2
1
5
0
0
3
5
0
0
WIND
WIND
VENT
4th FLOOR
3
5
0
0
5th FLOOR
3500
3
5
0
0
Figure 3 Model geometry of Stage 1 of the 6-storey office building.

4. Results
4.1 Comparison of results for single-skin and double-skin facades

The results obtained from the benchmarking simulations, which is a typical
curtain walling system faade, are compared to the results from the proposed
prototype double-skin faade.
















Figure 5 Nomogram showing the acceptable thermal comfort conditions
(shaded area) for standard curtain wall system.
298


















Figure 6 Nomogram showing the acceptable thermal comfort conditions
(shaded area) for double-skin facade system.


The nomograms are formed by three axes, which represent the three important
parameters in thermal comfort analysis, temperature, air velocity and relative
humidity. Boundaries of thermal comfort are plotted onto the nomograms from
the analysis of the simulation results and they are compared to see whether
there are any advantages for using double-skin construction for an office
building in the tropical climate.

Figures 5 & 6 above have shown that there are positive points in using the
double-skin construction, as the shaded area for the double-skin faade is
larger than the normal curtain walling construction, even though this finding is
only representing the low level results for the high-rise office building in study.
The findings are encouraging as the double-skin faade construction does
improve the internal thermal comfort for a naturally ventilated office space by
as much as 10%, as compared to conventional curtain wall system.

4.2 Simulation results for South facing DSF system (Stage 1)

The first group of simulations is generated with the DSF system constructed at
the south facing faade of the building only. The simulation periods are at 10
a.m. or 2 p.m. on either 15 January or 1 July of the month with wind direction
perpendicular to the DSF wall and with wind velocities of 0.5 m/s, 1.5 m/s and
3 m/s. The external ambient temperatures were set from 26
o
C to 30
o
C with
relative humidity ranging from 70% to 100%. The opening size for the inner
pane of the DSF system used is 300mm. The air gap sizes used for the DSF are
300mm, 600mm, 900mm and 1200mm. The air vent size at the rear office wall
is fixed at 300mm x 600mm.
299
There are a total of 18 location points being identified to record the simulation
results on thermal comfort parameters. Six of those location points which are
0.8m above the office floor level and 0.2m away from the two human figures.
These six points are chosen to monitor the thermal comfort conditions
experienced by the occupants. Table 1 shows some of the comparative results
for the simulation with different parameters used for the boundary conditions
and DSF configurations taken at strategic locations. The indoor Operative
Temperature (OT) calculated in the above table was using the formula stated in
Figure 7 and the value was used to identify acceptable thermal comfort for
naturally ventilated spaces in hot and humid climate using the graph given in
the same figure.

Table 1 Simulation results for different boundary conditions
(Note: Shaded results are acceptable thermal comfort conditions)


Simulation Orientation Date Time Air Temp.
o
C
Wind Vel.
m/s
Air RH
%
Air Gap Size
mm

S1-1

South

15 Jan

2pm

28

1.5

80

300

S1-2

South

15 Jan

2pm

28

1.5

80

600

S1-3

South

15 Jan

2pm

28

1.5

80

900

S1-4

South

15 Jan

2pm

26

1.5

80

300

S1-5

South

15 Jan

10am

26

1.5

80

300

S1-6

South

15 Jan

10am

28

1.5

80

300

Simulation

Floor Level Temp.
0
C
Air Vel.
m/s
Radiant
Temp.
0
C
RH
%
PMV OT
0
C

S1-1
1 28 0.04 30 70 1.99 29
3 29 0.01 30 77 1.8 29
5 29 0.01 30 76 1.85 30

S1-2
1 30 0.02 33 71 2.41 31
3 31 0.04 32 77 1.97 31
5 31 0.03 31 75 2.13 31

S1-3
1 30 0.03 32 71 2.38 31
3 30 0.06 32 77 2.04 31
5 30 0.04 32 76 1.9 31
300
Air speed < 0.2m/s
Difference between radiant & air temp < 4C
Top = Ata + (1-A)Tr
V <0.2m/s 0.2-0.6m/s 0.6-1m/s
A 0.5 0.6 0.7

S1-4
1 27 0.04 29 71 1.8 28
3 28 0.05 29 76 1.66 29
5 27 0.03 29 75 1.6 28

S1-5

1 27 0.02 29 70 1.97 28
3 28 0.04 30 76 1.62 29
5 28 0.03 29 75 1.59 28

S1-6

1 28 0.03 30 70 1.92 29
3 29 0.01 29 77 1.78 29
5 29 0.01 30 75 1.84 29













Figure 7 Thermal environment conditions for human occupancy from
ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 552004.

