Natural resources such as daylight and sunlight are highly appreciated in countries with prevailing overcast skies. Taking advantage of this scarce resource contributes to saving energy on arti¿cial lighting. In contrast to northern, southern European cities are distinguished by a large number of days with direct sunlight caused by a propitious climate condition. While it is a positive issue in terms of energy availability, the abundance of it can be counterproductive if management measures are not taken. Apart from the thermal consequences, lighting penetration into buildings causes a great contrast between inside and outside. This is especially critical when the visual system does not have enough time to adapt, as happens at entrance areas. The aim of this study is to analyze the light contrast between these areas and the urban outside in sunny conditions. To attain this objective, light data from ¿ve entrance spaces and their contiguous streets were analyzed and measured. The results were divided into three zones in the visual scene, showing an increasing contrast from top to bottom of the visual ¿eld. It may be concluded that interventions applied to urban areas and building pavements can improve visual adaptation in the transition zone.
This publication presents the importance that the embodied energy of the material of the support of a photovoltaic installation can have in relation to the energy produced and, therefore, in relation to other efficiency factors in the design of photovoltaic installations. The importance of these costs cannot be neglected in the overall of the system’s efficiency.
The monitoring of photovoltaic panels after a few years of operation under real conditions demonstrates that a good integration of photovoltaic systems in constructive elements, even if their inclination or orientation is not the recommended one, may be better than just overlapping them in an optimal position. The embodied energy of the added constructive materials used when the system is not integrated may be more than the loss of production as a result of a non optimal photovoltaic modules disposal.
This paper illustrates the potential that architectural design applied to photovoltaic modules integration could represent, based on the experience of the photovoltaic pergola built in 2004 at the Forum esplanade in Barcelona. The ultimate goal is to consider the architectural design as another and important parameter when sizing photovoltaic systems, together with the orientation, tilt, temperature and other parameters regularly used.
Functional fatigue affects NiTi wires as accumulation of residual strain and reduction of transformation stress. Here we investigate the effects of moderate temperature thermo-mechanical treatments to reduce the accumulated fatigue effects
Functional fatigue affecting superelastic
behaviour of NiTi wires includes an accumulation of residual
strain and an uneven decrement of transformation stress on
cycling. Although this evolution is observed to diminish
asymptotically, it represents an important loss in the
maximum recoverable strain level and in the hysteretic
dissipative capacity. In this work, the effect of moderate
temperature aging treatment on the functionally degraded
material properties was studied with two experimental
setups. Wire samples of 0.5 and 2.46 mm diameter were
subjected to different cycling programs intercalated by
aging treatments of different durations up to 48 h at
100ºC. Results show that important levels of recovery on
the residual strains and the transformation stresses were
attained after the aging treatments. The analysis indicates
that the characteristic of the recovered cycle are rather
independent from the treatment duration and from the reached
condition before each treatment
Isalgue, A.; Auguet, C.; Concustell, A.; Cinca, N. European Symposium on Martensitic Transformations DOI: 10.1051/matecconf/20153303020 Presentation's date: 2015-09-15 Presentation of work at congresses
In this work, we explore the consequences of strain aging NiTi wires (2.46 mm diameter) at moderate temperatures (100ºC). The changes of the stress-strain behaviour on aged, as compared with non-aged wires, with comparatively smaller changes in thermal transformation, indicate the existence of relevant strain fields on these wires. The fact that thinner wires perform differently on aging suggests the possibility of radial dependence of the strain fields. Measurements were performed at CELLS-ALBA synchrotron, BL04 Materials Science Powder Diffraction beam-line. X-ray micro-diffraction for near 10 (mm)2 (FWHM) zones on cross-sections of samples was done, aiming to detect residual strains as function of radial position on the wire. The results show very small changes of diffraction peaks position, with more relevant variations near the surface. This might be interpreted as a high sensitivity of the transformation on stresses enabling defined paths of transformation.
