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Integrated and smart design for buildings and communities

Mavrigiannaki Angeliki

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Year 2021
Type of Item Doctoral Dissertation
Bibliographic Citation Angeliki Mavrigiannaki, "Integrated and smart design for buildings and communities", Doctoral Dissertation, School of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece, 2021
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The concept of zero energy has emerged as the flagship for the achievement of energy conservation and CO2 emissions reduction in the built environment. Expanding the zero energy scale from buildings to communities offers the potential of overcoming the limitations of single buildings related to building use, size, on-site renewable energy availability and cost.In order to achieve the green, sustainable, zero energy performance aspirations, building design is undergoing a paradigm shift with the introduction of the Integrated Design Process (IDP). The IDP is an iterative process that requires involvement and collaboration of various professionals from the start of a project.For the design and operation of high performing, zero energy buildings and communities, measurement and verification (M&V) of performance is identified as a crucial task. As a result, a vast amount of data is available through monitoring equipment and sensors that form an interconnected, interoperable network of knowledge. This knowledge coupled with the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) makes the built environment smart.The literature so far on zero energy communities is mainly theoretical, in that it does not present experience from realised projects. This work contributes by presenting the integrated approach that has been implemented in four pilot zero energy neighbourhoods (ZEN), as well as the lessons learned from its implementation. The experience gained through the integrated approach to design, construction, and monitoring of the four pilot ZEN revealed two main issues: 1) the external barriers that are raised by the planning policies and regulations; and 2) the challenge of managing and integrating the needs and requirements of multiple project stakeholders.To overcome these barriers while securing the benefits of the approach, the management of such projects needs to focus from the outset on the establishment of a project management structure that will ensure the coordination and integration of the various stakeholders. The use of a standardized collaboration protocol from the preliminary design stage is recommended to facilitate future projects. In addition regulations need to be updated towards facilitating zero energy community project implementation.Currently, there is limited application of rigorous M&V procedures in the design, delivery and operation of low/zero energy dwellings and communities. Focusing on the M&V that has been designed and implemented in the four pilots, it has incorporated guidance from existing protocols, linked to the project development phases, and populated with lessons learned through implementation. The resulting framework demonstrates that M&V is not strictly linked to the operational phase of a project but is rather an integral part of the project management and development, accompanied by quality control in every step. The proposed framework can be useful to project managers for integrating M&V into the project management and explicitly aligning it with the project development stages into an Integrated Design and Delivery process.The measured performance data that have been obtained from the first M&V year of a pilot zero energy neighbourhood reveal that the design targets for at least 50 kWh/m2/year RES production at neighbourhood level and maximum 20 kWh/m2/year of net regulated energy consumption at building level have been achieved. These results have been obtained through an integrated approach to design, construction and monitoring for the neighbourhood, with investment cost 24% lower than the investment cost for a single zero energy building (ZEB) of similar performance. Nevertheless, a non-negligible performance gap caused by occupants has been identified.When considering the total consumption and PV production of the pilot ZEN, the first five months of monitoring starting from the beginning of summer, it has achieved a positive balance. Overall, the neighbourhood has achieved a positive energy balance on a yearly basis for its regulated energy needs. Renewable energy production technologies are indispensable to the zero energy communities, but often production does not match demand. Forecasting allows the design and implementation of management schedules depending on expected production and demand, thus assisting towards more efficient and smart operation. The development of artificial neural networks (ANN) has been proved effective towards production forecasting 24h ahead.Common theme for discussion for all topics has been the role of humans, either as occupants or users or citizens. Humans need to be involved as stakeholders within an integrated design and project delivery process. Understanding of their needs, expectations and behaviour is critical for effectively designing, evaluating and managing the zero energy and smart building or community projects.

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