Comparison of Computer Simulation and Mock-up Laboratory Testing of the Thermal Performance of Unitized Curtain Wall – A Case Study
Read the full Master Research Paper HERE.

Glazing systems contribute to the greatest energy loss within the enclosure of the building due to their high thermal transmittance. For this reason, numerous studies have focused on predicting the thermal performance of curtain wall systems. This research focuses on evaluating the correlation between computer simulation and lab testing of a given curtain wall design. Two (2) four-story full-size specimens were tested under specific conditions in a large-scale chamber and measured temperatures recorded during the condensation test were compared with simulated interior surface temperature. Results obtained show a mean temperature difference between the measured and simulated temperatures of 4.12 °C and 3.46 °C for the base and improved design, respectively. In addition, the difference in the overall U-value between each testing method resulted in a EUI difference below 3%. The findings from this study indicate that even though simulations are a valuable tool to predict the thermal performance of curtain wall systems, a larger temperature difference between both methods is observed when there is a discrepancy between simulated and actual detail..Moreover, the difference in the overall U-value between mock-up and simulation did not significantly affect the energy performance of the building.

Toronto Metropolitan Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.