King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals

College of Environmental Design
Architectural Engineering Department
ARE 510 Computer Utilization in Architectural Engineering

Syed Ashraf Tashrifullahi

Application Assignment #2

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Course Instructor: Dr. Adel Abdou

Student ID: g201004120

.......................................1 Temperature and Moisture Content ........................3 Simulation of the Modeled Wall System ....................................... 4 2..................................................3 Software Tool .........................................................................1 Transfer Rate of Heat .........................................................................................................................2 Total Moisture Content ................................................................ 11 2...........4................ 6 2.....1 Simulation Results of Previous Assessments ..................................................................................................................................................... Adel Abdou 1 Student ID: g201004120 .................................................. 7 2................................. 4...2 Modeling of the Best Wall System ..................... 3 1....... 9 2.................................................. 3 1.................................................................. 14 References......................................................... 12 3..................................1 Building Envelope.................................................................................................................. Introduction ................. 5 2.................................................................. 3 1........................................... Comparison with Previous Assessments ........ 5 2..........................................................................4 Assessing the Results ...................................................................................4.......................................................................4.. 15 _____________________________________________________________________________________ Course Instructor: Dr.................................... 13 Conclusion ...Contents 1................................................................... Modeling & Simulation of the Best Overall Wall System ......................................................2 Importance of Assessing Building Envelope ............... 9 2......................................

.............................. ................................... 12 _____________________________________________________________________________________ Course Instructor: Dr............................. (b) Interior Data Setting ............................................................................. (b) Simulation of Wall Assembly (June) ....... 8 Figure 4: (a) Simulation of Wall Assembly (January).................................... 5 Figure 2: (a) Exterior Option Selection...... 6 Table 2: Moisture Content by Layer .....List of Figures Figure 1: Wall Systems #2 & #3 respectively........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 10 Figure 5: Total Moisture Content ..................................... 13 List of Tables Table 1: Materials selection of Wall #2 ................. 11 Figure 6: Heat Transfer .................................................. Adel Abdou 2 Student ID: g201004120 .................................................................................... 7 Figure 3: Simulation of Wall Assembly ............................................................................................................................................................................

construction and operation of a facility. The fact. This helps prevent material deterioration. requires an in depth assessment and can be accomplished by state of art tools.2 Importance of Assessing Building Envelope Sustainability now-a-days is an increasing priority for facilities [1]. Recent trends in North America towards green buildings resulted in the development and increased popularity of several green building assessment tools. pertaining to sustainability goals [3]. 1. typically exterior and interior. doors and floors [1]. or measure specific aspects of a building. windows. The tools emphasize on early design phase of the building. moisture and heat between different environments. It is one of the most important elements in ensuring comfort and is comprised of the outer elements of a building such as foundations. The main function of the building envelope is to manage the flow of air. These tools were primarily developed to assess. Besides this. walls. there is an especially important interface between the indoor and outdoor environments which is known as building envelope. Also. Introduction 1. This decision for the selection of the best envelope system.1. The goal for any wall should be to minimize the amount of conductivity through the materials in the wall. roof. Adel Abdou 3 Student ID: g201004120 . Heat is conducted most easily through solid materials.1 Building Envelope For the design. Similarly. mold growth and heat loss [2]. does not support the issues pertaining to sustainability. Building construction and operation have an enormous direct and indirect impact on the environment in terms of many factors of which one that I feel the most important for the current study is energy use. moisture transfer within a wall assembly could result in concealed condensation and is accountable for increased rate of heat transfer. mold growth and air quality. The initial design ideas are _____________________________________________________________________________________ Course Instructor: Dr. the potential for condensation occurring in walls is one of the most important considerations when deciding on the building envelope system. increase in the heat gain increases the cooling load and results in higher use of energy. including the framing materials and the insulating materials. the building envelope serves many prime functions of which the functions of interest for the present study are thermal control and moisture control. for example a wall system. corrosion. The impact of both thermal and moisture transfer could be accountable for this.

