EBC Annex 32 Integral Building Envelope Performance Assessment


Status: Completed (1996-1999)

Operating Agent: Prof Hugo Hens, KU-Leuven, Lab for Building Physics, Celestynenlaan 131, B 3001 Leuven (Heverlee), Belgium.
Tel: +32 16 220931
Fax: +32 16 29 0006 ;

Email: hugo.hens@bwk.kuleuven.ac.be



A good building envelope design should be the result of a systematic approach, checking all relevant elements. A new approach would include all the aesthetic and physical properties to be fulfilled by that envelope, integrated with the function of the building as a whole.

The objective of this annex was to develop the methodology and the performances which would support the integral design and evaluation process for building envelopes with the aim of realising significant energy, environmental and comfort design. Although the envelope in itself is a crucial element for the overall performance of the building, the interaction with other building components and the climatic control systems are of equal importance. Therefore, the emphasis of the project was on the overall performance of the building seen from the perspective of the envelope. While the focus was on energy efficiency, high quality was also the aim when considering aspects like durability, comfort, acoustics, and moisture.

The project was divided into two areas of research:


Assessment Methodology

The objective here was to develop a comprehensive assessment methodology based on performance criteria, leading to rational strategies for the optimization of building envelopes with respect to their energetic and environmental qualities. The methodology aimed to focus on ways to apply new concepts and materials, making use of existing (inter-)national experiences and guidelines. The methodology should be of use in the different stages in the design process. The assessment methodology was based on performance criteria for the envelope and its components, taking into account the relation between the envelope, climate, the building and systems. The aim was to stimulate the creative use and combination of new technologies.

Evaluation Methodology and Design Tools.

The objective of this research area was to test, further develop and evaluate integral design tools, by application on test cases, in particular, tools which contribute to the optimization of use of renewable energy, energy conservation and to a high quality thermal and visual indoor comfort. These tests would also serve to demonstrate the value of the developed assessment methodology. The test cases varied from (re-)evaluation of existing envelopes, new design, or renovation. The test cases comprised small scale tests (laboratories or site tests), component and system simulations and full scale demonstrations.

Participants: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Countries Expressing an Interest: Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, United Kingdom and United States of America



Technical Synthesis Report: Integral Building Envelope Performance Assessment
by Peter Warren
UK, published by Faber Maunsell Ltd on behalf of IEA ECBCS, 2003, 39 pp, ISBN 0-9542670-9-7
Order Printed Copy £20.00 (Order Code ANN 32 TSR)  Download

Building Envelopes in a Holistic Perspective: Methodology, Final report Volume 1
by Leo Hendriks and Hugo Hens
Belgium, Leuven, K.U. Leuven, Department Burgerlijke Bouwkunde, Laboratorium Bouwfysica, 2000, ISBN 90 75 741 05 7,
102 pp. + apps.  This publication starts with the fitness for purpose rationale to end with the assessment methodology, including risk analysis.                                                                

Order Printed Copy £50.00 (Order Code ANN 32 2000:2)

Development and Optimisation of Building Envelopes for Existing and New Buildings, Final Report Volume 2
by Sven Svendson, Claus Rudbeck, Horst Stopp and Hannu Mäkelä
Belgium, Leuven, K.U. Leuven, Department Burgerlijke Bouwkunde, Laboratorium Bouwfysica, 2000, ISBN 90-75741-06-5,
71 pp.
In this publication the methodology i applied to retrofit and traditional envelope solutions. Main emphasis is put on optimisation.                                                                                                                             

Order Printed Copy £20.00 (Order Code ANN 32 2000:3)

Advanced Envelopes: Methodology Evaluation and Design Tools, Final Report Volume 3
by Paul Baker, Dirk Saelens, Matt Grace, Takashi Inoue, 2000,
Belgium, KU Leuven, Department Burgerlijke Bouwkunde, Laboratorium Bouwfysica, 2000, ISBN 90-75741-07-3
This report deals with the work of the Advanced Envelopes Thematic Group. Its objective is to study the impact of advanced envelopes on whole building performance, by applying devised methodology to identify areas which have (a) a significant impact and (b) a knowledge deficit, by reviewing recent work which addresses these issues, and through relevant case studies. Explores the strengths and weaknesses of the assessment methodology when applied to advanced envelopes.    

Order Printed Copy £25.00 (Order Code ANN 32 2000:1)