What is the impact of a double cavity wall of an office building on occupant thermal comfort?



Submitted by:  Olivier

Firm Name: Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill LLP

ASHRAE Climate Zone: 5A

Building/Space Type:

  • Office

Who performed the simulation analysis?  

  • Architect - Internal Sustainability Personnel

What tools were used for the simulation analysis? 

  • EnergyPlus

What phase of the project was analysis conducted?  

  • Design Development

What are the primary inputs of the analysis?  Orientation, Location, Weather file, Window-to-wall ratio, Double Glazing, SHGC, Internal heat gains, external solar radiations, HVAC system

What are the primary outputs of the analysis?  Predicted Mean Vote, Mean Radiant Temperature, surface Temperature


List the investigations questions that drove your analysis process.

How is occupant thermal comfort optimized with a ventilated double wall cavity as compared to a double pane insulated glazing unit system?

How was simulation integrated into the overall design process?


How did you set up the simulation analysis and workflow?

The simulation analysis followed the following steps: - highlight the zones of the project - take a typical zoning area and simplify the geometry in rhino - export the rhino model into Helyx - setup the internal, external heat gain from user activity, receptacle, solar radiations, outside and inside temperature, HVAC operative temperature and occupant location neat the perimeter were heat exchanges are the greatest - run open foam computational fluid dynamic software - export results into ParaView to visualize the outputs

How did you visualize the results to the design team? What was successful about the graphics that you used to communicate the data?

The results were visualized over a powerpoint highlighting the major findings

Most importantly, what did you learn from the investigation?  How did simulation and its outputs influence the design of the project?

More tools should be listed for Computational Fluid Dynamic software playing a crucial role in transient and steady heat flow condition. Open Foam CFD was used as a back engine, Paraview as a front end interface.