Thermal Behavior and Energy Efficiency of Modified Concretes in the Tropical Climate: A Systemic Review
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© 2021 The Authors. Published by MDPI Publishing.
Concrete remains the most utilised construction material for building envelopes, which regulate the indoor temperature to achieve human thermal comfort. Often, the energy consumption for building performance appraisal is related to the thermal behaviour of building materials as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems all variously contribute to human comfort. Following the development of concrete technology, many types of concrete have been invented to serve several purposes in the construction industry. To clearly understand the concrete type tailored for the specifics of a construction project, the local climate, concrete mechanical properties, and concrete thermal behaviours should be primarily identified to achieve energy efficiency, which also suits the sustainability of global materials. This paper, therefore, reviews the modified concrete thermal behaviours in the tropical climate for more systematic city planning in order to achieve better energy efficiency. Urban heat islands in the tropics and contributing factors, as well as heat transfer mechanisms, are first highlighted. The requirements of concrete thermal behaviour for building envelopes are then discussed through specific heat capacity, thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, time lag, and decrement factor in the context of applications and energy consumption in the tropical regions. With a case study, it is found that concrete thermal behaviours directly affect the energy consumption attributed mainly to the use of cooling systems in the tropics. The study can be a reference to mitigating the urban heat island phenomenon in the planning of urban development.
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