American Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture
ISSN (Print): 2328-398X ISSN (Online): 2328-3998 Website: Editor-in-chief: Dr. Mohammad Arif Kamal
Open Access
Journal Browser
American Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture. 2021, 9(4), 121-133
DOI: 10.12691/ajcea-9-4-1
Open AccessArticle

Building Performance Simulation for Thermal Insulate Materials: Experimental Study

Bénédicte Touogam Touolak1, 2,

1School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Anhui University of Science and Technology, 168 Taifeng St, Huainan 232001, China

2National Advanced School of Engineering of Maroua / Cameroon, Department of Civil Engineering

Pub. Date: September 09, 2021

Cite this paper:
Bénédicte Touogam Touolak. Building Performance Simulation for Thermal Insulate Materials: Experimental Study. American Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture. 2021; 9(4):121-133. doi: 10.12691/ajcea-9-4-1


The development trend of building materials science is aimed at energy and resource conservation, as well as the creation of green composites. The search for more sustainable construction materials has led researchers to reconsider ancient techniques, such as earth-based construction materials (EBCMs). Design buildings respectful of comfort and well-being of all while seriously reducing energy used is the challenge to all players in industry construction. Fired clay brick have the advantage of being solid (high strength), inert (resistant to chemical and biological attacks), non-flammable, good thermal and acoustic regulators. This scientific work would achieve optimization of thermal and mechanical properties of fired clay brick through the incorporation of adjuvant (rice hulls) which contribute to the improvement of intrinsic properties. This research provide a solution for sustainable construction materials in Sahelian zones; the use of rice balls as adjuvant is to ameliorate the building energy performance. It has been concluded that the addition of adjuvants (rice hulls) barely influences fired clay brick conductivity, thermal and mechanical properties which range from 3.4 MPa to 5.2 MPa. Thermal conductivity and density are slightly reduced which leads to lighter materials and higher insulation values. The increasing of the heat let us think about the building energy performance. Rice husks are incorporate into the fired clay brick to create pores. Specimens are made with adjuvants using different size cuts of 1000-500 microns, 500-315 microns and 315-125 microns in proportions of 0%, 2%, 4%, 6%, 8% and 10%. The specimens are then fired at respective temperature of 900°C, 1000°C and 1100°C.

building energy performance thermophysical properties thermal insulation material efficiency sustainable construction materials

