Economic Analysis for Green Residential and Non-Residential Building Envelopes

Economic Analysis for Green Residential and Non-Residential Building Envelopes

Robert Staiger (E3xpert, Germany)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 33
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9104-7.ch011


Renovating buildings is more useful than ever. Due to future rising energy prices, energy costs in poorly insulated buildings are an important component of operating costs. Another important point is the rapidly growing emissions from the combustion of fossil energy sources. Good insulation in buildings reduces the amount of primary energy and thus, less greenhouse gases are emitted. The renovation potential is high. A large part of the properties consumes more energy than would actually be necessary. Common construction without thermal insulation is responsible for this. It is advisable to invest in renovation, also, in thermal insulation. This will benefit you in two ways. The ancillary (additional) costs will be reduced massively, the living comfort increases and by today's state subsidies in many countries they will make a contribution to the investment costs.
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Scope General Considerations

Renovating buildings is more useful than ever. The primary energy costs of the last 25 years worldwide are rising continuously. For the energy requirements of buildings depending on the energy requirement for heating and cooling, this means a continuous increase in energy costs. In central and northern Europe, as well as North America and Canada, the heating energy requirement is higher compared to the southern regions, where the demand for cooling energy is correspondingly higher.

The energy (heating and cooling) costs in poorly insulated buildings are an important component of operating costs. Around 30-35 percent of primary energy consumption is accounted for by buildings throughout Europe. And there is an enormous savings potential on energy usage and greenhouse gases savings through higher efficiency through better insulated building envelope in Europe (DENA, 2019).

What can the strategic decisions look like when renovating a building?

Depending on the condition of the building and its interactions, where the property is located, different strategic decisions can be made.

In the building structure analysis, the individual building and plant components are compared with the period of use, the amount of energy consumption, the structural condition of the building envelope, the room layout and the size of the apartments and the standard of the apartments. All these aspects make up a picture of the building structure.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Live Cycle Assessment: A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a systematic analysis of the environmental impact of products throughout their life cycle “from cradle to grave”. Life Cycle Assessment includes all environmental impacts during production, the usage phase and the disposal of the product, as well as the related upstream and downstream processes

Insulation Materials: An insulating material is a building material that is preferably used for thermal insulation. Thermal insulation materials are materials with low thermal conductivity and reduce heat or cold losses

Primary Energy: Is the energy that is available with the originally occurring forms of energy or energy sources, such as fuel (e.g. coal or natural gas), but also energy sources such as sun, wind and tides. Primary energy can be converted to secondary energy through a conversion process. Primary or secondary energy, after transmission losses, becomes consumer-usable final energy.

Cradle and Crave: Often, construction products are disposed of as waste after use. The materials are used only once and are either lost to landfills or incinerated and are therefore no longer available for further use. The term “from cradle to grave” stands for this resource-consuming principle

Cradle and Cradle: At the heart of the Cradle to Cradle principle is the idea of thinking in complete product cycles right from the start, and in the first place, not creating waste in the traditional sense. Terms such as ecological, environmentally friendly or sustainable become obsolete. Products should be made in such a way that their end is considered from the beginning. All used material can be reused after use or composted without harmful residues.

Grey Energy: Grey energy is the primary energy necessary to construct a building. Grey energy includes energy used to extract materials, to manufacture and process components, to transport people, machines, components and materials to the construction site, to install building components and to dispose of them

Energy Balance Method: Energy balance methods enable the optimization of the building under the given economic conditions. The energy flows for the building to be calculated are determined using this method. These energy flows can be determined daily, weekly, monthly and annually. Depending on the location of the building, additional meteorological data are included in the calculations

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