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Simulation of the Hygrothermal Behavior of a Building Envelope Based on Phase Change Materials and a Bio-Based Concrete

Dongxia Wu1, Mourad Rahim1, Wendong Li1, Mohammed El Ganaoui1,*, Rachid Bennacer2

1 University of Lorraine, LERMAB, IUT H Poincaré de Longwy, Longwy, 54400, France
2 University of Paris-Saclay, ENS Paris-Saclay, CNRS, LMT, Gif-sur-Yvette, 91190, France

* Corresponding Author: Mohammed El Ganaoui. Email:

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Materials and Energy an Updated Image for 2021)

Fluid Dynamics & Materials Processing 2022, 18(5), 1483-1494.


Phase Change Materials (PCMs) have high thermal inertia, and hemp concrete (HC), a bio-based concrete, has strong hygroscopic behavior. In previous studies, PCM has been extensively combined with many materials, however, most of these studies focused on thermal properties while neglecting hygroscopic aspects. In this study, the two materials have been combined into a building envelope and the related hygrothermal properties have been studied. In particular, numerical studies have been performed to investigate the temperature and relative humidity behavior inside the HC, and the effect of adding PCM on the hygrothermal behavior of the HC. The results show that there is a high coupling between temperature and relative humidity inside the HC, since the relative humidity changes on the second and third days are different, with values of 8% and 4%, respectively. Also, the variation of relative humidity with temperature indicates the dominant influence of temperature on relative humidity variation. With the presence of PCM, the temperature variation inside the HC is damped due to the high thermal inertia of the PCM, which also leads to suppression of moisture evaporation and thus damping of relative humidity variation. On the second and third days, the temperature changes at the central position are reduced by 4.6% and 5.1%, compared to the quarter position. For the relative humidity change, the reductions are 5.3% and 5.4% on the second and third days, respectively. Therefore, PCM, with high thermal inertia, acts as a temperature damper and has the potential to increase the moisture buffering capacity inside the HC. This makes it possible for such a combined envelope to have both thermal and hygric inertia.


Cite This Article

Wu, D., Rahim, M., Li, W., Ganaoui, M. E., Bennacer, R. (2022). Simulation of the Hygrothermal Behavior of a Building Envelope Based on Phase Change Materials and a Bio-Based Concrete. FDMP-Fluid Dynamics & Materials Processing, 18(5), 1483–1494.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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