Building sectors in most countries around the world require large amounts of heating and cooling energy. Indeed, cooling loads due to solar gains are responsible for approximately half of global cooling load for both residential and commercial buildings. In addition, windows are considered as one of the important sources of wasting energy in buildings. In order to minimize this waste, shading devices can be installed in the external part of the window to reduce solar heat. With this in mind, the objective of this study is to investigate the simultaneous effect of glazing and shading materials as well as the form of the shading devices on total building energy consumption in different climate regions in the United States. To achieve this objective, a typical residential building is selected in this study to assess the effect of these parameters on total energy consumption in seven climate regions in the United States. A series of simulations were conducted using EnergyPlus simulation program to quantify energy consumption in each scenario and determine the most energy efficient glazing and shading materials as well as form of the shading device. Different types of window glazing (including clear, Low-Iron, Ref-B tint, Low-E clear and Low-E tint with 6 mm thickness) as well as different materials for shading devices (including PVC, aluminum and wood) were considered in this study. Also, the effect of five different forms of shading devices, including horizontal and oriented overhang, vertical fin and combination of these forms, have been examined in this study. Results showed that installing vertical fins and horizontal overhang shading devices in buildings located in Houston, Miami and Atlanta does not have a significant effect on annual energy consumption reduction. However, combining these two overhang shading forms together will result in significant energy consumption. In addition to shading forms, it was found that Ref-B tint glazing material along with wood shading material reduced annual energy consumption by approximately 11.6% in Miami and 9.5% in Houston. However in Atlanta, total energy consumption was reduced by approximately 7% in the case of using Low-E tint glazing material along with wood shading material. No significant savings were seen in cold climates.
January 13, 2017
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