Energy Performance Assessment of Innovative Building Solutions Coming from Construction and Demolition Waste Materials

Materials (Basel). 2021 Mar 5;14(5):1226. doi: 10.3390/ma14051226.

Abstract

Prefabricated solutions incorporating thermal insulation are increasingly adopted as an energy conservation measure for building renovation. The InnoWEE European project developed three technologies from Construction and Demolition Waste (CDW) materials through a manufacturing process that supports the circular economy strategy of the European Union. Two of them consisted of geopolymer panels incorporated into an External Thermal Insulation Composite System (ETICS) and a ventilated façade. This study evaluates their thermal performance by means of monitoring data from three pilot case studies in Greece, Italy, and Romania, and calibrated building simulation models enabling the reliable prediction of energy savings in different climates and use scenarios. Results showed a reduction in energy demand for all demo buildings, with annual energy savings up to 25% after placing the novel insulation solutions. However, savings are highly dependent on weather conditions since the panels affect cooling and heating loads differently. Finally, a parametric assessment is performed to assess the impact of insulation thickness through an energy performance prediction and a cash flow analysis.

Keywords: building model calibration; building retrofitting; construction and demolition waste; energy conservation measures.