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Loo Kok Hoo, Elias Salleh, Parida Bt Md Tahir and Sabarinah Sh Ahmad Department of Architecture, Faculty of Design and Architecture,University Putra Malaysia Department of Forestry, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia. HP: 012-2835168 Email: Address: 7, Jalan Hujan Batu, Overseas Union garden, Jalan Klang Lama, 58200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia ABSTRACT

The research investigates the thermal performance of wood wool cement panel (WWCP) as alternative building material in Malaysia. WWCP is one of the building materials used in temperate countries but not common in Malaysia. The research was conducted in two stages. Stage one compared the thermal performance of WWCP with conventional cement and bricks by field measurement. Two test cells were

constructed, one in WWCP and the other in conventional cement and bricks in UPM campus with field measurements carried out over a period of one month to monitor the respective thermal performance. Stage two is using Tas computer simulation to verify if WWCP a suitable alternative building materials in tropical Malaysia. Some preliminary results obtained from field recording of temperatures inside and outside the building are presented and comments made on their actual performance relative to their expected performance.

Keywords: Thermal Performance, Sustainable Buildings, Wood Wool Cement Panel, Thermal Monitoring

1. Introduction The objective is to use test cells and simulations to investigate the thermal performance of WWCP in the hot and humid tropical climates as building wall envelopes in Kuala Lumpur compare to conventional bricks walls. Two test cells were constructed for both cases, field measurements were recorded and Tas simulations were carried out in the investigation. 2. Methodology Two test cells were constructed in University Putra Malaysia (UPM) campus for field measurement. Test Cell One (TC1) is the base case using conventional plastered brick wall and Test Cell Two (TC2) is the test case using 75mm thick Wood Wool Cement Panel. Equipment used for the field measurements are Hobo meter and mini Deltalog Meters over a selected dates of the years. Results were tabulated and plot into graph for analysis.

Figure 1: Two test cells, base and test cells were installed in UPM.

Figure 2: Hobo Meter was placed on the exterior and interior of the Test Cells, above the window levels.

Figure 3: HD32.2 Deltalog Meter for field measurements

3. Sustainable Building Material Wood Wool Cement Panel (WWCP) Wood Wool Cement Panels (WWCP) is one of the materials made from wood wool, Portland cement, salt solution and water compressed into a module with various thicknesses. This material is available in Europe since 1950s and has proven its versatility and durability in temperate climate, with the properties of fire resistance, wet and dry rot resistance, termite and vermin resistance, thermal insulation and acoustic performance, however it is not common in Malaysia.
Figure 4: the textures of the wood wool cement panels.

4. Constructions of WWCP The constructions of the panels are in modular form (600mmx2100mm / 2400mm), the fixing of the joint can be using C-Channel for every three panels and both sides plastered. There are two types of WWCP commonly used: 50mm thick and 75mm thick for walls, in roof insulation, normally 50mm or 75mm thick panels can be used. The test cell is using 75mm WWCP. 3

Figure 5: Modular construction methods (Courtey of Duralite Sdn Bhd, Malaysia)

5. Properties and specification of Brick wall and WWCP The thermal properties of woodcement panels and standard values are as follows:

Figure 6: Properties of different materials for construction

6. Field measurement Test Cells One and Two were measured in the equinox month of September 2009 using Hobometers. The days taken were from 21st Sept 2010 to 27th Sept 2010 including the summer equinox in 23rd Sept 2010. The reading on 23rd Sept 2009 was used for comparison since the Sun is directly above the horizon and nearest to the equator. The major components in the Hobo measurement are light intensity, relative humidity, dew point and temperature. The internal data and performances of Test Cell One (TC1) and Test Cell Two (TC2)(WWCP) are combined and compared on 23 Sept 2010. 7. Analysis of the data The data from the results were analyzed and compared.

Figure 7: Light Intensity.

The light intensity The light intensity of TC1 is lower than TC2 (WWCP). The highest value recorded for TC1 is 540 lux and TC2 (WWCP) is 710Lux. This mean WWCP has permit higher daylight penetration.