4.3 Analysis of results and findings for Stage 1

Selected results for South facing DSF with external wind velocity of 1.5m/s
and air humidity of 80% respectively are tabulated in Table 1. The variable
parameters in consideration for this instance are external air temperature, the
DSF air gap size and the time of the day. Results for S1-1, S1-2 and S1-3
(South facing DSF) as shown in Table 1 and Figure 8 indicated that the DSF
air gap size of 300mm gives the best result for the particular conditions in a
natural ventilated space. The findings are the same for the Northern orientation
faade as presented in Figure 9. In most cases the lower floor of the office
space would generate the lowest operative temperature due to the stack effect
provided by the DSF configuration. This has enhanced the natural ventilation
strategy to provide better internal thermal comfort condition for the office
spaces.

There is not much of a difference in terms of the internal thermal comfort
conditions for either period of time in a given day (morning or afternoon) as
seen in the results for S1-4 and S1-5 for South facing DSF. There is an internal
301
temperature difference of 0.5
o
C for the mid-floor of North facing DSF and this
could be due to the slower internal air velocity generated (Figure 9).
The South facing DSF configuration has produced an 80% Acceptability Limit
for the 300mm air gap size for external temperatures between 26
o
C and 28
o
C,
according to the Thermal Environment Conditions for Human Occupancy from
ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2004 as indicated in Figure 7. This is tabulated in
accordance with the context that the office building is located in the Northern
Hemisphere of tropical climate like the country of Singapore. The North facing
DSF configuration did not produce any acceptable internal thermal comfort
condition for the office space (Figure 9) as the operative temperatures for all
the floors are above 30
o
C. This has again confirmed that the southern
orientation is the best facing for buildings in the Northern Hemisphere.

29
30
31
32
33
34
35
1st Floor 3rd Floor 5th Floor
S1-1a
S1-2a
S1-3a
S1-4a
S1-5a
S1-6a

Figure 8 Comparison of Operative Figure 9 Comparison of Operative
Temperatures (
o
C) for Temperatures (
o
C ) for
South facing DSF. North facing DSF.

4.4 Analysis of results and findings for Stage 2

The selected results for both South and North facing DSF configurations are
having similar parameters as Stage 1 for direct comparison. The external wind
velocity is 1.5m/s and air humidity is 80% respectively and the variable
parameters in consideration for this Stage are external air temperature, the DSF
air gap size and the time of the day. South facing DSF with a DSF air gap size
of 300mm gives the best result. The findings are the same for the Northern
orientation faade. In most cases the lower floor of the office space would
generate the lowest operative temperature due to the stack effect provided by
the DSF configuration.

There is not much of a difference in terms of the internal thermal comfort
conditions for either period of time in a given day (morning or afternoon) as
seen in the results for South facing DSF but for North facing DSF morning
period has a higher operative temperatures compare to afternoon period. This
could be due to the higher internal radiant temperatures generated during this
particular period of time.

26
27
28
29
30
31
32
1st Floor 3rd Floor 5th Floor
S1-1
S1-2
S1-3
S1-4
S1-5
S1-6
302
The South facing DSF configuration has produced an 80% Acceptability Limit
for the 300mm air gap size for external temperature of 26
o
C up to 9
th
Floor.
The North facing DSF configuration did not produce any acceptable internal
thermal comfort condition for the office space as the operative temperatures for
all the floors are above 31
o
C.


4.5 Analysis of results and findings for Stage 3

The selected results for both South and North facing DSF configurations are
having similar parameters as Stages 1 and 2 for direct comparison. The external
wind velocity is 1.5m/s and air humidity is 80% respectively and the variable
parameters in consideration for this Stage are also external air temperature, the
DSF air gap size and the time of the day. Results for South facing DSF
indicated that the DSF air gap size of 300mm gives the best result for the
particular conditions in a natural ventilated space, as in Stages 1 and 2. The
findings are the same for the Northern orientation faade. In most cases the
lower floor of the office space would generate the lowest operative temperature
due to the stack effect provided by the DSF configuration, as in Stages 1 and
2 also.

