THE BIOENCLOS© FAÇADE PANEL: FROM SELECTION TO DESIGN, ASSESSMENT, AND BEYOND
HASSAN, AHMED ALI
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Bio-polymeric materials derived from renewable biomass have successfully replaced conventional materials in many applications. Despite covering 10-15% of the current global plastic market, the application of the Bio-polymeric materials in the field of building facades has hitherto been limited. Unlike the conventional façade materials, Bio-polymeric materials can lessen the carbon footprint of the building façade significantly, reduce a considerable percentage of heat loss, and contribute in alleviating the amount of C&D waste dumped in landfills each year. This will help in saving the natural resources, conserving landfill spaces, decreasing pollution rates, and reducing the overall building weight and energy consumption. Accordingly, this research aims at developing a revolutionary lightweight building façade panel, made from Bio-polymeric agri-based materials, to replace the curtain wall glass and aluminum panel in office buildings, and to assess its impact on the environment, the building energy consumption, thermal performance and structural stability. To achieve that, the research discusses in the first place the potentiality of employing these materials while exploring the main physical and environmental challenges they may confront when introduced to the building facades realm. Secondly, the research adopts rigorous selection criteria to facilitate proposing innovative opaque/transparent materials capable of handling all the environmental, thermal, optical, functional, and economic considerations of the building facade. Thus, 1236 state-of-the-art Bio-polymeric materials have been exposed to a strict methodical screening process through structured quantifiable constraints. MCDM methods have then been employed to enable sorting and ranking the resulted set of candidates considering their order-of-preference in achieving the aforementioned performance criteria. Finally, computational simulation tests have been carried out to ensure that the BioEnclos© Façade Panel satisfies all the energy and building code requirements in terms of heat transfer, energy performance, optical properties, and structural behavior. Consequently, the simulation findings have demonstrated the great capabilities the BioEnclos© Façade Panel can provide to the future of the building façades. Through its several options, the BioEnclos© Façade Panel can reduce the weight of the entire building façade by a range of 43-53%. It also can improve the façade’s thermal resistance and energy savings by a range of 31-52%. In addition, it can maximize the visible light transmittance through the façade’s assembly by a range of 15-31%. Moreover, the BioEnclos© Façade Panel can be commissioned in different colors/textures with good UV radiation resistance, self-extinguishing abilities, exceptional 50-70% reduction in CO2 emissions, and multiple end-of-life options.