Figure 8: Temperature

Temperature For higher daylight penetration, the internal temperatures of both test cells are similar. The temperatures in TC2 (WWCP) are overlapping with TC1 until 12noon, thereafter, TC2 (WWCP) indicated a higher value maintained until 1800hrs. at 1500hr, TC1 is 35.4C and TC2 (WWCP) 35.6C. After 1500hrs, the temperature in TC1 dropped more significantly than TC2 (WWCP). This indicated that TC2 (WWCP) is able to absorbed and maintained heat energy more than the TC1.

Figure 9: Raltive Humidity

Relative Humidity The relative humidity (Rh) of TC1 is lowered than TC2 (WWCP) at the night by roughly 2%. From 0800hrs to 1300hrs, the Rh drop is similar and TC2(WWCP) has a lightly higher value (1%), from 1300hrs to 1800hrs, the Rh increases equally, then from 1800hrs 2000hrs, Rh of TC1 had a sudden jump, reason unknown, after 2000hrs, the two graphs are overlapping with TC2(WWCP) on a slightly higher value. The overall pattern indicated TC2 (WWCP) has a generally higher Rh values. This could be due to the porosity of the materials that are able to keep water vapour. The plastered brick wall in TC1 has less ability to keep water vapour.

Figure 10: Dew Point

Dew Point As defined in Atmospheric Science: An Introductory Survey by Wallace & Hobbs, " Dew Point is the temperature at which air must be cooled at constant pressure in order for it to become saturated with respect to a plane surface of water". Simply put, it is the temperature where the air becomes saturated. The graph above indicated the overall Dew point for TC2 (WWCP) is higher than TC1. At night, the Dew points fluctuated from 2426C, during the day, 0900hr to 1700hrs; it fluctuated between 20-26C. Results interpretation The above results indicated that Description Light Intensity Temperature Relative Humidity Dew Point TC1 Lower light intensity by (710-540) 160lux Similar graph. Lower value Similar graph. Lower value Similar graph. Lower value TC2(WWCP) WWCP allows higher light intensity to the interior Similar graph, higher value Similar graph, higher value Similar graph, higher value

Figure 11: Comparison of field measurement properties

The results show that TC2 (WWCP) is able to allow more daylight into the interior, however, this only slightly increase the internal temperature. The nature of porosity of the materials helps in maintaining water vapour and this increases the relative humidity and dew point temperatures. The next section will be using Tas simulation to model the test cells for more comprehensive analysis of the thermal performance of the materials. 8. Performance Analysis using Tas : The model was constructed using Tas for further comparison and analysis. The Test Cell is divided into two zones, Zone one is for internal space and Zone two is the canopy at perimeter.

Figure 12: Plan and perspective views of the Tas Model

9. Properties of Materials: The respective properties of the materials are tabulated below:
Base conventiona 215mml Brick wall (External) Layers M-Code Width Conductivity WK1m1 mm Inner1 am1brick\8 215 0.65 Convention Coefficient W/m2C) 0 Vapour Diffusion Factor 9.6 Density Kg/m3 1530 Specific Heat J/Kg.K Description

920 Brick Common 1*3

Base conventional 215mm Brick wall (External) Internal External Internal Flow Direction U Value U value R value W/(mK) W/(mK) (mK/W) Horizontal 1.693 1.997 Upward 1.884 2.124 Downward 1.491 1.849

External R value (mK/W) 0.591 0.531 0.671 0.501 0.471 0.541

Solar Acceptance Ext surf Int Surf 0.725 0.725

Emmisivity External 0.93

Internal 0.93

Conductance Time (W/m.K) Constant 3.023 2.817

Figure 13 Basic Properties of External Brick Wall

The constructon properties of 75mm WWCP having 10mm plastered on both sides as below:
75mm plastered Wood Wool Cement Panel Wall (WWCP) Layers M-Code Width Conductivity WK1m1 mm Inner1 wwcp2 Inner3 am1\plast\1 75mm WWCP am1\plast\1 10 75 10 0.079 0.9 0.079 Convection Coefficient W/m2C) 0 0 0 Vapour Diffusion Factor 11 0.5 11 Density Kg/m3 400 390 400 Specific Heat J/Kg.K Description

