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See detailAn online interactive tool to assess energy consumption in residential buildings and for daily mobility
Marique, Anne-Françoise ULg; de Meester, Tatiana; De Herde, André et al

in Energy and Buildings (2014), 78C

Improving energy efficiency in the building and transportation sectors is a viable approach to mitigate the effects of climate change and has become an important policy target. As a result, in addition to ... [more ▼]

Improving energy efficiency in the building and transportation sectors is a viable approach to mitigate the effects of climate change and has become an important policy target. As a result, in addition to scientific research and public policies addressing energy efficiency, raising public awareness of the impact of the behaviour of citizens to energy efficiency is crucial and could quickly lead to significant reductions in the total energy consumption of a territory. In this context, this paper presents a new online interactive tool that enables not only citizens but also local authorities and private developers to (1) assess the sources of energy consumption related to housing and to daily mobility at both the individual and neighbourhood scales, (2) compare these sources and (3) determine relevant and personalised suggestions to reduce energy consumption. Numerous methods and tools, including a typological classification of buildings, thermal dynamic simulations, life-cycle assessments and statistical treatments of national censuses, were used to produce the two large databases used in this interactive tool. This report represents the primary results of a three-year long scientific research project dedicated to the study of energy efficiency in buildings and for daily mobility that is accessible to a large non-specialised audience. [less ▲]

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See detailA simplified framework to assess the feasibility of zero-energy at the neighbourhood / community scale
Marique, Anne-Françoise ULg; Reiter, Sigrid ULg

in Energy and Buildings (2014), 82

Zero-energy buildings (ZEBs) are attracting increasing interest internationally in policies aiming at a more sustainably built environment, the scientific literature and practical applications. Although ... [more ▼]

Zero-energy buildings (ZEBs) are attracting increasing interest internationally in policies aiming at a more sustainably built environment, the scientific literature and practical applications. Although “zero energy” can be considered at different scales (e.g., community, city), the most common approach adopts only the perspective of the individual building. Moreover, the feasibility of this objective is not really addressed, especially as far as the retrofitting of the existing building stock is concerned. Therefore, this paper aims first to investigate the opportunity to extend the “zero-energy building” concept to the neighbourhood scale by taking into account two main challenges: (1) the impact of urban form on energy needs and the on-site production of renewable energy and (2) the impact of location on transportation energy consumption. It proposes a simplified framework and a calculation method that is then applied to two representative case studies (one urban neighbourhood and one rural neighbourhood) to investigate the feasibility of zero-energy in existing neighbourhoods. The main parameters that act upon the energy balance are identified. The potential of “energy mutualisation” at the neighbourhood scale is highlighted. This paper thereby shows the potentialities of an integrated approach linking transportation and building energy consumptions. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessing gaps and needs for integrating building performance optimization tools in net zero energy buildings design
Attia, Shady ULg; Hamdy, Mohamed; O’Brien, William et al

in Energy and Buildings (2013), 60

This paper summarizes a study undertaken to reveal potential challenges and opportunities for integrating optimization tools in net zero energy buildings (NZEB) design. The paper reviews current trends in ... [more ▼]

This paper summarizes a study undertaken to reveal potential challenges and opportunities for integrating optimization tools in net zero energy buildings (NZEB) design. The paper reviews current trends in simulation-based building performance optimization (BPO) and outlines major criteria for optimization tools selection and evaluation. This is based on analyzing user's needs for tools capabilities and requirement specifications. The review is carried out by means of a literature review of 165 publications and interviews with 28 optimization experts. The findings are based on an inter-group comparison between experts. The aim is to assess the gaps and needs for integrating BPO tools in NZEB design. The findings indicate a breakthrough in using evolutionary algorithms in solving highly constrained envelope, HVAC and renewable optimization problems. Simple genetic algorithm solved many design and operation problems and allowed measuring the improvement in the optimality of a solution against a base case. Evolutionary algorithms are also easily adapted to enable them to solve a particular optimization problem more effectively. However, existing limitations including model uncertainty, computation time, difficulty of use and steep learning curve. Some future directions anticipated or needed for improvement of current tools are presented. [less ▲]

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See detailSimulation-based decision support tool for early stages of zero-energy building design
Attia, Shady ULg; Gratia, Elisabeth; De Herde, André et al

in Energy and Buildings (2012), 49

There is a need for decision support tools that integrate energy simulation into early design of zero energy buildings in the architectural practice. Despite the proliferation of simulation programs in ... [more ▼]

There is a need for decision support tools that integrate energy simulation into early design of zero energy buildings in the architectural practice. Despite the proliferation of simulation programs in the last decade, there are no ready-to-use applications that cater specifically for the hot climates and their comfort conditions. Furthermore, the majority of existing tools focus on evaluating the design alternatives after the decision making, and largely overlook the issue of informing the design before the decision making. This paper presents energy-oriented software tool that both accommodates the Egyptian context and provides informative support that aims to facilitate decision making of zero energy buildings. A residential benchmark was established coupling sensitivity analysis modelling and energy simulation software (EnergyPlus) as a means of developing a decision support tool to allow designers to rapidly and flexibly assess the thermal comfort and energy performance of early design alternatives. Validation of the results generated by the tool and ability to support the decision making are presented in the context of a case study and usability testing. [less ▲]

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See detailAn investigation on thermal performance of a low cost apartment in hot humid climate of Danang
Nguyen, Anh Tuan ULg; Reiter, Sigrid ULg

in Energy and Buildings (2012), 47

Low cost apartment has recently become one of the essential state policies to deal with rapid urbanisation and population boom in Vietnam. Thermal performance of a low cost apartment in Danang was ... [more ▼]

Low cost apartment has recently become one of the essential state policies to deal with rapid urbanisation and population boom in Vietnam. Thermal performance of a low cost apartment in Danang was examined using building simulation approach. The simulated results created by COMFIE were first calibrated by comparing them with measured data. The statistical indicators CV(RMSE) and NMBE as well as linear regression analysis were applied to assess the calibration. The calibrated model was then used to perform whole year simulations in which various ventilation and design strategies were applied. Thermal comfort potentials of these strategies were graphically defined by Brager’s adaptive comfort model from which the efficiency of each strategy was quantitatively determined. In the present paper, details of the calibration approach, assessment of simulated results and comparison of the findings were discussed. Results of these analyses revealed many notable findings which are in good agreement with those obtained from other publications. The limitation and recommendations for further study are also outlined. [less ▲]

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