Toward an estimation of real building energy consumption: performantial analysis of bio-based and conventional insulation building materials

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Description of the PhD thesis project

Building sector faces to two main challenges: reduce energy consumption by improving building envelope performance and system energy efficiency, and reduce greenhouse gas emission of building materials during their production, transport and setting.
In this framework, biobased building materials including crop residue (wheat straw, hemp shiv) are interesting due to their multiscale porosity providing interesting thermal, hygric or acoustic properties and due to their low global warming impact. These materials can be associated to a binder (lime, earth) or used in raw state depending on their function in building.
To enhance their use in buildings, it is necessary to guarantee a multi-functional performance by answering the following scientific questions:

  • What is the performance? From now, energy consumption is mainly related to thermal conductivity. What are the influences of thermal inertia, moisture adsorption and latent heat transfer?
  • What is the influence of setting process on material’s properties? What are the interactions between the insulation material and the building frame regarding the hygrothermal, acoustic or mechanical performance?

The objective of this PhD thesis is to answer these questions through numerical multi-physics modeling and multi-scale experiments on biobased and conventional insulation building materials. The work consists in the following main steps:

  •  Building the biobased material samples and characterizing the hygrothermal, mechanical and
    acoustical performances. Results allow evaluating:
    o The impact of anisotropy on material’s properties
    o The influence of moisture on thermal conductivity measurement
  • Developing a methodology to perform hygrothermal and mechanical performance test on
    building systems. This task includes:
    o Design and building of the tested systems
    o Definition of applied solicitation by means of preliminary numerical studies
    o Testing and analyzing the results
  • Numerical analysis of wall hygrothermal performances for different climates, orientation or
    function in a building.

A valorization task (publications and conferences) will have to be considered throughout the thesis.

Skills required

The applicant should have a Master degree. The applicant should have strong knowledge at least in heat transfer / building physics, or materials engineering, or in civil engineering. Good knowledge in numerical modeling and experimental approaches are required. A first experience in a lab is welcome.
The applicant should have a Very good level in written and spoken English and in French also if possible.


The PhD project will take place at laboratory IRDL in Lorient, France.
The PhD will be employed for a three years contract starting in autumn 2021 until autumn 2024.
(funding in the process of being acquired – salary of about 1450 € per month).

Supervisors :

Thibaut Lecompte (, maître de conférences HDR
Thibaut Colinart (, maître de conférences

Application procedure

The interested candidate is invited to contact as soon as possible the supervisors of this project and send the following documents:
– Candidate curriculum vitae
– Grades of the Master
– Cover letter where the applicant explains her/his motivation to follow and defend the PhD’s project
– A letter of recommendation

The announcement in PDF

Optimisation, caractérisation et modélisation d’assemblages hybrides composite thermoplastique/métal
Influence de la porosité sur le comportement et la rupture d’assemblages collés


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