Multi-Criteria Optimization Analysis for Selection of Eco-Friendly Materials According to Itaca Protocol for Zero Energy Buildings in the Mediterranean Climate

Cristina Baglivo, Paolo Maria Congedo, Andrea Fazio

University of Salento


Given the recent worldwide environmental issues, there is a need to reduce the energy consumption and the greenhouse gas emissions of the building sector, keeping in mind the whole life cycle of construction materials. Determining the product’s sustainability is complex, and the presence of one or more “eco” features does not necessarily make it “eco” in its entirety. The Itaca protocol for environmental sustainability promotes the use of recycled, renewable and locally sourced materials.
A multi-objective analysis has been carried out in order to identify high energy efficiency external walls for ZEBs in the Mediterranean climate, privileging eco-friendly building materials. Modefrontier, by the use of calculation procedures developed in Matlab, was used to evaluate the dynamic performance of building components. The optimization was performed in terms of static transmittance, periodic thermal transmittance, decrement factor, time shift, areal heat capacity, thermal admittance, surface mass, thickness and Itaca score.
This paper is concerned with defining a method for the design of new low-cost residential buildings; in particular, the final aim is to
determine not a single optimal solution but a set of possible external wall configurations among which the designer can choose the proper solution for his application, according to the Pareto front of the multi-objective problem. The results underline that, in the warm climate, the best sequences of layers are with high surface mass, in particular concrete, at the first layer (internal side), following by common insulating materials in the middle and eco-friendly insulating materials at the external layer.