Shape memory alloys are considered smart materials because of their singular thermo-mechanical properties, due to a thermoelastic martensitic transformation, enabling possible uses as actuators (because of mechanical recovery induced from temperature changes) and as dampers (because of hysteresis). NiTi wires for dampers in Civil Engineering had been characterized and tested in facilities. Guaranteed performance needs to know behavior during fatigue life and knowledge of effects in the event of extreme conditions, as eventual overstraining. In this work, we check the possibilities to absorb mechanical energy on the fatigue life depending on stress level and explore the consequences of overstraining the material during installation, the possibilities of partial healing by moderate heating, and some effects of over-stressing the wires. The mechanical energy absorbed by the unit weight of damper wire might be very high during its lifetime if maximum stresses remain relatively low allowing high fatigue life. We show also some results on NiTi wire working as an actuator. The lifetime mechanical work performed by an actuator wire can be very high if applied stresses are limited. The overstraining produces relevant "residual" deformation, which can be to some extent reversed by moderate heating at zero stress. The reason for the observed characteristics seems to be that when external high stresses are applied to an NiTi wire, it undergoes some plastic deformation, leaving a distribution of internal stresses that alter the shape and position of the macroscopic stress-strain transformation path.
Shape memory alloys are considered smart materials because of their singular thermo-mechanical properties, due to a thermoelastic martensitic transformation, enabling possible uses as actuators (because of mechanical recovery induced from temperature changes) and as dampers (because of hysteresis). NiTi wires for dampers in Civil Engineering had been characterized and tested in facilities. Guaranteed performance needs to know behavior during fatigue life and knowledge of effects in the event of extreme conditions, as eventual overstraining. In this work, we check the possibilities to absorb mechanical energy on the fatigue life depending on stress level and explore the consequences of overstraining the material during installation, the possibilities of partial healing by moderate heating, and some effects of over-stressing the wires. The mechanical energy absorbed by the unit weight of damper wire might be very high during its lifetime if maximum stresses remain relatively low allowing high fatigue life. We show also some results on NiTi wire working as an actuator. The lifetime mechanical work performed by an actuator wire can be very high if applied stresses are limited. The overstraining produces relevant
Isalgue, A.; Cinca, N.; Guilemany, J.M.; Concustell, A.; Garcia-Cano, I.; Auguet, C. Congress of the Spanish Synchrotron User Association (AUSE) and the ALBA User's Meeting p. 25-26 Presentation's date: 2015-06 Presentation of work at congresses
In this study, time resolved X-ray scattering using a synchrotron X-ray source has been used to gain insight of time-temperature atomic ordering of an intermetallic Fe40Al ball-milled powder with the aim to estrapolate these results as an explanation of rapid ordering processes occurring during thermal spray coating deposition.
The SMA was studied for their macroscopic application in damping for civil engineering. The study is a synthesis and includes an outline of the models required for the SMA simulation and some case studies using the finite element analysis methods. This work is an overview that focuses in the mitigation of the oscillations in structures induced by earthquakes, and for a reduction of the oscillations amplitude in stayed cables under the action of rain, wind or traffic. The analysis needs the required conditions for each application determining the working conditions. The study includes the number of working cycles, the temperature effects and the cooling actions and, for instance, the action of the cycling frequency. The main target relates the appropriateness of the SMA for each purpose, and the suitability of the SMA device is always experimentally guaranteed. Furthermore, the applicability of the obtained results for SMA and the practical behavior of the SMA dampers were studied in international facilities. The paper includes appropriate suggestions for a correct preparation of the SMA dampers. This work outlines the effects of stress and temperature aging in NiTi, describes the particular structural effects between 18R and 6R, introduces a first attempt in the dynamic properties of the CuAlBe single crystals and summarizes some recent suggestions for damping using SMA
The absence of solar radiation at night gives good opportunities for passive cooling of buildings in hot climates with frequently clear sky. However the possibility of also taking advantage of a clear sky cooling potential during the day is seldom considered.
Thermal radiation to sky can be used to cool. A body surface emits thermal radiation (far IR) and if direct solar radiation (visible and near IR) and thermal radiation coming from other surfaces do not reach it, there would be a net heat flux out.
A previous prototype was done with a simple element. That experiment confirmed that was possible to reduce around two degrees the interior temperature of the test unit exposed to sun light in July.
In this work a new design based on the first one is developed to adapt it to architectonical needs in order to reduce interior spaces temperature in hot climates.
The aim of this design is focused to so an architectonical adaptation is needed. Modular and replicable units could be a solution that permits to fulfill large flat surfaces as roofs or other architectonic elements. In this occasion, measurements were taken from a modular model with a geometrical design that avoided de direct solar incidence. These measurements were taken by a pyrgeometer during two weeks of August and results were similar to the previous experiment.
