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Integrated Building Concepts

Integrated Building Concepts are integrated design solutions where responsive building elements and energy-systems are integrated into one system to reach an optimal environ-mental performance in terms of energy performance, resource consumption, ecological loadings and indoor environmental quality.

Download Annex 44 brochure

 

Annex 44 Integrated Building Concepts - is a taskshared international research project initiated by the IEA Implementing Agreement "Energy Conservation in Buildings and Community Systems (ECBCS)". Annex 44 is a four-year project running from 2005 -2008 with about 25 research institutes, universities and private companies from 13 countries world wide participating.


Background

Energy usage for room heating, cooling and ventilation still accounts for more than one third of the total, primary energy demand in the industrialised countries, and is in this way a major polluter of the environment (CO2, greenhouse-gases, …). To successfully achieve the targets set out in the Kyoto protocols it is necessary to identify innovative energy technologies and solutions for the medium and long term which facilitates the implementation and integration of low carbon technologies, such as renewable energy devices within the built environment. Deployment of low carbon technologies still faces major barriers in the built environment especially in relation to costs, building logistics, technological challenges, lack of understanding and knowledge and absence of requisite skills. More over, there is world wide growing concern about the type of energy used for different purposes.

Research into building energy efficiency over the last decade has focused on efficiency improvements of specific building elements like the building envelope, including its walls, roofs and fenestration components (windows, daylighting, ventilation, etc.) and building equipment such as heating, ventilation, cooling equipment and lighting.

Significant improvement have been made, and whilst most building elements still offer opportunities for efficiency improvements, the greatest future potential lie with technologies that promote the integration of responsive building elements and communication among building services. In this perspective Integrated Building Concepts are defined as solutions where responsive building elements together with energy systems are integrated into one system to reach an optimal environmental performance in terms of energy performance, resource consumption, ecological loadings and indoor environmental quality. Responsive Building Elements are defined as building construction elements which are actively used for transfer and storage of heat, light, water and air. This means that construction elements (like floors, walls, roofs, foundation etc.) are logically and rationally combined and integrated with building service functions such as heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting. The development, application and implementation of responsive building elements are considered to be a necessary step towards further energy efficiency improvements in the built environment.

With the integration of responsive building elements and building services, building design completely changes from design of individual systems to integrated design of integrated building concepts, which should allow for optimal use of natural energy strategies (daylighting, natural ventilation, passive cooling, etc.) as well as integration of renewable energy devices.

Definitions

Integrated Building Concepts

Integrated Building Concepts are defined as design solutions where responsive building elements together with energy systems are integrated into one system to reach an optimal environmental performance in terms of energy performance, resource consumption, ecological loadings and indoor environmental quality.

Responsive Building Elements

Responsive Building Elements are defined as building construction elements which are actively used for transfer and storage of heat, light, water and air. This means that construction elements, like floors, walls, roofs, foundation etc., are logically and rationally combined and integrated with building services systems such as heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting. The development, application and implementation of responsive building elements are considered to be a necessary step towards further energy efficiency improvements in the built environment.

Environmental performance

Environmental performance comprises energy performance with its related indoor environmental quality (IEQ) as well as energy related resource consumption, ecological loadings.

Objectives

The annex will address the following objectives:

  • State-of-the-art review of responsive building elements, of integrated building concepts and of environmental performance assessment methods
  • Improve and optimise responsive building elements
  • Develop and optimise new building concepts with integration of responsive building elements, HVAC-systems as well as natural and renewable energy strategies
  • Develop guidelines and procedures for estimation of environmental performance of responsive building elements and integrated building concepts

Products

Results from Annex 44 will be collected and transformed into information that meets the needs of the main target groups. The products will be available from this website, when the project is finished. The main products will be:

  • State-of-the-art report of responsive building elements, integrated building concepts as well as integrated design methods and environmental performance assessment tools (main target group is researchers)
  • Manufacturers’ Guide for development, optimization and performance assessment of responsive building elements including examples of application in integrated building concepts (main target group is manufacturers)
  • Designers’ Guide for design of integrated building concepts, including integration of responsive building elements and HVAC-systems and build examples, and for rough evaluation of building performance with regard to functionality, flexibility, energy savings, indoor climate, robustness and cost. (main target group is architects)
  • Experts’ Guide with detailed information regarding design and analysis of integrated building concepts, integration strategies of responsive building elements and HVAC-systems and optimum use of simulation methods and tools to assess environmental performance and robustness of integrated building concepts. (main target group is engineers)
  • General Booklet describing the principles of responsive building elements and integrated building concepts, their benefits and limitations, economical feasibility and impact on energy savings, company image, comfort, productivity, building functionality and flexibility. (main target group is building owners, developers and end users)
  • Journal articles, conference papers and working reports with detailed information of Annex research results (main target group is researchers)

Research Programme

The following three subtasks will be carried out in order to reach the objectives:

  • Subtask A: Responsive Building Elements
  • Subtask B: Integrated Building Concepts
  • Subtask C: Implementation and dissemination

