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Regulating energy performance of residential buildings in cold climate: a study of indicators, criteria, and evaluation methods
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1657-7376
2021 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Reglering av energiprestanda hos bostadshus i kallt klimat (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Building energy performance has been important in Fennoscandia ever since the early vernacular houses, to combat the cold climate. Due to EU directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings (EPBD recast), building energy performance has become even more relevant in northern Europe the last decade. Objectives for improving building energy performance may include reducing cost and CO2-emissions, increasing energy independency, and improving the indoor climate. Different indicators, criteria, and evaluations methods may be used to reach these objectives. This dissertation addresses indicators, criteria, and evaluation methods used to regulate energy performance of residential buildings in Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russia. Four research objectives are covered: (RO1) comparing criteria and evaluation methods used to regulate energy performance of residential buildings in Sweden, Norway, and Finland, (RO2) studying the perspective of professionals with experience in building energy performance evaluation on (a) methods for evaluating envelope air leakage of residential buildings in Sweden and Finland and (b) potential energy performance indicators in the Swedish procurement process of multi-family buildings, (RO3) developing an approach for analysing the performance gap between design predictions and measurements that can be used to verify compliance with requirements on building energy use in practice, and (RO4) comparing the stringency of the energy performance criteria for residential buildings between the Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, and Russian national building code. Many differences were found between how energy performance of residential buildings was regulated in the four countries. In Sweden, measurements were used more for evaluating building energy performance than in the other countries. As of 1st January 2020, the Finnish building code was characterized by its focus on the building heat loss and stringent energy performance criteria compared to the other countries. The Norwegian building code was characterized by a relatively narrow system perspective on energy performance, with no regulation of the energy production efficiency or energy source. The Russian building code also had a narrow system perspective but was also characterized by its focus on the form factor – the relationship between building volume and enclosing area. The practitioners wanted to minimize the influence from building operation and user behaviour on energy performance evaluations in the Swedish building procurement process of multi-family buildings. Hence, they preferred component-focused indicators or indicators with a narrow system boundary. An approach has been developed for analyzing the performance gap between design phase predictions and measurements. The approach can be used to verify the finished building’s energy performance, with minimal influence from occupant behavior and building operation.

Abstract [sv]

Energiprestanda har varit en viktig byggnadsparameter i Fennoscandia ända sedan de första bostadshusen, för att bekämpa det kalla klimatet. På grund av EU-direktivet 2010/31/EU om byggnaders energiprestanda (EPBD recast) har energiprestanda i byggnader blivit än mer relevant i norra Europa det senaste årtiondet. Målen med att förbättra byggnaders energiprestanda kan inkludera att minska kostnader och CO2-utsläpp, öka energioberoende, och förbättra inomhusklimatet. Olika indikatorer, kriterier och utvärderingsmetoder kan användas för att uppnå dessa mål. Denna avhandling behandlar kriterier, indikatorer och utvärderingsmetoder som används för att reglera energiprestanda för bostadshus i Sverige, Norge, Finland och Ryssland. Fyra forskningsmål omfattas: (RO1) att jämföra kriterier och utvärderingsmetoder som används för att reglera energiprestanda hos bostadshus i Sverige, Norge och Finland, (RO2) att studera åsikter hos yrkesutövare med erfarehet av att utvärdera byggnaders energiprestanda om (a) metoder för att utvärdera luftläckage genom byggnadsskalet hos bostadshus i Sverige och Finland och (b) potentiella indikatorer för energiprestanda i den svenska upphandlingsprocessen av flerfamiljshus, (RO3) att utveckla ett tillvägagångssätt för att analysera skillnaden mellan beräkningar vid byggnadens design och mätningar som kan användas för att verifiera att energianvändningskriterier efterlevs i praktiken, och (RO4) att jämföra energiprestandakriteriernas stränghet för bostadshus mellan de svenska, norska, finska och ryska nationella byggreglerna. Många skillnader hittades mellan hur energiprestanda för bostadshus reglerades i de fyra länderna. Sverige utmärkte sig genom att använda mätningar för att utvärdera byggnaders energiprestanda i högre grad än de andra