837 Lightweight plaster 1*4 1000 Wood Wool Cement Panel 837 Lightweight plaster 1*4

75mm plastered Wood Wool Cement Panel Wall (WWCP) Internal External Internal Flow Direction U Value U value R value W/(mK) W/(mK) (mK/W) Horizontal 0.743 0.796 Upward 0.777 0.815 Downward 0.701 0.771

External R value (mK/W) 1.346 1.286 1.426 1.256 1.226 1.296

Solar Acceptance Ext surf Int Surf 0.4 0.4

Emmisivity External 0.9

Internal 0.9

Conductance Time (W/m.K) Constant 0.92 1.16

Figure 14: Construction properties of 75mm thick WWCP

10. Analysis in Kuala Lumpur Context: Based on the data input, the building was simulated in Tas for Base Case (TC1) and (TC2)WWCP and performance results are below:

na = not applicable.
Figure 15: Performance Summary comparison between Brick wall and WWCP for Kuala Lumpur climate

Discussions: The discussion is based on data that show differences and assumed that the test cell is meant for natural ventilation, hence the values of heating, cooling loads and latent energies are zero and not discussed. Both cases are exposed to the same external temperature and criteria as shown in items 13-16 of Fig 12.1. a. Air temperature The test case TC1 has lower maximum temperature (40.48C) than base case TC2 (42C) and it happen 17 hours a day for 237 days compared to base case (61 days

and 14 hrs/day). This means the test case TC2 has lower temperature than the base case TC1 inside. b. Humidity Maximum humidity happened at zone 2 and similar for both cases (TC1: 99.67%, TC299.89%). However, the test case TC2 has more humid days in a year (test: 302 days, base: 288 days) and longer hours per day. Minimum humidity is lower in base case TC1 (10.28%), has more days (Base TC1: 61 days, Test TC2:11 days) and less number of hours per day (Base TC1:14 hrs, Test TC2:17 hrs). The above results indicate WWCP is able to retain moisture and hence more humid. c. Resultant Temperature Resultant temperature is an average of the dry bulb temperature and the mean radiant temperature in degree Centigrade (C). TC1 and TC2 are having similar and it occurs in Zone 2, which is the perimeter overhang area and exposed to open space, hence will not affect the internal space. d. Mean Radiant Temperature (MRT) Mean radiant temperature (MRT) is a measure of an occupant's perception of the radiant temperature in the zone. MRT is calculated as a weighted average of the zone's surface temperatures, modified by the effects of radiant gains (plant, incidental gains and the diffuse component of solar gain). It is displayed in degrees centigrade (C) i Both maximum and minimum MRT happened in zone 2 which is exposed to open space. TC2 has higher Max MRT (59.83) and lower Min MRT (21.55), with wider range for MRT (59.83-21.55= 38.38) compare to Base case TC1 (59.0322.9=36.13). The number of days and hours are the same in Max MRT, however, in Min MRT, the Base case TC1 has 302 days but Test case TC2 only has 8 days. This means WWCP has very few days to maintain low temperature.

Figure 16: Overall Performance of brick wall (Base TC1) and TC2 (WWCP) walls of 75m


In summary, the overall performance patterns of the materials are similar as in above graph. The general performance of WWCP has larger maximum and minimum range in temperature and humidity compared to brick wall. Further detailed analysis looks at their overall performance in the two solstices and equinoxes, instead of select only one day, a range of 6 days was used: March (days 78-84), June (days 170-176), September (days 263-269) and December (days 353359).

11. Analysis of various thermal properties The followings performance criteria were compared in Zone 1, which is the interior zone of the test cell. The analysis of the thermal properties is on a. Mean Radiant Temperature b. Dry Bulb Temperature c. Resultant Temperature d. Relative Humidity e. Building Heat Transfer f. External Conduction Opaque 11.1. Analysis: Zone 1 Mean Radiant Temperature (MRT)


Figure 17: Mean Radiant temperatures in two equinoxes and solstices

The MRT of the Test Material (TC2 WWCP) is lower during daytime and similar to Base material (TC1) at night. The range for TC1 is between 26C to 38C (78 days March 1300 hrs) and TC2 is 26C to 36C (175 days, June 1300hr). TC2 always has a lower value than TC1. The gradient of the TC2 is lower; it means it takes longer time to increase in temperature than TC1. 11.2 Analysis: Zone 1 Dry Bulb Temperature (DBT)


