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Energies 2012, 5(1), 32-44; doi:10.3390/en5010032

On the Establishment of Climatic Zones in Europe with Regard to the Energy Performance of Buildings

* ,
Laboratory of Building Construction and Physics, Department of Civil Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, P.O. BOX 429, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 December 2011 / Revised: 23 December 2011 / Accepted: 26 December 2011 / Published: 29 December 2011
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Nowadays, subjects such as eco-design requirements, product rating or code compliance with regard to energy efficiency are expanding towards a pan-European level. This leads to the necessity of defining zones within the European region, which share common climatic characteristics and will further facilitate the quick estimation of building energy performance. Towards this direction stands the current paper; it presents an approach for defining climatic zones in Europe on the basis of the amount of heating and cooling degree days. It is applied for the climate classification of selected European cities and is compared with the conventional scheme based solely on heating degree days. Since the approach is orientated mainly towards the assessment of building energy performance, its outcomes are evaluated with regard to the actual heating and cooling energy needs of a reference building unit with office use located in representative cities of the proposed climatic zones and facing the four cardinal orientations. The classification of climatic zones on the basis of both heating and cooling degree days leads to more realistic results, since nowadays cooling needs form a substantial part of the energy balance of the building, especially in the Mediterranean regions.
Keywords: heating degree days; cooling degree days; energy performance heating degree days; cooling degree days; energy performance
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Tsikaloudaki, K.; Laskos, K.; Bikas, D. On the Establishment of Climatic Zones in Europe with Regard to the Energy Performance of Buildings. Energies 2012, 5, 32-44.

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