There is not much of a difference in terms of the internal thermal comfort
conditions for either period of time in a given day (morning or afternoon) as
seen in the results for South facing DSF.
The South facing DSF configuration has produced an 80% Acceptability Limit
for the 300mm air gap size for external temperatures between 26
o
C and 28
o
C.
The North facing DSF configuration did not produce any acceptable internal
thermal comfort condition for the office space except for the lower floor for
300mm air gap configuration with external air temperature of 26
o
C during
morning period.


4.6 Comparison results for different orientations

The simulation results for the three stages of the modelling have shown that the
South-facing orientation provide a better outcome compared to the North-
facing direction. The optimum air gap size for the double-skin faade
construction is found to be 300mm and the best results were obtained during
the morning period.

Figure 10 below recorded the comparison of selective results between the four
major orientations for a double-skin faade installation for a typical high-rise
office building. The results show that the South-facing faade has the best
outcome followed by the East-facing faade during the morning period in the
month of January. The North-facing and the West-facing faades do not
provide an acceptable indoor thermal comfort for the purposes of office
function in a high-rise building.


303













Figure 10 Comparison of Operative Temperatures (
o
C) for four major
orientations.

5. Conclusion

Figure 11 below shows the complete 18-storey office building with typical
multi-storey double-skin faade configuration. The proposed DSF starts from
1
st
storey at 2.8 meters from ground level up to the 17
th
storey with 1-meter
parapet above the roof level. The office spaces are assumed to be divided into a
number of small office usages and are tenanted out to various occupants. All
office spaces are assumed to face the DSF at the front and facing open corridor
at the rear.

With the completion of the three stages of simulations, numerous simulation
runs had been carried out with various ambient temperatures, different external
air velocities, different orientations of the double-skin faade, different periods
of time during the day, etc in order to find out the appropriate window periods
for acceptable indoor conditions for office workers in the Singapore context.
These findings will be of outmost important as an indication whether double-
skin faade is really possible to be used as a mean to introduce natural
ventilation to the high-rise buildings in the tropics. The results and findings
will also bear an important decision in how to carry out the optimization of the
faade system for the whole high-rise office building.

The simulation methodology proposed is comprehensive in simulating a rather
complex high-rise office building with accurate results. Further works could be
carried out in developing a methodology to simulate office building with
different combination of office sizes and usages in an efficient and accurate
way.
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
13th Floor 15th Floor 17th Floor
South
North
East
West
304
2
8
0
0
WIND
4
0
0
0
1st FLOOR
GROUND FLOOR
VENT
WIND
WIND
WIND
3
5
0
0
3
5
0
0
2nd FLOOR
DSF
VENT
6
3
5
0
0
3
5
0
0
3
5
0
0
16th FLOOR
17th FLOOR
VENT
3500
1
0
0
0


Figure 11 The model of the complete 18-storey office building.


References

Airpak Users Manual. 2003, Fluent Inc. and ICEM-CFD Engineering.

ASHRAE. 2004, ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2004. Thermal Environmental
Conditions for Human Occupancy, Atlanta: American Society of Heating,
Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc.

Bansal NK, Mathur R, and Bhandari MS. 1994, A Study Of Solar Chimney
Assisted Wind Tower System For Natural Ventilation In Buildings. Building
and Environment, 29(4): 495-500.

de Dear RJ, Leow KG and Foo SC. 1991, Thermal Comfort in the Humid
Tropics. International Journal of Biometeorology, 34: 259-265.

Fanger P.O. 1970, Thermal Comfort. Copenhagen: Danish Technical Press.

Grabe J, Lorenz R, and Croxford, B. 2001, Ventilation of Double Faades.
Building Simulation, pp 229-236.

305
Gratia E and Herde A. 2004, Optimal Operation of A South Double-Skin
Faade. Energy and Buildings, 36:41-60.

Haase M, Wong F, and Amato A. 2004, Double-Skin Faades For Hong Kong.
Proceedings of International Conference on Building Envelope Systems and
Technology, pp 243-250.

