Practical Methods for Accurate Estimation of Overall R-Values of Masonry Walls
Studies show that the residential sector is responsible for about 18% of Canada's energy consumption, nearly 60% of which is attributed to space heating. The space heating energy consumption of homes places heavy burdens on users in terms of energy costs, on the energy infrastructure in terms of high peak demand, and on the environment in terms of GHG emissions due to the burning of fossil fuel. These matters have led to a focus on improving the energy efficiency of Canadian dwellings. Improving the thermal performance of masonry walls can help reduce the energy consumption of buildings. To achieve this goal, designers require explicit guidelines and simple methods to predict their effective thermal resistance (R-value) with different configurations. Currently, the options to calculate the R-values of masonry walls consist of overly simplified assumptions that often lead to inaccurate results or expensive and time-consuming numerical modelling. The proposed project focuses on developing physics-based and artificial-intelligence-based models to estimate the overall thermal resistance of different masonry wall systems. The ultimate goal of the project is to develop innovative tools and provide intuitive guidelines that are universal, easy to use, and cost-free for the building industry. These outputs will increase productivity in the design phase, lower the cost of masonry wall construction, and enhance the business competency of the masonry industry. The project outcomes consist of economic diversification and technology development in the building construction sector. From the environmental perspective, these methods and tools will help improve the energy efficiency of buildings.