Numerical modeling of thermal behaviors of active multi-layer living wall

Mohamed El Mankibi, Zhiqiang Zhai*, Saleh Nasser Al-Saadi, Amine Zoubir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The paper numerically models the thermal behaviors of multi-layer living wall. The aim of this study is to identify the most efficient wall configuration according to indoor and outdoor climate conditions by using a new simulation tool developed using Matlab and Simulink. The simulation tool is created to evaluate both conventional façade systems and those integrated with phase change materials (PCMs). The model is validated using experimental results from the literature for the multi-layer PCM-enhanced wall. The ventilated cavity wall model is also verified using TRNSYS "TYPE36", a well validated and respected model for simulating thermal storage wall. The location within the wall assembly, the orientation and the optimal thermal properties of PCM's are then analyzed using the tool. The validated multi-layer wall system is further integrated with a full-scale building model with a genetic algorithm optimization method. The results show that an optimized active multi-layer living wall system can allow 27-38% of reduced heating energy consumption while avoiding thermal discomfort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-110
Number of pages15
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Air cavity
  • GA-based optimization
  • Multi-layer wall
  • Phase change material

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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