Energy, carbon and cost performance of building stocks: upgrade analysis, energy labelling and national policy development

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The area of policy formulation for the energy and carbon performance of buildings is coming under increasing focus. A major challenge is to account for the large variation within building stocks relative to factors such as location, climate, age, construction, previous upgrades, appliance usage, and type of heating/cooling/lighting system. Existing policy-related tools that rely on simple calculation methods have limited ability to represent the dynamic interconnectedness of technology options and the impact of possible future changes in climate and occupant behaviour. The use of detailed simulation tools to address these limitations in the context of policy development has hitherto been focussed on the modelling of a number of representative designs rather than dealing with the spread inherent in large building stocks. Further, these tools have been research-oriented and largely unsuitable for direct use by policy-makers, practitioners and, ultimately, building owners/occupiers. This paper summarises recent initiatives that have applied advanced modelling and simulation in the context of policy formulation for large building stocks. To exemplify the stages of the process, aspects of the ESRU Domestic Energy Model (EDEM) are described. EDEM is a policy support tool built on detailed simulation models aligned with the outcomes of national surveys and future projections for the housing stock. On the basis of pragmatic inputs, the tool is able to determine energy use, carbon emissions and upgrade/running cost for any national building stock or sub-set. The tool has been used at the behest of the Scottish Building Standards Agency and South Ayrshire Council to determine the impact of housing upgrades, including the deployment of new and renewable energy systems, and to rate the energy/carbon performance of individual dwellings as required by the European Commission's Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (EC 2002).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalAdvances in Building Energy Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2009


  • national building stock
  • performance simulation
  • upgrade policy
  • energy performance certificate
  • energy
  • carbon
  • cost performance
  • building stocks
  • upgrade analysis
  • energy labelling
  • national policy development

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