Figure 18: Dry Bulb Temperatures in two equinoxes and solstices

The Dry Bulb Temperature (DBT) appears to be similar pattern as in MRT. TC2 always has a lower temperature than TC1. TC1 has temperature range 25C to 39C (78 days, March 1300hr) TC2 has temperature range 25C to 37C (78 days, March 1700hr) The time taken to achieve the highest temperature by TC2 is lagged by 5 hours (1300hrs to 1700hrs) on the same days. This is shown by the lower gradient of the TC2 graph. This means TC2 (wwcp) can maintain lower temperature and the rise of temperature is slower than TC1. 11.3 Analysis: Zone 1 Resultant Temperatures (RT)

Resultant temperature is an average of the dry bulb temperature and the mean radiant temperature in degree Centigrade (C). From the previous readings, the results of RT shows

TC2 always has a lower temperature than TC1. TC1 has temperature range 26C to 39C (78 days, March 1300hr) TC2 has temperature range 25C to 37C (78 days, March 1700hr) The time taken to achieve the highest temperature by TC2 is lagged by one hour (1300hr to 1400hr) on the same days. TC2 (wwcp) with lower gradient, can maintain lower temperature and the rise of temperature is slower than TC1.


Figure 19: Resultant Temperature in two equinoxes and solstices

11.4 Analysis: Zone 1 Relative Humidity RH Relative humidity (RH) is expressed as a percentage. TC1 always has a lower humidity than TC2: TC1 has humidity range 13%C to 32%C (357 days, Dec 0900hr) TC2 has humidity range 14%C to 32%C (357 days, Dec 0900hr) From 0900hrs to 1700hrs, TC2 is more humid than TC1 and from 1700hrs to 0900hrs; humidity is similar with TC1 slightly higher than TC2. The time taken to reach the peak humidity every day is similar as shown by the graph. This means the overall range of humidity for TC1 and TC2 are from 13% to 32%, however, from 0900 to 1700hrs, TC2 has higher humidity percentage. This could be due to the fact that during the night, the material TC2 is porous, it absorbs moisture and keep within the pores while the surface while TC1 brick wall keeps most of the water vapour on the surface, hence humidity level is similar but slightly higher in TC1, During day time, water vapour from TC1 evaporates faster than TC2 and TC2 takes longer time to evalporate due to vapour trapped within the pores, this explains why TC2 has higher humidity percentage than TC1. This property is conducive to reduce the internal space temperature in the day.


Figure 20: Relative humidity in two equinoxes and solstices

11.5 Analysis: Zone 1 Building Heat Transfer (BHT) Building Heat Transfer represents the sum of heat gains from 2 sources: (1) heat entering the zone from a Link, Null Link or Internal building component, and (2) heat released into the zone which had been temporarily stored in the air (this quantity is positive when the air temperature is falling and negative when it is rising). It is measured in Wattsii


Figure 21: Building Heat Transfer (BHT) in two equinoxes and solstices


The Base Material TC1 has a much higher positive (+) and negative (-) values than the Test Material TC2. TC1 Ranges from -700W to 300W (175 days June 2100hrs) (difference: 1000W). TC2 Ranges from -40W to 120W (difference: 160W). TC1 is about 6.25 times more than TC2 (1000/160=6.25) Day time from 0900hrs to 1800hrs, TC1 temperature increased tremendously in negative values, (more than -400 W) while TC2 increase in positive value but below +100W, much less in magnitude than TC1. Negative values indicate air temperature increase and positive values indicate air temperature falling. This means the sum of heat gain by TC1 is about 500W more and in faster rate than TC2. At night, from 1800hrs to 0900hrs, TC1 positive values can increase up to 300W, and TC2 remains more or less constant at -40W. Temperature fall in TC1 is fast and comparatively more, while TC2 remains constant, with minimum and constant heat transfer. The large fluctuation range for TC1 shows heat (energy) transfer during the day and night. TC1 is difficult to keep heat with the internal space, while TC2 with a relatively constant and narrow range is able to maintain the energy within. For example, if air-condition is used, the energy will dissipate faster through the walls in TC1 than TC2.

