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Climate 2018, 6(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli6020037

A Multi-Criteria Approach to Achieve Constrained Cost-Optimal Energy Retrofits of Buildings by Mitigating Climate Change and Urban Overheating

1
Department of Industrial Engineering, Università degli studi di Napoli Federico II, Piazzale Tecchio 80, 80125 Naples, Italy
2
Department of Medicine, Università degli studi del Molise, Via Cesare Gazzani 47, 86100 Campobasso, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 4 May 2018 / Published: 8 May 2018
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Abstract

About 40% of global energy consumption is due to buildings. For this reason, many countries have established strict limits with regard to building energy performance. In fact, the minimization of energy consumption and related polluting emissions is undertaken in the public perspective with the main aim of fighting climate change. On the other hand, it is crucial to achieve financial benefits and proper levels of thermal comfort, which are the principal aims of the private perspective. In this paper, a multi-objective multi-stage approach is proposed to optimize building energy design by addressing the aforementioned public and private aims. The first stage implements a genetic algorithm by coupling MATLAB® and EnergyPlus pursuing the minimization of energy demands for space conditioning and of discomfort hours. In the second stage, a smart exhaustive sampling is conducted under MATLAB® environment with the aim of finding constrained cost-optimal solutions that ensure a drastic reduction of global costs as well as of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Furthermore, the impact of such solutions on heat emissions into the external environment is investigated because these emissions highly affect urban overheating, external human comfort and the livability of our cities. The main novelty of this approach is the possibility to properly conjugate the public perspective (minimization of GHG emissions) and the private one (minimization of global costs). The focus on the reduction of heat emissions, in addition to the assessment of energy demands and GHG emissions, is novel too for investigations concerning building energy efficiency. The approach is applied to optimize the retrofit of a reference building related to the Italian office stock of the 1970s. View Full-Text
Keywords: building energy performance; energy simulation; building retrofit; multi-objective optimization; genetic algorithm; urban overheating; cost-optimal analysis; lifecycle analysis; office buildings; sustainability building energy performance; energy simulation; building retrofit; multi-objective optimization; genetic algorithm; urban overheating; cost-optimal analysis; lifecycle analysis; office buildings; sustainability
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Ascione, F.; Bianco, N.; Mauro, G.M.; Napolitano, D.F.; Vanoli, G.P. A Multi-Criteria Approach to Achieve Constrained Cost-Optimal Energy Retrofits of Buildings by Mitigating Climate Change and Urban Overheating. Climate 2018, 6, 37.

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