CuAlAg alloys were syntetized and thermal treatment was obtained to have martensitic transformation. Alloys with high transformation temperature were obtained, but the alloys showed precipitation and formation of equilibrium phases after few thermal cycles
Metallic glasses produced with very high quenching rates contain large amounts of free volume and frozen-in stresses. Physical aging or structural relaxation drives glassy systems towards more relaxed states, releasing free volume and internal local stresses . It is well-known that structural relaxation induces significant changes in metallic glass properties, for instance changes from ductile to brittle fracture behaviour or in the corrosion resistance . For many metallic glasses, structural relaxation well below the glass transition is negligible for laboratory experimental times but it is clearly noticed in the change of properties several months after production. Some strategies for ductilization of metallic glasses involve mechanical deformation, making the glass more prone to physical aging even at relatively low temperatures. It is then technologically important to control the effects and mechanisms of physical aging. The dynamics of the glass-forming alloys are generally understood as driven by an ¿-relaxation process with characteristic times of 100s near glass transition and faster secondary relaxations. Below glass transition the characteristic time of the ¿-relaxation increases orders of magnitude, and the structural changes at these temperatures are generally attributed to the presence of secondary processes. In the work presented here we induced physical aging by annealing and we studied its effect on the mechanical relaxation times of Mg65Cu25Y10, Cu46Zr46Al8, Pd77.5Cu16Si6.5 and Fe-based metallic glasses. The analysis was performed for different glassy states, more or less relaxed. Mechanical spectroscopy, calorimetry and resistivity measurements allowed us to determine the dynamics of the different states and the characteristic times of structural. At low temperatures the mechanical relaxation of the glass is affected by the physical aging, but the latter is governed by a much longer time-scale. At higher temperatures, the structural relaxation is coupled with the main mechanical relaxation process as already shown in previous works .
Se trata la cinética del ordenamiento del intermetalico FeAl por medio de difraccion de R-X a diversas temperaturas, en función del tiempo, con difractogramas resueltos temporalmente en el sincrotron ALBA
Today, the building sector is one of the greatest energy consumers of the world. Therefore, it is impor-tant that designers think about strategies to save energy at the different stages of the building process,including during its life. Considering that a great deal of energy will be spent in artificial lighting, animprovement in the performance in front of light of the architecture itself could lead to a better vision ofthe spaces, which depends on the quantity and quality of light available and on the architectural char-acteristics as well. One of the most influential aspects is the colour of the space. Here, a case study ispresented in which three coloured spaces were assessed by observers under different lighting condi-tions. Luminance and illuminance measurements were taken to compare these values with the votesgiven. The results query the correlation between measured values and luminosity of three-dimensionalspaces. As a consequence, the choice of a particular colour may increase the sensation of light in a spaceand, therefore, a reduction of energy use in artificial lighting is possible. In addition, architectural designcan take advantage of colour to improve the visual quality of indoor spaces.
Isalgue, A.; Fernandez, J.; Cinca, N.; Villa, M.; Guilemany, J. Journal of alloys and compounds Vol. 577, num. Supplement 1, p. S277-S281 DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2012.05.033 Date of publication: 2013-11-15 Journal article
The nanoindentation behavior of wear resistant coatings containing TiC–NiTi is studied. The raw material contained 60%weight of TiC and 40%weight of near equiatomic NiTi. The powder was sprayed by
plasma and HVOF techniques. Higher temperatures in the plasma spraying produced better matrix melting but also more cracks on cooling. The presence of some amorphous or nanocrystalline phase occurs, at least in some coatings, being this related to the good wear behavior. The projection conditions play an important role on the partial transformation because ofthe decomposition and oxidation ofthe NiTi as a
consequence of the temperatures involved during the spray deposition. The nanoindentation measures
suggest that, even with the presence of hard TiC particles, partial oxidation and dissociation of NiTi, there
is some pseudoelasticity.
Visual comfort in indoor spaces depends on the amount and quality of light available and also on space characteristics. One of the most influential aspects is the colour of surfaces definint a space. Each colour has a reflectance coefficient resulting from how much light is reflected back from the coloured surface. However, from the observer’s point of view, there are other factors that may affect visual perception of a space painted with colours. Some of them are psychological and depend on the background of the observer while other factors are physiological and are strongly connected to the sense of sight. According to this theory, architectural spaces could take advantage of the benefits of colour to improve visual responses for users.
In this paper, we present a case study in which three coloured spaces with different lighting conditions were assessed by a sample of observers. At the same time, luminance and illuminance measurements were taken so as to compare these values with light perceived in the spaces. The results of this field work show the influence that colour has on the perception of light in three-dimensional spaces and contribute to the study of colour in architecture.
