Infrastructure Engineering - Research Publications

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    Sensitivity analysis on energy performance, thermal and visual discomfort of a prefabricated house in six climate zones in Australia
    Naji, S ; Aye, L ; Noguchi, M (ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2021-06-27)
    In prefabricated buildings distinctive construction process and lightweight components affect design strategies and consequences. Therefore, to create more sustainable prefabricated buildings, it is important to understand the effects of their envelope parameters on energy performance and indoor environmental quality. Although previous research have investigated the effects of envelope on energy and indoor comfort outputs, the parameters of lightweight prefabricated envelope are not thoroughly considered. This article quantifies the effects of building envelope parameters on the energy use, thermal comfort and daylighting levels of a prefabricated house built in Australia. A building simulation model was developed and validated by comparing predicted with measured indoor temperatures of the house. The baseline performance for evaluation of energy consumption, thermal discomfort hours and daylight unsatisfied hours were carried out using Transient System Simulation (TRNSYS) tool. Series of regression-based sensitivity analyses (SAs) to identify the most sensitive parameters were conducted by coupling TRNSYS, jEPlus and SimLab. Applications in six climate zones were investigated. The important focus areas found by SA in each climate and their corresponding design responses can be applied across ranges of prefabricated building projects if built in similar climatic conditions. SA results revealed window glazing and shading among the most influential parameters on all targeted performance outputs. The relationship between sensitivity levels to energy consumption and degree days indicated that the type of window has a higher impact on the reduction of energy use in the cooling dominated climates while insulation of wall was found a more effective strategy in heating-dominated climates.
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    Dataset on baseline performance and sensitivity analysis of a prefabricated house in six climate zones in Australia
    Naji, S ; Aye, L ; Noguchi, M ( 2020-11-26)
    This dataset includes the results of baseline performance evaluation and sensitivity analysis of a prefabricated house in six climate zones in Australia. The performance parameters investigated are monthly heating loads, monthly cooling loads, monthly thermal discomfort hours (TDHs) and monthly daylight unsatisfied hours (DUHs) of the living room, study room, and rumpus room in the prefabricated house.
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    Dataset on validation of TRNSYS building model for a prefabricated house built in Australia
    Naji, S ; Aye, L ; Noguchi, M ( 2020-11-26)
    This dataset includes data from the validation of TRNSYS building model for a prefabricated house built in Australia. The simulated indoor temperatures were compared with the measured ones in Melbourne. The comparison was carried out for the period between 19:00:00 on 31 March 2018 and 00:00:00 on 2 April 2018. Coefficient of determination (R²), Root Mean Square Error (RMSE), Mean Bias Error (MBE), Mean Absolute Error (MAE), and Correlation Coefficient (CC) were applied for quantification of the agreement between simulated and measured temperatures.
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    Dataset on thermal properties, sound reductions, TVOC emissions, and costs of envelope components for prefabricated buildings in Australia (Version 2)
    Naji, S ; Aye, L ; Noguchi, M ( 2020-07-18)
    The data included in the dataset are related to prefabricated building components and their specifications. The specification provided are component type, material, thickness, density, thermal conductivity, specific heat, sound reduction index, total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) emissions and costs in various locations of Australia. The components that are included in this dataset are wall cladding, wall core, interior wall lining, insulation, roof cladding, floor covers and glazing. The authors attempted to cover most of the available component types and their available thicknesses. However, the authors acknowledge that due customisability of these products, other variations of the materials and their dimensions may have not been mentioned in the dataset. For some materials the specifications related to certain properties could net be accessed. Therefore, this dataset is designed to be open for updates and further development in the future. The dataset has been used in sets of building envelope design optimisation practices as input parameters.
