Development of a Design-Phase Assessment Tool for Double Façades in Retrofit Applications
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Much of the existing commercial building stock is aging and will be in need of upgrades now or within the next twenty years. Typically, enclosure retrofits consist of adding insulation to the exterior or interior of the existing façade. In this thesis, an alternative solution is examined, whereby a glass façade is added to the exterior of the existing building, forming a double façade. For historic buildings, this could preserve and protect the existing façade without completely covering it up. For outdated buildings, this could modernize the existing façade, giving it the all-glazed appearance that is currently so popular among architects. Regardless of the retrofit motive, it is important to be able to quantitatively compare retrofit solutions to make informed design decisions. As such, building simulation can be an important design tool. At present, there is no available simulation tool that can easily and accurately model a double façade; therefore, a double façade (DoFa) model was developed to fill this gap. A spreadsheet-based, lumped model was created and validated using current complex fenestration models and limited experimental data. Further experimental data is required to validate all aspects of the model. Results showed that the DoFa model can achieve accurate results; however, further development is needed to predict optical properties of venetian blinds and convective coefficients for natural airflow in double façade cavities. The model was used to compare double façades to traditional glazing systems. Results indicated that double façades can perform comparably to double glazing with outdoor shading in summer, and triple glazing in winter. However, the results are only valid for the tested glazing systems. In a second application, the DoFa model was modified to simulate an entire enclosure to compare a double façade retrofit to more traditional retrofit strategies. Results suggested that a double façade provides a good improvement in winter performance, though summer overheating is a concern. For the case study examined, a double façade would have performed better than the chosen retrofit of replacing the windows with double glazing and indoor shading, without insulating the opaque components. The DoFa model can be very useful in creating double façade preliminary design and operation strategies. At present, the DoFa model is an instantaneous, stand-alone tool. Further development is needed to pair the DoFa model with whole building energy simulations.