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Sustainable Thermal and Acoustic Retrofitting of Façade Walls

Lundh, Henric LU (2017) In TVBA-5000 VTA820 20131
Engineering Acoustics
Department of Construction Sciences
Abstract
Faced with an acute problem of housing options during the 1960s, the Swedish government introduced a nationwide campaign of ‘A Million New Homes’. In order to achieve the aim of the campaign, the construction of these homes depends on cheap and fast building methods which do not result in the homes being energy efficient nor are they equipped with good acoustical properties. As time progress and society evolved, there is a growing need for these old homes to meet new energy efficient standards as well as improve the acoustics properties of homes.

Previous studies have predominantly focused on retrofitting options to improve the energy efficiency of old buildings. A large number of recommendations are currently available for retrofitting... (More)
Faced with an acute problem of housing options during the 1960s, the Swedish government introduced a nationwide campaign of ‘A Million New Homes’. In order to achieve the aim of the campaign, the construction of these homes depends on cheap and fast building methods which do not result in the homes being energy efficient nor are they equipped with good acoustical properties. As time progress and society evolved, there is a growing need for these old homes to meet new energy efficient standards as well as improve the acoustics properties of homes.

Previous studies have predominantly focused on retrofitting options to improve the energy efficiency of old buildings. A large number of recommendations are currently available for retrofitting options to promote energy saving. However, limited work has been done to cover improvements in sound pressure levels. This paper therefore hopes to bridge the gap in existing research of retrofitting old homes to achieve a balance improvement in both the thermal and acoustical properties.

The focus in this paper will be on 3 key façade constructions that are pertinent during the 1960s-era – namely the heavy façade (element built and autoclaved aerated concrete blocks outside a load-bearing concrete) and lightweight façade (built as a curtain or infill wall) constructions. The motivation of analysing the heavy façade vs light façade constructions is to highlight the differences in consideration required when retrofitting different types of original façades.

During the analysis, the paper will firstly look into the energy and acoustical performance of the original façade constructions. This was then compared against simulated performances of two different proposed retrofitting options. The performances are evaluated on both retrofitting the outside and the inside of the façade wall. The proposed retrofitting options provide some insights as to the improvements of the thermal and acoustical properties expected when the façades of these buildings are retrofitted with added insulating materials.

Based on the outcome of the analysis, the study in this paper found that for heavy façade constructions, the retrofitting options proposed resulted in an improvement of both the thermal and acoustical properties of the buildings. However, the retrofitting option 2 which has a thicker and heavier retrofit structure results in a more superior improvements of the building and in particular a lower resonance frequency. In contrast, when looking at the complex original construction made of lightweight façade, the proposed retrofitting option improves the thermal properties; however it does not improve the acoustical properties of the building. An improved sound reduction index comes with a heavy construction structure. This therefore highlights that in such an original structure, it would be easy to improve the thermal properties; however more serious consideration is required during a retrofitting process in order to result in an improvement for the acoustical properties of the building.

In conclusion, the paper highlights that there are merits to retrofitting old buildings in order to achieve both a balanced improvement in thermal and acoustical properties. It is however much easier when the original structure is of a heavy façade instead of a lightweight façade. (Less)
Popular Abstract
With the growing need to meet modern energy demands as well as an optimal acoustics comfort of homes, Sweden is facing an acute issue with a decreasing property portfolio and a huge lack of homes in the country. Preserving the 1960s residential buildings, and doing so with a retrofitting that bridges the thermal and acoustic properties is the answer to this issue.
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author
Lundh, Henric LU
supervisor
organization
course
VTA820 20131
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Thermal, Acoustic, Retrofitting, Façade, Sound, Sound reduction index, Sound level difference
publication/series
TVBA-5000
report number
TVBA-5052
ISSN
0281-8477
language
English
id
8921718
alternative location
http://www.akustik.lth.se/english/publications/tvba-5000/
date added to LUP
2020-03-06 15:04:40
date last changed
2020-03-06 15:04:40
@misc{8921718,
  abstract     = {Faced with an acute problem of housing options during the 1960s, the Swedish government introduced a nationwide campaign of ‘A Million New Homes’. In order to achieve the aim of the campaign, the construction of these homes depends on cheap and fast building methods which do not result in the homes being energy efficient nor are they equipped with good acoustical properties. As time progress and society evolved, there is a growing need for these old homes to meet new energy efficient standards as well as improve the acoustics properties of homes.

Previous studies have predominantly focused on retrofitting options to improve the energy efficiency of old buildings. A large number of recommendations are currently available for retrofitting options to promote energy saving. However, limited work has been done to cover improvements in sound pressure levels. This paper therefore hopes to bridge the gap in existing research of retrofitting old homes to achieve a balance improvement in both the thermal and acoustical properties.

The focus in this paper will be on 3 key façade constructions that are pertinent during the 1960s-era – namely the heavy façade (element built and autoclaved aerated concrete blocks outside a load-bearing concrete) and lightweight façade (built as a curtain or infill wall) constructions. The motivation of analysing the heavy façade vs light façade constructions is to highlight the differences in consideration required when retrofitting different types of original façades.

During the analysis, the paper will firstly look into the energy and acoustical performance of the original façade constructions. This was then compared against simulated performances of two different proposed retrofitting options. The performances are evaluated on both retrofitting the outside and the inside of the façade wall. The proposed retrofitting options provide some insights as to the improvements of the thermal and acoustical properties expected when the façades of these buildings are retrofitted with added insulating materials.

Based on the outcome of the analysis, the study in this paper found that for heavy façade constructions, the retrofitting options proposed resulted in an improvement of both the thermal and acoustical properties of the buildings. However, the retrofitting option 2 which has a thicker and heavier retrofit structure results in a more superior improvements of the building and in particular a lower resonance frequency. In contrast, when looking at the complex original construction made of lightweight façade, the proposed retrofitting option improves the thermal properties; however it does not improve the acoustical properties of the building. An improved sound reduction index comes with a heavy construction structure. This therefore highlights that in such an original structure, it would be easy to improve the thermal properties; however more serious consideration is required during a retrofitting process in order to result in an improvement for the acoustical properties of the building.

In conclusion, the paper highlights that there are merits to retrofitting old buildings in order to achieve both a balanced improvement in thermal and acoustical properties. It is however much easier when the original structure is of a heavy façade instead of a lightweight façade.},
  author       = {Lundh, Henric},
  issn         = {0281-8477},
  keyword      = {Thermal,Acoustic,Retrofitting,Façade,Sound,Sound reduction index,Sound level difference},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {TVBA-5000},
  title        = {Sustainable Thermal and Acoustic Retrofitting of Façade Walls},
  year         = {2017},
}