Towards a Minergie Standard for tropical climates
The Swiss Minergie®-standard is, by the number of labelled buildings (> 20'000) one of the most successful building energy labels in the world. It is obviously a strong incentive for designing comfortable, low energy buildings. This standard is now valid for temperate - cold climates only. There is therefore a need for a similar standard for buildings dominated by cooling loads, as it is common in the tropical and sub-tropical climates of the world. Since the new EPFL campus planned in Ras al Kaimah (United Arab Emirates) should be exemplary, a project was launched by the Dean of EPFL Middle East, together with Minergie®-Association and the Solar Energy and Building Physics Laboratory of EPFL, aiming to set-up such a standard. In order to initiate this project, two buildings (a single family dwelling and an office building) were chosen. The single-family dwelling was simulated at an hourly time step using a detailed dynamic thermal model based on the computer simulation programme Energy plus issued from LBNL. The monthly energy consumption of the dwelling shows a good correlation with the monitored data. In addition to that, both energy consumptions, calculated with the dynamic and the simplified models are close to each other, giving confidence to the predictions of the latter. Therefore, both buildings were assessed using a simplified monthly energy balance method. Starting from the current buildings configurations, several variants implementing various improvements towards energy efficiency were considered. These simulations show that considerable energy saving (up to a factor 5) can be achieved by implementing together several improvements to these buildings. In addition, the building reaches a higher level of users comfort.
Record created on 2012-01-26, modified on 2016-08-09