Insulation performance comparison of curtain wall systems with existing pipe frames and truss-shaped insulation frames

Bo Hye Choi, Seung Yeong Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to compare insulation performance between a base case that applied the existing steel pipe frame and an alternative case that reduced thermal bridging by applying a truss-shaped insulation frame (TIF) to a back frame type curtain wall. Insulation performance was compared by obtaining the effective U-factor and the lowest indoor surface temperature through a three-dimensional steady-state heat transfer simulation. In addition, mock-up tests were performed to compare the U-factors of the base case and alternative case. The simulation results showed that the effective U-factor of the alternative case was 36% lower than in the base case, a significant heat loss reduction. The lowest indoor surface temperature of the alternative case was 0.5 °C higher than in the base case, showing that the surface condensation risk also decreased. In the mock-up test results, the alternative case U-factor was 33% lower than in the base case, confirming the associated large heat loss reduction. For the base case, both the effective U-factor by simulation and the U-factor by the mock-up test were much higher than the design U-factor according to the Korean Design Standard, which neglects thermal bridging, indicating a significantly increased heat loss caused by this factor. For the alternative case, however, both U-factors were similar to the design U-factor.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4682
Issue number15
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by a Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Plan‐ ning (KETEP) grant funded by the Korean government (MOTIE) (grant number 20202020800360, Innovative Energy Remodeling Total Technologies for the Aging Public Buildings).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Curtain wall
  • Thermal bridge
  • Thermal insulation
  • Truss-shaped insulation frame


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