The program is targeted to engineers. Adel Abdou 4 Student ID: g201004120 . contractors. water and material use in buildings. one of the tools available to assess the flow of heat and moisture through the wall section is hygIRC. The former area of study (energy) is of primary interest to this report. Most tools focus on three main areas. building scientists. energy. The conceptual approaches adopted and technical implementation of these tools varies significantly [4]. air. and moisture through common construction materials [5]. and students in investigating the transfer of heat. architects. It produces information on the temperature and relative humidity distributions within the wall assembly.conceptualized with the formulation of building project requirements. It is a 1-D state-of-the-art hygrothermal model developed to help building design professionals in simulating the response of each element to environmental conditions on either side of the envelope on an hourly basis by allowing them to choose optimal building envelope components and systems.3 Software Tool For the present study of hygrothermal (moisture and thermal) analysis. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Course Instructor: Dr. 1.

the risk of condensation. i. thermal resistance.e. Figure 1: Wall Systems #2 & #3 respectively. Both wall systems were analyzed for the given conditions of Dhahran city taking into consideration the heat gain.. as shown in figure 1. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Course Instructor: Dr. cost aspect and most importantly the purpose for which the software tool ³CONDENSE´ was built. Adel Abdou 5 Student ID: g201004120 . The assessment did not reveal any sort of condensation in any part of the wall assembly for the given conditions and resulted in the selection of wall #2 based on the heat gain.1 Simulation Results of Previous Assessments Previous assessments constituted the analysis of wall systems #2 and #3. Modeling & Simulation of the Best Overall Wall System 2. A sensitivity analysis was also carried out to assess the behavior of wall #2 by varying the thickness of insulation while keeping relative humidity constant and vice-versa. thermal resistance and cost aspects. from the point of view of thermal and moisture transfer using the state of art CONDENSE.2.

Adel Abdou 6 Student ID: g201004120 . Table 1 shows the selection of materials for various components of wall #2 depending upon the material database of hygIRC compared to CONDENSE. This type of wall system is known as ³Cavity Wall Insulated in Cavity´ meaning that the insulation is installed within the cavity in between the wall. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Course Instructor: Dr. is composed of a brick with an air gap. the best wall system. wall #2. the best wall was considered for the purpose of thermal and moisture analysis.e.. 2. the same wall system was modeled using hygIRC. Same boundary conditions were imposed and the assessments were carried out from the point of view of thermal and moisture transfer only. The properties of the selected materials for hygIRC were first observed and compared by using the ³value´ command in CONDENSE. rigid insulation and concrete block in between followed by interior finish from outside to inside along its cross-section. as per the assessment results of CONDENSE. The thickness of various layers in this analysis was considered the same as it was in the previous assessment. This was accomplished by considering either same or similar materials while constructing the wall assembly depending upon the material database of hygIRC compared to the material database of CONDENSE. The wall #2. i.Condensation was observed on the exterior surface of wall #2 where changes to relative humidity were found accountable [6]. The thickness of all components of the wall assembly was kept the same. Table 1: Materials selection of Wall #2 S.2 Modeling of the Best Wall System As mentioned earlier. No. 1 2 3 4 Component Brick (Outer Wythe) Rigid Insulation Concrete Block (Inner Wythe) Interior Finish Material Concrete brick Extruded Polystyrene Aerated Concrete Gypsum Thickness (mm) 100 50 75 13 The materials selection for inner wythe and interior finish in this analysis had to be different compared to the previous assessment because of their unavailability in hygIRC materials database. as shown in figure 1. The materials very close to the materials in CONDENSE were selected based on their density. For the present study/assessment.

Over to the structure of the wall assembly. was given to ³years´ and the input type selected was ³system input´ as it was instructed to assess the wall assembly using Dhahran 2002 weather file. Preference to time selection. This helped in the preparation of a base for the comparison of the two wall assemblies using the two software tools which is discussed later in this report. The layers of the wall assembly were selected as described in the modeling part of this report.3 Simulation of the Modeled Wall System The modeled wall system was simulated for the simultaneous thermal and moisture transfer under the weather conditions of Dhahran city. as shown in figure 2 (a). (b) Interior Data Setting With respect to the data pertaining to the interior space. Each building¶s pressurization strategy _____________________________________________________________________________________ Course Instructor: Dr. internal pressure shall not be greater than 10 Pa [7]. The selection of system input option in hygIRC constructs the weather file from the database and does not require inputting constant environmental conditions by the user. (a) (b) Figure 2: (a) Exterior Option Selection. This helps in the analysis of the wall assembly taking into consideration the real life environmental conditions of the year 2002 for Dhahran city. The indoor ventilation pressure in the air diffusion tab was provided with a value of 5 Pa. The exterior conditions were set and analyzed using the Dhahran weather file of the year 2002. This was purposely done in relation to the assessment carried out in application assignment #1 [6]. In any case. its orientation and inclination are east oriented and 90o respectively. The internal pressure need only be slightly higher than ambient on average to achieve the goal of excluding humid outdoor air from building cavities.2. (2002). The simulation variables were set to temperature and total moisture content. There are some suggestions of recommended pressurization levels of the order 5 Pa to perhaps 10 Pa. constant values were given as input to the software tool. The indoor data settings there were as shown in figure 2 (b). Adel Abdou 7 Student ID: g201004120 .