11.6. Analysis: Zone 1 External Conduction Opaque (ECO) ECO is the heat gained (or if negative lost) through the inside surfaces of opaque components exposed to the outside or touching the ground measured in Watts (W). Similarly TC1 has much higher fluctuation range than TC2 in ECO.


Figure 22: External Conduction Opaque in two equinoxes and solstices

Heat gained for TC1 ranges from -200W to 780W, with a magnitude of 980W Heat gained for TC2 ranges from -100W to 180W, magnitude 280W, about 3.5 times less. In daytime, TC1 increases to peak from 1300hrs to 1700hrs, with values all above 400W and even peak at 780W in March. For the same period, TC2 decreases to trough (lowest) to only 50W average. This means in the day, TC1 is absorbing a lot of energy (positive value), especially heat energy and TC2 is losing energy (negative value). The difference is at least 450W. At night, 1700hrs to 0700hrs, TC1 is losing heat energy (negative value from -200W to -300W) and TC2 gain heat energy (positive values from 50W to 70W). This means TC1 loses energy about 4 times faster than TC2 at night.


The rate of heat transfer (gain or lose) is worked out based on information in Sept, days 263-364 in next section. 11.7 The rate of heat transfer for TC1 and TC2
Figure 23: Rate of Heat Transfer comparison.

Day Time

Night time


Daytime To find out the rate of heat transfer, taking readings from Sept days 263. Daytime Part A 0800-1200hrs For TC1, Taking gradients: Y=640W and X=3 hrs. Y/X=640/3=213.3W/hr (heat gain) For TC2, Y=-90 and X=3hrs, Y/X=-90/3=-30W/hr (heat loss) TC1 is absorbing heat (gain) at 213W/hr and TC2 is releasing heat (loss) at 30W/hr Daytime Part B 1300-1700hrs TC1: Y=-640W, X=4 Y/X=-640/4= -160W/hrs (heat loss at lower rate) TC2:Y=-4W, X=-4hrs Y/X=4/4=1W/hrs (heat gain at lower rate) TC1 start to reduce the rate of energy absorption (heat gain) 160W/hr TC2 is increasing the rate of releasing heat (heat loss) at 1W/hr

While TC1 absorbs energy (heat gain) from the Sun when the day is hot, TC2 releases energy in the day (heat loss). This is possible due to the fact the water vapor and air trapped in TC2. Water has a high specific heat index. This means that water can absorb a lot of heat before it begins to get hot and the air can its latent heat can carry the heat away fast. Water vapour trapped in the previous night takes a longer time before the heat of the sun reaches the interior, hence energy still releasing into the interior at rate of 30W/hr (heat loss), eventually when the heat from the sun slowly built up, the rate of releasing (heat loss) goes down to 1W/hr.

Night Time TC1 had two rates for heat loss a. Y=-200W X=2hrs, Y/X=-100W/hr b. Y=-210-(-60)=150W,X=9hr, Y/X=16.7W/hr Average rate 116W/11hrs=10.54W/hr (heat loss) TC2 indicated various rates in the night to heat gain a. Y=20W/X=2hrs=10W/hr b. Constant for 3 hrs c. Y=20W/X=3hrs=6.67W/hr d. Y=-20W/X=5.5hrs=-3.64W/hr e. Y=-40W/X=2hrs=-20W/hr Average rate=40.31/15.5hr=2.6W/hr (heat gain)

Similarly, due to the latent heat of water vapour and air, the heat gain at night is slow for TC2. TC1 on the other hand, stored abundance heat in day time; the heat is dissipating out at night (heat loss)


12. A summary of the properties: The comparison of properties is summarized as below:

Base Material (TC1) Conventional Brick walls. (Tas) Mean Radiant Temperature (MRT) Dry Bulb Temperatures (DBT) Resultant Temperatures (RT) Relative Humidity 26C to 38C 25C to 39C 26C to 39C 13%C 32%C to Test material TC2 (WWCP) 75mm thick plastered (Tas) Comment based on TAS simulations results Field Measurements Results

