A new type of transparent panelized wall system for residential construction has recently been developed that can be used as an alternative to typical wood-frame and other light-frame wall systems. The new wall system is a prefabricated wall panel consisting of a structural steel back-up frame, transparent polycarbonate sheathing, and a curtain-wall system that may contain an integrated photovoltaic glazing panel. In this paper, after an introduction to the structural and architectural aspects of system, the thermal and energy performance aspects of this wall system are evaluated based on several criteria. The current configuration of the wall system shows an overall U-factor of 1.585 W/m2k. The material and systems analysis using a combination of life-cycle assessment and embodied energy are discussed as well. The embodied energy of the system turns out to be approximately two and a half times that of conventional wood-frame system. The paper provides some concluding remarks regarding the sustainability aspects.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Civil and Structural Engineering