Comfort indicators and energy flexibility in buildings: reports describe concepts and how to connect them to bioclimatic approaches

Recent reports (D3.1, D3.2 & D3.3) prepared by our colleagues from POLIMI explore concepts and definitions about energy flexibility and comfort indicators in buildings - paying close attention to what is relevant when designing bioclimatic projects:

Report D3.1 presents a critical review of the energy performance indicators available in the literature and international standards, in order to identify suitable KPIs which can be used to assess the energy performance of bioclimatic buildings. A set of definitions about these topics has been provided in order to ensure uniformity and coherence. These are the fundaments to guarantee proper communication between researchers, technicians and policymakers – the goal is to summarize the physical concept and definitions for terms such as “energy need for heating or cooling” and “ Total Primary energy use”.  Then a set of indicators is proposed to quantify the building energy performance, according to the terminology and guidelines provided, reporting review of bioclimatic indicators available in the literature.

Additionally, Report D3.2 provides a clear framework about the available methodologies, standards, tools and indicators to assess the Indoor Environmental Quality (i.e. thermal, acoustic, visual comfort and air quality) targeted for bioclimatic architecture. To pursue this object a critical review regarding performance indicators available in literature and international standards was carried out. The main concepts and their operative definitions have been clearly presented for effective design work and communication.  Aa a result, a list of Key Performance Indicators is  proposed for bioclimatic architecture in Europe and Africa. They will be used to monitor and verify the conditions of the indoor environment in the selected buildings in case studies task,  to offer a comparison between the case studies and provide guidelines for bioclimatic design in warm climates.

Report D3.3 aims to describe the concept of flexible building though a critical review of the main methodologies, definitions and indicators available in literature and international standards (not easily accessible and familiar to those outside academia). The concept of energy flexibility originates from the approach related to demand side management but has recently received growing attention to support the growing electrification and penetration of renewable energy sources.  The literature review shows a large number of indicators used to evaluate different control and operation strategies of energy flexible buildings. The analysis shows a lack of insights into indicators and example of application related to cooling dominated climates. Further, some indicators are very complex and require many input data which are difficult to be collected (especially in the absence of a proper building energy management system).

Click here to access other reports and results recently published!

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