Hamdy IF and Fikry MA. 1998, Passive Solar Ventilation. Renewable Energy,
14(1-4):381-386.

Li Y and Delsante A. 2001, Natural Ventilation Induced by Combined Wind
and Thermal Forces. Building and Environment, 36:59-71.

Manz H. 2003, Total Solar Energy Transmittance of Glass Double Faades
with Free Convection. Energy and Buildings, 36: 127-136.

Murakami S. 1992, New Scales For Ventilation Efficiency and Their
Application Based On Numerical Simulation Of Room Airflow. Proceedings
of International Symposium on Room Air Convection and Ventilation
Effectiveness, University of Tokyo, pp 22-38.

Oesterle, Lieb, Lutz, and Heusler. 2001, Double-Skin Facades Integrated
Planning. Germany: Prestel Verlag.

Papakonstantinou KA, Kiranoudis CT, and Markatos NC. 2000, Numerical
Simulation Of Airflow Field In Single-Sided Ventilated Buildings. Energy and
Buildings, 33:41-48.

Priyadarsini R, Cheong KW, and Wong NH. 2004, Enhancement Of Natural
Ventilation In High-Rise Buildings Using Stack System. Energy and Buildings,
36(1):61-71.










306
D) A new type of double-skin faade configurations for the hot and
humid climate published in International Journal on Energy and
Buildings, v.40, pp. 1941-1945, 2008.

A new type of double-skin faade configuration for the hot and humid
climate
P. C. Wong
a,*
, D. Prasad
a
, M. Behnia
b

a
The Red Centre West Wing, Faculty of the Built Environment, The University of New South Wales
UNSW, Sydney, NSW, 2052, Australia
b
H04, Merewether Building, The University of Sydney, NSW, 2006, Australia
____________________________________________________________________________

Abstract
The performance of the double-skin faade depends closely on the chosen ventilation means within its
intermediate space. The modes of ventilation could be natural (buoyancy driven), forced (mechanically
driven) or mixed (both natural and forced). Oesterle et al has attempted to classify the double-skin
constructions into four different types, namely box window faade, shaft-box faade, corridor faade and
multi-story faade. A number of interesting investigations and findings are reported in the literature
pertaining to passive ventilation in buildings and the thermal performance of double-skin facades. The
researches have revealed close link between natural ventilation design and the function of double-skin
faade. Most of them are using the idea of stack effect or the solar chimney concept and found that
passive ventilation in summer is possible even for multi-storey buildings. It was found that significant
energy saving is possible if natural ventilation could be exploited through the use of double-skin faade.
In this research, CFD was used to analyse various thermal comfort parameters with different double
faade configurations to determine a new type of double-skin faade configurations which will provide a
better indoor thermal comfort in the hot and humid climate through natural ventilation strategies for the
high-rise buildings.
Keywords: Double-skin faade; Natural ventilation; CFD; Energy efficiency; High-rise Buildings; Hot and humid
climate
____________________________________________________________________________

1. Introduction

Double-skin facades are multiple layer skins
construction with an external skin, an
intermediate space and an inner skin. The
external and internal skins could be of either
single glaze or double glazed glass panes of
float glass or safety glass. An adjustable sun-
shading device is usually installed at the
intermediate space for thermal controls. The
double-skin constructions generally could be
grouped under Box Window faade, Shaft-box
faade, Corridor faade and Multi-story faade
[1].
Double-skin faade is not a new concept as
it started centuries ago and the first double-
skin curtain wall appears in 1903, in the Steiff
Factory in Giengen, Germany [2]. Until
recently the use of double-skin facades had
became more popular in many high-rise
buildings in Europe and most recently the
technology has been demonstrated in the
Armoury Tower in Shanghai, China [3], No.1
Peking Road and the Dragon Air Office which
both are located in Hong Kong [4]. The
performance of the double-skin faade depends
closely on the chosen ventilation means within


_________
* Corresponding author: Tel: +61 2 93855259; fax: +61 2
93856374.
E-mail address: jwongpc@hotmail.com (P.C. Wong).

its intermediate space. The modes of
ventilation could be natural (buoyancy driven),
forced (mechanically driven) or mixed (both
natural and forced).

