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  • PublisherCIBSE
  • Product CodeTM38
  • Number of pages33
  • Publication DateOct 2006
  • ISBN9781903287736

TM38: Renewable energy sources for buildings


PDF Format







PDF Format






TM38: Renewable energy sources for buildings

This publication is supported by a supplementary file which is an Excel-based software tool - download here

This guidance has been produced as part of the CIBSE's response to a growing need to reduce carbon emissions from buildings.

Several renewable energy technologies can be successfully integrated into buildings and developments if they are considered in the early stages of the planning and design process. This document gives guidance to developers, planners, designers and building owners to enable them to consider integrated renewable energy systems at this early stage.

The guidance helps to identify the most appropriate low or zero carbon (LZC) energy solutions for buildings and/or developments based on users' requirements. It should be used at the early stages of a project, before factors such as orientation, building form, numbers of storeys, heating and ventilation strategy etc. have been established. It will be particularly helpful for projects which are required to carry out an assessment of the options for integrated renewable supply or are subject to explicit requirements set in Unitary Development Plans.

The information presented is intended as simple guidance to support the key early decisions. The printed guidance is supported by a simple Microsoft® Excel-based software tool, which aims to provide an indication of the most promising options, based on the limited information available at the earliest stages of design. It identifies those options which are most likely to warrant further investigation or a detailed feasibility study. See the link above for free access to this tool.


1. Purpose of this publication
1.1 Printed guidance
1.2 Software tool
1.3 Target audience

2. Context
2.1 What are low or zero carbon energy technologies?
2.2 Building-integrated LZC energy sources
2.3 Guidance and regulations surrounding LZC energy sources
2.4 Building energy efficiency versus renewable energy
2.5 Low energy building design
2.6 How to select LZC technologies

3. How to use the decision support tool
3.1 Stage 1: Comparison of relative performance
3.2 Stage 2: Initial technology assessment

4. Low or zero carbon technologies
4.1 Technologies covered by this guidance
4.2 Solar thermal
4.3 Photovoltaics (PV)
4.4 District heating and cooling
4.5 Combined heat and power
4.6 Ground source cooling
4.7 Ground source heat pumps
4.8 Wind power
4.9 Biofuels

5. Supplementary technologies
5.1 Energy storage
5.2 Inverters and synchronisation
5.3 Absorption cooling


Appendix A1: Further reading and websites
Appendix A2: Case studies
Appendix A3: Carbon dioxide emission factors



Principal author: Andrew Thorne (BRE)

Contributors: Brian Mark (Fulcrum Consulting); Tessa Parnell (Fulcrum Consulting)

Task Group
Chair: Terry Wyatt (Hoare Lea Associates)
Members: Sebastian Berry (Renewable Power Association); Andrew Bowles (Sheppard Robson); John Burdett (BRE Trust); Simon Burton (Faber Maunsell); Sandra Gomez (BRE); Suzanne LeMiere (Greater London Authority); David Smith (RICS/Building Regulations Advisory Committee); Mark Thomas (DTI/Future Energy Solutions); Gavin Clark (DTI/Future Energy Solutions); Hywel Davies (CIBSE)