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The Influence of Building Envelope Design Towards Internal Heat Gain, Thermal Comfort and AC System

THE INFLUENCE OF BUILDING ENVELOPE DESIGN


TOWARDS INTERNAL HEAT GAIN, THERMAL
COMFORT AND AC SYSTEM

Khotijah Lahji, Yasseri D. Apritasari and Eka Sediadi Rasyad

Departement of Architecture, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Planning, Trisakti University, Jakarta,
INDONESIA
iik_lahji@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT: The room thermal comfort can be realized through building envelope design related
to tropical architecture and/or green building design concepts. The design concept aims to
reduce the heat gain and minimize the cooling load for the mechanical air conditioning; it is one of
the primary focuses in the building energy policy nowadays. This paper discusses the use of air
conditioning system on the 8th & 9th floor of a building which used as an Auditorium. The study
was aimed to find the relationship between (1) the influences of building envelope design towards
internal heat gain, internal thermal comfort of the occupants and (2) the efficiency of air conditioning
system. The research steps were: (1) Measuring the internal temperature and its humidity, (2)
Administering data of the existing building envelope (orientation of the opening and building
materials), room volume, occupants activities and the micro climate analysis using archipac
software to find out the internal heat gain, the profile of temperature and humidity in the coolest
and hotest month every day of the year (3) Mapping the internal and the average thermal comfort
of the occupants. The result of the study shows that there is a different profiles of temperature in
the building which affecting the efficiency of the mechanical air conditioning. In the coolest
month, the daily period of comfort could merely covers the building for two hours long while in
the hottest month, 90 to almost 100 % of the building is overheated.
Keywords: building envelope, heat gain, thermal comfort, air conditioning system

1. INTRODUCTION

The Indonesian climatic condition is tropical humid, with high temperature and high humidity. This
condition entails overheating/uncomfortable for the occupants of any building. High sun radiation
through building envelope reates internal heatgain, resulted in a high load air conditioner (AC). This
paper discusses the use of material, the orientation, and design of the building envelope which can
influence internal heatgain in the building. The object of the research was an auditorium located on
the 8th & 9th floors of D building which consists of nine floors at Trisakti University in Jakarta. The
research steps were conducted in several ways e.g. : (1) by measuring the internal temperature and
its humidity, (2) by measuring comfort of the occupants, (3) by gathering data the existing load and
AC system, (4) by mapping the internal and the average thermal comfort of the occupants, (5) by
gathering data of the existing building envelope (orientation of the opening and building materials),
the room volume, the occupants activities and the micro climate analysis by using archipac software
to find out the internal heat gain, the profile of temperature and humidity in the coolest and hottest
month every day of the year.
According to Santamouris (1996) thermal performance can be understood as indoor controlled
method through the design of building envelope (orientation of the opening, characteristic and

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physical of the building materials: massive/tranparants and the use of construction). Moreover, the
thermal performance is considered successful if indoor condition of the building is psycologically
felt comfortable by the occupants (occupants sensation).
The use of AC system is an effort to reach the termal comfort. The empirical study done at
BPD building in Jakarta states that the percentage load of AC heatgain in that office building consists
of 10-15% human heatgain, 40-50% of sun radiation through the window glasses, 15-20% of heat
transmission through the massive envelope of the building, 7-8% of heat ventilation, and 8-10% of
heat equipment and lighting (Simbolon, 1981). These measurements are applicable in getting
appropriate temperature and humidity of the AC system.

2. CLIMATIC CONDITION

The climatic condition in a year in Jakarta as it is shown in Table 1 that the average air temperature
is 24.1ºC-32.1°C, and the humidity rate (RH) is 52%-95%. The previous outdoor temperature
represents the rate score of thermal comfort.

