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FS28 - Tool to Calibrate Cost Effectiveness of Energy Effciency

Written by: CIC Start Online

"Tool to Calibrate Cost Effectiveness of Energy Effciency" by Glasgow School of Art, University of Sheffield and NRGSTYLE Ltd


Scottish homes today are conspicuous energy consumers emitting on average 3 ton-CO2 per house annually which is much higher than the UK average of 2.75 ton-CO2. Moreover, 26% of the households are actually facing fuel poverty. Having recognised the imminent issues, NRGSTYLE Ltd is currently seeking a systematic way (as an eco-housing consulting tool) to calibrate the ‘cost effectiveness’ of energy efficient design and waste reduction measures that can be applied to both delivery and operation of low/zero emission mass custom homes (ZEMCH).

Accordingly, in order to develop the assessment tool and examine the practicality, three residential projects (including 2 existing homes and 1 end-terraced council housing extension project which the company is engaged in the design decision making) are selected. The add-on end-terraced house extension project called ‘ZEMCH Prestwick’ is intended to be built in South Ayrshire by the end of 2011.

Post occupancy evaluation on the energy and domestic water waste will be conducted immediately after the construction. The Excel based cost effectiveness assessment tool to be developed in this study will be used to select energy efficient design and waste reduction solutions to be applied to both delivery and operation of the ZEMCH Prestwick as an initial demonstration.

The 1st applicant of this grant application previously led CIC Start Online feasibility studies on the development of hybrid solar thermal mass and PV/T heat recovery systems; however, the remaining questions are all related to the cost effectiveness of these systems’ implementation. In addition to the choice of active renewable technologies, the scope of low/zero emission housing design decision making usually extends to that of passive design approaches; for instance, the sizes, types and locations of windows, insulation and thermal mass, the gravity of an attached or integral sun space, and the user/builders’ subjective preferences on environmental performance.
In short, the question is: How can active and passive energy efficient design (and resource waste reduction) measures be selected systematically based on the identified design alternatives’ initial and operating costs and performance in consideration of the hike of energy prices and the stakeholders’ preferences?

This feasibility study involves the following research actions:

  • Monitoring the electricity, gas and water usage of 2 existing houses selected to identify the resource waste generating patterns and 1 new build ZEMCH
  • Itemising energy efficiency and resource saving new build and/or retrofit design solutions applied to both delivery and operation of the ZEMCH Prestwick
  • Assessing the cost effectiveness of solution sets identified in view of existing value analysis and mass customisation techniques and SAP 2009
  • Developing a cost effectiveness assessment software tool using MS Excel
  • Compiling a final report that identifies the cost effectiveness analysis techniques, illustrates the assessment procedure and summarises the results
  • Organising a final meeting to lead the company to thorough understanding of the project’s outcomes and outputs including the tool developed

Key words: new building, domestic buildings, post-occupancy evaluation, energy efficiency, carbon footprint, cost calculator


Dr Masa Noguchi, The Glasgow School of Art

Dr Hasim Altan, University of Shefield


The outputs of this study will be disseminated in due course.


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