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    Dataset on thermal properties, sound reductions, TVOC emissions, and costs of envelope components for prefabricated buildings in Australia (Version 1)
    Naji, S ; Aye, L ; Noguchi, M ( 2020-04-04)
    This data article includes the common envelope components for prefabricated buildings in Australia. The thermal properties, sound reductions, total volatile organic compound emission rates and the cost data are included in this dataset. The material types and their available thicknesses were collected from commercially available standardised construction components. This data set can be used for building energy and indoor environmental quality performance evaluations. The cost data can be used for estimating the initial cost of building envelope. By further modification of data, they can also be used in Building Information Modelling (BIM) tools.
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    Sensitivity analysis of building envelope parameters affecting thermal comfort
    Naji, S ; Aye, L ; Noguchi, M (ZEMCH Network, 2018-01-29)
    The ever-increasing attention towards implementation of environmentally sustainable building design approaches necessitates the prediction of indoor environmental quality (IEQ) during design stage. Building performance simulation tools are able to predict key performance indices of buildings including IEQ. Among different aspects of IEQ, thermal comfort has been reported as one of the important aspects for occupants. It is necessary to understand the effects of design parameters on the performance of building in order to provide acceptable thermal comfort levels. However, due to the possibility of various design strategies, the selection of the most appropriate combination is a challenging task. Thus, the determination of effective parameters is of great importance in order to streamline the design process. The design parameters related to building envelope are among the most important items that have major influence on building thermal performance. Although prefabrication offers several benefits in terms of saving on-site time, saving money and better waste management, it affects envelope thermal performance due to introduction of lightweight components. While there is a body of research reporting the effects of passive strategies on building thermal performance, the influence of lightweight prefabricated envelope components is not well-documented in the current literature. This paper aims to perform a sensitivity analysis (SA) to identify the relative importance of major building envelope design parameters affecting thermal comfort of a prefabricated house in Melbourne, Australia. The envelope parameters investigated are: infiltration rate, solar heat gain coefficients and sizes of windows, and thermal resistance of insulation for exterior walls, floor and roof. The ranges of these parameters are based on the building components particularly used by prefabrication building industry in Australia. A typical three-bedroom prefabricated house in Melbourne was considered and the results of the SA are presented.
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    A baseline study on thermal performance of prefabricated modular buildings in Australia
    Naji, S ; Ployet, V ; Noguchi, M ; AYE, L (Hong Kong Green Building Council., 2017-06-05)
    Prefabricated modular construction is one of building solutions that has positive effects on construction time and waste management. In general, thermal performance of the building envelope is an important parameter which dictates the operational energy consumption. There are some prefabricated modular buildings available in Australia. However, their thermal performance benchmarks have not been well documented in the literature. Innovative panel systems have been proposed to improve the cost competitiveness and to achieve better performance. It is essential to know the current performance so that newer panels can be proven to be better. This paper investigates the thermal performance of four prefabricated modular buildings currently available in the Australian market. The buildings were selected to represent single-family houses with different floor areas. A building energy performance simulation tool was used to predict the cooling and heating loads of each building. The findings based on the simulations are presented in this paper.
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    Effects of shading design options on thermal and daylighting performance of a modular house in Melbourne
    Naji, S ; Samarasinghe, T ; AYE, L (Nethwin Printers, 2016)
    Prefabrication of houses is a growing industry in Australia. Although prefabrication does not negatively affect the building quality, the potential to provide acceptable indoor environment quality with high energy efficiency is still a topic of argument. Effective passive design strategies are necessary to achieve low-energy buildings with satisfactory indoor environment quality. The building envelope parameters such as materials, openings and shadings highly affect the heat transfer, air exchange and light transmission between outside and indoor environment. Shading, one of the passive envelope design strategies, can reduce cooling energy while improving the indoor thermal comfort. However, the effects on daylighting and thermal performance depend on the climate conditions, and the size, location and orientation of the shading device. The performance benchmarks of prefabricated houses have not been well documented in the literature. The aim of this paper is to investigate the effects of shading design options on thermal and daylighting performance of a typical modular house in Melbourne. EnergyPlus and Radiant simulation engines have been employed in this study. By quantifying the performance, the appropriate shading design for the typical modular house in Melbourne could be identified.