Table 1: The yearly climatic condition in Jakarta

Jan Feb Mar Apr Mei Jun Jul Agt Sep Okt Nop Des

T Max 30 30.6 31.8 32.5 32.9 32.8 32.9 32.6 32.9 32.6 32.2 31.2
T av max 32.1 32.1 32.1 32.1 32.1 32.1 32.1 32.1 32.1 32.1 32.1 32.1
Sd max 1.5 1.1 0.2 0.3 0.6 0.5 0.6 0.4 0.6 0.4 0.1 0.6
T Min 23.7 23.7 24.1 24.9 24.5 24.5 23.9 23.5 24 24 24.5 24.3
Sd Min 0.3 0.3 0 0.6 0.3 0.3 0.1 0.4 0.1 0.1 0.3 0.1
T av Min 24.1 24.1 24.1 24.1 24.1 24.1 24.1 24.1 24.1 24.1 24.1 24.1
RH am 95 95 94 92 91.3 90 88 87.3 87.6 89.6 92.3 93.3
RH pm 69 66.3 63 60.3 58 56.3 52 52.3 52 58 58.6 64
Rain 309 280 348 297 147 146 3 36 97 47 201 271

Source: BMG-Indonesia 2006

The climatic analysis employs psycometric chart method shows that indoor temperature every
mounth of a year is uncomfortable for the occupants (overheating occupants sensation), or this
condition is at above the comfort zone. The Szocolay’s theory (1987) describes about the method
passive control, and this method is appropriate for humid tropical climate through indoor air
movement. The air movement is important to decrease the temperature and humidity in order to
reach indoor comfort zone. If the air/wind flows at the speed of 1 until 1,5 m/sec, the room will be
comfort, as it is shown in Figure 1.
The specific problem of humid tropical climate is overheating almost 8 until 10 hours every
day (33,3%-50%), it is usually happened from 10.00 until 15.00. This uncomfortable condition can
only be reduced by the use of AC system and the air/wind movement. In this study, the thermal
comfort and energy efficiency can be reached through the use of AC system by considering the
hottest (May) and coolest months (January) as it appears in Table 1. The outdoor climatic condition

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Figure 1: The Analysis of micro climate by psychrometric chart


Source: Analisis ARCHIPAK, Szocolay2002

influences the internal temperature and humidity in which in the coolest month the load of AC
system is least regarding the less heat radiation. As such in the hottest month, the load of AC system
will be much more because the load of heat radiation through the building envelope is also considered
hottest.

3. OBJECT DESCRIPTION

The explanation in this section will cover measuring of the internal temperature and its humidity,
gathering data of the existing building envelope, the room volume, the occupants activities and the
micro climate analysis by using archipac software to find out the internal heat gain, the profile of
temperature and humidity in the coolest and hottest month every day of the year, mapping the
temperatura, humidity and the occupants sensation.

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3.1 The Existing condition

Trisakti University auditorium is the part of Trisakti University building complex (campus A) on the
8th & 9th floors of D building in Jakarta which is located in the urban area. The D building consists of
nine floors, each floor is 1071 m², the auditorium is 791 m², and the heigt ceeling is 8,4 m. The
building is quadrangle (see Figure 2 and 3).
The material of the buiding envelope at the auditirium are:
1. The floor is made of concrete finished by carpet and vinyl.
2. The ceeling/plafond is made of accoustic gypsum tile of 6 mm thick.
3. The walls are double: external and internal walls, the external wall is made of brick panel in
ceramic tile, and the internal wall is made of double teakwood of 4 mm thick with glasswool as
accoustic tile in beetwen.
4. The top/roof floors are made of concrete with screed and waterproofing tile.

3.2 The Building Envelope

The front and back sides (south-north) of the building envelope at the auditorium have the same
fasades, however, the material of the building envelope used 60% of massive wall/brick panel and
40% of transparants wall/window glasses with 1 m sun-shading. The east and west sides design of
the building envelope used 70% massive wall/brick panel and 30% of transparants wall/window
glasses with 1 m sun-shading (see Figure 2 and 3).
The D building uses centralize AC system to decrease the indoor temperature and humidity. In
the auditorium 2 package units are added each of which consists of 5 TR AC at the front of the room
(stage area) and at the back of room as well because the state condition of the stage are is hot.

The righ and left elevation The section of building

Figure 2: The elevations and sections of the building in 2006

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Figure 3: The D building as object of the research

3.3 Occupants Activities

The auditorium has the average capacity of 380 people which can accommodate formal activities
such as seminars and workshops. The following Figure 4 shows the measuring result of the occupants
sensation.

