Plenary Lecture

Evaluation of Coupled Heat, Air and Moisture Transfer Incidence on Building Energy Performance, Indoor Air Quality and Durability of Structure

Professor Rafik Belarbi
Civil Engineering and Mechanical Department
University of La Rochelle

Abstract: Buildings are one of the highest energy consumption sectors, contributing to almost 45% of the world energy consumption and responsible for 36.1 billion tons of CO2 emission. High moisture level can cause metal corrosion, wood decay and structure deterioration. Moreover, moisture transport results in condensation-evaporation processes which accompany energy transfer through building envelopes has a significant influence on indoor air humidity and air-conditioning loads, especially latent cooling load. Consequently, studying the coupled heat and moisture transport behavior of porous building materials have a significant effect on building energy performance and durability of constructions. The present research work aims to understand the influence of geometric parameters of envelope materials on the mechanisms of coupled heat and moisture transfer at different scales in order to predict the long-term behavior of a whole building and to control it. The ultimate goal is to improve the building and its sustainability. The hybrid approach was be implemented in this work. It involves understanding the dominant physical phenomena and their interactions on a microscopic scale. This follows a second phase of modeling based on up scaling technics in order to learn about the macroscopic equivalent behavior of materials. The development of model materials with controlled properties allows to evaluate their intrinsic macroscopic properties and serves as input parameter for the models. Finally, an implementation of the model in the global scale of the building was be undertaken to assess its energy performance and durability and to optimize it. During this stage, a new methodology to predict the overall behavior of buildings, which combines two simulation tools: COMSOL Multiphysics© and TRNSYS. The first software is used for the modeling of heat, air and moisture transfer in multilayer porous walls (HAM model - Heat, Air and Moisture transfer), and the second is used to simulate the hygrothermal behavior of the building (BES model - Building Energy Simulation). The combined software applications dynamically solve the mass and energy conservation equations of the two physical models. Simulation in case studies buildings highlight the effect on heat and moisture transfer on energy performance on building, indoor air quality and durability of building.

Brief Biography of the Speaker: Professor, Dr-Ing. Rafik BELARBI, Received his engineer degree in Building Physics from School of engineers of Poitiers (ESIP) and Master of thermal sciences from University of Poitiers, France in 1993. He obtained his PhD Thesis in civil engineering in La Rochelle University, 1998. In 1999, he joined the LEPTAB research staff laboratory and civil engineering department of La Rochelle University as is, actually, full Professor and Head of Civil engineering and Mechanical Department. His Research field covers wide spectrum and several domains. It cover multi physic and multiscale approaches as: building material for energy and environment applications, urban microclimate modelling and durability aspect; comfort and indoor air quality as well as renewable and energy system. His main expertise is in microstructural, thermal, physical and hydric characterization of porous building material and heat and mass transfers with application in Energy Efficiency in Buildings and Indoor Environment and durability of constructions. Since 1994, he was involved in several National and International projects dealing with Heat and moisture transfer in the building energy conservation. The main projects are: Pascool/Joule and Altener/Sink (passive cooling systems modelling and their impact on the building energy consumption), PDEC/Joule II (Utilisation of Passive Downdraught Evaporative Cooling systems on non-domestics buildings), Joule/Thermie B (Efficient Ventilation Systems for Buildings), Altener/Greencode (Reglementary Frame for Renewable Energy Use in Urban Site Through Vegetation Planting and Strategic Surfacing), Altener/SolVent, (Development of Strategies for Efficient Use of Solar Passive Ventilation in Urban Buildings) and Altener/Cluster (Solar Passive Heating and Cooling), Seventh Framework Programme" Marie Curie (OldMasonryRepair), Erasmus+: programme Capacity Building in Higher Education “Boosting Environmental Protection and Energy Efficient Buildings in Mediterranean Region”. He is author or co-author of more than 140 papers in international journals or international conferences.

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