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Timber prefabricated multifunctional facade in 4RinEu project

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One of the main objectives of 4RinEU is to improve the energy performances of existing buildings through the renovation of their envelope. Therefore, within the project, a new concept of façade is being developed, namely a timber prefabricated multifunctional façade. These façade elements do not replace the existing façade, but they are added externally to the existing façade to increase its performances. This innovative technology consists in a prefabricated timber-made façade module in which a number of components, such as new windows, a decentralized ventilation machine and a solar thermal panel have been integrated. The prefabrication is useful to reduce significantly duration of the construction site. The use of timber makes the component environmental friendly with a high potential of being recycled at the end of its life. Moreover, the integration of components gives the advantages of installing, directly with the envelope renovation process, some devices and building services that increase energy performances of the building and users’ comfort. 

In order to demonstrate the effectiveness and feasibility of this proposed façade concept, in 4RinEU, prototypes have been designed and are being tested.

In particular, the experiments aim to investigate how the transfer of temperature and humidity through the new façade affect the façade itself and the functioning of the integrated devices.

In fact, the integration of such components can affect the normal behaviour of the façade, causing higher heat losses and condensation problems, which are likely to lead to damages to the structure, users’ discomfort and, in general, lower energy efficiency.

Each prototype will be tested in a calorimeter (two climatic chambers with the prototype in between) for approximately one month, and this procedure will enable to validate numerical models with the chosen experimental boundary conditions for temperature and humidity. The two chambers simulate the indoor and outdoor environments, respectively.

Several sensors are placed inside the prototypes, and the analysis will be extended on a larger scale of application by using numerical models in order to understand if the new façade module can perform as expected in a wider range of climatic conditions.


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