Comparative Study On Energy Performance Of Different Commercial Building Wall Systems

Open Access
Xiao, Yiang
Area of Honors:
Civil Engineering
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Ali M Memari, Thesis Supervisor
  • Eric Todd Donnell, Honors Advisor
  • commercial building
  • wall systems
  • embodied energy
  • carbon emission
  • life cycle assessment
  • sustainability
Building sustainability has become one of the major interests of building owners and design professionals. To be more specific, there has been a consistent high demand on information of building energy performance. Wall systems, as an important part of a building, are therefore of interest. In order for design professionals to make better decision and select a wall system that can satisfy sustainable design objectives, they need to be better informed about each wall system available and suitable for the project. They also need to be able to compare the options with each other. This study is based upon previously conducted work that are relevant to the topic, and provides a comparison of some of the most commonly used wall systems of commercial buildings in terms of energy performance. The selected wall systems include curtain wall, brick veneer, and precast concrete panel with strip windows. The study was performed using Athena Impact Estimator for Buildings, a commercial LCA software for building analysis. Geographical location was also taken into account as a factor that affects embodied energy. The results obtained from computer software analysis were compared and presented in a comparative fashion. The results can be used to help select an optimal wall system for a commercial building project, in terms of sustainability features.