Figure 3: Simulation of Wall Assembly Figure 3 shows the temperature and total moisture content within the wall assembly for the complete year. The simulation was then started and observations were made.should be designed based on the climate. Constant conditions were set for the whole structure of the wall keeping in mind the time constraints for the report. Adel Abdou 8 Student ID: g201004120 . The location of Dhahran city being very close to the coast results in increased humidity levels even reaching up to around 95% during the summer period. The temperature is found to be at its peak during the summer months with the moisture content being at its minimum values. The initial conditions were set based on temperature and RH. This implies that at the verge of completion of winter season. average value of 5 Pa was selected for the current study. the building height and the envelope leakage [8]. The decreased levels of moisture content within the wall during this period are an appreciation of the _____________________________________________________________________________________ Course Instructor: Dr. the total moisture content gradually decreases and reaches its minimum value during the summer season. The simulation parameters were set for the complete year of 2002 for Dhahran city. Because the pressurization varies from 0 to 10 Pa.

two stills were captured and analyzed. Figure 4 (b) shows the variations in temperature and moisture content during the month of June. It can be seen that the exterior temperature is high compared to interior. There was gradual decrease in the temperature in the air gap. as shown in figure 4 (a). Decrease in the moisture content was observed. There was gradual decrease in the temperature in the air gap. 2. In order to report on the performance of the assembly during the simulation period. as given as input for the interior space) in the interior space. was for the month of January. Figure 4 (b) shows the variations in temperature and moisture content during the month of June.4 Assessing the Results The results were assessed considering the following indicators: y y y Temperature and Moisture Content Total Moisture Content Transfer Rate of Heat 2.4. The presence of insulation resulted in an increase in the slope of the curve depicting in much more decrease in the temperature. Higher value of moisture content was observed in aerated concrete layer as it has high moisture absorbing capacity.1 Temperature and Moisture Content Shown in figure 4 are animation stills of the simulation carried out on the wall assembly. This was as a result of the insulation material. Because the indoor environment is at a higher temperature compared to outside during the winter season. Gradual increase in the temperature from outside to inside can be seen. the insulation reduces the amount of heat to pass through to the outer environment. This is an indication of reduced risk of concealed condensation. Decrease in the moisture content was observed. The sudden increase in the curve in that layer may be due to the presence of moisture (45%. The presence of insulation resulted in an increase in the slope of the curve depicting in much more decrease in the temperature. This was as a result of the insulation material. A sudden increase in the temperature was observed in the thermal insulation layer. Adel Abdou 9 Student ID: g201004120 . _____________________________________________________________________________________ Course Instructor: Dr. The first one.wall system to be suitable for the climatic conditions of Dhahran city from the perspective of moisture transfer. It can be seen that the exterior temperature is high compared to interior.

Adel Abdou 10 Student ID: g201004120 .Figure 4: (a) Simulation of Wall Assembly (January) Figure 4: (b) Simulation of Wall Assembly (June) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Course Instructor: Dr.

total moisture content was analyzed and is shown in figure 5. This data contained information about moisture content for various layers of the wall on an hourly basis for the complete year. This was then used to assess the performance of the layers of the wall assembly. Average values were derived for every 30 or 31 days respectively using basic application ³MS Excel´ in order to summarize the data for a monthly basis as shown in table 2. This could also be seen in figures 4 (a) and 4 _____________________________________________________________________________________ Course Instructor: Dr. Figure 5: Total Moisture Content It was observed that initially the moisture content was higher during the winter months and decreased to its minimum during August.dat´ file.2. This is an indication that the wall selected based on the previous assessments and selected materials is not absorbing the moisture during the summer conditions when the temperature outside is high.4.2 Total Moisture Content Data pertaining to total moisture content within the wall assembly was first exported to a specialized application ³Surfer´ in the form of a ³. Adel Abdou 11 Student ID: g201004120 . Besides this.

