Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Architecture engineering, Construction engineering, Municipal and structural engineering

Publication Details

Paper was presented and published at the Civil Engineering Research Ireland conference in Dublin, 29th – 30th August 2018, pp 140-145.


The overall aim of this study is to develop innovative precast cladding panels for the renovation of Europe’s existing building stock thereby improving their energy performance. Using the mass of a building to store heat and/or cold can reduce the demand on the auxiliary heating and/or cooling systems and hence reduce the overall energy demand of the building. Previous laboratory research has shown that the incorporation of phase change materials (PCMs) into concrete enhances its thermal storage capacity by up to 50%. However in a real application where a PCM-concrete composite material is used in a building to store thermal energy, the effectiveness of the PCM depends on many variables including the form of construction and local climate conditions. In this research study a precast cladding panel formed with PCM enhanced concrete has been developed and manufactured. In order to observe the performance of the PCM-concrete composite panels in a full scale scenario, three demonstration huts have been constructed and instrumented to record internal thermal behaviour. Monitoring of the data is ongoing and shows that the effectiveness of the PCM varies with the seasons. Data recorded during the summer period highlighted that the internal temperature may not drop low enough during the night to solidify the PCM and discharge the stored heat. A further test in which passive ventilation was provided during the night proved to be an effective method of addressing this issue. It is expected that this long term study will enable recommendations to be made on the seasonal benefits of using PCM-concrete to enhance the energy performance of buildings located in climate conditions similar to Ireland. The results of the data analysis will inform a refinement of the panel design prior to installing the panels at a school in the UK which currently has an overheating problem.