Figure 4: The percentage of occupants’ sensation

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In the morning (at 10.00-12.00) that 55% of the respondents state that they feel comfort, 35%
feel cool, 5% feel hot uncomfortable, and 5% feel cold uncomfortable. In the afternoon (at 12.00 –
15.00) the occupants sensation significantly decrease to 38% feel comfort, 43% feel cool, 0% hot
uncomfortable, 19% feel cool uncomfortable. These different conditions are resulted by high external
heat gain (the sun radiation) through the building envelope, so the load of the AC system is bigger.

3.4. Measuring the Temperature and Humidity in the Auditorium

The measuring of indoor/outdoor temperature and humidity was carried out at the same time, twice
a day every day in a week at 24 points for seeting and standing positions. The 24 points of measuring
can be seen in the following Figure 5.
.

Figure 5: The points of measuring of the temperature and humidity in the auditorium

Table 2: Outdoor temperature

Time : 10.00-12.00 Time : 12.00-15.00


No Room
Temperature Humidity Temperature Humidity
18 I 29.5 59.0 30.0 56.1
19 II 29.5 56.6 30.3 56.3
20 III 29 59.5 30.7 53.8
21 IV 29.1 57.3 30.4 57.3

Source: The existing temperature in Dec 2007

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4. THE ANALYSIS OF THERMAL PERFORMENCE

4.1 Mapping of the Thermal Comfort

The mapping activity was done to acquire information regarding the thermal comfort zone or the
thermal uncomfort zone. The mapping variables are: temperature, humidity and occupants sensation
in the auditorium while the AC system was being operation. The average of thermal comfort in
Jakarta is between 24,9ºC-27,9ºC (Karyono, 2003) and the average humidity is between 50-70%
(Purbo,1996). The results of measuring temperature and humidity at the 24 points at the two times
measurements (morning and afternoon) as is shown in Figure 6 and 7 which describe the temperature
mappings of seating and standing positions.

a. The temperature variable

Figure 6: Mapping of the morning temperature (10.00-12.00)

Figure 7: Mapping of the afternoon temperature (12.00-15.00)

For the mappings, the researchers use yellow, blue, and red colors in which the red color is an
uncomfortable zone, the yellow color is a comfort rather hot/warm zone, and the blue color is
comfort zone. The red zone represents high temperature between 10.00-12.00 and 12.00-15.00 this
is because at this side, the door is always open and of heat transmission through the building envelope
from west side. Because the heat radiation of the west side is bigger from the other sides, the west
zone is uncomfortable zone (hot). To create thermal comfort at this position, it needs additional air
cool distribution of AC system accordingly (load/install AC).

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b. The humidity variable


The result of measuring temperature and humidity at 24 points as is shown in Figure 8 and 9 in which
the red color represents 10.00-12.00 and 12.00-15.00 which is uncomfortable zone therefore it
needs additional humidity of AC system to the room condition appropriately.

Figure 8: Mapping of the humidity at 10.00-12.00

Figure 9: Mapping of the humidity at 12.00-15.00

c. The occupants’ sensation variable


Based on the result of the questionnaire, mapping situation of the occupant sensation is shown in
Figure 10 and 11.
The violet colour represents uncomfortable rather hot zone at points 1, 2, 3 which is the stage
area and is usualy used as presentation area with quite formal clothes. The same condition appears
at point 23 because the air cool distribution of AC system cannot be gained through the back
ceeling. The point 6 is uncomfortable zone because of the door is always open. Because of the
uncomfortable conditions of these several points, it is suggested to add air cool distribution from the
AC system as necessary. The green colour is comfortable zone which is mostly located at east,
front and middle sides. The blue colour represents comfortable rather cool zone at middle and west
sides.

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Figure 10: Mapping the occupant sensation at 10.00-12.00

Figure 11: Mapping the occupant sensation at 12.00-15.00

4.2 Analysis of Thermal Performance

The simulation of ARCHIPAK program is used to analyze the thermal performance of the auditorium
on May and January as the hottest and coolest months of the year. To gather the result of temperature
profile (thermal performance), we supply data on room volume, percentage of heat gain material of
the building envelope (massive and transparent), and heat orientation.

