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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2020

Yahya Wisam Al-saeed, Abdullahi Ahmed and Erika Anneli Pärn

The Middle Eastern terrain is expected to encounter unprecedented climatic conditions before the turn of the next century (circa. 80 years), emanating from extreme heat…

Abstract

Purpose

The Middle Eastern terrain is expected to encounter unprecedented climatic conditions before the turn of the next century (circa. 80 years), emanating from extreme heat waves that exceed the critical threshold of habitable conditions. This threatens to cause a significant challenge that is exacerbated by a gap between the supply and demand of affordable energy. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the potential of utilising nearly zero-energy buildings (nZEB) to improve the performance of residential buildings in Iraq and the Middle East.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses Iraq as a case-study because of the breadth of climatic conditions experienced across its wide-reaching territory and also because of the recent critical infrastructural challenges following the geo-political crisis. Three virtual buildings were simulated for Baghdad, Mosul and Basra cities to narrow the confines of the region to achieve nZEB under current and future climatic weather scenarios.

Findings

The findings showed that in all three cases studies, the buildings located within the three climatic regions in Iraq could achieve both significant annual energy reductions as well as nZEB standards which could range from 41 per cent to 87 per cent for current climatic conditions and 40 per cent to 84 per cent by 2080. An analysis has also been carried out for the three case-study cities which revealed significant operational-cost savings achievable through nZEB buildings.

Originality/value

There are currently limited studies that investigate such positive potential for nZEB strategies under the current and predicted future climatic scenarios in the Middle East.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2016

Mikko Kantola and Arto Saari

The paper aims to reveal the most functioning project delivery systems for nearly zero-energy building (nZEB) projects. The focus is set to reveal the qualities of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to reveal the most functioning project delivery systems for nearly zero-energy building (nZEB) projects. The focus is set to reveal the qualities of the systems that support the nZEB goals and sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

Research method used in this paper is inductive reasoning. The reasoning is based on existing literature, and conclusions are drawn by combining pieces of that literature.

Findings

The state-of-the-art heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and insulation requirements of nZEB technology and the lack of experience in the industry regarding nZEB projects suggest that modern collaboration-based project delivery systems should be favoured. The authors found that the most suitable project delivery system for a standard nZEB project is the integrated project delivery (IPD), which binds the financial goals of the main parties together via a reimbursement solution: target pricing. The authors also found the construction management (CM) at-risk system a suitable solution, especially if it is modified by adding the tools utilised in the IPD approach, thereby making it an IPD lite system.

Originality/value

The paper has value for the entire construction industry in Finland and European Union (EU). The owners and construction companies can use the findings in their development efforts towards nZEB construction. The EU 2020 nZEB degree makes all the findings concerning practicalities of nZEB projects valuable due to the lack of time and the lack of experience in the industry.

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2014

Mikko Kantola and Arto Saari

This article aims to reveal the benefits and opportunities that commissioning procedure has to offer for nearly zero-energy building (nZEB) projects. Another goal is to…

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to reveal the benefits and opportunities that commissioning procedure has to offer for nearly zero-energy building (nZEB) projects. Another goal is to sculpture the commissioning process and, especially, commissioning consultant’s tasks to fit nZEB projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The idea was to incorporate the literature from two fields: commissioning and nZEB, and find out if commissioning would fit nZEB projects. Challenges offered by nZEB technology were pointed out and the solutions offered to these problems by commissioning were established. Expert interviews were used to test the findings.

Findings

Commissioning was found valuable for complex nZEB projects and even worthwhile investing to in simple nZEB projects. Quality assurance is a huge task when the change to nZEB construction happens in 2020 and commissioning can be a valuable tool to prevent large-scale quality problems. A number of additions were made to the example commissioning process used in Finland today.

Originality/value

This article gives evidence for economical usability of commissioning procedure in nZEB projects and reason to start investigating the possibility to attach commissioning as a mandatory procedure to all nZEB projects.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Mikko Kantola and Arto Saari

The purpose of this paper is to identify the risks and challenges related to the change in building construction projects to the European Union (EU) zero-energy building …

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the risks and challenges related to the change in building construction projects to the European Union (EU) zero-energy building (nZEB) decree in the year 2020. Another goal was to create solutions to those risks and challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

A workshop method was chosen to gather up-to-date information from the construction cluster in Finland.

Findings

In the workshop, the main concern was the level of knowledge and know-how with all the parties working with construction projects. As an answer to this challenge, serious and substantial education in the organisations and competence requirements for designers and piloting as much as possible in the next few years was offered. Commissioning consultant was also seen as vital for nZEB project. Tight schedules and unfit project delivery systems were also seen as a risk for nZEB projects. However, modern project delivery systems were seen to be problematic in practice even if they were functional in theory.