26C to 36C 25C to 37C 25C to 37C 14%C to 32%C

Slightly lower in WWCP Slightly lower in WWCP Slightly lower in WWCP TC2 has higher humidity in the day and similar at night with WWCP has slightly lower values at night. Temperature fall in TC1 is fast and comparatively more, and TC2 remains constant, with minimum and constant heat transfer. TC1 absorbed energy at much faster rate than TC2 in the day and loses energy faster in the night. Na Na

Na Na Slightly lower in WWCP TC2 has slightly higher value in the days and night. The graphs are similar and almost overlapping. Na

Building Heat Transfer (BHT)

-700W to 300W, about 64 times more than WWCP -200W to 780W

-40W to 120W

External Conduction Opaque (ECO)

-100W to 180W


Light Intensity Dew Points

540 Lux na

720 Lux Na

WWCP has much higher light intensity. Similar with WWCP has higher values

Fig 9.1.A summary of thermal performance of Base and Test Materials..

13. Discussions and recommendations Two types of materials are used for testing 1) Base Case - 215mm thick conventional brick. 2) Test case-75mm thick WWCP with plaster on both sides. Combining the data from field measurements and Tas simulations, we observed the following performances: TC2 (WWCP) always has a lower temperature range than TC1 (Base) by 1to 2 C. It happens in MRT, always 2C lower on the upper temperature, and RT, 1C lower on the lower temperature. This means TC2 (WWCP) provides a lower temperature internal environment. Relative humidity are having similar range in TC1 (13%-32%) and TC2 (14% -32%), however, TC2 has a higher humidity values in day and night from Field measurement, but in Tas simulation, TC2 has slightly lower values. But the overall graphs are similar and show overlapping. In Building Heat Transfer (BHT), the difference is significant. TC1 has a larger range (-700W300W) than TC2 (-40W-120W), this means, the heat gain and lost in TC1 varies a lot in the day than TC2. The significantly lower heat transfer range in TC2 can resist the external heat from penetrating into the internal space better and with minimum fluctuations in temperature.

Similar situation happens in External Conduction Opaque (ECO), TC1 ranges from -200W to 780W while TC2 ranges from -100W to 180W. TC2 conducts much mess heat into the internal space. Field measurement also indicated TC2 allow more lights into the interior space and has a light intensity of 720 lux compared to 540Lux (TC1) What does this mean in the tropics? It means TC2 (WWCP), just by its own nature and property, can lower the internal temperature by 2C without any mechanical assistance and increases the internal light intensity from 540lux to 720 lux. The narrow BHT range implies WWCP can resist external variation of temperature and keep the internal environment more constant. Similarly the ECO in WWCP having narrower range conducts less heat; this is fruitful to keep heat out in the day and keep heat in in the cold night. WWCP performs better in infiltration and ventilation with its narrow value range. This property is good in the tropics as design for ventilation is always encouraged. Also, when air condition is used, WWCP is better to maintain the internal temperature, consumed less energy as the fluctuation of heat loss and heat gain is smaller. It is better in keeping the internal environment constant with less energy. Its infiltration and ventilation values make it suitable in the tropical conditions, especially design for natural ventilations 14. Conclusions Wood Wool Cement Panel (WWCP) has been used in temperate regions for the past 30 years but not common in the tropics, lately, there are only less than 10 bungalows used WWCP in Malaysia. There is no proper investigation and documentation into the suitability of this material in the tropics. University Putra Malaysia (UPM) has been testing the materials using test cells and recording is still ongoing.iii The analysis using Tas software indicates that WWCP is comparable to the performance of brick and suitable in the tropics, especially in the areas of infiltration and ventilation, the performance is better. There are other advantages of using WWCP, it is in modular system, each panel is in 600mmx2400m or 600mmx2100mm, the installation is faster and easier. The erections of wall panels in a single storey house of area 6000mmx20000mm can be completed in two days, traditional brick works takes about 10 days. This saves time, cost and ensure quality. As the panels are lighter in weight than brick, the design of structural loads is less and save costs. In short, WWCP is found to be a suitable material to be used as an alternative material to brick in the tropics. Various thicknesses are available and the choice of application depends on cost, and functional requirements of the buildings.

Definition from Help Section of Tas Software Definition from Help Section of Tas Software iii The author involves in the test cells research process at present with UPM
i ii