A case study of dynamic thermal simulation of natural fibers integrated building envelopes in a Mediterranean climate

Hassen Zeiri2^{2}, Ons Hamdaoui1^{1}, Insaf Mehrez2^{2}, Atef Mazioud1^{1}, Laurent Ibos1^{1}, Abdallah Mhimid2^{2}
^{\star} : ons.hamdaoui@u-pec.fr
1^{1} CERTES - Université Paris-Est Créteil, 61 av. du Général de Gaulle, 94010 Créteil Cedex, France
2^{2} Laboratoire d’études des systèmes thermiques et énergétiques LESTE, Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs de Monastir Tunisie
Mots clés : thermal simulation, natural fibers, building envelopes, energy consumption, emissions
Résumé :

This study investigates the potential of natural fibers, namely Posidonia-Oceanica (PO) and chicken feathers (CF), in building materials to enhance energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact in a Mediterranean climate. Dynamic thermal simulations were conducted using EnergyPlus software for an 80 mono-zone building located in Tunis (Tunisia), incorporating varying fractions of fibers in the mortar of exterior walls and roof. The building envelope is composed of hollow bricks (20 cm), an air gap (3cm), hollow bricks (7cm), and are covered by mortar cement on both sides.

Simulations were performed for different material integration configurations within the building in Tunisian climatic conditions. The input simulation data included building geometry, building envelope materials, and hourly climatic conditions of Tunis. The thermophysical properties of mortar including PO and/or CF fibers were experimentally measured in a previous study. The standard EPW weather files of Tunis were used for the simulations, and all simulations were performed for one year using the Conduction Finite Difference Algorithm.

The impact of natural fibers on thermal performance, indoor temperature fluctuations, energy consumption, and emissions were analyzed. The energy performance was evaluated by calculating the heating and cooling energy demand. The environmental analysis was performed by considering different emission rates depending on the fuel source used to generate electricity.

Results showed that the integration of PO and CF fibers led to a significant reduction in indoor temperature fluctuations. Furthermore, the use of these bio-based materials decreased energy consumption for heating and cooling compared to the house without fibers, resulting in significant reductions in emissions. Specifically, the incorporation of 100% CF fibers resulted in a decrease in daytime indoor temperature by 2.5^{\circ}C and a 10% reduction in energy consumption. emissions were reduced by up to 524 kg/year, 262 kg/year, and 419.2 kg/year when using respectively coal, oil and natural gas as fuel.

Work In Progress