The link between urban form and building energy demand is a complex balance of morphological, constructive, utilization and climatic factor. Especially in European compact city where existing areas prevail on much more energy-efficient new settlements, it is evident that operative ways to transform efficiently the building stock have to be found. Moreover, it is now widely accepted that urban scale has a first rate importance in the building design process and its correlated energy performance. It has been observed that scaling laws are useful in describing the complex structure of urban systems: modern cities have a “metabòlic rate” that approximately follows the living organism scaling laws. Nevertheless, it has not been entirely verified that this connection remains the same while studying the phenomena at the urban and building scale and what kind of relationship between mass and power exists (i.e. energy) depending on typologies and urban form. This study suggests an approach for using mass parameter - representative of built-form - as energy performance evaluation tools on a homogeneous urban texture. Mass is connected to both built-form and technology and these determine, to a great extent, the energy use. In Mediterranean climate, it has been observed that mass has strong relevance on energy demand playing an important role in reducing heating and cooling consumptions. Our work aims at validating this relationship, focusing on widespread urban fabrics of the Mediterranean compact city. Tests on diferent case studies from Barcelona and Rome (analyzed independently in terms of their energy demands and their masses) are carried out. Mass evaluation is based on calculation of effective mass of built elements. Building energy demand is assessed by modelling on multi space dynamic thermal analysis tool. Results presented and discussed point out that heating and cooling energy demand are related to urban fabrics mass and, starting from typological based analysis, it’s possible to estimate it. This work is a broader treatment of a research study about one possible way to comprehend “metabolic rate” scaling law concerning urban fabric. Such knowledge-base could giving hints to conscious and effective built environament transformations towards more efficient conditions.
This paper deals with both physical and psychological dimensions of visual and acoustic adaptability in architecture. Studies revealed that thermal comfort at one point in a transitional space is determined by the relative temperature at the location compared to the average temperatures the subjects had previously been exposed to. The objective of this study is to investigate whether these results can be extrapolated to visual and acoustic perception. The proposed methodology is based on observing individual behaviour with a sequenced exposure to different controlled visual and acoustic conditions. The results, which will be discussed, can be applied not only to general change in environmental conditions but also while walking through transitional spaces, where a weII-designed gradient of environmental conditions could imply energy savings.
The main interest focuses in the necessary tools for accurate simulation of the damper behavior in their application. It’s essential a well determined knowledge of the dissipated energy and of the hysteresis cycle shape for a correct simulation. The self-heating effects and the coupling between hysteresis and the relevant temperature effects associated to continuous cycling were studied. In particular, the experimental analysis concentrates in the action of cycling frequency on the hysteresis width and on the dissipated energy. The external and the self-heating temperature effects were studied. In particular, the convective actions of cooling in the conditioned air were visualized. The study of self-heating actions at extremely slow cycles, built by strain steps, shows minor latent heat dissipations in the entire sample. For trained samples, the temperature measurements establish that the transformation is “distributed” not “localized” in the complete sample.
Isalgue, A.; Auguet, C.; Cinca, N.; Fernandez, J.; Cano, I.G.; Guilemany, J.M. International Conference on Shape Memory and Superelastic Technologies p. 78 Presentation's date: 2013-05-22 Presentation of work at congresses
Isalgue, A.; Auguet, C.; Grau, R.; Torra, V.; Cinca, N.; Fernandez, J. International Conference on Shape Memory and Superelastic Technologies p. 452-453 Presentation's date: 2013-05-22 Presentation of work at congresses
Isalgue, A.; Auguet, C.; Cinca, N.; Fernandez, J.; Cano, I.G.; Guilemany, J.M.; Sampath, S. International Conference on Shape Memory and Superelastic Technologies p. 261-262 Presentation's date: 2013-05-20 Presentation of work at congresses
Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs) are good candidates for solid-state dampers appropriate for the oscillations of bridge stay cables because of their large recoverable strain, hysteresis and reasonable fatigue-life. This work experimentally analyzes the relevant properties of NiTi SMA and conducts facility measurements, frequency analyzes and simulations of the effects of SMA on stay cables. Appropriate phenomenological SMA models were developed and included in a Finite Element (FE) simulation environment. A complete damping solution for bridge stay cables was developed from these experimental analyzes. This paper detail the required properties for a NiTi SMA and analyzes their performance. For instance, the fatigue-life and several of the thermo-mechanical effects influencing the application of NiTi SMAs are outlined. The damping effect of the SMA was studied in two facilities. The first series of measurements was performed using cable 1 of the ELSA facility (JRC-EU, Ispra, Italy). The second was completed in two campaigns at IFSTTAR (Bouguenais, near Nantes in France). The numeric analyzes and simulated results were completely coherent with these experiments: the SMA dampers also drastically reduce the maximum oscillation amplitude induced by the simulated action. The frequency evolution of the damped cable was studied using direct calculations on the signals, the windowed Fourier transform and Morlet wavelets.
