Optimization of thermal insulation material and thickness for building energy efficiency in Mediterranean climates based on life cycle perspective
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Optimizing thermal insulation thickness to save energy and reduce carbon emissions in Mediterranean climates is important. Many standards and regulations on energy efficiency or thermal insulation focus insulation thickness without considering life cycle energy efficiency or environmental impacts. This may lead to unexpected and undesirable results. A new approach for identifying the optimal insulation material and thickness has been applied to a multi-storey residential building in a Mediterranean climate in Turkey. The approach considers life cycle energy consumption, carbon emissions and cost. Energy performance is calculated with details of occupancy, lighting system and internal gains. Results are compared with those of the same building in a cold climate region to show how climate affects life cycle energy and carbon performance. The results of the study show that if insulation thickness is not optimized for a material’s entire life cycle, it may end up being less efficient, more expensive, and have greater carbon emissions than expected, especially in Mediterranean climates. © 2017, Istanbul Teknik Universitesi, Faculty of Architecture. All rights reserved.