1 Transfer Rate of Heat The heat transfer through the wall is shown in figure 6.00089 0. Moisture transfer is almost zero in layer 5. It can be seen that the majority of heat transfer occurs from outside to inside along the wall assembly during the summer season and is depicted by positive readings.819879 6.83105 0. Less amount of heat transfer is observed from inside to outside. The fourth layer being aerated concrete has a tendency to absorb moisture and has higher values of moisture content compared to layer 3.84875 0.183783 0.052588 0. This _____________________________________________________________________________________ Course Instructor: Dr.838691 5.704008 4.816866 0.056783 Extruded Polystyrene (Layer 3) 2.19747 0.192752 0.052847 0.079336 0.064691 0.000344 0. The use of insulation in between the wall assembly holds good for the summer conditions of the region selected.184202 0.144714 6.193228 0.190473 0.812843 0.484105 4.4.(b) in which the moisture content is high and low respectively.81181 0.000367 0.820065 Gypsum (Layer 5) 0.064564 0. Maximum heat gain was observed during the end of February and during October.000734 0.000298 0. for the combination of wall assembly and the materials selected.200802 Aerated Concrete (Layer 4) 0.226199 4.811556 0. It could be said that.817678 0.734786 0.075673 0.00062 0.255493 4.000501 0.000869 0.062631 0. Adel Abdou 12 Student ID: g201004120 .31128 5. The air gap/space provided after the brick does not allow the moisture to pass through and reduces its level to negligible values throughout the year.182756 0. 2.000612 0.138081 0.849242 7.408029 Air Space (Layer 2) 0.036284 4.000264 The moisture content in the concrete brick was observed to be maximum compared to all other layers.000441 0.813775 0. Table 2: Moisture Content by Layer Time (Months) January February March April May June July August September October November December Concrete brick (Layer 1) 6. The insulation layer on the other hand initially absorbs moisture and as time passes allows limited amount of moisture to pass through compared to the first layer.054081 0.063175 0.813914 0.054014 0.157829 6. the moisture is being accumulated on the higher temperature side (either interior or exterior) based on winter or summer conditions respectively.056615 0.000518 0.181963 0.217681 0. This could be due to the fact that the concrete has higher tendency to absorb moisture.819391 0.812935 0.

The assessments carried out by the two tools had one similarity. Adel Abdou 13 Student ID: g201004120 . The assessments using the state of art tool CONDENSE didn¶t reveal any sort of condensation in the selected wall for the given conditions. CONDENSE does not deal with the dynamic aspects of weather conditions. hygIRC is capable of simulating the modeled wall assembly throughout a complete year (or even more than a year) taking into consideration the dynamic aspects of the surrounding atmosphere. Figure 6: Heat Transfer 3.means that the wall system designed does not allow the flow of heat along its cross-section throughout the summer season. On the other hand. Comparison with Previous Assessments The capabilities of the software tool CONDENSE are limited to the thermal transfer and identification of condensation in any part of the wall assembly at a particular instant of time. Sensitivity analysis carried out resulted in the identification of _____________________________________________________________________________________ Course Instructor: Dr. Less heat gain results in decreased cooling loads.

maximum amount of moisture content was observed in layer 1 (Concrete Brick). The simulations done by hygIRC have many results compared to CONDENSE. While assessing the results it was found that the moisture accumulation in layer 1 was high. it could be concluded that the wall is suitable for the summer conditions of Dhahran city.. Both these assessments revealed the accumulation of moisture and maximum accumulation of moisture in the first layer. Conclusion Based on the analysis of the selected wall system. The concrete brick acting as the first layer needs to be replaced by some other material which is cheap and absorbs less moisture. or both.e. either on exterior surface or within layer 1 using the software tools CONDENSE and hygIRC respectively. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Course Instructor: Dr. In the case of hygIRC. Limitation in hygIRC is that it assesses the thermal and moisture transfer in only one dimension based on certain assumptions. The air space and thermal insulation suit well in restricting the flow of moisture and heat respectively. i. Use of much more advanced software tool such as WUFI 2D is an appreciation as it is capable of executing hygrothermal analysis in two dimensions.condensation on the exterior surface. Adel Abdou 14 Student ID: g201004120 . 4.

Yi Chun Huang and Chaoqin Zhai. Adel Abdou 15 Student ID: g201004120 . 2004. Canada. 2011. Information available at: http://www. The Challenger Series. 2007. October 16. ³Building Envelope Preliminary Design & Assessment´. Information available at: http://www. hygIRC 1-D User¶s Guide.thechallengeseries. ³Green Assessment Tools: The Integration of Building Envelope Durability´. Banff. 11th Canadian Conference on Building Science and Technology. ³Energy Modeling Tools Assessment for Early Design Phase´. ³Building Ventilation and Pressurization as a Security Tool´. Jamie McKay. Evaluation Based on Introduction of CONDENSE Software Tool. ASHRAE Journal.gov/portal/content/101291.ca/chapter-04/building-envelope/#importanceofenvelopes. Alberta. Andy Persily. Syed Ashraf Tashrifullahi. National Institute of Building Sciences. Khee Poh Lam. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] _____________________________________________________________________________________ Course Instructor: Dr. US General Services Administration. Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics. KFUPM.References [1] [2] [3] Rob Bolin. 2009. Last updated: December 14. September 2004. ³Sustainability of the Building Envelope´. December 31.gsa. Pittsburgh.

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