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Achieving building energy performance: requirements and evaluation methods for residential buildings in Sweden, Norway, and Finland
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics. (Energi)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1657-7376
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Building energy performance has always been important in the cold climate of Sweden, Norway and Finland. To meet the goal that all new buildings should be nearly zero-energy buildings by 2020, set in the EU directive 2010/31/EU [1] on the energy performance of buildings (EPBD recast), the building sector in Europe now faces a transition towards buildings with improved energy performance. In such a transition, a discussion is needed about the objective of the improvement – why, or to what end, the building energy performance should be improved. The objective of improving building energy performance is often a political decision, but scientific research can contribute with knowledge on how the objectives can be achieved.

This thesis addresses how the indicators used in the requirements used to achieve building energy performance in Sweden, Norway, and Finland, and the methods used to evaluate these requirements, reflect building energy performance. It also addresses difficulties in achieving comparable and verifiable indicators in evaluations of building energy performance. The research objective has two parts: to review, compare, and discuss (i) requirements and (ii) evaluation methods used to achieve energy performance of residential buildings in Sweden, Norway and Finland. The work in this thesis includes reviews of the requirements used in national building codes and passive house criteria to achieve building energy performance, of methods used to evaluate compliance with such requirements, and of methods used specifically to evaluate the indicator Envelope Air Tightness.

The results show that different sets of indicators are used to achieve building energy performance in the studied building codes and passive house criteria. The methods used to evaluate compliance with requirements used to achieve building energy performance are also different, but calculation methods are generally more often used than measurement methods. The calculation- and measurement methods used are often simple. A methodology to analyze the deviation between predictions- and measurements of building energy performance (the performance gap) was developed, to investigate the effects of different evaluation methods on different indicators used to achieve building energy performance. The methodology was tested in a case-study. This study indicated that the choice of method affects which parts of the performance gap reflected in the indicators Supplied Energy (see Terminology), Net Energy (see Terminology), and Overall U-value. Among the reviewed methods to evaluate air tightness, the Fan/Blower Door Pressurization is well known and preferred by professionals in the field. The results in this thesis may be useful when choosing indicators and evaluation methods to achieve different objectives of improving building energy performance and in the quest towards comparable and verifiable indicators used to achieve building energy performance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2015. , 50 p.
Keyword [en]
building codes, energy performance, evaluation methods, air tightness
National Category
Other Civil Engineering Building Technologies Energy Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-103749ISBN: 978-91-7601-297-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-103749DiVA: diva2:814986
Presentation
2015-06-04, MC 314, Umeå university, 901 87 Umeå, 16:33 (English)
Supervisors
Projects
Increasing Energy Efficiency in Buildings (IEEB)Sustainable Buildings for the High North (SBHN)
Available from: 2015-08-25 Created: 2015-05-28 Last updated: 2015-08-25Bibliographically 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, 306-318 p.Article, 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
Keyword
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 ()
Available from: 2013-07-23 Created: 2013-07-22 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically 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, 311-322 p.Conference 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
Keyword
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: 2016-05-20Bibliographically 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.

Keyword
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: 2016-05-23Bibliographically approved
4. A methodology to investigate the building energy performance gap
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A methodology to investigate the building energy performance gap
2015 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

In order to evaluate compliance with requirements on building energy performance, it is necessary to find strategies to process discrepancies from the results of forward simulations in the design stage and of measurements in the operated stage. The gap between designed performance and measured performance is referred to as the “performance gap”. It can be divided into a procurement gap (between intended design and verified performance) and an operational gap (between verified performance and non-normalized measurements).  

In this work we introduced a methodology for performance gap analysis, based on separating the procurement- and operational gap. An important component to do this is calibrations of calculations using measured data. The suggested methodology allows for more detailed verifications of building energy performance and can be used to study how indicators reflect the performance gap. The proposed methodology is tested using data from a well-documented and measured operated single family building, in sub-arctic climate in Sweden.

The indicators studied in the verification were carefully analyzed. The methodology was found reliable based on the obtained results and a sensitivity analysis. An overall observation is that the applicability of the methodology depends on the accuracy of the hybrid method. The accuracy of the performance gap analysis per definition depends on the available information of the operated building, and consequently to access to extensive measured data.

Keyword
performance gap, building energy performance, energy performance evaluation, calibrated simulation, measurements
National Category
Other Civil Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-103748 (URN)
Available from: 2015-05-28 Created: 2015-05-28 Last updated: 2017-12-04

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