Performance Assessment of Curtain Walls Using Infrared Thermography and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Architecture’s race skyward brought innovative curtain wall systems. During the building’s operating life, failures of insulation systems create areas of reduced resistance to heat transfer, or thermal bridges. These failures enable energy flows that trigger unanticipated temperature changes and increased energy consumption and ultimately, damage the façade structure and cause problems to occupants.
A non-traditional approach is adopted to survey an entire fully operational building using infrared thermography and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The system is comprised of a non-contact infrared camera mounted on and operated from the UAV. It enables the registration of the emissivity of the façade materials and calculation of the thermal radiation and equivalent factors to estimate localized temperatures. Results will identify improvements for construction methods by projecting better quality processes in facade installations.