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FS26 - Optimization of economic, environmental and energy savings in buildings

Written by: CIC Start Online

"Optimization of economic, environmental and energy savings in buildings" by Edinburgh Napier University and Eurocapita Investment Group;


The need for an energy modelling and decision making tool that aims specifically to buildings outside the residential and commercial sectors was identified as a result of the regular project work undertaken by GEOCAPITA INVESTMENTS LTD. It is clear that there is a lack of data available in energy intensive industrial sectors such as industrial facilities, transportation projects and research and development complexes. In order to collect this data and to turn it into a usable form, the Edinburgh Napier University team has been commissioned to undertake research and to develop a design tool for use by a practicing investment company. 

This project investigates the feasibility of the use of Low or Zero Carbon Energy Sources (LZCES) in the built environment and the development of an innovative software tool. It can be divided into four main development areas; an investigation into the on-site renewable energy resource, an analysis in the building energy usage profile, a development of a decision-making tool for the rapid identification of  the most appropriate LZCES option and a post occupancy monitoring and modelling of a building.

This project details the following considerations of LZCES: passive solar space heating modelling (PSSH); performance of building integrated including solar water collector (SWH); solar photovoltaic (SPV); wind technology (WT);  ground source heat pump (GSHP); tri-generation (TriG); biomass (BioH) and rainwater harvesting (RWH). 

A collection of manufacturers’ data from various LZCES was carried out in order to test the performance of the software tool. Energy, economy and CO2 saving simulations were done on a number of LZCES systems. A final assessment of the number of different options and their impact on the cost, energy and CO2 saving was performed in order to assess the best combination possible. 

The developed software allows the selection of low and zero carbon energy sources (LZCES) in buildings (residential and commercial). It allows defining the optimum combination of LZCES in the building with the 3 variables to be analysed being:  Energy – Environment- Economy (Financial costs).

Key words: renewable energy, cost calculator


Douglas Prentice, GeoCapita Investments Ltd

Dr Aymeric Girard, Energy & Environment Consultant


Held on 19th October 2011

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