The project forecasts demonstration activities at different scales:

  • Small-scale demo sites, located in Naples (Italy) and Dublin (Ireland) where the project panel components have been installed, tested, and kept under surveillance and monitoring for a time span long enough to assess their performances.
  • Full-scale demo sites, located in Drobeta Turnu Severin (Romania) and Coventry (UK). The panels will be installed on the test facades of those 2 buildings, which are currently in use. The sites will be monitored until the end of the project. This full scale demonstration tasks will then include the testing and validation of the BIM platform, Decision Support Software, Online Management tool and Iterative Design Methodology.


Small-scale site demo sites

The 2 Small-scale sites have been set to check performances, components, and installation procedures of the panels developed in the project before the installation at the 2 full-scale demo sites. Particularly, the panels manufactured by Hypucem have been installed and monitored at the Naples site, “Institute of Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials (IPCB-CNR)” in Fuorigrotta (Napoli, Italy), under the supervision of Hypucem. The panels manufactured by Techrete (2 kind of panels: PCM concrete for re-cladding, geopolymer concrete for over-cladding) have been tested in Dublin, in the small-scale demo site located within the Techrete’s yard under the supervision of Techrete and UCD. One more kind of panel (UHPC panel) is currently under development and will be installed on a new hut to be built at the Dublin site.

Test Façade, Naples, Italy

The test site is a 1-storey building. Its structure consists of a reinforced concrete frame with infill brick walls rendered with a lime-cement plaster.

The test façade in Naples

The side fence wall in Naples

The test site was surveyed before testing operations: structural tests on the infill brick walls, rebound tests on the concrete frame, and IR measures have been carried out on the building envelope before and after the installation of the panels.

Thermal survey on the test façade before the installation of panels

Thermal survey on the test façade after the installation of panels

A portion of the wall façade of the building canteen was partly over-cladded with the Hypucem panels in January 2017, whilst along a side wall fencing the court yard, the panels were erected with different anchoring techniques to test their effectiveness. Since then, the site is under surveillance by Hypucem. Besides, a monitoring system made of both sensors embedded in the panels and sensors fixed on the reference walls has been regularly operating. The panels will be dismantled in Summer 2018.

Installation of Hypucem panels – final over-cladding structure featuring also the project novel coating

Tests on the panels at the side wall

Test Huts, Dublin, Ireland
Four test huts were built in November 2016 at the Techrete site to carry out tests and monitoring tasks aimed at assessing the performances of the panels before their installation at the full-scale demo sites.
Three huts are aimed at assessing different configuration of PCM concrete panels suitable for re-cladding interventions. One hut is aimed at assessing over-cladding panels. The demonstrator huts were constructed as 2m3 cubes with a double patio door. The huts have flat roofs and a plywood flooring. The south facing wall is almost completely glass to maximize solar gain. There is insulation within the panel and on the ceiling and floor of the hut. There are 3 panels creating 3 solid walls to each hut: West, North, and East. The South facing wall is a double glass sliding patio door. The three PCM huts are shown in the picture below.

The demo huts in Dublin

The control hut (in the middle) is standard concrete panel construction. The other huts have different layers of 5% PCM embedded into the inner leaf and are labeled partial (65mm) and complete (125mm).

A forth demonstrator hut, with a geopolymer panel over-cladding a block wall hut, is currently under definition.

The huts have been fitted with proper sensors, instruments, and tools to check the energetic performances. They have been under monitoring since Autumn 2016. Besides, all huts were provided with heathers linked each-other so that they turn on/off in unison to have a fully reliable energy assessment.

Energy monitoring in the Dublin huts

Full-Scale Demo Buildings

Alice Voinescu Gymnasium School, Drobeta Turnu Severin, Romania

The demo site is a school built in 1963. It has a reinforced concrete frame structure with infill brick walls. It is externally finished with a cement rendering layer. The North East facade of the building shown below has been made available for the panel installation.

Test façade in Drobeta

The test façade has been thoroughly surveyed. A Tele Laser Scanning survey has been performed, together with a structural assessment of the walls and a detailed IR imaging with a thermal camera to understand the current energy behavior of the building. This detailed knowledge of the site has allowed the development of a proper engineering design, adequate to the existing structure of the building and consistent with the local and national standards. A monitoring system with sensors has been deployed in the building. After the retrofitting, it will allow an energy comparison before and after the installation.

IR Survey of the facade

The demo tasks will consist of over-cladding the ground level façade with the light Hypucem panels. They will be tested against similar commercial panels to be installed at first floor level. The installation is forecast for Summer 2018 and since then the site will be kept under monitoring to assess the energy performance until May 2019, therefore through a 4-season term.

Little Heath Primary School, Coventry, UK

The demo site is a 1-story school building built in the 60’s according to the CLASP method of building. CLASP, which stands for Consortium of Local Authorities Special Programme, was a construction method for buildings that foresaw a lightweight steel frame and an external cladding.

The South Façade has been made available to the IMPRESS to install the retrofitting panels.

Test façade in Coventry

The test façade has been extensively surveyed. A Tele Laser Scanning survey has been performed, together with a structural assessment, an asbestos survey, and a detailed IR imaging with a thermal camera to understand the current energy behavior. This detailed knowledge of the site, together with a large number of drawings retrieved from the local archive, has allowed the development of a proper engineering design. A monitoring system of sensors has been deployed in the building and is currently working to assess the façade conditions before the retrofitting.

TLS survey on the façade

Works are forecast to start in Summer 2018. The facade will be retrofitted with the project’s panels for both over-cladding and re-cladding purposes. The monitoring will continue until the end of project in May 2019.