Subtask A. Responsive Building Elements

The subtask will focus on improvement of responsive building element concepts including assessment of the advantages, requirements and limitations. The subtask will focus on systems that has the potential to be successfully integrated with integrated building concepts

The objective will be:

  • Define state-of-the-art of responsive building elements
  • Improve and optimise the environmental performance of responsive building elements
  • Provide guidelines for implementation of responsive building elements in integrated building concepts
  • Provide guidelines for application of methods and tools to assess the environmental performance of responsive building elements

Activities will include:

  • Review of:
    • Existing technologies including both new build as well as retrofit applications
    • Technical barriers, requirements and limitations related to climate, building use and building scale environment, including emphasis to urban environment
    • Experimental procedures and application of simulation tools for performance evaluation
  • Classification of existing responsive building elements
  • Improvement of concepts for responsive building elements
    • Qualitative and quantitative investigation of environmental performance of  existing technologies by means of case studies and site measurements, laboratory tests and simulation exercises
    • Development and optimization of improved concepts and technologies, especially with regard to implementation in integrated building concepts, in close relation to Subtask B.
    • Analyses of robustness and performance sensitivity to differences in boundary conditions (outdoor climate, building use, occupant behavior, ..), control strategies and implementation strategies in integrated building concepts 

The results will be:

  • State-of-the-art of responsive building elements, experimental procedures and application of simulation tools
  • Responsive building elements with improved environmental performance and guidelines for their optimal use
  • Improved implementation strategies for responsive building elements in integrated building concepts
  • Guidelines for application of methods and tools for estimation of environmental performance of responsive building elements
  • Information on experimental procedures for evaluation of environmental performance of responsive building elements

Subtask B. Integrated Building Concepts

The subtask will focus on development of integrated building concepts where responsive building elements, energy-systems and control systems are integrated into one system to reach an optimal environmental performance

The objective will be:

  • Develop and optimise new building concepts with integration of responsive building elements, energy-systems and control strategies

Activities will include:

  • Review of integrated building concepts including:
    • Related design processes and guidelines
    • Technical barriers and opportunities for integration of responsive building elements and energy-systems in building concepts
    • Existing integrated design and simulation tools
    • Application of responsive building elements and integrated concepts in existing buildings (case studies)
  • Development and environmental performance assessment of integrated building concepts
    • Define performance criteria for integration of responsive building elements in different types of buildings
    • Develop and optimise control strategies at system (building) level and communication with BEMS or other building services systems
    • Develop new integrated building concepts according to differences in building type, building use, occupant behavior, climate, location, energy sources, services, etc., based on environmental performance assessment, analysis of performance sensitivity and cost analysis.

The results will be:

  • State-of-the-art of integrated building concepts, design processes as well as design and simulation tools
  • Guidelines for integration of responsive building elements and energy-systems in integrated building concepts including a database of “good” solutions and recommendations on how to avoid sensitive solutions, overcome barriers and reduce cost.
  • New integrated building concepts
  • Information and guidelines on procedures and use of tools for assessment of environmental performance of integrated building concepts

Subtask C. Implementation and Dissemination

The focus of the subtask will be to guide, collect, packet, transform and disseminate the findings generated in Subtasks A and B. The main target groups are manufacturers of building elements/contractors, designers (architects and engineers), but also end-users and building owners.

The objectives will be:

  • To disseminate and implement results in Subtask A and B.

Activities will include:

  • Investigation of implementation barriers
    • Inventory of potentials and barriers for integration of responsive building elements and energy-systems in integrated building concepts, based on the combined analysis above for standards and building regulations, working tradition, lack/need for cooperation between designers (architects, engineers, manufacturers), lack/need of theoretical guidelines/tools, lack/need of databases and practical demonstrations (laboratory or full scale)
  • Identification of information needs of target groups
    • Identification of information needs of main target groups (manufacturers, architects, engineers, building owners and end users)

Specification of requirements for the annex deliverables based on the inventory above.

Activities

Subtask A. Responsive Building Elements

  • Activity A1: Review and classification of existing responsive      building elements:
  • Activity A2: Investigation of performance of existing responsive building elements
  • Activity A3: Improvement of concepts for responsive building elements
  • Activity A4: Analysis of robustness, performance sensitivity and simulation accuracy
  • Activity A5: Manufacturers’ Guide

Subtask B. Integrated Building Concepts

  • Activity B1: Review of design processes for integrated building concepts
  • Activity B2: Investigation of Performance of existing integrated building concepts
  • Activity B3: Development and optimization of integrated building concepts
  • Activity B4: Analysis of performance sensitivity of integrated building concepts and prediction tools
  • Activity B5: Experts’ Guide

Subtask C. Implementation and Dissemination

  • Activity C1: Investigation of implementation barriers
  • Activity C2: Identification of information needs of target groups
  • Activity C3: State-of-the-art
  • Activity C4: Designers’ Guide
  • Activity C5: General Booklet
  • Activity C6: Information Activities