Methodology for holistic retrofitting in commercial buildings


Ecoshopping retrofitting methodology considers technical, energy, legal and economic aspects forming a holistic retrofitting solution for commercial buildings, with the aim to reduce primary energy consumption of the target building and increase the share of Renewable Energy Sources.

Based on the methodology, a guideline was developed collecting the good practices from EcoShopping project, including the implementation of a pre-retrofit assessment of the building, identification of the most suitable kit of HVAC and Renewable Energy System, lighting and insulation solutions along with a proper Operation and Maintenance control through an Intelligent Automation Unit.

This Ecoshopping methodology is structured in the flowing steps for the retrofitting assessment, definition and deployment.

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Project Setup and Pre-retrofit Survey

  • Building codes and the EPBD
  • National building energy regulations and standards
  • Equipment standards
  • Building envelop
  • Indoor air quality
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  • Existing stock by age bands
  • Envelope performance
  • HVAC system types and consumptions
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  • To guide the owner to first define the scope of the work and set project targets. The available resources to frame the budget and programme of work can then be defined.
  • Owner requirements
  • End user assessment
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  • Three primary lease structures in commercial real estate:
  • 1. Gross lease 2. Net lease 3. Fixed-base lease:
  • Routes to fund the retrofitting project
  • 1. Purchase of equipment and services 2. Performance Contracting
  • Benefits
  • 1. Cost saving benefits, 2. Additional benefits
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    Energy Auditing and Performance Assessment

  • Collect and analyse historical energy use
  • Study the building and its operational characteristics
  • Identify potential modifications that will reduce the energy use and/or cost
  • Perform an engineering and economic analysis of potential modifications.
  • Prepare a rank-ordered list of appropriate modifications
  • Prepare a report to document the analysis process and results
  • 1. Analysis of at least one year of utility consumption and cost, review of building plans, and a walk-through of the building itself to establish
  • Type of building, principal use, and area
  • Annual energy use
  • Cost index
  • Breakdown of various spaces within the building by function, hours of use, and area
  • Determine if efficiency may be affected by building functions that differ from the original functional intent of the building
  • Determine if any maintenance problems or practices may affect efficiency
  • Assessment of a building’s energy cost and efficiency
  • Identify and provide a savings and cost analysis of low-cost/no-cost measures

  • 2. Description and analysis of the energy-using systems of the building, resulting from on-site observation, measurement, and engineering calculations, including
  • Envelope
  • Lighting
  • HVAC
  • Other systems

  • 3. As a result of engineering analysis and economic calculations, develop:
  • Breakdown of the components of annual energy use and cost.
  • Recommended energy conservation measures
  • A description and cost estimate of repairs needed.
  • A description and cost estimate of measurement and verification methods needed.

  • 4. Simulation model
  • Align the model with the real energy consumption.
  • Benchmark to analyse the energy savings with different retrofitting options
  • Software: Ansys Fluent, eQUEST, Therm, TRNSYS, MATLAB, SIMULINK, etc.
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    Identification of Retrofit Options

    A simple workflow to analyse the retrofit options
  • Insulating materials for walls/roofs
  • Insulating products/technologies for windows
  • Air-cleaning products
  • Daylighting
  • Artificial lighting
  • Ventilation
  • Renewables and heat pumps
  • Combined heat and power (chp)
  • Storage and distribution
  • Cooling technologies
  • Control strategy
  • Sensing network
  • O&M rating system: Key Performance Indicators
  • Operation and Maintenance manual
  • Operation and Maintenance plan
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    Site Implementation and Testing

  • Specific design
  • Permits and authorization
  • Project management
  • Electrical base installation
  • Installation of monitoring system
  • Load reduction:
  • 1. Daylighting 2. Lighting 3. insulation
  • Installation of RES
  • Installation of HVAC
  • Installation of BMS
  • Modification of service contracts
  • Energy consumption
  • Indoor environment
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    Validation and Verification

  • Collect and analyse monitoring data
  • Assess the final energy performance. Post-Retrofit building assessment.
  • Review gaps between theoretical values and experimental performance
  • Adjust the installed equipment if necessary.
  • Carbon footprint impact
  • Evaluation of the Indoor comfort parameters
  • Include site surveys
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