länderna. Den 1 januari 2020 utmärkte sig de finska byggreglerna genom sitt fokus på byggnadens värmeförlust och strikta krav på energiprestanda jämfört med de andra länderna. De norska byggrelgerna utmärkte sig genom ett relativt snävt systemperspektiv på energiprestanda, där energiproduktionens effektivitet och energikällan inte reglerades alls. De ryska byggreglena hade också ett snävt systemperspektiv men utmärkte sig också genom sitt fokus på byggnadens formfaktor - relation mellan byggnadens volym och den omslutande arean. Parterna i den svenska upphandlings-processen av flerfamiljshus föredrog att utvärdera komponentfokuserade indikatorer eller indikatorer med en snäv systemgräns, för att minimera påverkan från byggnadens drift och brukarbeteendet. En metod har utvecklats för att analysera skillnaden mellan beräkningar vid byggnadens design och mätningar. Metoden kan användas för att verifiera den färdiga byggnadens energiprastanda med minimalt inflytande från bukarbeteende och drift.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University , 2021. , p. 79
Keywords [en]
Energy performance, building simulation, cold climate, energy use, indicators, evaluation methods, building regulations, residential buildings, energy measurements, performance gap, energy signature
National Category
Building Technologies Energy Systems
Research subject
sustainable development; Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-189583ISBN: 978-91-7855-667-0 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7855-668-7 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-189583DiVA, id: diva2:1611833
Public defence
2021-12-10, Triple Helix, Samverkanshuset, Universitetstorget 4, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Svenska Byggbranschens Utvecklingsfond (SBUF), 13120Interreg NordAvailable from: 2021-11-19 Created: 2021-11-16 Last updated: 2021-11-19Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Methods for energy analysis of residential buildings in Nordic countries
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Methods for energy analysis of residential buildings in Nordic countries
2013 (English)In: Renewable & sustainable energy reviews, ISSN 1364-0321, E-ISSN 1879-0690, Vol. 22, p. 306-318Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To meet the goals of the directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings, the building sector in Europe now faces a transition towards more energy efficient buildings. Research and development of new energy solutions and technology will be necessary for the transition and the importance of analyzing building energy performance increases. This paper aims to review and evaluate different methods that are commonly used to analyze energy performance in residential buildings in Nordic countries, primarily in Sweden, Norway and Finland. A short international review of regulations is also included. The goal is to find commonly used methods and possibilities for the future. The introduced methods are summarized, categorized and compared based on their advantages and disadvantages. Although the three Nordic countries have similar climate conditions and building traditions, the review shows relatively large variations in the definitions of energy performance for residential buildings, as well as variations in how measurements and calculations are used in the methods for energy performance analysis. In the conducted review, methods, or parts of methods, are also found to be used. The methods used to analyze energy performance are found to be more similar than the concepts of energy performance itself in the three countries. These aspects may be considered in further work to develop an international policy practice for energy performance of residential buildings in cold climate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Pergamon-Elsevier Science, 2013
Keywords
Energy measurements, Residential buildings, Cold climate, Energy evaluation, Building regulations
National Category
Building Technologies Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-78447 (URN)10.1016/j.rser.2013.02.007 (DOI)000319952100025 ()2-s2.0-84874889274 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2013-07-23 Created: 2013-07-22 Last updated: 2023-03-24Bibliographically approved
2. Methods for air tightness analysis for residential buildings in Nordic countries
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Methods for air tightness analysis for residential buildings in Nordic countries