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


Figure of 15


[1]  Touogam Touolak, B., (March 2020) Study of Clay Materials from North Cameroon Published: March 2020 Print Length: 84 pages, Language: English Paperback | Ebook.
[2]  Touolak, B. and Nya, F. (2014). More Value of Maroua Clay in the Formulation of Ceramic Products (Terracotta, Earthenware, Stoneware, Porcelain). Advances in Materials Physics and Chemistry, 4, 284-299.
[3]  Touogam Touolak, B., Tchangnwa Nya, F., Ngale Haulin, E., Yanne, E. and Ndjaka, J.M. (2015), Compressed Bricks Made of Makabaye and Pitoaré Clay: Implementation and Production. Advances in Materials Physics and Chemistry, 5, 191-204.
[4]  E. Ngale Haulin, F. Tchangnwa Nya and B. Touogam Touolak, November (2014), Karal Clay in the Far North Cameroon: Study on Behavioural Floor Structures, International Journal of Engineering Research and Development e-ISSN: 2278-067X, p-ISSN: 2278-800X, Volume 10, Issue 11 (November 2014), PP.29-40.
[5]  E. Ngale Haulin, F. Tchangnwa Nya, C. Kabe, and Touogam Touolak B., (2014) “Physic-Mechanical Characterisation of Materials Clay Mayo-Tsanaga in the Far North Region of Cameroon.” American Journal of Materials Science and Engineering, vol. 2, no. 4 (2014): 68-72.
[6]  F. Tchangnwa Nya, E. Ngale Haulin, E. Yanne, C. Kabe, B. Touogam Touolak, J. M. Ndjaka (2015), Clay makabaye in the far north Cameroon: study chemical and mineralogical depth, International Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 4 (1) (2015) 109-115.
[7]  Tardy Y (1993) Pétrologie des Latérites et des Sols Tropicaux. Ed. Masson, Paris, pp. 459. Circular No. 002/CAB/PM of 12 March 2007 on the use of local materials in the construction of public buildings up R + 1.
[8]  Richa Jagatramka, Raunak Prasad, Ashwani Kumar, Satish Pipralia, (2021), Efficiency of materials in construction of buildings in rural areas of Chhattisgarh, Materials Today: Proceedings, 2021, ISSN 2214-7853.
[9]  João Luís Parracha, José Lima, Maria Teresa Freire, Micael Ferreira, Paulina Faria, (2021), Vernacular earthen buildings from Leiria, Portugal – Architectural survey towards their conservation and retrofitting, Journal of Building Engineering, Volume 35, 2021, 102115, ISSN 2352-7102.
[10]  P. Muñoz, V. Letelier, L. Muñoz, D. Zamora, (2021), Assessment of technological performance of extruded earth block by adding bottom biomass ashes, Journal of Building Engineering, Volume 39, 2021, 102278, ISSN 2352-7102.
[11]  Sen, B., Saha, A. & Saha, R. (2021), Experimental investigation on assessment of lateral strength of earthen wall blocks in adobe houses. Asian J Civ Eng. 22, 727-749 (2021).
[12]  Ibanez, Q. A. (2017). Performance Analysis of Wooden Reinforcement in Rammed Earth Walls. Periodica Polytechnica Civil Engineering, 61(4), 882-888.
[13]  Nabouch, R., Bui, QB. Perrotin, P., & Ple, O. (2018). Shear parameters of rammed earth material: results from different approaches. Advances in Materials Science and Engineering. Hindawi, 2018: 8214604.
[14]  Valery Lesovik, Aleksandr Volodchenko, Roman Fediuk, Y.H. Mugahed Amran, Roman Timokhin, (2021), Enhancing performances of clay masonry materials based on nanosize mine waste, Construction and Building Materials, Volume 269, 2021, 121333, ISSN 0950-0618.
[15]  Doum, J.M., Fuh, G.C., Fadil-Djenabou, S. et al. (2020), Characterization and potential application of gleysols and ferralsols for ceramic industry: a case study from Dimako (Eastern Cameroon). Arab J Geosci 13, 1074 (2020).
[16]  Zhang Yong, Yuan Li-juan, Zhang Qian, Sun Xiao-yan, (2020), Multi-objective optimization of building energy performance using a particle swarm optimizer with less control parameters, Journal of Building Engineering, Volume 32, 2020, 101505, ISSN 2352-7102.