2. Passive Ventilation and Double-skin
Faade

A number of interesting investigations and
findings are reported in the literature
pertaining to passive ventilation in buildings
and the thermal performance of double-skin
facades. Even though most of the researches
are done mainly in temperate countries
conditions but they have revealed close link
between natural ventilation design and the
function of double-skin faade. Grabe et al. [5]
developed a simulation algorithm to
investigate the temperature behaviour and the
flow characteristics of double facades with
natural convection through solar radiation.
Similar works on natural convection
ventilation also reported by Ziskind et al. [6,7],
307
Bansal et al. [8], Hamdy and Fikry [9], and
Priyadarsini et al. [10]. Most of them are using
the idea of stack effect or the solar chimney
concept and found that passive ventilation in
summer is possible even for multi-storey
buildings. In particular Priyadarsini et al. [10]
have concluded the energy efficiency of stack
system used in residential of a hot and humid
climate region. Yuguo Li and Delsante [11]
went a step further to investigate the effects of
natural ventilation caused by wind and thermal
forces in a single zone building with two
openings. Ventilation graphs are plotted using
the air change parameters (thermal air change,
wind air change and the heat loss air change)
for design purposes. Gratia and Herde [12]
attempted to look at the impact of double-skin
faade facing southern direction in a temperate
climatic condition. Thermal analysis using
simulation software of different seasons of a
year was done for a low-rise office building
with and without double-skin faade. It was
found that significant energy saving is possible
if natural ventilation could be exploited
through the use of double-skin faade.

3. Computational Fluid Dynamic

Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) has
become a useful tool for designers in the study
of indoor and outdoor environment conditions
in building designs. The parameters such as air
velocity and relative humidity solved by CFD
are critical for designing an acceptable indoor
comfort environment. CFD technique has been
applied with considerable success in building
design and the advantages in analysing
ventilation performance have been reported by
Murakami [13] and Liddament [14].
Papakonstantinou et al. [15] has demonstrated
that numerical solutions for ventilation
problems can be obtained quickly and in good
agreement with the experimental
measurements.
Airpak is an easy-to-use design tool for the
design and analysis of ventilation systems
which are required to provide acceptable
thermal comfort and indoor air quality
solutions. It is a virtual prototyping software
that allows for accurate modeling of airflow,
heat transfer, contaminant transport and
thermal comfort. Computer models could be
easily built and tested for variety of design
options to find the best solution. Full colour
animations, pictures and plots help to
effectively analyse the results obtained. This
specific CFD software uses object-based
model building and libraries coupled with
automatic unstructured meshing that enables
complex models building. It uses the FLUENT
CFD solver engine for thermal and fluid-flow
calculations in which provides robust and
quick calculations. It post-processing features
also allow fast and comprehensive results for
the ventilation problems at hand [16].
In view of the capabilities and good
interface of the Airpak software, it is selected
to be used in this research to model the
complex energy transfer through the
component layers of the multiplayer faade
through the optimisation of the appropriate
opening sizes on the glazing, the width of the
intermediate space and the ventilation rate
through the internal office space.