2012 (English)In: Methods for air tightness analysis forresidential buildings in Nordic countries, Southampton: WIT Press, 2012, p. 311-322Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Envelope air tightness is one factor that has impact on the energy performance ofbuildings. The goals of the directive 2010/31/EU, on energy performance ofbuildings, raise the importance of building energy performance analysis in theprocess. Measurements of air tightness can be useful both when evaluatingbuilding energy performance and developing new building techniques. The aimof this paper is to review and evaluate methods to measure air tightness in bothnew and existing residential buildings in Sweden, Norway and Finland, based onan international literature study and a survey. The methods are categorized basedon a number of criteria to determine their suitability in different situations.Advantages and disadvantages of the methods are discussed, as well ascommonly used methods in the three countries. The review shows that thestandard ISO 9972 is used for verification in all three countries, but alternativesexist that might be more suitable in certain situations. Simpler methods are usedin the building process to increase air tightness. To achieve a comparablemeasurement, both common methods and commonly defined units are needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Southampton: WIT Press, 2012
Series
WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, ISSN ISSN 1743-3541 ; 165
Keywords
air tightness measurements, residential buildings, cold climate, energy use, building regulations
National Category
Building Technologies Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-59483 (URN)978-1-84564-614-1 (ISBN)
Conference
Eco-architecture IV - Harmonisation between Architecture and Nature
Projects
Increasing Energy Efficiency in Buildings (IEEB)
Funder
EU, European Research Council
Available from: 2012-10-16 Created: 2012-09-14 Last updated: 2021-11-16Bibliographically approved
3. A quantitative evaluation of airtightness measurement experiences
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A quantitative evaluation of airtightness measurement experiences
2014 (English)In: NSB 2014 10th Nordic Symposium on Building Physics 15-19 June 2014 Lund, Sweden: FULL PAPERS / [ed] Jesper Arfvidsson, Lars-Erik Harderup, Anders Kumlin, Bitte Rosencrantz, 2014Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Evaluation of building air tightness based on field measurements is an important aspect in the process to provide good indoor environment and energy efficient buildings. The measurements are generally conducted by experts. To improve field methods for evaluation of building air tightness, experience of these experts can be useful. The scope of this paper is to problematize usefulness of methods for airtightness measurements, how and when methods are used and potential for future development. Surveyed Swedish and Finnish experts have valued the performance and usefulness of methods in the perspective of being used for singe family, multifamily, new, inhabited, under construction, renovation, leaky and air-tight buildings. They also valued the future potential, as well as their own level of experience and expertise, of the methods. Although the results of the survey were based on a small set of collected data, it indicated that the experts favored methods with their highest assessed experience and expertise, i.e. Blower door and Surface temperature measurements/Thermography. Potential of future development within quantitative and component methods was assessed to be positive in general and in particular for the favored methods.

Keywords
air tightness, buildings, field measurements, survey, ZEF
National Category
Building Technologies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-100814 (URN)978-91-88722-53-9 (TVBH-3061) (ISBN)
Conference
10th Nordic Symposium on Building Physics, 15 – 19 June 2014, Lund, Sweden
Projects
Increasing Energy Efficiecy in Buildings (IEEB)
Available from: 2015-03-10 Created: 2015-03-10 Last updated: 2021-11-16Bibliographically approved
4. Energy performance indicators in the Swedish building procurement process
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Energy performance indicators in the Swedish building procurement process
2017 (English)In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 9, no 10, article id 1877Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, all new buildings need to comply with the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning’s requirement on specific purchased energy (kWh/m2). Accordingly, this indicator is often used to set design criteria in the building procurement process. However, when energy use is measured in finished buildings, the measurements often deviate significantly from the design calculations. The measured specific purchased energy does not necessarily reflect the responsibility of the building contractor, as it is influenced by the building operation, user behavior and climate. Therefore, Swedish building practitioners may prefer other indicators for setting design criteria in the building procurement process. The aim of this study was twofold: (i) to understand the Swedish building practitioners’ perspectives and opinions on seven building energy performance indicators (envelope air leakage, U-values for different building parts, average U-value, specific heat loss, heat loss coefficient, specific net energy, and specific purchased energy); and (ii) to understand the consequences for the energy performance of multi-family buildings of using the studied indicators to set criteria in the procurement process. The study involved a Delphi approach and simulations of a multi-family case study building. The studied indicators were discussed in terms of how they may meet the needs of the building practitioners when used to set building energy performance criteria in the procurement process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI, 2017
