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IASS-SLTE Symposium 2014: Shells, Membranes and Spatial Structures: Footprints


IASS Symposium 2014

SESSION: General 10: ETFE - Design and Experiments

Thermal environment of an atrium enclosed by an ethylene-tetra-fluoro-ethylene (ETFE) foil cushion roof

< Table of Contents for General 10: ETFE - Design and Experiments
  • Proceedings Name: IASS-SLTE Symposium 2014: Shells, Membranes and Spatial Structures: Footprints
  • ISSN: (Electronic Version) 2518-6582
  • Session: General 10: ETFE - Design and Experiments
  • Title: Thermal environment of an atrium enclosed by an ethylene-tetra-fluoro-ethylene (ETFE) foil cushion roof
  • Author(s): Sabrina AFRIN, John CHILTON, Benson LAU
  • Keywords: ETFE foil cushion, atrium, temperature, façade, light-weight roofs, environmental performance, thermal performance, solar transmission, ETFE roof, lightweight building envelope
Abstract
This paper presents on site monitoring results of a study of the thermal environment of an atrium enclosed by an ethylene-tetra-fluoro-ethylene (ETFE) foil cushion roof, including distribution of air temperatures, mean radiant temperatures, foil surface temperatures and incident solar radiation. The aim was to evaluate environmental aspects of an ETFE foil cushion roof system. ETFE-foil has been most commonly employed to enclose transitional spaces, for example atria and external circulation areas, but, increasingly, it is being used as a secondary or primary façade for more intensively occupied architectural spaces where thermal comfort needs to be more precisely controlled. Although the structural behaviour of ETFE-foil has been examined in some detail, to date, environmental aspects in terms of thermal performance have not been studied or analysed with rigor and depth. Increasing frequency of building integration of ETFE-foil cushion systems in more complex and permanent enclosures has made it necessary to examine their effects on the internal thermal environment so that the comfort conditions can be better understood and the undesirable thermal issues can be identified and addressed. Field measurements of the winter thermal environment within an approximately 625m2 atrium covered with a two-layer ETFE cushion roof are used to clarify the characteristics of an actual ETFE cushion envelope. Continuous monitoring was conducted from December 2013 to April 2014 covering overcast and clear days and nights. Measurements of indoor thermal environmental parameters were conducted at different levels in the atrium and the recorded data represent the internal conditions with and without operation of the HVAC system. The effects of solar transmission, outdoor air temperatures, and surface temperatures of the ETFE cushion on internal air temperatures at different levels of the atrium are discussed. This study reveals the thermal conditions of the chosen atrium space and provides monitored data which will enhance the holistic understanding of the thermal environment created by the ethylene-tetra-fluoro-ethylene (ETFE) foil cushion roof structure.

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