Building Materials Database & Tool

A high-performance building envelope is a prerequisite and foundation to any energy-efficient built environment. The thermal properties impact both opaque and non-opaque parts of the envelope that influence the energy consumption in the buildings.

NABL accredited material testing facility at the Mahindra-TERI Centre of Excellence (MT CoE) located in TERI Gram campus, Gwal Pahari, Gurugram, aims to characterize the building materials and assemblies for different thermal properties using state-of-the-art techniques. The key thermal properties of building materials being tested in a controlled laboratory condition at the CoE facility are; Thermal conductivity, Thermal diffusivity, Specific heat capacity, thermal transmittance (U-value), thermal resistance (R-value), and thermal emittance.

The CoE has developed a database of materials tested in the laboratory for its thermal properties and enables the designer's appropriate selection of building materials. Further, the database has been enriched and augmented by incorporating the thermal properties data from some other trustworthy sources.

Apart from the laboratory tested thermal properties database of materials and assemblies, the tool also empowers users to derive thermal properties such as internal and external heat transfer coefficients (hi & ho), Thermal transmittance (U-value), and Thermal resistance (R-value) of assemblies assumed to be made of different materials and combinations. A user has the flexibility to either use default values or his own values (being realistic) for specific input parameters and consequently obtain the default result and user-specified results, respectively. Default input values are based on the design data from weather files, whereas user-specified input values depend entirely on the user's specific requirements and understanding. The tool evaluates the building materials' real-time performance based on the user's input and compares the performance against default/standard design conditions. The tool can be handy for selecting and configuring energy-efficient building materials and assemblies. This thereby enables the user to attempt the code-compliant building envelope designs and perform effective energy modeling and analysis to understand the building's energy use.