Following years of research and design in architecture under bio-climatic, sustainable and passive-energy concepts, today’s buildings are often well designed and constructed, responding to determined climate conditions and the user’s requirements for comfort and, in some cases, they are integrated into the urban environment. However, the lifetime of a building can be over 100 years and the climate is changing rapidly. This work investigates the impact of climate change future (2040 and 2070) on the energy consumption of residential buildings recently constructed, under three possible scenarios. The scenarios are created considering a low, medium or strong effect of global warming. Two types of buildings, with comparable consumption results of today, are investigated in three different cities around the world with a multi-zone type 56 of Trnsys simulation tool. At the end of the work, the concepts of energy robustness and global thermal effusivity of buildings are discussed as important strategies to reduce the possible impact of climate change on the built environment. The use of simulation tools to estimate the sensitivity of buildings is also analyzed, taking into consideration the recent goals of applying uncertainty and sensitivity analysis to building performance simulation science.
Torra, V.; Isalgue, A.; Auguet, C.; Casciati, F.; Casciati, S.; Terriault, P. Advances in science and technology Vol. 78, p. 92-102 DOI: 10.4028/www.scientific.net/AST.78.92 Date of publication: 2013-01-06 Journal article
The link between urban form and building energy demand is a complex balance of morphological, constructive, utilization and climatic factor. Especially in the European compact city, where existing areas prevail on much more energy-efficient new settlements, it is evident that operative ways to transform efficiently the building stock have to be found. This paper explores the existence of a relation between built mass and energy demand depending on urban form. Focusing on the compact city of Mediterranean climate, tests on different case studies simulations are carried out. Results presented and discussed, point out that mass has strong relevance on energy demand and plays an important role in reducing energy consumptions. This paper is a preliminary report of an ongoing research study about one possible way to comprehend “metabolic rate” scaling law - the relationship between power and mass of a complex system in its process - concerning urban fabric. This knowledge-base could help verify the accordance with this rule on urban scale and give hints to conscious and effective built environment transformations towards more efficient conditions.
Farrerons Vidal, Oscar.; Cadenato, A.; Martinez, M.; Gallego, M.I.; Amante, B.; Jordana, J.; Robert, F. J.; Isalgue, A.; Fabregat, J. International Conference on University Teaching and Innovation Presentation's date: 2012-07-16 Presentation of work at congresses
Cadenato, A.; Martinez, M.; Amante, B.; Gallego, M.I.; Jordana, J.; Robert, F. J.; Farrerons Vidal, Oscar.; Isalgue, A.; Fabregat, J. Congrés Internacional de Docència Universitària i Innovació p. 1-21 Presentation's date: 2012-07-04 Presentation of work at congresses
El grupo de innovación GRAPA (GRupo de la Evaluación de la Práctica Académica) del
proyecto RIMA de la Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya ha elaborado una serie de criterios, en
forma de rúbrica, como buenas prácticas de evaluación, coherentes con la integración y
evaluación de competencias, exigencia en la implantación de los nuevos grados que se imparten
en los estudios superiores en las universidades españolas.
En la presente comunicación se podrá comprobar que además cualquier actividad de evaluación
que cumpla estos criterios en el máximo nivel de exigencia representa una actividad de calidad,
demostrando que se pueden tener asignaturas de calidad, objetivo común tanto de instituciones
como del profesorado y alumnado. Además en la presente comunicación se mostrarán algunos
ejemplos de estos criterios.
The use of shape memory alloy (SMA) wires as passive elements for damping the vibrations of stayed
cables requires that the essential conditions of SMA necessary for the application are well established. The
specific conditions of the cable define the appropriate characteristics of the damper, such as the length and
the number of the NiTi SMA wires. As the stayed cables in bridges remain under forces near 1 MN, the main
study is focused on SMA wires of diameter 2.46 mm that produces forces of about 2 kN. With these forces
the use of one or several wires only induces minor changes in the stress distribution within the structure. In
this work, the requirements for the SMA wires including, for instance, the fracture level, the thermal actions
and the convection, are evaluated. Furthermore, several examples of the application of SMA in laboratory
facilities and the simulation of the SMA actions in realistic cables are included. The non-linearities of the
SMA dampers are visualized by windowed Fourier transform and Morlet wavelets analysis of the oscillating
behavior. There is a change of the cable natural frequency during the damping process, the frequency
increases as amplitude decreases. From the experimental results obtained in ELSA, JRC, Ispra, Italy,
IFSTTAR, Nantes, France, and in the Pavia University, Italy, the general rules for the preparation of the
SMA dampers are also outlined.