4. Methodology

The final goal of the research is to look into
the possibilities of natural ventilation in a 18-
storey high-rise office building in a hot and
humid climate condition using double-skin
faade. In order to realise this complex
problem, several stages of different levels of
complexity modeling are introduced. Airflow
effects induced by wind and thermal forces
onto a single storey office model constructed
are to be observed for the first stage before a
complex multi-storey office with all the
thermal comfort parameters included are to be
analysed.
The single storey office module in 3D is
constructed in Airpak with the geometrical
dimensions of 3.5mx3.5mx3.5m, with 2.6m
ceiling height. The simplified double-skin
faade of the model has openings on each of
the external and internal panes with 6mm thick
glass used at the external pane and 6/12/6mm
double glazed used for the inner pane (Fig. 1).
Internal heat sources of two computers, four
ceiling lights and two persons are introduced in
the office space for thermal comfort analysis.
The office module has two vents at the rear
wall to introduce cross ventilation from the
internal a/c space across the internal office
space.
The simulations are performed under steady
state condition using k-epsilon turbulent
model. The simulated wind speeds of 1.5m/s
and 3.0m/s are used to model expected ground
level wind velocities with ambient temperature
of 30
0
C and relative humidity of 70%. The
external temperature at the rear wall is set at 23
degree C to simulate an internal air-
conditioning space like internal corridor. Only
wind direction which perpendicular to the
double-skin faade has been looked at for this
stage. The upwind distance from the outer
pane of the double-skin faade is set at 7m to
simulate half the distance between office
buildings at the city centre.
308
The thermal performance in using natural
means for ventilation of the single-room
model was compared to typical single-skin
curtain wall system. It was found that double-
skin faade does perform better compared to
single-skin curtain wall system as natural
ventilation mean to ventilate the internal office
space. The positive finding has confirmed the
possibility of introducing double-skin faade to
the hot and humid climatic condition and
brought us to the next stage of the modeling by
extending the numerical model to a six-
storey building block. The choice of
implementing a six-storey high building block
for the next stage for analysis is because the
height of the overall building will give a
sufficient complexity to study the problem at
hand.
Due to more efficient used of computing
time and better control of the modeling
process, the 18-storey high-rise building was
broken down to three stacks of 6-storey
building blocks. The first block (Stage 1) of
the six-storey building (Fig. 2) consists of a
ground floor (which is not served by the
double-skin faade, as this will be the typical
design for any high-rise building) and 5 stories
of office spaces above. The double-skin faade
is a ventilated-shaft design which is 2.8m from
ground level. In earlier findings it is a practical
and economical option to introduce a shaft to
improve the stack effect of the natural
ventilation and in turn will improve the airflow
rates required to reach thermal comfort level
within the interior office space.
The Stage 2 of the simulation model consists
of a 6-story office spaces. A fan is introduced
at the bottom portion of the ventilated-shaft
design of the DSF to simulate the continuity
of the airflow from the stage 1 model. The
flow rate of the fan is calculated to be 5.57m
3
/s
from simulation results from Stage 1. The
Stage 3 of the simulation model also consists
of a 6-story office spaces. A fan is also
introduced at the bottom portion of the
ventilated-shaft design of the DSF to simulate
the continuity of the airflow from the stage 2
model. The flow rate of the fan is 17.7m
3
/s and
it was calculated from Stage 2 simulations.
There is a 1m high parapet at the roof top of
the office building model.

The boundary conditions for all stages of the
modeling are:

Simulations run for 2 periods of time =>
morning (10 am) and afternoon (2 pm)
Wind direction => Perpendicular to the wall
system
Wind speed => 0.5m/s to 3m/s
External temperature => 26C to 30C
Relative humidity => 70% to 100%
DSF opening size for inner pane => 300mm
Air gap size => 300mm to 1200mm
Vent size => 300mm x 600mm

5. Simulation Results

Simulations were carried out for all four
orientations of north, south, east and west and
the first group of simulations is generated with
the DSF system constructed at the south facing
faade of the building. The simulation period
are at 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. on either 15 January or
1 July of the month with wind direction
perpendicular to the DSF wall and with wind
velocities of 0.5 m/s, 1.5 m/s and 3 m/s. The
external ambient temperatures were set from
26
0
C to 30
0
C with relative humidity ranging
from 70% to 100%. The opening size for the
inner pane of the DSF system used is 300mm.
The air gap sizes used for the DSF are 300mm,
600mm, 900mm and 1200mm. The air vent
size at the rear office wall is fixed at 300mm x
600mm.
There are a total of 18 location points being
identified to record the simulation results on
thermal comfort parameters. Six of those
location points are positioned at 0.8m above
the office floor level and 0.2m away from the
two human figures. These six points are
chosen to monitor the thermal comfort
conditions experienced by the occupants.
Table 1 below shows some of the comparative
results for the simulation with different
parameters used for the boundary conditions
and different DSF configurations. The indoor
Operative Temperature (OT) calculated in
Table 1 was using the formula stated in Fig. 3
[17] and the value was used to identify
acceptable thermal comfort for naturally
ventilated spaces in hot and humid climate
using the graph given in the same figure.

