Thermal performance of air-conditioned office buildings constructed with inclined walls in different climates in China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

13 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-57
Journal / PublicationApplied Energy
Online published13 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


An inverted pyramidal building is built with inclined walls instead of the traditional vertical façades. In terms of thermal performance, an inverted pyramidal building can provide a self-shading effect against the beam solar radiation, leading to a reduction in solar heat gain as well as building cooling load. On the other hand, the heating requirement of an inverted pyramidal building will be increased in winter. There is a strong dependency of building performance on the climatic condition. In this study, a generic air-conditioned office building with inclined walls set at different inclination angles was modeled using a building energy simulation program. Computer simulations were run to assess the thermal performance of the building constructed with inclined walls under different climatic conditions in three modern cities in China-Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. The results reveal that for the building cases with inclined walls set at different inclination angles in subtropical Hong Kong, the saving in annual cooling load ranges from 0.6% to 10.9% and can outweigh the increase in heating load. Moreover, an inclination angle of 30° was found as a better design option for an inverted pyramidal building with symmetrical layout design under the climatic condition in Hong Kong. For the other two cities: Shanghai and Beijing, the saving in cooling load due to self-shading effect cannot offset the increased heating requirement. Design and construction of an inverted pyramidal building is not encouraged in these two cities. The details of the findings are reported and discussed in this paper.

Research Area(s)

  • Building energy simulations, EnergyPlus, Inclined wall, Self shading