New paper published on IEEE: “Evaluating the Energy Readiness of National Building Stocks Through Benchmarking”

New paper published on IEEE: “Evaluating the Energy Readiness of National Building Stocks Through Benchmarking”

In our new paper, just published in IEEE Access, by analysing nearly 35000 EPC certificates covering 11 building categories in Estonia, we

  • Characterised the time evolution of EPC classes
  • Evaluated the impact of incentives pre/post-renovations
  • Created benchmarking tables to be used in detailed auditing
  • Estimated the year when each building category should reach the ZEB status

The paper is open access and free to download at: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/976354863548

Abstract:

Evaluating the #energy performance of existing buildings is critical for improving the efficiency and resilience of the building stock as a whole. The importance of this information holds at different scales, both locally and at the national and international levels. A major problem arises from the difficulty in obtaining information from existing buildings; often, the only available data are the yearly consumption per unit area, typically corresponding to the energy performance certificate (EPC). This paper shows how to address concerns of practical relevance with a limited number of variables by examining an EPC national database (including the major cities of Tallinn, Pärnu, Tartu, and others) that provides only EPCs, construction/renovation year and heated area. Through a systematic statistical investigation of nearly 35 000 EPCs of educational, office, commercial and other building typologies, we i) characterise the time evolution of EPC classes, ii) evaluate the impact of incentives pre/post-renovations, and iii) create benchmarking tables that allow comparisons of a specific building with the existing stock to identify representative buildings for detailed auditing. The readiness of the Estonian building stock could thus be evaluated by linear fitting. All new and renovated buildings are estimated to achieve the zero-energy building (ZEB) status by 2050; remarkably, for some categories, this will occur already in the present decade if the identified linear trends persist. Additionally, we investigated whether the #COVID-19 pandemic has affected building stock readiness by comparing pre- and post-2020 ZEB year fit estimations. Contrary to what was expected, the change in working habits affected some building types only marginally, while the national regulations played a prominent role. Detached private houses exhibited a pronounced worsening in readiness, while the educational and entertainment sectors benefited from specific energy labelling remodulations.