Keywords
design criteria, energy performance, specific energy, simulation, procurement process, indicators
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-140862 (URN)10.3390/su9101877 (DOI)000414896200207 ()2-s2.0-85031827847 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2017-10-20 Created: 2017-10-20 Last updated: 2023-03-24Bibliographically approved
5. Energy evaluation of residential buildings: Performance gap analysis incorporating uncertainties in the evaluation methods
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Energy evaluation of residential buildings: Performance gap analysis incorporating uncertainties in the evaluation methods
2018 (English)In: Building Simulation, ISSN 1996-3599, E-ISSN 1996-8744, Vol. 11, no 4, p. 725-737Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Calculation and measurement-based energy performance evaluations of the same building often provide different results. This difference is referred as "the performance gap". However, a large performance gap may not necessarily mean that there are flaws in the building or deviations from the intended design. The causes for the performance gap can be analysed by calibrating the simulation model to measured data. In this paper, an approach is introduced for verifying compliance with energy performance criteria of residential buildings. The approach is based on a performance gap analysis that takes the uncertainties in the energy evaluation methods into consideration. The scope is to verify building energy performance through simulation and analysis of measured data, identifying any performance gap due to deviations from the intended design or flaws in the finished building based on performance gap analysis. In the approach, a simulation model is calibrated to match the heat loss coefficient of the building envelope [kWh/K] instead of the measured energy. The introduced approach is illustrated using a single-family residential building. The heat loss coefficient was found useful towards identifying any deviations from the intended design or flaws in the finished building. The case study indicated that the method uncertainty was important to consider in the performance gap analysis and that the proposed approach is applicable even when the performance gap appears to be non-existing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Tsinghua University Press, 2018
Keywords
performance gap, energy signature, calibration, simulation, design criteria
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-150666 (URN)10.1007/s12273-018-0439-7 (DOI)000435421700008 ()2-s2.0-85048691979 (Scopus ID)
Note

Originally included in thesis in manuscript form with title A methodology to investigate the building energy performance gap

Available from: 2018-08-20 Created: 2018-08-20 Last updated: 2021-11-16Bibliographically approved
6. Energy performance criteria for residential buildings: A comparison of Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Russian building codes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Energy performance criteria for residential buildings: A comparison of Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Russian building codes
2021 (English)In: Energy and Buildings, ISSN 0378-7788, E-ISSN 1872-6178, Vol. 250, article id 111276Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Building code are considered to be an effective policy tool to reduce energy use in buildings. In practice, national priorities influence the indicators and criteria adopted in the building codes. Consequently, neighbouring countries with similar climate conditions may use different criteria in their building codes to regulate the energy performance. In this paper, the energy performance criteria and their relative stringency in the latest residential building codes of Finland, Norway, Sweden and Russia are compared. The study is based on energy performance evaluations of one single-family building and one multi-family building, located in the north of Sweden. Both buildings complied with the Norwegian and Russian building code. However, the buildings did not comply with the specific fan power and heat loss criteria in the Finnish building code. Additionally, the single-family building did not comply with the specific primary energy and electric powerdemand criteria in the Swedish building code when heated by an electric heater. The national standard input data were found to have a large influence on the buildings’ compliance with the studied energy use criteria. Policy implications of the results are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2021
Keywords
Building codes, Compliance, Energy performance, Simulation, Indicators, Energy policy
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-186488 (URN)10.1016/j.enbuild.2021.111276 (DOI)000693461300011 ()2-s2.0-85111543318 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2021-08-10 Created: 2021-08-10 Last updated: 2023-09-05Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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