Primary energy use of residential buildings implications of materials, modelling and design approaches
Sammanfattning: Buildings can play an essential role in the transition to a sustainable society. Different strategies, including improved energy efficiency in buildings, substitution of carbon intensive materials and fuels, efficient energy supply among others can be employed for this purpose. In this thesis, the implications of different insulation materials, modelling and design strategies on primary energy use of residential buildings are studied using life cycle and system perspective. Specifically, the effects of different insulation materials on production primary energy and CO2 emission of buildings with different energy performance are analysed. The results show that application of extra insulation materials to building envelope components reduces the operating primary energy use but more primary energy is required for the insulation material production. This also slightly increases the CO2 emissions from material production. The increases in primary energy use and CO2 emissions are mainly due to the variations in the quantities, types and manufacturing processes of the insulation materials. Thus, choice of renewable based materials with energy efficient manufacturing is important to reduce primary energy use and GHG emissions for building material production.Uncertainties related to building modelling input parameters and assumptions and how they influence energy balance calculations of residential buildings are explored. The implications on energy savings of different energy efficiency measures are also studied. The results show that input data and assumptions used for energy balance simulations of buildings vary widely in the Swedish context giving significant differences in calculated energy demand for buildings. Among the considered parameters, indoor air temperature, internal heat gains and efficiency of ventilation heat recovery (VHR) have significant impacts on the simulated building energy performance as well as on the energy efficiency measures. The impact of parameter interactions on calculated space heating of buildings is rather small but increases with more parameter combinations and more energy efficient buildings. Detailed energy characterisation of household equipment and technical installations used in a building is essential to accurately calculate the energy demand, particularly for a low energy building.The design and construction of new buildings present many possibilities to minimise both heating and cooling demands over the lifecycle of buildings, and also in the context of climate change. Various design strategies and measures are analysed for buildings with different energy performance under different climate scenarios. These include household equipment and technical installations based on best available technology, bypassing the VHR unit, solar shading of windows, combinations of window u- and g-values, different proportions of glazed window areas and façade orientations and mechanical cooling. The results show that space heating and cooling demands vary significantly with the energy performance of buildings as well as climate scenarios. Space heating demand decreases while space cooling demand and the risk of overheating increase considerably with warmer climate. The space cooling demand and overheating risk are more significant for buildings with higher energy performance. Significant reductions are achieved in the operation final energy demands and overheating is avoided or greatly reduced when different design strategies and measures are implemented cumulatively under different climate change scenarios.The primary energy efficiency of heat supply systems depends on the heat production technology and type of fuel use. Analysis of the interaction between different design strategies and heat supply options shows that the combination of design strategies giving the lowest primary energy use for space heating and cooling varies between heat supply from district heating with combined heat and power (CHP) and heat only boilers (HOB). The primary energy use for space heating is significantly lower when the heat supply is from CHP rather than HOB. Operation primary energy use is significantly reduced with slight increase in production primary energy when the design strategies are implemented. The results suggest that significant primary energy reductions are achievable under climate change, if new buildings are designed with appropriate strategies.
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