[17]  P. Muñoz, V. Letelier, L. Muñoz, M.A. Bustamante, (2020), Adobe bricks reinforced with paper & pulp wastes improving thermal and mechanical properties, Construction and Building Materials, Volume 254, 2020, 119314, ISSN 0950-0618.
[18]  Agostino Walter Bruno, Domenico Gallipoli, Céline Perlot, Hatem Kallel, (2020), Thermal performance of fired and unfired earth bricks walls, Journal of Building Engineering, Volume 28, 2020, 101017, ISSN 2352-7102.
[19]  Agostino Walter Bruno, Domenico Gallipoli, Céline Perlot-Bascoules, Joao Mendes. (2017) Effect of Stabilization on Mechanical Properties, Moisture Buffering and Water Durability of Hyper compacted Earth. Construction and Building Materials, Elsevier, 2017, 149, pp.733-740.
[20]  Niccolò Aste, Adriana Angelotti, Michela Buzzetti, (2009). The influence of the external walls thermal inertia on the energy performance of well insulated buildings, Energy and Buildings, Volume 41, Issue 11, 2009, Pages 1181-1187, ISSN 0378-7788.
[21]  Cuce, E., Cuce, PM., & Besir, AB., (2020). Improving thermal resistance of lightweight concrete hollow bricks: A numerical optimisation research for a typical masonry unit. Journal of Energy Systems 2020, 4(3), 121-144.
[22]  Mouatassim Charai, Haitham Sghiouri, Ahmed Mezrhab, Mustapha Karkri, Kamal Elhammouti, Hicham Nasri, (2020), Thermal Performance and Characterization of a Sawdust-Clay Composite Material, Procedia Manufacturing, Volume 46, 2020, Pages 690-697, ISSN 2351-9789.
[23]  Iqbal, Saqib, Jianwei Tang, Gulfam Raza, Izzat I. Cheema, Mohsin A. Kazmi, Zirui Li, Baoming Wang, and Yong Liu. (2021). “Experimental and Numerical Analyses of Thermal Storage Tile-Bricks for Efficient Thermal Management of Buildings” Buildings 11, no. 8: 357.
[24]  M. Ozel, Effect of insulation location on dynamic heat-transfer characteristics of building external walls and optimization of insulation thickness, Energy Build, 72 (2014), pp. 288-295.
[25]  J. Tinsley, S. Pavía, Thermal performance and fitness of glacial till for rammed earth construction J Build Eng, 24 (2019), pp. 2352-7102.
[26]  D. Allinson, M. Hall, Hygrothermal analysis of a stabilized rammed earth test building in the UK Energy Build, 42 (6) (2010), pp. 845-852.
[27]  L. Liu, H. Li, A. Lazzaretto, G. Manente, C. Tong, Q. Liu, N.P. Li, The development history and prospects of biomass-based insulation materials for buildings Renew Sustain Energy Rev, 69 (2017), pp. 912-932.
[28]  R. Walker, S. Pavía, Thermal performance of a selection of insulation materials suitable for historic buildings Build Environ, 94 (2015), pp. 155-165.
[29]  A. Audenaert, S.H. De Cleyn, M. Buyle, LCA of low-energy flats using the Eco-indicator 99 method: impact of insulation materials Energy Build, 47 (2012), pp. 68-73.
[30]  D.D. Tingley, A. Hathway, B. Davison, An environmental impact comparison of external wall insulation types Build Environ, 85 (2015), pp. 182-189.
[31]  N. Pargana, M.D. Pinheiro, J.D. Silvestre, J. de Brito, Comparative environmental life cycle assessment of thermal insulation materials of buildings Energy Build, 82 (2014), pp. 466-481.
[32]  G. Finnveden, M.Z. Hauschild, T. Ekvall, J. Guinée, R. Heijungs, S. Hellweg, et al. Recent developments in life cycle assessment J Environ Manag, 91 (1) (2009), pp. 1-21.
[33]  D. Kumar, M. Alam, P.X.W. Zou, J.G. Sanjayan, R.A. Memon, Comparative analysis of building insulation material properties and performance, Renew Sustain Energy Rev (2020), p. 131.
[34]  D. Anastaselos, E. Giama, A.M. Papadopoulos, An assessment tool for the energy, economic and environmental evaluation of thermal insulation solutions, Energy Build, 41 (11) (2009), pp. 1165-1171.
[35]  D. Coakley, P. Raftery, M. Keane, A review of methods to match building energy simulation models to measured data, Renew Sustain Energy Rev, 37 (2014), pp. 123-141.
