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Quantifying and mitigating differences between predicted and measured energy use in buildings

Van Dronkelaar, Chris; (2018) Quantifying and mitigating differences between predicted and measured energy use in buildings. Doctoral thesis (Eng.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Simulation is commonly utilised as a best practice approach to assess building performance in the building industry, and can help facility managers and engineers identify energy saving potentials, forecast future scenarios and evaluate the energy and cost performance of energy saving measures. However, the built environment is complex and influenced by a large number of independent and interdependent variables, making it difficult to achieve an accurate representation of real-world building energy in-use. This gives rise to significant discrepancies between simulation results and actual measured energy consumption of real buildings, termed ‘the performance gap’. This is partly fueled by a lack of understanding of the procedural differences between national calculation methodologies and energy certificates commonly employed in presenting energy use. As such, a classification was adhered to, which distinguishes between three different performance gaps; the regulatory gap (predictions from compliance modelling), static gap (predictions based on performance modelling), and dynamic gap (calibrated predictions taking a longitudinal perspective). This research added to knowledge by making three separate contributions. The first contribution was the exploration of industry practices and stakeholders, which identified common barriers to delivering high building performance, and made suggestions on how to overcome such barriers. Through semi-structured interviews and round-table discussions with industry experts, five key factors were suggested for delivering better building performance. The second and third contributions emerged from case research, for which an overarching methodology was developed, aiming to quantify and mitigate differences between predicted and measured energy use. Fundamental tasks within the methodology were based upon previous research efforts, while new techniques were introduced to include the uncertainty of typically static input parameters to improve the calibration process. In particular, the second contribution was the quantification of the underlying causes of the performance gap and mitigation of differences between predicted and measured energy use in four case study buildings, through the application of sensitivity, and uncertainty analysis and manual calibration. Subsequently, the third contribution investigated the effect of data granularity on model calibration accuracy through meta-model based optimisation.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Eng.D
Title: Quantifying and mitigating differences between predicted and measured energy use in buildings
Event: University College London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2018. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10061540
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