Originality/value

The results of the workshop are valuable for all parties working with building construction projects in Finland and the whole EU area.

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Sheikh Zuhaib, Richard Manton, Magdalena Hajdukiewicz, Marcus M. Keane and Jamie Goggins

There is profound demand for higher skills and expertise in retrofitting the existing building stock of Europe. The delivery of low- or nearly zero-energy retrofits is…

Abstract

Purpose

There is profound demand for higher skills and expertise in retrofitting the existing building stock of Europe. The delivery of low- or nearly zero-energy retrofits is highly dependent on technical expertise, adoption of new materials, methods of construction and innovative technologies. Future Irish national building regulations will adopt the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive vision of retrofitting existing buildings to higher energy efficiency standards. Construction industry stakeholders are key for the achievement of energy performance targets. Specifically, the purpose of this paper is to assess the attitudes, approaches and experiences of Irish construction professionals regarding energy efficient buildings, particularly nearly zero-energy buildings (nZEBs).

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through a series of quantitative and qualitative methods, including a survey, a workshop and detailed interviews with professionals in the retrofit industry. The structure of this approach was informed by preliminary data and information available on the Irish construction sector.

Findings

There is a substantial amount of ambiguity and reluctance among the professionals in reaching the Irish nZEB targets. The growing retrofit industry demonstrates low-quality auditing and pre/post-retrofit analysis. Basic services and depth of retrofits are compromised by project budgets and marginal profits. Unaligned value supply chain, poor interaction among nZEB professionals and fragmented services are deterrents to industry standardisation.

Practical implications

This study will enable construction industry stakeholders to make provisions for overcoming the barriers, gaps and challenges identified in the practices of the retrofit projects. It will also inform the formulation of policies that drive retrofit uptake.

Social implications

This study has implications for understanding the social barriers existing in retrofit projects. Support from clients/owners has a diverse impact on energy performance and retrofit decisions. Community-based initiatives are key to unlock the promotion of nZEBs.

Originality/value

This paper provides an overview of current activities of retrofit professionals and analyses the barriers, gaps and challenges in the industry.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 April 2014

Mikko Kantola and Arto Saari

The purpose of this paper is to show the results of the task given by a major research program concerning low-energy building and indoor environment. The task was to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show the results of the task given by a major research program concerning low-energy building and indoor environment. The task was to develop contracting document model layouts to be used in zero-energy building (ZEB) and nearly zero-energy building (nZEB) construction projects.

Design/methodology/approach

A workshop method was chosen for gathering information and developing the layouts.

Findings

In the debate in the workshop three main topics arose: the selection of project delivery system, the use of performance controller for the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems and making innovation possible by making the call for bids as loose as possible.

Research limitations/implications

The use of performance controller could be investigated more, and more accurate information and knowledge about the best practices on nZEB construction can be captured as the industry moves in that direction and more projects will appear.

Originality/value

The goals of the research program were met and also the main issues of nZEB construction contracting were documented, which can be utilized by the whole industry of house building.

Details

Facilities, vol. 32 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2020

Federico Dell'Anna, Marta Bottero, Cristina Becchio, Stefano Paolo Corgnati and Giulio Mondini

The cost-optimal analysis is not able to address the multi-dimensionality of the decision according to the new European objectives and International sustainable…

Abstract

Purpose

The cost-optimal analysis is not able to address the multi-dimensionality of the decision according to the new European objectives and International sustainable development goals in the field of the nearly-zero energy building (NZEB) design. The purpose of this paper is to study the role of multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) for guiding energy investment decisions.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper explores the Preference ranking organization method for enrichment of evaluations II (PROMETHEE II) application to support the project of transforming a rural building into a NZEB. The evaluation provides an estimate of the effects of alternative energy efficiency measures, involving energy consumption, life cycle costs, carbon emissions, property value and indoor comfort criteria. The study performs a multi-actors analysis in order to understand how different consumers' point of views can influence the final choice of the best investment. Furthermore, a multi-site analysis explores the spatial variation of NZEB building appreciation in the real estate market.

Findings

The PROMETHEE II-based model ranks 16 alternative solutions for the NZEB according to energy, economic and extra-economic criteria. The multi-actors analysis highlights the configuration of the NZEB building that best meets the needs of different end-users, respecting the European directives and national standards. The multi-site analysis concludes that location does not change users' appreciation and not influence the output for the best solution.