6. Discussion

Selected results for South facing DSF with
external wind velocity of 1.5m/s and air
humidity of 80% respectively are tabulated in
Table 1. The variable parameters in
consideration for this instance are external air
temperature, the DSF air gap size and the time
of the day. Results for S1-1, S1-2 and S1-3
(South facing DSF) as shown in Table 1 and
Fig. 4 indicated that the DSF air gap size of
300mm gives the best result for the particular
conditions in a natural ventilated space. These
findings are the same for the Northern
orientation faade. In most cases the lower
floor of the office space would generate the
309
lowest operative temperature due to the stack
effect provided by the DSF configuration.
This has enhanced the natural ventilation
strategy to provide better internal thermal
comfort condition for the office spaces.
There is not much of a different in terms of
the internal thermal comfort conditions for
either period of time in a given day (morning
or afternoon) as seen in the results for S1-4 and
S1-5 for South facing DSF and also for North
facing DSF. There is an internal temperature
difference of 0.5
0
C for the mid-floor of North
facing DSF and this could be due to the slower
internal air velocity generated.
The South facing DSF configuration has
produced an 80% Acceptability Limit for the
300mm air gap size for external temperatures
between 26
0
C and 28
0
C, according to the
Thermal Environment Conditions for Human
Occupancy from ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-
2004 [17] as indicated in Fig. 3. This is
tabulated in accordance with the context that
the office building is located in the Northern
Hemisphere of tropical climate like the country
of Singapore. The North facing DSF
configuration did not produce any acceptable
internal thermal comfort condition for the
office space as the operative temperatures for
all the floors are above 300C. This has again
confirmed that the southern orientation is the
best facing for buildings in the Northern
Hemisphere.
For Stage 2 simulation results, there is not
much of a different in terms of the internal
thermal comfort conditions for either period of
time in a given day (morning or afternoon) for
South facing DSF but for North facing DSF
morning period has a higher operative
temperatures compare to afternoon period.
This could be due to the higher internal radiant
temperatures generated during this particular
period of time. The South facing DSF
configuration has produced an 80%
Acceptability Limit for the 300mm air gap size
for external temperature of 26
0
C up to 9
th

Floor. The North facing DSF configuration did
not produce any acceptable internal thermal
comfort condition for the office space as the
operative temperatures for all the floors are
above 310C. In most cases the lower floor of
the office space would generate the lowest
operative temperature due to the stack effect
provided by the DSF configuration.
Stage 3 results are very similar to Stage 2
mentioned above. The South facing DSF
configuration has produced an 80%
Acceptability Limit for the 300mm air gap size
for external temperatures between 26
0
C and
28
0
C. The North facing DSF configuration did
not produce any acceptable internal thermal
comfort condition for the office space except
for the lower floor for 300mm air gap
configuration with external air temperature of
260C during morning period. In most cases the
lower floor of the office space would generate
the lowest operative temperature due to the
stack effect provided by the DSF
configuration, as in Stages 1 and 2 also.
The results show that the South-facing
faade has the best outcome following by the
East-facing faade during the morning period
in the month of January. The North-facing and
the West-facing faades do not provide an
acceptable indoor thermal comfort for the
purposes of office function in a high-rise
building. The optimum air gap size for the
double-skin faade construction is found to be
300mm and the best results were obtained
during the morning period.

7. Conclusion

Fig.5 below shows the complete 18-storey
office building with typical multi-storey
double-skin faade configuration. The
proposed DSF starts from 1
st
storey at 2.8
meters from ground level up to the 17
th
storey
with 1-meter parapet above the roof level. The
office spaces are assumed to be divided into a
number of small office usages and are tenanted
out to various occupants. All office spaces are
assumed to face the DSF at the front and
facing open corridor at the rear.
With the completion of the three stages of
simulations, numerous simulation runs had
been carried out with various ambient
temperatures, different external air velocities,
different orientations of the double-skin
faade, different periods of time during the
day, etc in order to find out the appropriate
window periods for acceptable indoor
conditions for office workers in the Singapore
context. These findings will be of outmost
important as an indication whether double-skin
faade is really possible to be used as a mean
to introduce natural ventilation to the high-rise
buildings in the tropics.

References

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Note:

Figures and Table for the article had
been submitted as a different file.

Full complete article could be accessed
from the journals homepage on
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