The growing concern about climate change and energy security has fostered energy efficiency measures to reduce building consumption in many European countries. The policies and incentives behind these improvements typically rely on pre-calculated expected energy savings. However, evidence shows that the actual energy performance after such interventions often falls short of the expected targets. People's behavior is one of the causes of the energy performance gap between measured and predicted building energy performance. This study contributes to this discussion by analyzing data on air temperature, relative humidity, and Volatile Organic Compounds monitored in eleven apartments in Milan (Italy) before and after building renovation. These data were then used to simulate two representative flats, thus obtaining their energy demand for space heating. The analysis of the measured data shows that users adapt differently to building retrofits. Under the assumption of constant moisture generation during the periods monitored, some occupants appear to increase air change rates and reduce indoor air temperatures, while others show the opposite behaviour. These trends could be related to the fact that some users prioritize air quality over thermal comfort and vice versa. Energy simulations suggest that the former behaviour leads to a larger energy performance gap.

At the roots of the energy performance gap: Analysis of monitored indoor air before and after building retrofits

Carnieletto, Laura
Methodology
;
2023-01-01

Abstract

The growing concern about climate change and energy security has fostered energy efficiency measures to reduce building consumption in many European countries. The policies and incentives behind these improvements typically rely on pre-calculated expected energy savings. However, evidence shows that the actual energy performance after such interventions often falls short of the expected targets. People's behavior is one of the causes of the energy performance gap between measured and predicted building energy performance. This study contributes to this discussion by analyzing data on air temperature, relative humidity, and Volatile Organic Compounds monitored in eleven apartments in Milan (Italy) before and after building renovation. These data were then used to simulate two representative flats, thus obtaining their energy demand for space heating. The analysis of the measured data shows that users adapt differently to building retrofits. Under the assumption of constant moisture generation during the periods monitored, some occupants appear to increase air change rates and reduce indoor air temperatures, while others show the opposite behaviour. These trends could be related to the fact that some users prioritize air quality over thermal comfort and vice versa. Energy simulations suggest that the former behaviour leads to a larger energy performance gap.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/5062881
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