Cool marble building envelopes: The effect of aging on energy performance and aesthetics

Federica Rosso, Anna Laura Pisello, Weihua Jin, Masoud Ghandehari, Franco Cotana, Marco Ferrero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Marble envelopes represent a relatively common architectural solution used in variety of historic, modern and contemporary building facades. White marble envelopes have been shown to reduce solar heat gains, while improving indoor thermal comfort and energy efficiency in summer time. While marble is useful in this context, the urban atmosphere accelerates the degradation of marble elements. This leads to changes in optical characteristics, hence the aesthetics, and affects the energy efficiency benefits offered by white marble facades. These issues are investigated in order to predict the impact of degradation on energy performance and to the aesthetic value, such as change of color and luminosity. In this study, surface degradation of white marble is analyzed by means of accelerated weathering in the laboratory while examining changes to the optical characteristics of the materials. A dynamic simulation is carried out to assess the energy performance of a building as a case study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number753
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 5 2016


  • Acid rain degradation
  • Building envelope
  • Color change
  • Cool material
  • Energy efficiency in buildings
  • Optical characterization
  • Pollution
  • Solar reflectance
  • Urban heat island

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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