Design and evaluation of nearly zero energy buildings and their viability post-2013s UK climate conditions: a collaborative research with The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and Hilton

Salem, Radwa (2020) Design and evaluation of nearly zero energy buildings and their viability post-2013s UK climate conditions: a collaborative research with The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and Hilton. Doctoral thesis, University of West London.

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Radwa Salam PhD Thesis (Nov 20).pdf - Accepted Version

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Abstract

A candid endorsement of the scientific consensus regarding our changing climate has been corroborated in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and in the reports of major scientific bodies nationally and internationally. Paleoclimatology data, current climate data, and future projections unequivocally lead to the conclusion that for the past 50 years, our climate has changed because of anthropogenic activities. Consequently, the UK government is committed to reducing emissions by 80 percent, compared to the 1990 baseline, by 2050. Mitigation proposals have acknowledged that the building sector plays a vital role in contributing to the ambitious targets set for the transition towards an energy sustainable future. This is derived from statistics stating that the building sector is responsible for 40 percent of energy consumption across Europe. Depending on the building’s electricity consumption, this figure can increase to more than 45 percent in primary energy and energy-related CO2 emissions. The Fourth Assessment report of the IPCC has declared that 30 percent of anticipated emissions (within the building sector) can be prevented by 2030 with economic benefits. Whilst the recast Energy Performance Building Directive (EPBD) has mandated that all new buildings should be nearly zero-energy buildings (nZEBs), including buildings that will undergo refurbishment/ renovations. The interpretation of how this will be implemented has been left for member states to decide. This open interpretation is inclusive of what is a nZEB; how to achieve this; how much energy consumption and production exactly is ‘nearly zero.’ This work therefore, investigates the current practices for designing nZEBs and explores how existing residential and commercial buildings can be retrofitted to achieve the standard. Thereby establishing a methodology that provides design solutions that meet set targets, whilst taking into consideration their performance under current and future climate conditions. Studies have shown that the building industry is typically slow at adopting new technologies; despite their acknowledgment of the environmental benefits that technology can provide. The nZEB standard differs from other building energy efficiency methodologies that have been proposed due to its focus on achieving the standard with cost benefits. The EPBD specifically stated that, in cases where a cost-benefit analysis of the economic lifecycle of a building is conducted and proven to be negative rather than positive, then the nZEB standard does not need to be applied. The selected designed or retrofitted nZEB building is typically defined as the cost- optimal scenario or solution. It has been established that for most cities the number of existing buildings overshadows the possible number of new buildings. Correspondingly, the potential impact of existing buildings, in terms of energy consumption reductions, outweighs that of new buildings. Hence, this thesis focusses on the retrofit of existing buildings. A quantitative research approach is utilised to address the research questions. The outcome of the research is based on real-life case studies and shows how the nZEB standard can be applied to those buildings in practice. The findings presented are based on analysis supported by dynamic simulation modelling of UK buildings, aiming to demonstrate the potential benefits but also highlight the risks associated with achieving such high energy efficiency standards within the built environment. Within this research dynamic simulation modelling is not just used for checking the primary energy consumption and carbon emissions, etc. but as a tool for designing and shaping the retrofit scenarios. The buildings are modelled as a baseline, with individual energy efficient measures, and as a complete retrofit with all the EEMs to help assess a wide range of potential scenarios before selecting the best option in terms of energy and cost benefits. This work also builds on the work presented in CIBSE TM38. A variety of different real-life case studies are utilised to explore what it means to achieve the nZEB standard and apply it on existing UK buildings. They have been presented individually to focus on the various outcomes of each building type.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Construction and engineering
Depositing User: Radwa Salem
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2021 22:13
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2021 22:14
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/7784

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