[36]  C. Buratti, E. Moretti, E. Belloni, F. Cotana, Unsteady simulation of energy performance and thermal comfort in non-residential buildings, Build Environ, 59 (2013), pp. 482-491.
[37]  X. Li, J. Wen, Review of building energy modelling for control and operation, Renew Sustain Energy Rev, 37 (2014), pp. 517-537.
[38]  B. Durakovic, G. Yildiz, M.E. Yahia, Comparative performance evaluation of conventional and renewable thermal insulation materials used in building, Tech Gaz, 27 (1) (2020), pp. 283-289.
[39]  K. Çomaklı, B. Yüksel, Environmental impact of thermal insulation thickness in buildings, Appl Therm Eng, 24 (2004), pp. 933-940.
[40]  L. Aditya, T.M.I. Mahlia, B. Rismanchi, M.H. Hasan, H.S.C. Metselaar, O. Muraza, H.B. AditiyA review on insulation materials for energy conservation in buildings, Renew Sustain Energy Rev, 73 (2017), pp. 1352-1365.
[41]  M.S. Al-Homoud, Performance characteristics and practical applications of common building thermal insulation materials, Build Environ, 40 (3) (2005), pp. 353-366.
[42]  Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction International energy agency. Global status Report United Nations Environnent Programme (2018) No: 978-92-807-3729-5.
[43]  Anjum, F., Naz, M.Y., Ghaffar, A. et al. (2021), Study of thermophysical properties of moist and salt crystallized fired clay bricks for energy saving perspective. J Therm Anal Calorim (2021).
[44]  Aydin T. Development of porous lightweight clay bricks using a replication method. J Aust Ceram Soc. 2018; 54: 169-75.
[45]  Roxy MS, Sumithranand VB, Renuka G. Variability of soil moisture and its relationship with surface albedo and soil thermal diffusivity at Astronomical Observatory, Thiruvananthapuram, South Kerala. J Earth Syst Sci. 2010; 119: 507-17.
[46]  Hendrickx R, Roels S, De Clercq H, Vanhellemont Y. Experimental determination of liquid transport properties on salt-contaminated porous stone. In: 12th international conference on durability of building materials components, Porto, 12-15. April 2011. 2011; 125-32.
[47]  Cultrone G, Sebastian E, Elert K, de la Torre MJ, Cazalla O, Rodriguez-Navarro C. Influence of mineralogy and firing temperature on the porosity of bricks. J Eur Ceram Soc. 2004; 24: 547-64.
[48]  Baer N, Livingstone F, editors. Conservation of historic brick structures. New York: Routledge; 2015.
[49]  Šveda M, Janík B, Pavlík V, Štefunková Z, Pavlendová G, Šín P, et al. Pore-size distribution effects on the thermal conductivity of the fired clay body from lightweight bricks. J Build Phys. 2017; 41: 78-94.
[50]  Gualtieri ML, Gualtieri AF, Gagliardi S, Ruffini P, Ferrari R, Hanuskova M. Thermal conductivity of fired clays: effects of mineralogical and physical properties of the raw materials. Appl Clay Sci. 2010; 49:269-75.
[51]  Abu-Hamdeh NH, Reeder RC. Soil thermal conductivity: effects of density, moisture, salt concentration, and organic Matter. Soil Sci Soc Am J. 2000; 64:1285-90.
[52]  Mallidi SR. Application of mercury intrusion porosimetry on clay bricks to assess freeze-thaw durability—a bibliography with abstracts. Constr Build Mater. 1996; 10: 461-5.
[53]  Lu G, Lu GQ, Xiao ZM. Mechanical properties of porous materials. J Porous Mater. 1999; 6: 359-68.
[54]  Maage M. Frost resistance and pore size distribution in bricks. Matériaux Constr. 1984; 17: 345-50.
[55]  A.B Constatinos, GG Athina, Elena G., M. Sevastianos, M. Yiannis, PL Dimitris, “European stock residential buildings, energy consumption, emissions and potential energy savings,” Buildings and Environment, Vol.42, p. 1298-1314, 2007.
[56]  T. Holtzapffef, Clay Minerals: preparation, diffractometric analysis and determination, Geological Society of North, 1985: 12.
[57]  G. Alliprandi, Refractory Materials and Techniques-I Ceramic Elements Céramurgie and Technology Publishing Septima Paris, 1979 237-250.
