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Barnham, Bob and Heath, Nicholas and Pearson, Gary (2008) Technical Paper 3: Energy modelling analysis of a traditionally built Scottish tenement flat. Technical Report. Historic Scotland, Technical Conservation Group.

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Changeworks tested four different energy-modelling methodologies in relation to a traditionally built Georgian tenement flat in central Edinburgh. The results demonstrated that each software model will generate a different result, depending on the content and amount of the data sets. As a general rule, the more detailed the data sets, the more accurate the energy model. In terms of construction dates, most energy modelling software systems group construction dates into bands that broadly correspond with changes in Building Standards, allowing a reasonable degree of accuracy. However, everything built before 1919 (or 1900 depending on the software model) is grouped into a single category (‘Pre- 1919’ or ‘Pre 1900’). This makes inaccuracies more likely when modelling the energy efficiency of older housing, due to the wide range of building types, local construction methods, materials, built forms and so on. This is an important point, showing an in-built generic approach to most energy modelling of older housing. Some software models assume incorrect building sizes, not taking into account the larger room sizes common in older housing. This immediately weakens the subsequent energy rating assigned to the property. In addition, built forms such as tenemental flats have a relatively low ‘floor/external wall area’ ratio: some software packages were not sufficiently sensitive to adapt to this scenario, and thus generated a higher-thanexpected energy efficiency rating. Some software packages take no account of local climate data, which again can lead to unrealistic energy ratings (regardless of the age of the property) depending on the geographic location of the property. Within these software models, some data sets are more flexible than others, allowing pre-set values to be over-written. The user can thereby manually ‘construct’ the build type (for example) in order to create a more accurate energy model. Other models, however, contain only fixed values, which may sometimes be inaccurate, particularly in relation to older traditionally built housing. Such generic treatments and in-built inflexibilities of these software models predispose older housing to less accurate energy efficiency ratings (both up and down) than their actual efficiency might be. The actually property surveyed for this research achieved reasonably high energy ratings, however as shown by the subsequent analysis, the property’s true energy efficiency and the software accuracy are far from clear-cut. Looking to the future, with the emergence of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), it seems likely the software package behind them (Reduced data Standard Assessment Procedure or RdSAP) will become the main model by which the energy efficiency of domestic properties is rated. Other programmes such as National Home Energy Rating (NHER) may well become less common. Furthermore, as concluded by this research, there is a case for the development of a new software package to provide a truly accurate energy efficiency model for older, traditionally built, Scottish housing.

Item Type: Monograph (Technical Report)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Energy modelling, simulation, software, Georgian tenement flat
Subjects: ?? case ??
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English > Simulation
Depositing User: Anna Samuelsson
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2012 13:42
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2017 11:22

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