Assessing the Environmental Impact of Thermal Transmittance Tests Performed in Façades of Existing Buildings: The Case of Spain

David Bienvenido-Huertas
2020 Sustainability  
Thermal transmittance tests constitute an appropriate tool to assess the energy performance of existing buildings. The heat flow meter method and the thermometric method are the most used experimental methods. One of the main criteria to guarantee appropriate test conditions and the representation of results is to ensure a high thermal gradient. For this purpose, heating or air conditioning systems should be used from three to seven days. Most studies related to experimental methods have
more » ... methods have addressed the appropriate test conditions; however, the environmental impact related to these conditions have not been analyzed. This study analyzes the energy consumption and the CO2 emissions related to the conditions of the thermal gradient required for tests. An energy analysis of 129,600 cases located in Spain was conducted. The results showed that heating systems are the best option to perform thermal transmittance tests, whereas air conditioning systems do not guarantee appropriate test conditions. As for the energy consumption and the percentage of hours with an appropriate thermal gradient, the adequacy of the heating setpoint temperature according to the predicted estimations of the external temperature during tests would mitigate their environmental impact. The reason is that, in certain cases, the increase of the setpoint temperature does not improve test conditions. Also, the use of heating systems would imply short test durations. Finally, the selection of small rooms with a small façade length would reduce the percentage of CO2 emissions between 31.37% and 36.1%. The results of this study could guarantee a more sustainable performance of thermal transmittance tests. In addition, the results could be used to perform life cycle analysis on buildings where thermal transmittance tests are performed.
doi:10.3390/su12156247 fatcat:pq7lhj5svjhsfjn4hnmytykr6y