Skip to main content
Core bundles of technologies to achieve deep energy retrofit of major renovation
Back To All Knowledge Items

Core bundles of technologies to achieve deep energy retrofit of major renovation

Standard Rate
Member Rate

Back to 2016 Symposium Overview

Session 15 Paper 1, Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh, 14-15 April 2016

Download full paper using download links above or download slides

Numerous pilot projects conducted all over the world have demonstrated that energy use in commercial and public buildings can been reduced by more than 50% after renovation [1]. In fact, some renovated buildings have met the Passive House Institute energy efficiency standard or have even achieved a “Net Zero” energy state [2]. Research [3,4,5] has identified more than 400 energy efficiency measures that can be used when buildings are retrofitted. Such measures include those related to the building envelope, mechanical and lighting systems, energy generation and distribution, internal processes, etc. Implementation of some individual measures (such as building envelope insulation, improved airtightness, co-generation, etc.) can significantly reduce building heating and cooling loads or minimize energy waste, but require significant investments with long paybacks. However, when a limited number of “core technologies” are implemented together (“bundled”), they can significantly reduce energy use for a smaller investment and thereby provide a faster payback.

Characteristics of some of these “core technology” measures depend on the technologies available on an individual nation’s market, on the minimum requirements of national standards, and on economics (as determined by a Life Cycle Cost [LCC] analysis). In addition to these measures, requirements related to building envelope-related technologies (e.g., insulation levels, windows, vapor and water barriers, requirements for building airtightness, etc.) depend on specific climate conditions. National teams associated with the International Energy Agency Energy Conservation in Buildings and Communities Program (IEA EBC) Annex 61 “Business and Technical Concepts for Deep Energy Retrofit of Public Buildings” have studied such conditions by computer simulation [6,7,8,9]. This paper summarizes the results of these studies, which will be used in an IEA EBC Annex 61 “Deep Energy Retrofit (DER) Guide.” The key to making a DER cost effective is to time the retrofit as part of a major building renovation that already has allocated funds, including those required to meet minimum energy requirements. Since there is an overlap between the funds allocated for the retrofit and those required for the DER, achieving the DER requires only an incremental cost because the DER is evaluated based on a bundle of core technologies, not on individual energy efficiency measures.