Building energy efficiency has become a top priority for governments across the globe due to the recent energy price volatility and increasing concern regarding climate change. New buildings are considered the easiest and least costly way in which to increase energy efficiency, making new construction an excellent target for efficiency improvements. The goals of this paper are to estimate life-cycle energy savings, carbon emission reduction, and cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency measures in new commercial buildings using an integrated design approach. A total of 384 energy simulations are run for 12 prototypical buildings in 16 cities, with 2 building designs, ASHRAE 90.1-2004 compliant and a Low Energy Case, for each building-location combination. Whole building energy consumption simulations and extensive building cost databases are used to determine the life-cycle cost-effectiveness and carbon emissions of each design. The results show conventional energy efficiency technologies can be used to decrease energy use in new commercial buildings by 20 % to 30 % on average and up to over 40 % for some building types and locations. These reductions can often be done at negative life-cycle costs over a short study period because the improved efficiencies allow the installation of smaller, less expensive HVAC equipment. These improvements not only save money and energy, but reduce a building's carbon footprint by 16 % on average.
Proceedings Title: International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction World Building Congress 2010 - Building a Better World
Conference Dates: May 10-13, 2010
Conference Location: Salford Quays, -1
Pub Type: Conferences
carbon footprint, energy efficiency, integrated design, life-cycle assessment, life-cycle costing