A Testing Facility for the Thermal Characterization of Building Envelopes in Outdoor Operating Conditions

  • Alessandra MesaEmail author
  • Alberto Arenghi
  • Marco Pasetti
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 982)


The experimental assessment of building components represents a complex task, which involves the measurement and control of a wide number of physical phenomena. The use of the dynamic approach in outdoor real scale facilities provides a good representation of real operating systems, thanks to the inclusion of rather complex parameters, such as the occupants’ behaviour. However, the adoption of outdoor test solutions is usually characterized by a high uncertainty of the results, due to the complexity of the physical model and to the large variability of the input parameters. On the other hand, the use of indoor tests under controlled conditions has proved to be able to provide reliable results, thanks to the strict control of boundary conditions and of input parameters. The main drawback of this approach is represented by the scarce significance of the results, due to the rather simple modelling of the real behaviour of building physics. The aim of this paper is thus to present a test facility which represents a compromise between the dynamic control approach in real scale systems and the use of indoor tests under controlled conditions: the Building Envelopes ouTdoor Thermal Test (BEsT3) facility of the University of Brescia. Thanks to application of the dynamic behaviour of real environmental conditions to outdoor test cells with controlled indoor thermal parameters, the proposed system has proved to be able to provide reliable results, while also satisfactorily reproducing the conditions of real operating systems. Experimental studies have been conducted to assess three different window solutions under real dynamic conditions. Measured data have been used to create a correspondent numerical model designed in Energy Plus. The model has been validated with different dynamic simulations, in which the complexity of the parameters has been increased step by step. The numerical results provided by the model have shown a good correspondence with the real behaviour of the outdoor test cells.


Test cells Building envelope Thermal test Outdoor testing facility 



The authors would like to thank AIB (Associazione Industriali Bresciani), who granted the construction of BEsT3 and the eLUX laboratory (energy Laboratory as University eXpo) of the University of Brescia, which developed the data acquisition system.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil, Environmental, Architectural Engineering, and MathematicsUniversity of BresciaBresciaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Information EngineeringUniversity of BresciaBresciaItaly

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