Originality/value

The MCDA occurs as a support tool that helps to optimize the preliminary design phase of NZEB through the exploration of the optimal solution considering crucial criteria in the energy and environmental and real estate market rules.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2013

Laura Aelenei, Daniel Aelenei, Helder Gonçalves, Roberto Lollini, Eike Musall, Alessandra Scognamiglio, Eduard Cubi and Massa Noguchi

Net Zero-Energy Buildings (NZEBs) have received increased attention in recent years as a result of constant concerns about energy supply constraints, decreasing energy…

Abstract

Net Zero-Energy Buildings (NZEBs) have received increased attention in recent years as a result of constant concerns about energy supply constraints, decreasing energy resources, increasing energy costs and the rising impact of greenhouse gases on world climate. Promoting whole building strategies that employ passive measures together with energy efficient systems and technologies using renewable energy became a European political strategy following the publication of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive recast in May 2010 by the European Parliament and Council. However designing successful NZEBs represents a challenge because the definitions are somewhat generic while assessment methods and monitoring approaches remain under development and the literature is relatively scarce about the best sets of solutions for different typologies and climates likely to deliver an actual and reliable performance in terms of energy balance (consumed vs generated) on a cost-effective basis. Additionally the lessons learned from existing NZEB examples are relatively scarce. The authors of this paper, who are participants in the IEA SHC Task 40-ECBCS Annex 52, “Towards Net Zero Energy Solar Buildings”, are willing to share insights from on-going research work on some best practice leading NZEB residential buildings. Although there is no standard approach for designing a Net Zero-Energy Building (there are many different possible combinations of passive and efficient active measures, utility equipment and on-site energy generation technologies able to achieve the net-zero energy performance), a close examination of the chosen strategies and the relative performance indicators of the selected case studies reveal that it is possible to achieve zero-energy performance using well known strategies adjusted so as to balance climate driven-demand for space heating/cooling, lighting, ventilation and other energy uses with climate-driven supply from renewable energy resources.

Details

Open House International, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0168-2601

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2020

Md. Jewel Rana, Md. Rakibul Hasan, Md. Habibur Rahman Sobuz and Norsuzailina Mohamed Sutan

This study investigates the impact and economic viability of energy-efficient building envelope and orientation for contributing net zero energy building (NZEB) and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates the impact and economic viability of energy-efficient building envelope and orientation for contributing net zero energy building (NZEB) and suggests optimum thermal insulation thickness, optimum wall thickness, appropriate orientation and glazing types of window in the contexts of unique Bangladeshi subtropical monsoon climate.

Design/methodology/approach

The whole study was conducted through energy simulation perspective of an existing office building using building information modeling (BIM) and building energy modeling (BEM) tools which are Autodesk Revit 2017, Autodesk Green Building Studio (GBS) and eQUEST. Numerous simulation patterns were created for energy simulation considering building envelope parameters and orientations. A comprehensive data analysis of simulation results was conducted to sort out efficient passive design strategies.

Findings

The optimum thermal mass and thermal insulation thickness are 6.5 and 0.5 inches, respectively, considering energy performance and economic viability. This study highly recommends that a building should be designed with a small window-to-wall ratio in the south and west face. The window should be constructed with double glazing Low-E materials to reduce solar heat gain. The studied building saves 9.14% annual energy consumption by incorporating the suggested passive design strategies of this study.

Originality/value

The output of this work can add some new energy-efficient design strategies to Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC) because BNBC has not suggested any codes or regulations regarding energy-efficient passive design strategies. It will also be useful to designers of Bangladesh and other countries with similar subtropical climatic contexts which are located in Southeast Asia and Northern Hemisphere of Earth.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2021

Nima Amani, Abdul Amir Reza Soroush, Mostafa Moghadas Mashhad and Keyvan Safarzadeh

The purpose of this paper is to examine the feasibility and design of zero-energy buildings (ZEBs) in cold and semi-arid climates. In this study, to maximize the use of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the feasibility and design of zero-energy buildings (ZEBs) in cold and semi-arid climates. In this study, to maximize the use of renewable energy, energy consumption is diminished using passive solar architecture systems and techniques.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study is a residential building with a floor area of 100 m2 and four inhabitants in the cold and semi-arid climate, northeast of Iran. For thermal simulation, the climate data such as air temperature, sunshine hours, wind, precipitation and hourly sunlight, are provided from the meteorological station and weather databases of the region. DesignBuilder software is applied for simulation and dynamic analysis of the building, as well as PVsyst software to design and evaluate renewable energy performance.

Findings

The simulation results show a 30% decrease in annual energy consumption of the building by complying with the principles of passive design (optimal selection of direction, Trombe wall, shade, proper insulation selection) from 25,443 kWh to 17,767 kWh. Then, the solar energy photovoltaic (PV) system is designed using PVsyst software, taking into account the annual energy requirement and the system’s annual energy yield is estimated to be 26,291 kWh.

Originality/value

The adaptive comparison of the values obtained from the energy analysis indicated that constructing a ZEB is feasible in cold and semi-arid conditions and is considered an effective step to achieve sustainable and environmentally friendly construction.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

Keywords

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