Testing the life cycle performance of thermal mass wall and double glazing in a house design
Authors: Daniel, Lyrian
This paper presents the impact of applying thermal mass and double glazing on a house’s energy use, embodied energy and its life cycle costs. The paper will address the question whether or not the use of these materials are viable for the owner in fiscal terms and the whether they do present feasible alternatives to ‘standard’ materials such as brick veneer and single glazing. Simulation, using AccuRate, as well as monitored inside and outside temperatures and humidity were used to assess the impact of thermal mass and double glazing on the overall energy use of the dwelling and temperatures of the individual spaces.
The preliminary results show that the use of double glazing does reduce the energy loads of the dwelling when simulated in AccuRate, however it could be argued that these energy savings are not significant enough to justify the extra costs incurred or the effect of the increased embodied energy of double glazing on the environment. The thermal mass, in the form of 150mm blue stone lining on a southern wall, greatly improved the performance of the space; therefore is to be considered as a tool for passive thermal design. This study is expected to provide some useful insights in applying certain passive design strategies and their impact on life cycle energy and costs of the building.