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Table 3: Heatgain percentage of the building material and orientation

% Heatgain
Element Orientation
Hottest month Coolest month
Floor
wall 0 (north) 1.1% 1.3%
wall 90 (east) 0.6% 0.7%
.window 90 (east) 43.4% 42.9%
wall 180 (south) 2.2% 2.7%
wall 270 (west) 0.5% 0.7%
window 270 (west) 43.6% 43.1%
roof 8.6% 8.6%
Source: Simulasi ARCHIPAK

The windows are made of clear glass with west-east orientations which provide highest heatgain
contributions in bulding, but because the glasses have the high u-value, the east-west sides has
head-cooeficient value twice bigger than north-south sides.

a. The hottest month (May)

Figure 12: The temperature profile in the hottest month


Note: To: outdoor temperature, Ti: indoor temperature, Tb: lowest thermal comfort,
Ta: highest thermal comfort l, violet zone: indoor time of activity.
Source: the result of simulation analysis by using ARCHIPAK program

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The result of archipak simulation shows the following auditorium’s temperature profile: indoor
temperature profile is higher than outdoor temperature at 22.00 until 17.00, and at 17.00- 22.00 the
indoor temperature is lower than outdoor temperature. The outdoor condition is overheating at
09.00-23.00, and the indoor condition is overheating at 24.00-08.00. The comfort period is at 24.00-
08.00. This analysis shows that when the room is in use, it is overheating. The overheating condition
is caused by transparent design of building envelope (windows made by glasses) and west-east
orientations. The auditorium is located on the 8th and 9th floors of the building (top floors), so the heat
gain from the top roof contributes heat in the building. This simulation emphasizes that maximum
temperature of the auditorium in the afternoon (14.00) is 33.8°C.

b. The coolest month (January)

Figure 13: Temperature profile in the coolest month


To: outdoor temperature, Ti: indoor temperature, Tb: lowest of thermal comfort,
Ta: highest thermal comfort l, violet zone: indoor time of activity.
Source: the result of simulation analysis by using ARCHIPAK program

In the coolest month overheating periode is 10 hours (09.00-18.00), and the comfort periode
is 14 hours (18.00-09.00), and the maximum temperature at 15.00 is 31.7°C. The comfort periode
in the auditorium is only for 2 hours (08.00-09.00). This condition is the same with the hottest
month that the internal temperature is higher than external temperature. The average internal
temperature increaces to 0,52K in the coolest month and 0.95K in hottest month, as it shown in
Table 4.

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Table 4: Analysis of comfort period and overheating

Hotest month (Mei) Coolest month (January)

Comfort Overheating Ti Max Comfort Overheating Ti Max


periods periods periode periode
Auditorium 0 (-) 10 jam 33.8°C. 2 jam 8 jam 31.7°C
(08.00-17.00) (14.00) (jam 08.00-09.00) (08.00-17.00) (15.00)

5. CONCLUSION

The comfort condition is constantly decreased from morning until afternon. The different positions
can provide different comfort of the occupants sensation. This condition is caused by the unbalanced
air cool distribution of AC system in the room. The starting of high radiation at daytime is not
followed by appropriate indoor temperature of AC system. The different comfort zones at every
position in the auditorium is caused by external heatgain of the building materials at west side, and
heat ventilation from the opening entrance. In addition, formal clothes required to be wear at the
stage area contribute uncomfortable sensation to the occupants because of the lack of air cool
distribution from the AC system. To minimize the heat condition and to use the energy efficiently in
the auditorium, it is advisable to install additional AC system by balancing and arranging the distribution
of air cool each time of the day accordingly.
The highest temperature in the building is caused by heat sun radiation through glass wall at
west/east sides, heat conduction of building envelope material and internal heatgain (occupant,
equipment and lighting). The indoor temperature in the coolest month has two hours of comfort
while at the hottest month there is no comfort period. This situation represents that there is 90-100%
overheating when the auditorium is being occupied. The maximum indoor temperature at 14.00-
15.00, therefore, the temperature of AC system can be reduced accordingly in order to reach
thermal comfortable or the load of AC system need to be increased.

REFERENCES

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Poerba Hartono ( 1996 ). Utilitas bangunan, Jakarta : Penerbit Djambatan, Jakarta.
Santamouris, M. et al., (1996). Passive cooling, London. Applied Science Publishers Ltd.
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Simbolon,T. B. (1981). Fisika Bangunan, Jakarta: Penerbit Instasi Pemda DKI, Penerangan Jalan Umum.
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