In-Situ Determination of Buildings’ Thermo-Physical Characteristics: Method Development, Experimentation, and Computation


Arash Rasooli
TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment


Accurate determination of building’s critical thermo-physical characteristics such as the walls’ thermal resistance, thermal conductivity, and volumetric heat capacity is essential to indicate effective and efficient energy conservation strategies at building level. In practice, the values of these parameters, which determine not only possible energy savings, but also related costs, are rarely available because the current determination methods are time-and-effort-expensive, and consequently seldom used. This thesis combines theories, simulations, computations, and experiments to develop and improve methods and approaches for determination of a number of buildings’ most important thermophysical characteristics. First, a modification to the existing standard method, “ISO 9869 Average Method” is proposed to measure the walls’ thermal resistance. Two current problems are solved: long measurement duration (weeks) and imprecision. To further shorten the measurement period to a few hours, a new transient in-situ method, Excitation Pulse Method, EPM (Patent No. 2014467), is then developed and tested. This method allows the determination of the walls’ response factors which can be applied directly in dynamic models. More importantly, it is used to extract critical construction information including walls’ thermal resistance, thermal conductivity, volumetric heat capacity, and the possible layer composition. Finally, in an attempt to reduce the hassle, cost, and intrusion associated with locally-conducted experiments, the use of data from smart meters and home automation systems is explored. Building’s global characteristics including heat loss coefficient, global heat capacitance and daily air change rates are accordingly determined.

Author Biography

Arash Rasooli, TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment

Arash Rasooli was born in 1989 in Tehran, Iran. He began his academic life in 2007. He did a bachelor of science in Mechanical Engineering, solid design, in the Faculty of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Tehran Science and Research Branch of IAU. In 2012, seeking higher education, he decided to experience living abroad. He moved to the Netherlands where he did a master of science in Mechanical Engineering, this time, specialization Energy Technology, at Delft University of Technology. During a master course “Indoor Climate Control Fundamentals” he met Prof. L. Itard, who agreed to supervise his internship project at OTB, a research institute for the built environment. Subsequently, he continued the internship project for his master thesis entitled: “Computational and Experimental Investigation of Walls’ Thermal Transmittance in Existing Buildings”. Following the success of the research, he was extremely eager to follow up the findings. He was offered to continue his research in the framework of a PhD research, under supervision of Prof. L. Itard. In 2016, he won the 1st prizes in TVVL national and REHVA international (EU) Student Competitions with his MSc thesis. He later won the 1st prize of the World HVAC Student Competition, which led to his cooperation with TVVL as the student competition jury member and with REHVA as the coordinator of "REHVA Community of Young Professionals". Parallel to his PhD research, Arash has been teaching in an MSc course “Indoor Climate Control Fundamentals” in the faculty of Mechanical, Maritime, and Materials Engineering at Delft University of Technology. This, later, led to his activity as an instructor in an online program in edX platform. Having finished the PhD research, Arash will partly continue it in other ways alongside his future career, in research and development for thermal conductivity and heat flux instrumentation in EKO Instruments Europe B.V.



June 11, 2020

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