GSW // HOW DO WE OBTAIN THERMAL COMFORT INSIDE BUILDINGS? GSW x Saint Gobain USA
In North America, the temperature outside, varies a lot over the course of a year: during the summer, we face very high temperatures, and in the cold season, the temperatures drop quite a lot. Therefore, ensuring thermal comfort inside buildings becomes a necessity for the well-being of the occupants. Working with Saint Gobain USA has helped us give our clients the highest quality products.
Through the glass, from partner Saint Gobain USA, incorporated in various high-performance systems from Schüco USA and Reynaers USA, we bring comfort to your home.
What is thermal comfort?
The most commonly used definition of thermal comfort, according to ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers), is “that state that expresses satisfaction with the thermal environment and is assessed subjectively.” person to another, depending on age (those very young and very old being particularly sensitive), sex, clothing, activity, cultural habits, etc., the essential principles underlying thermal comfort are largely universal.
Thermal comfort is felt through three factors:
-The physiological aspect: the way our body functions and interacts with the environment;
– Physical appearance: the main parameters of the environment around us (air temperature, air humidity, air movement, room surface temperature);
– Socio-psychological aspect: the way we feel as a whole (for example, if we are tired, stressed, happy …) and the type of social environment in which we live.
The body constantly strives to balance heat exchange with the environment: accelerating or slowing the heartbeat to change blood flow and regulate heat distribution; trembling when it is too cold to increase heat production; sweating more when it is too hot to reduce skin temperature. In this sense, the design of a comfortable indoor environment limits the efforts that the body must make to regulate the temperature and contributes to the well-being of the occupants.
Thermal energy (heat or cold) is transferred by conduction, radiation and convection from the human body to the air inside the building and to neighboring surfaces: walls, windows, furniture. Conduction is the transfer of energy through mechanical vibrations inside a solid body, such as a floor or wall, or even inside a liquid or gas (air). Convection is an association between the phenomenon of conduction and that of ordered macroscopic motion in a gas or liquid (air, water), and radiation consists of electromagnetic waves emitted, absorbed, reflected by surfaces or molecules.
A person’s emotional state, mood, level of fatigue, etc. they will affect their experience of the environment in which they live. Expectations play an important role in how an individual experiences the physical world: one will expect a beach to be warm and a mountain cottage to be cool, but in general, perceptions will probably be based on one’s own thermal history. Other environmental factors, such as noise or brightness, can influence the thermal perception, leading to an increased feeling of overheating.
What are the factors that influence our thermal comfort?
A balanced thermal environment is essential to feel comfortable. Concentration, manual dexterity and the occurrence of accidents are influenced by excessively high or low temperatures. The operating temperature and the relative humidity in a space determine the comfort conditions, depending on the clothing we wear and the activity we perform. Our bodies are also sensitive to small variations in factors such as air speed and indoor air temperature differences. The impact of local elements of discomfort must be kept to a minimum, so that we can fully enjoy the living space and feel comfortable, no matter what we do.
Thermal comfort is determined by:
1. Indoor air temperature
2. Room surface temperatures
3. Indoor air humidity
4. Absence of drafts
Did you know that? In Multi Confort buildings, the interior temperature remains ideal throughout the year using very little energy, they have pleasant walls to the touch regardless of the weather outside and there are no drafts even on the floor.
How do we design thermal comfort?
Key aspects to consider for thermal comfort include:
– Air tightness and ventilation: a watertight coating, together with natural or mechanical ventilation, can control the indoor thermal environment by managing air exchange with the outside.
– Thermal inertia: the materials used in the construction of the building (choice of brick, stone or wood, for example) have an impact on the speed with which changes in weather conditions are felt.
– Receiving solar energy: through its general shape, orientation, number and size of windows and the ability of surfaces to reflect heat, the building envelope can control the amount of heat received from the sun (solar input) that can enter the building.
– Insulation: insulation of the building and the use of thermally efficient windows reduce heat loss in winter and solar heat input in summer.
– Saint-Gobain offers several product categories that have a direct impact on thermal comfort:
Solar-controlled glass that provides thermal protection in summer and a pleasant environment in terms of interior comfort in winter; insulation to reduce heat loss in winter or overheating in summer; plasters and drywall to improve thermal comfort; smart membranes to improve air tightness and manage moisture.
We present below some of the Saint-Gobain products and solutions for obtaining thermal comfort:
To reduce heat loss, we recommend outdoor insulation, for example, with the ETICS webertherm prestige solution, a high-quality thermal insulation system that uses mineral wool as a thermal insulation material. The combination of mineral wool and the two adhesives specially created for such a system leads to obtaining a very good thermal insulation, a high level of fire safety, to the improvement of sound insulation.
For insulating the roof inside, one of our proposals is the PERFECT ATTIC PLUS solution that will reduce the annual heating bill by over 40% and will considerably improve the acoustic comfort. In addition, the solution prevents the appearance of moisture and mold that damage the building elements and can affect the health of the occupants. In order to maintain thermal comfort in both the cold and hot seasons, the insulation of the roof on the inside is generally done by applying two layers of insulation placed between the rafters, covered with a humidity control membrane (eg ISOVER VARIO® KM Duplex UV). The cumulative thickness of 300 mm of two layers of ISOVER FORTE mineral wool ensures thermal resistance that contributes to the considerable reduction of the energy consumed for heating / cooling, the initial investment being recovered quickly (2 to 3 years).
When talking about interior wall insulation, one of the recommended solutions is RIGITHERM®. Composite panels for thermal insulation made of gypsum board with expanded polystyrene suitable for renovations, in case the thermal insulation cannot be achieved on the outside or in case it is desired to keep the facade in its original form or interventions are not approved for the facade. Its surface can be easily finished by painting or wallpapering. You will get improved interior comfort and the temperature of the walls increases significantly.
Get the perfect temperature and ideal light regardless of the season with Planitherm 4S Evolution. According to studies conducted by Saint-Gobain Glass, approximately 15% of heat loss in a home is caused by inadequate thermal insulation, achieved through non-performing glazed windows. In the case of windows, about 80% of their energy efficiency is due to glass, while 20% goes to carpentry. The performance of Planitherm 4S Evolution glass offers increased sun protection and improved aesthetics by lowering the level of external reflection, reflecting infrared radiation, characteristic of heat from heating, and at the same time reflecting much of the solar energy.