SOPREMA, the specialist of sustainable insulation and waterproofing, has supported the thesis work carried out by R. Lapisa on passive cooling systems for commercial and industrial buildings at the Laboratory of Environmental Engineering Sciences.
Thanks to the resources supplied by SOPREMA and the laboratory, R. Lapisa had the opportunity to present a complete study based on actual analyses and concrete results with a type of structure that has been inadequately studied until now, namely buildings with large volumes and low heights, intended for commercial or industrial use. Rémi Perrin, Research & Development manager of SOPREMA, followed the totality of the project and was on the panel of judges at the viva for the PhD.
The student used the results from the model of a show commercial building, and applied them to the buildings of the SOPREMA Businesses branch in Poitiers equipped with sensors and itemised readings of energy meters. Those resources made it possible to measure the impact of the most important parameters, particularly the aspect of the building, the inertia of the ground and natural ventilation, on the energy consumed by the building. In a second stage, the student assessed passive cooling solutions for maintaining comfortable temperature with minimum energy consumption throughout the year.
The work of R. Lapisa confirms that natural night-time ventilation solutions and cool roofs can keep commercial and industrial buildings naturally cool. These passive solutions thus limit the energy consumption due to summer overheating for a low investment cost.
The student’s calculations have shown that natural night-time ventilation can reduce summer discomfort by 98.8% in Mediterranean regions, and by 58.2% in tropical regions. For its part, a cool roof solution can reduce summer discomfort by 21.2% to 80% depending on the climate. The student examined a number of scenarios adapted to a range of climates to present a very comprehensive study. The combination of these two passive techniques makes it possible to reduce or even do away with the use of air conditioning systems and thus enables significant energy savings.
The study went as far as simulating the efficiency of these solutions for climates in France in 2030 and 2080.
These optimisation methods allow project owners and decision-makers to envisage new criteria in the designing of building carcasses and make building choices that can reduce power consumption while ensuring comfort in the summer.
“By supporting academic research, Soprema is taking a powerful stance as a committed and dynamic company that is continually looking for innovation to cool cities through the use of all the solutions offered by the group (thermal insulation, cool roofs, natural light and natural ventilation with Adexsi)” says Rémi Perrin, Research & Development Director of SOPREMA.