[58]  Anjum F, Naz MY, Ghaffar A, Shukrullah S, AbdEl-Salam NM, Ibrahim KA. Moisture and temperature response of structural and lithology based thermophysical and energy saving traits of limestone using experimental and least-square fitting methods. J Therm Sci. 2021; 30: 551-61.
[59]  Bouguerra A, Ait-Mokhtar A, Amiri O, Diop MB. Measurement of thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity and heat capacity of highly porous building material using transient plane source technique. Int Commun Heat Mass Transf. 2001; 28: 1065-78.
[60]  Anjum F, Ghaffar A, Jamil Y, Majeed MI. Effect of sintering temperature on mechanical and thermophysical properties of biowaste-added fired clay bricks. J Mater Cycles Waste Manag. 2019; 21: 503-24.
[61]  J. Yvon, P. Garin, Delon JF, JM Cases, Valuation of kaolinitic clays Charente in natural rubber, Bull. Mineral., 1982,
[62]  D. Njopwouo, Mineralogy of the fine fraction of clay materials Misséllélé and Mussaka (Cameroon) used in the building of natural rubber, Ann. Fac. Sci. Chim., 1988, 1 (2).
[63]  S. E. Gustafsson, Transient plane source techniques for thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity measurements of solid materials, Review of scientific instruments, 62(3). (1991). 797-804.
[64]  A. Uchechukwu Elinwa, Effect of addition of sawdust ash to clay bricks, Civil engineering and environmental systems, 23(4) (2006) 263-270, 2006.
[65]  F. Pacheco-Torgal, P. B. Lourenc̦o, J. Labrincha, P. Chindaprasirt, S. Kumar, Eco-efficient masonry bricks and blocks: Design, properties and durability. Woodhead Publishing, 2014
[66]  A. Laborel-Preneron, J.-E. Aubert, C. Magniont, C. Tribout, A. J. C. Bertron, and B. Materials, Plant aggregates and fibers in earth construction materials: A review, Construction and Building Materials, 111 (2016) 719-734.
[67]  Z. Zhang, Y. C. Wong, A. Arulrajah, A. Horpibulsuk, A review of studies on bricks using alternative materials and approaches, Construction and Building Materials, 188 (2018) 1101-1118.
[68]  IEA. (2019, 17.05). Energy Efficiency: Buildings the global exchange for energy efficiency policies, data and analysis. Available:
[69]  Pavlík Z, Fiala L, Vejmelková E. Application of effective media theory for determination of thermal properties of hollow bricks as a function of moisture content. Int J Thermophys. 2013; 34: 894-908.
[70]  Kosior-Kazberuk M, Ezerskiy V. Method of prediction of thermal conductivity coefficient of wall materials containing Salts. J Civ Eng Manag. 2011; 17:108-14.
[71]  Balaji NC, Mani M, Reddy BVV. Discerning heat transfer in building materials. Energy Procedia. 2014; 54: 654-68.
[72]  Koniorczyk M, Gawin D. Heat and moisture transport in porous building materials containing salt. J Build Phys. 2008; 31:279-300.
[73]  Stryszewska T. The change in selected properties of ceramic materials obtained from ceramic brick treated by the sulphate and chloride ions. Constr Build Mater. 2014; 66:268-74.
[74]  Ahl J, Lu X. Studying of salt diffusion behaviour in brick. J Mater Sci. 2007; 42: 2512-20.
[75]  Todorović J, Janssen H. The impact of salt pore clogging on the hygric properties of bricks. Constr Build Mater. 2018; 164:850-63.
[76]  Benavente D, Linares-Fernández L, Cultrone G, Sebastián E. Influence of microstructure on the resistance to salt crystallisation damage in brick. Mater Struct. 2006; 39:105-13.
[77]  Demirboǧa R. Influence of mineral admixtures on thermal conductivity and compressive strength of mortar. Energy Build. 2003; 35:189-92.
[78]  Abid M, Hammerschmidt U, Köhler J. Thermophysical properties of a fluid-saturated sandstone. Int J Therm Sci. 2014; 76:43-50.
[79]  Mustapha Mahdaoui, Said Hamdaoui, Abdelouahad Ait Msaad, Tarik Kousksou, Tarik El Rhafiki, Abdelmajid Jamil, Mohammed Ahachad, Building bricks with phase change material (PCM): Thermal performances, Construction and Building Materials, Volume 269, 2021, 121315, ISSN 0950-0618.
