Thermal performance improvements for university dormitories in a tropical climate / Alternativas para a melhoria do desempenho térmico para moradias universitárias em clima tropical

Adriana Rodrigues Pereira, Raquel Diniz Oliveira, Simone Queiroz da Silveira Hirashima, Fernanda Mourão Dutra de Oliveira


The building envelope exerts considerable influence on maintaining comfortable indoor conditions. Consequently, it is important to better understand the role that the envelope elements play in building thermal performance. This paper presents an improvement proposal for the thermal behavior of a university dormitory located in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The assessment was carried out in seven bedrooms located on different floors and orientations. EnergyPlus tool and local weather data were used to simulate annual indoor temperatures considering the original envelope and alternatives based on the Brazilian performance building code NBR 15,220/2005. The performance analysis covered degree-hours for heating and cooling and comfort indicators considering 80% acceptability limits set by ASHRAE 55/2017. It was found that changes in building envelopes have significant contributions to the indoor thermal conditions. The results showed that the simulation tool evaluated the global heat transfer in building adequately. Greater wall thermal lag combined with a smaller window opening provided better thermal behavior results considering all simulation models. In a broader sense, the present work contributes to demonstrating that numerical simulation plays an important role in emulating indoor thermal conditions and also fosters improvements in building thermal performance.


Building thermal performance. Indoor thermal conditions. Numerical simulation. University dormitory.

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