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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Rating the energy performance of buildings


In order to succeed in developing a more sustainable society, buildings will need to be continuously improved. This paper discusses how to rate the energy performance of buildings. A brief review of recent approaches to energy rating is presented. It illustrates that there is no single correct or wrong concept, but one needs to be aware of the relative impact of the strategies. Different strategies of setting energy efficiency standards are discussed and the advantages of the minimum life cycle cost are shown. Indicators for building energy rating based on simulations, aggregated statistics and expert knowledge are discussed and illustrated in order to demonstrate strengths and weaknesses of each approach. In addition, the importance of considering the level of amenities offered is presented. Attributes of a rating procedure based on three elements, flexible enough for recognizing different strategies to achieve energy conservation, is proposed.

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