[80]  Pinar Mert Cuce, Erdem Cuce & K. Sudhakar, (2021), A systematic review of thermal insulation performance of hollow bricks as a function of hollow geometry, International Journal of Ambient Energy.
[81]  Padala, S.K., Deshpande, S.J. & Bhattacharjee, B. Assessment of setting characteristics, water absorption, thermal performance and compressive strength of energy-efficient phase change material (PCM)–ashcrete blocks. Sādhanā 46, 103 (2021).
[82]  Sakulich A.R and Bentz D.P 2012 increasing the service life of bridge decks by incorporating phase-change materials to reduce freeze–thaw cycles. J. Mater. Civ. Eng. 24: 1034-1042.
[83]  Ryms M, Lewandowski W M, Klugmann-Radziemska E, Denda H and Wcisło P, (2015), the use of lightweight aggregate saturated with PCM as a temperature stabilizing material for road surfaces. Appl. Therm. Eng. 81: 313-324.
[84]  Zhou X, Kastiukas G, Lantieri C, Tataranni P, Vaiana R and Sangiorgi C. (2018), Mechanical and thermal performance of macro-encapsulated phase change materials for pavement application. Materials 11: 1-18.
[85]  Choi W C, Khil B S, Chae Y S, Liang Q B and Yun H Do, (2014), Feasibility of using phase change materials to control the heat of hydration in massive concrete structures. Sci. World J. 2014.
[86]  Kheradmand M, Pacheco-Torgal F and Azenha M. (2018), Thermal performance of resource-efficient geopolymeric mortars containing phase change materials. Open Constr. Build. Technol. J. 12: 217-233.
[87]  Cahill, 1992 DG Cahill, SK Watson, RO Pohl, Lower limit to the thermal conductivity of disordered crystals, Physical Review B 46 (10) pp. 6131-6139.
[88]  Knacke 1976 O. Knacke, O. and K. Kubaschewski Hesselmann, Thermal chemical properties of inorganic substances (2nd Ed.). Springer-Verlag, Berlin (1976).
[89]  BIS 1992 Methods of tests of burnt clay building bricks: part 2. Determination of water absorption. IS 3495-4, Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi, India.
[90]  Bhattacharjee B and Krishnamoorthy S. (2004), Permeable porosity and thermal conductivity of construction materials. J. Mater. Civ. Eng. 16: 322-330.
[91]  Skauge 1983 Skauge A., N. Fuller, LG Hepler, specific heats of clay minerals: Sodium and calcium kaolinites, sodium and calcium montmorillonite, illite, and attapulgire, Thermochimica Acta 61 (1983), pp. 139-145.
[92]  Choktaweekarn P, Saengsoy W and Tangtermsirikul S. (2009), A model for predicting the specific heat capacity of fly-ash concrete. ScienceAsia 35: 178.
[93]  BIS 1978 Guide for heat insulation of nonindustrial buildings. IS 3792, Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi.
[94]  Clauser 1995 C. Clauser, E. Huenges, Thermal conductivity of rocks and minerals, TJ Ahrens, Rock Physics and Phase Relations: Handbook of Physical Constants has. Washington, DC: American Geophysical Union (1995), pp. 105.
[95]  Holman, 1986 JP Holman, Heat Transfer, International student edition (1986).
[96]  Nadezhda S. Bondareva, Mohsen Sheikholeslami, Mikhail A. Sheremet, The influence of external temperature and convective heat exchange with an environment on heat transfer inside phase change material embedded brick, Journal of Energy Storage, Volume 33, 2021, 102087, ISSN 2352-152X.
[97]  Roberts 2000 AP Roberts, EJ Garboczi, Elastic properties of porous ceramics model, Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 83 (12) pp 3041-48 (2000).
[98]  Shaik Saboor, Arumugam Chelliah, Kiran Kumar Gorantla, Ki-Hyun Kim, S.-H. Lee, Zang Ho Shon, Richard J.C. Brown, Strategic design of wall envelopes for the enhancement of building thermal performance at reduced air-conditioning costs, Environmental Research, Volume 193, 2021, 110577, ISSN 0013-9351.