Conference Paper

Does Timber-Concrete Floor System Save Energy?

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Abstract

Increasing building thermal mass is regarded as one of the useful methods of preventing overheating in the future. This paper focuses on the energy saving potential with a new building system, hybrid timber building system, when thermal mass is taken into consideration. Because the performance of thermal mass can be influenced by climate condition, the simulation progress will therefore include several different cities with different climate conditions. Findings of this research may help build a clearer awareness on the works of thermal mass, as well as discuss whether timber concrete floor system is a good choice for energy saving when energy consumed by materials is considered.

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Article
This paper presents a survey on the state-of-the-art of timber-concrete composite research in the past and recent years. The most important literature references were carefully selected and reviewed to provide an overview and some depth in the development of this construction technique. After highlighting the advantages of the composite system, the standards and design methods currently available are presented. An extensive description of the connection systems developed around the world is also provided. The experimental and numerical investigations performed on connections and beams in both the short- and long-term (at collapse and under sustained load, respectively) are discussed at length in the paper. Other aspects covered are prefabrication, the influence of concrete properties, fatigue tests, fire resistance, vibrations, and acoustics. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)ST.1943-541X.0000353. (C) 2011 American Society of Civil Engineers.
Article
The impact of thermal mass on the thermal performance of several types of Australian residential construction, namely: cavity brick (CB), brick veneer (BV), reverse brick veneer (RBV), and light weight (LW) constructions, was examined numerically using the commercial AccuRate energy rating tool developed by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The performance of each construction type was evaluated using four different hypothetical building envelopes, referred to here as building modules. It was found that the thermal mass had a dramatic impact on the thermal behaviour of the modules studied, particularly in those where the thermal mass was within a protective envelope of insulation. The RBV and CB constructions were found to be the most effective walling systems in this regard.
Article
A 100-year lifecycle carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions analysis is reported for a two-bedroom, 65 m2 floor area, semi-detached house in south-east England. How the balance between the embodied (ECO2) and operational CO2 emissions of the building are affected by the inclusion of thermal mass and the impacts of climate change is quantified. Four ‘weights’ of thermal mass were considered, ranging from lightweight timber frame to very heavyweight concrete construction. For each case, total ECO2 quantities were calculated and predictions for operational CO2 emissions obtained from a 100-year dynamic thermal modelling simulation under a medium-high emissions climate change scenario for south-east England. At the start of the lifecycle, the dwellings were passively cooled in summer, but air conditioning was installed when overheating reached a certain threshold. The inclusion of thermal mass delayed the year in the lifecycle when this occurred, due to the better passive control of summertime overheating. Operational heating and cooling energy needs were also found to decrease with increasing thermal mass due to the beneficial effects of fabric energy storage. The calculated initial ECO2 was higher in the heavier weight cases, by up to 15% (4.93 t) of the lightweight case value, but these difference were offset early in the lifecycle due to the savings in operational CO2 emissions, with total savings of up to 17% (35.7 t) in lifecycle CO2 found for the heaviest weight case.
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