Rehva guidebook

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2.3Building Requirements

In the past decades, the building envelope of modern buildings has improved significantly. Therefore, buildings with a comparatively low heating and cooling demand - the cornerstone of a sustainable energy concept - can be realized in Mid-European climates. Those buildings aim to establish a pleasant interior environment without costly building service equipment and without an excessive energy use. While the heating demand in non-residential buildings could be reduced significantly, the cooling demand is growing because of increased internal loads by office appliances and increased glazed areas on modern commercial buildings. This trend has been amplified by recent warmer summers in many areas and an increased demand for comfort.

Cooling demand for comfort purpose in buildings is mainly due to climatic conditions. Other important factors are building standards, the cooling system installed, and occupant behavior [ECOHEATCOOL 2006].

  • Regional climatic conditions: temperature and humidity differences depending on geographical position. The predominating factor is usually the outdoor air temperature.

  • Urban climatic conditions: the climate in densely built area can differ from surrounding climate as for example the temperature wind speed, and humidity.

  • Building design: the architectural and structural design features of the building have a strong impact on the indoor climate (building layout, insulation, window orientation, shading, ventilation, daylighting concept, and micro-climate around the building.

  • Building use: Furthermore internal heat gains from people, lighting, and equipment account for the cooling demand.

  1. Comfort requirements and use: working hours, vacation period, and the required indoor temperature have a major impact on the cooling demand and consumption.


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