Parametric Numerical Assessment of the Energy Efficiency and the Environmental Impact of an Innovative Masonry Construction Component
The present study is part of a wider research program, which aims at the development of an innovative modular masonry construction system that integrates environmental passive strategies, as well as high energy efficiency. The paper focuses on the parametric numerical study of the proposed construction component. Within this context, the energy performance achieved by alternative geometries of the masonry unit, as well as the use of different constituent materials and insulation fillings, are examined. Through the parametric analysis of alternative proposals, arising from the combination of the above features, reaching to the optimum solutions, in terms of energy efficiency, was achieved. For the above study, computational models were developed and analysed using Matlab R2014a. Furthermore, the environmental impact, associated with the material used for the fabrication of the masonry construction component, was assessed through the environmental analysis of the embodied energy and CO₂ emissions of the proposed component. It is concluded that the proposed system’s thermal performance relies primarily on the characteristics of the constituent material composing the modular masonry unit, the geometry of the unit and the use of insulation. In terms of environmental impact, both the constituent material used, and the type of insulation material installed, have a considerable effect on the end-product’s total embodied energy.
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