Daylighting has an excellent color rendering, as human eyes have been developed under the sun’s rays, and it yields very proactive elements to human behavior. In the field of luminance contrast, it has been noted that the probability of excessive contrast is lower when considering daylighting in relation to artificial lighting. As a result, in activities which require more demanding visual accuracy, daylighting can offer more and better conditions for light and space variations considering the wide range of the field of vision. This paper proposes a new approach to the methodology of calculating luminance balances considering the surface position in space and its relative weight in the final mean luminance value. This is based on ergonomic field of vision distribution, which confers major importance on what is in the solid angle analyzed by the cones area of the eye. The starting point when constructing numerical models of lighting comfort is the human eye’s sensitivity to light.
Assessing interior architectural visual comfort conditions is the ultimate purpose of this work, along with the possibility of taking advantage of photography-related software programs that could be useful tools for architects and interior designers. Avoiding uncomfortable visual situations is an environmentally efficient approach because the end effect of poor visual conditions is a higher demand for artificial lighting, leading to energy consumption that could be saved with lighting conditions adapted to human comfort.
The properties of SMA (Shape Memory Alloys, that are smart materials) are associated to a first order phase transition named martensitic transformation that occurs between metastable phases: austenite and martensite. At upper temperature or at lower stress the austenite is the metastable phase. The martensite appears at lower temperature or higher stresses. The hysteresis of the transformation permits different levels of applications, i.e., in their use as a damper. Two types of applications can be considered in damping of structures in Civil Engineering. The first one is related to diminishing the damage induced by earthquakes. The second one is a reduction of oscillation amplitude associate to an increase of the lifetime for the stayed cables in bridges.
Guaranteeing the use of Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) in mitigation of extreme load effects requires a deep study of the SMA behavior according to the specific requirements of the application. In particular, for a storm is necessary more than one million of working cycles. It is applied to two realistic cables in ELSA (JRC-Ispra, Italy) and in IFSTTAR (old LCPC in Nantes, France). The measurements establish that the SMA reduces drastically the oscillation amplitude. Technical suggestions for the preparation of the dampers are included. For instance, about the two available parameters in the SMA dampers: length () and number (N) of SMA wires. Moreover, a suitable simulation by proprietary SMA routine inside ANSYS is included.
Guaranteeing the use of Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) in mitigation of extreme load effects requires a deep study of the SMA behavior according to the specific requirements of the
applications in damping. The damper was defined according the expected requirements (length of SMA and number of SMA wires). It is applied to two types of alloys (CuAlBe and NiTi) in the diagonals of a realistic steel portico (2.47 m x 4.10 m). The measurements establish that the used SMA reduces the oscillation amplitude to a less than a half.
As it is known, the energy consumption of buildings is directly linked to their energy demand.Therefore, the most direct strategy to reduce the energy consumption of a building is to minimise its energy demand. This can be done in two ways. On the one hand, the energy demand can be reduced by minimising the size of some energy consuming spaces in the building. It can also be reduced by minimising the requirements of their comfort conditions. This second strategy is especially effective in transitional spaces, where the comfort requirements have wider limits than in normally occupied zones so energy savings are possible by allowing for a modest relaxation of the comfort standards. This paper reports on an analytical study into the energy-saving potential associated with modifications in thermal comfort limits in transitional spaces in commercial buildings. Such transitional spaces may not require the same high level and close control as more fully indoor or fully occupied areas, and thus a wider variation in conditions and interpretation of thermal comfort may be permitted. They also take up a significant fraction of the total volume of these kinds of buildings and give rise to significant energy use to provide comfort by means of heating or cooling systems. Initial trial calculations have been conducted using standardised commercial building layouts in order to determine the potential for energy savings. Commercial buildings have been chosen not only due to the extensive presence of this kind of building in almost all cities, but also because of the considerable percentage of transitional spaces that these buildings have in a standard floor plan. The relationship between these transition al spaces and the indoor areas will also be considered in this study. Estimates are made of the energy-saving potential based on different commercial buildings located in the climate of the Barcelona area in Spain.