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Analysis methods for post occupancy evaluation of energy-use in high performance buildings using short-term monitoring

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The green building movement has been an effective catalyst in reducing energy demands of buildings and a large number of `green' certified buildings have been in operation for several years.

The green building movement has been an effective catalyst in reducing energy demands of buildings and a large number of `green' certified buildings have been in operation for several years. Whether these buildings are actually performing as intended, and if not, identifying specific causes for this discrepancy falls into the general realm of post-occupancy evaluation (POE). POE involves evaluating building performance in terms of energy-use, indoor environmental quality, acoustics and water-use; the first aspect i.e. energy-use is addressed in this thesis. Normally, a full year or more of energy-use and weather data is required to determine the actual post-occupancy energy-use of buildings. In many cases, either measured building performance data is not available or the time and cost implications may not make it feasible to invest in monitoring the building for a whole year. Knowledge about the minimum amount of measured data needed to accurately capture the behavior of the building over the entire year can be immensely beneficial. This research identifies simple modeling techniques to determine best time of the year to begin in-situ monitoring of building energy-use, and the least amount of data required for generating acceptable long-term predictions. Four analysis procedures are studied. The short-term monitoring for long-term prediction (SMLP) approach and dry-bulb temperature analysis (DBTA) approach allow determining the best time and duration of the year for in-situ monitoring to be performed based only on the ambient temperature data of the location. Multivariate change-point (MCP) modeling uses simulated/monitored data to determine best monitoring period of the year. This is also used to validate the SMLP and DBTA approaches. The hybrid inverse modeling method-1 predicts energy-use by combining a short dataset of monitored internal loads with a year of utility-bills, and hybrid inverse method-2 predicts long term building performance using utility-bills only. The results obtained show that often less than three to four months of monitored data is adequate for estimating the annual building energy use, provided that the monitoring is initiated at the right time, and the seasonal as well as daily variations are adequately captured by the short dataset. The predictive accuracy of the short data-sets is found to be strongly influenced by the closeness of the dataset's mean temperature to the annual average temperature. The analysis methods studied would be very useful for energy professionals involved in POE.

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  • 2011

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Envelope as climate negotiator: evaluating adaptive building envelope's capacity to moderate indoor climate and energy

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Through manipulation of adaptable opportunities available within a given environment, individuals become active participants in managing personal comfort requirements, by exercising control over their comfort without the assistance of mechanical

Through manipulation of adaptable opportunities available within a given environment, individuals become active participants in managing personal comfort requirements, by exercising control over their comfort without the assistance of mechanical heating and cooling systems. Similarly, continuous manipulation of a building skin's form, insulation, porosity, and transmissivity qualities exerts control over the energy exchanged between indoor and outdoor environments. This research uses four adaptive response variables in a modified software algorithm to explore an adaptive building skin's potential in reacting to environmental stimuli with the purpose of minimizing energy use without sacrificing occupant comfort. Results illustrate that significant energy savings can be realized with adaptive envelopes over static building envelopes even under extreme summer and winter climate conditions; that the magnitude of these savings are dependent on climate and orientation; and that occupant thermal comfort can be improved consistently over comfort levels achieved by optimized static building envelopes. The resulting adaptive envelope's unique climate-specific behavior could inform designers in creating an intelligent kinetic aesthetic that helps facilitate adaptability and resiliency in architecture.

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  • 2013

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Evaluating different green school building designs for Albania: indoor thermal comfort, energy use analysis with solar systems

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Improving the conditions of schools in many parts of the world is gradually acquiring importance. The Green School movement is an integral part of this effort since it aims at

Improving the conditions of schools in many parts of the world is gradually acquiring importance. The Green School movement is an integral part of this effort since it aims at improving indoor environmental conditions. This would in turn, enhance student- learning while minimizing adverse environmental impact through energy efficiency of comfort-related HVAC and lighting systems. This research, which is a part of a larger research project, aims at evaluating different school building designs in Albania in terms of energy use and indoor thermal comfort, and identify energy efficient options of existing schools. We start by identifying three different climate zones in Albania; Coastal (Durres), Hill/Pre-mountainous (Tirana), mountainous (Korca). Next, two prototypical school building designs are identified from the existing stock. Numerous scenarios are then identified for analysis which consists of combinations of climate zone, building type, building orientation, building upgrade levels, presence of renewable energy systems (solar photovoltaic and solar water heater). The existing building layouts, initially outlined in CAD software and then imported into a detailed building energy software program (eQuest) to perform annual simulations for all scenarios. The research also predicted indoor thermal comfort conditions of the various scenarios on the premise that windows could be opened to provide natural ventilation cooling when appropriate. This study also estimated the energy generated from solar photovoltaic systems and solar water heater systems when placed on the available roof area to determine the extent to which they are able to meet the required electric loads (plug and lights) and building heating loads respectively.

The results showed that there is adequate indoor comfort without the need for mechanical cooling for the three climate zones, and that only heating is needed during the winter months.

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  • 2015