Assessing the performance of energy efficient buildingsNanowerk, December 11, 2014
Making buildings more energy efficient is part of the European strategy to combat climate change. One of the aims of the EU-funded project Direction – due to be completed by 2016—is to demonstrate that very low energy buildings can actually be implemented in practice. But to evaluate whether a building achieves the required energy performance, experts need to monitor various data while the building is in use. This is currently the case of the NuOffice in Munich, one of the project’s showcases. Here, Jan Kaiser, research associate at the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP in Kassel, Germany, explains which indicators are most important to assess a building’s performance.
What exactly is meant by building performance?
The performance of a building can be evaluated through two main aspects: comfort and energy efficiency. A building is made for people. Thus, performance means that we ensure maximum comfort for the users, both in winter and summer. We also want to ensure the simple use of the building. Energy performance includes minimising the energy demand of a building as much as possible. This means as little heating and cooling as possible. We achieve this objective through the way in which the building is constructed. And we use energy efficient technologies, including renewable energy sources, to meet the building’s energy demands.