A two-storey rammed earth building was built on the Thurgoona Campus of Charles Sturt University in Albury-Wodonga, Australia, in 1999. The building is novel both in the use of materials and equipment for heating and cooling. The climate at Wodonga can be characterised as hot and dry, so the challenge of providing comfortable working conditions with minimal energy consumption is considerable. This paper describes an evaluation of the building in terms of measured thermal comfort and energy use. Measurements, confirmed by a staff questionnaire, found the building was too hot in summer and too cold in winter. Comparison with another office building in the same location found that the rammed earth building used more energy for heating. The thermal performance of three offices in the rammed earth building was investigated further using simulation to predict office temperatures. Comparisons were made with measurements made over typical weeks in summer and winter. The validated model has been used to investigate key building parameters and strategies to improve the thermal comfort and reduce energy consumption in the building. Simulations showed that improvements could be made by design and control strategy changes.
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