Low-energy SIPs building in Northwest of England (Energy performance under the current and future weather climate change)

Al-Ali, Bushra Obaid Obaid Alderbi
(2022) Low-energy SIPs building in Northwest of England (Energy performance under the current and future weather climate change). Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Currently, the UK is challenged by two main factors in the built environment, first is the rising demand for new housing, and second, all new buildings are recommended to adhere the energy-efficient standards (like, the nearly Zero Energy Building [nZEB] and Net Zero [NZ]) to reduce the CO2 emissions in buildings. The primary aim of this research is to determine whether modern methods of construction (MMC), specifically using magnesium oxide (MgO) structural insulated panels (SIPs) in housing design, can meet the required thermal and energy efficiency. The research evaluates the carbon impact of using MgO SIPs in constructing new houses and is quantified through a detailed energy performance analysis. A real-world case study was chosen as the research methodology to compare real-world data with simulated building energy modelling conducted in the software DesignBuilder. A detached house in Heswall, Merseyside, UK, constructed from MgO SIPs in 2016, was selected as the case study for the research. The study involved collecting and monitoring 1) heating, HVAC, and domestic hot water etc., 2) temperature, and RH% data over 12 months to evaluate the energy performance under current and future weather scenarios based on the predicted acceleration of anthropogenic climate change for three test periods: 2030, 2050 and 2080. Based on real case study on site measurements were conducted, two validation procedures were conducted to validate the recorded thermal performance against the simulated results. First, during the holiday time when the building’s appliances are switched off the hourly temperature calibrations were conducted by comparing the recorded indoor temperature with simulated results from DesignBuilder model by data loggers on hourly bases. Second, the energy performance for were simulated and recorded by energy loggers for 12 months and the results were compared with electricity consumption bill. Finally, to evaluate the comfort level of the SIP house, I used thermal models (including the Passivhaus summer comfort design, Schneider thermal comfort chart, and Climate Consultant) to compare the energy consumption with thermal comfort. A parametric study was conducted in DesignBuilder using measured weather files to improve the current building envelope to reduce energy consumption. Five parameters of the building envelope were evaluated. The study highlighted that potential energy reductions could be made in the window glazing type of the SIP house; The results indicated that the most effective areas of energy saving relate to the following main parametric variables: roof insulation enhancement of 60%, making the thickness of the SIP roof 277 mm, can reduce total energy consumption by 8%; exterior wall thermal enhancement can contribute a 6% of energy reduction; and window glazing type changes can contribute to the total energy reduction by 10%. Moreover, 10% reduction in the annual energy consumption could be achieved by modify the window glazing type using argon gas instead of air between the gaps in windowpanes. However, the other parameters slightly affected the overall energy reduction, indicating that the SIP fabric has excellent insulating properties that prevented heat loss and could therefore stabilise the interior temperature throughout the year with minimum energy required. Based on the weather and energy parameters used in the simulations and thermal comfort analysis, the SIP house used as a case study for the research demonstrated the potential for meeting most energy efficiency standards (such as nZEB, NZ and Passivhaus). Furthermore, the assessment results indicate that despise noticeable temperature increase in the three timelines of 2030,2050 and 2080 the SIPs house’s fabric has the ability to withstand the effect of future climate change. In addition, long term monitoring of the energy used was calculated in the research by monitoring the energy used via the data loggers. Based on the annual energy consumption, the SIP house had a lower kWh/year consumption than similar households in the UK, and the energy consumption rate was further reduced by implementing the use of renewable energy on the roof. Finally, based on the results, the using MgO SIPs in the housing sector can support the creation of nZEB/NZ homes by 2050. It is recommended that MgO SIP homes are accompanied by renewable energy as a key factor in meeting nZEB/NZ standards.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of the Arts
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 24 May 2022 10:28
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 21:01
DOI: 10.17638/03155245
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3155245