In Singapore, 60% of the electricity consumption of commercial buildings is attributed to cooling (without mechanical ventilation) and 15% to lighting. The passive design of buildings impacts how much energy they consume. The building envelope is the interface between the outdoor environment and the indoor conditions, and it is also supposed to protect the occupants against the elements of nature (e.g. rain, wind, solar radiation). Facades do not consume energy directly. Facades are, however, the key element of a building to manage the indoor environmental conditions, in particular thermal comfort, daylight and indoor air quality. As a result they strongly influence the cooling load and the electricity load, and thus the energy consumption of the entire building. Various technologies for high-performance facades are available, and most of them have been applied for many years in cold and temperate climates. However, these technologies need to be adjusted to the tropical climate where, for example, solar radiation contributes more significantly to the cooling load of buildings than in temperate climates. Our services for industry and opportunities for collaborative research include: Measurement and simulation of solar and luminous properties of building envelope materials or assemblies, e.g. glazing systems; development and test-bedding of multifunctional building envelopes (including BIPV), integrated evaluation of facade systems towards a holistic performance assessment, feasibility studies including life cycle cost analyses, and professional training.
For further information, please contact:
Dr Thomas REINDL
Acting Head, High-Performance Façade Group