Influence of Geographical Location on the Optimum Insulation Thickness




Palimaka, Christopher
Froese, Thomas M.
Terim Cavka, Belgin

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CSCE Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting


Commercial and residential buildings are responsible for substantial emissions of greenhouse gases, which greatly promote global warming. Sustainable construction practices offer a partial solution to this problem, with effective insulation in the building envelope saving up to 77% of consumed energy, hence reducing GHG emission. However, to make a real difference, sustainable construction has to become more affordable, and thus more attractive to the general public. Therefore, finding an optimum balance between the initial and operational cost of the building can be beneficial not only for the environment, but also to owners’ finances. The objective of this paper is to determine the trade-off between insulation cost and life cycle energy cost for a building situated in three different provinces of Canada. This study utilized a 3D BIM model of a single family house constructed by AYO Smart Home Inc. on the University of British Columbia campus in Vancouver. Revit and Green Building Studio were used to run energy simulations for design alternatives that were insulated with expanded polystyrene (EPS) ranging in thickness between 3 5/8” and 11 3/8” and located in selected cities of British Columbia, Alberta and the Yukon. The obtained life cycle energy cost and the insulation cost determined the optimum insulation thickness for each building location. The overall aim of this study was to aid AYO Smart Home Inc. with decision making regarding the design of their housing units in different regions of Canada.


Leadership in Sustainable Infrastructure/Leadership en Infrastructures Durables Vancouver, Canada May 31 – June 3, 2017/ Mai 31 – Juin 3, 2017



Palimaka, C., Froese, T.M. & Terim Cavka, B. (2017). Influence of Geographical Location on the Optimum Insulation Thickness. Paper presented at CSCE Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting, Vancouver, B.C.