- freely available
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8060500
1. Low Energy, Net Zero and Energy Positive Buildings
2. Research Framework
2.1. Project Background
2.2. Innovative Renewable Energy Building Prototype Research
2.3. Aims and Objectives
- to understand the efficacy of designing a grid-tied, net-zero low-energy building that integrates carbon negative LZCGTs, medium-scale power storage, energy management and predictive controls;
- to monitor physical and environmental performance of a Passivhaus standard building and understand user behaviour in relation to predictive weather data and energy consumption;
- to develop a formal, spatial and technical language for a net-zero low-energy building that responds to the high-value landscape context of the University Botanic Gardens.
- to provide an integrated technical platform and a unique opportunity to develop and study the efficacy of the interfaces between the building, a local decentralised micro-grid, and the user enabling these more complex systems to be understood and managed;
- to develop smart bottom-up systems thinking for buildings that is driven by needs for warmth, cooling, power and convenience;
- to develop a low-embodied carbon construction system using as far as possible regional resources, technologies and skills and to implement new technologies where appropriate to demonstrate potential for up-scaling;
- to develop energy harvesting and storage incorporating medium-scale modular Li-ion battery technology within the building footprint to provide the opportunity for flexible management of storage, import and export of energy;
- to integrate sensor technologies to provide understanding of the spatial aspects of user behaviour and capture data on the relationship between occupants, the building fabric (e.g., opening windows) and technical systems (hot water use, ventilation, plug demand, etc.);
- to develop intelligent user controls for the building that provide feedback on system performance, allowing users to alter their energy consumption behaviour and/or control the building behaviour.
2.4. Design Brief
3. Spatial and Environmental Design
3.1. Environmental Conditions
3.2. Site Constraints
3.3. Energy Efficiency, Form Factor and Building Geometry
3.3.1. Form Factor Analysis
3.3.2. Formal and Aesthetic Design Principles
4. Low-Embodied Energy Construction Principles
4.1. Timber Structure
4.2. Thermal Envelope Design
4.3. Foam Concrete Foundation Slab
4.4. Air Pressurization Test Results
5. Mechanical Systems
5.1. Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery
5.2. Lighting and Controls
5.3. Water Supply
6. Energy Consumption, Generation, Storage and Controls
6.1. PHPP Analysis—Thermal Gains, Losses and Ventilation
6.2. Electrical Loading
6.3. PV Electrical Generation
6.4. Wind Turbine Electrical Generation
6.5. Energy Statistics
6.6. Building Management Systems
- Management of temperature and comfort via MVHR, blinds, natural ventilation;
- Conditioning and control of electricity flows from PV and wind sources, use within Studio, export, and import;
- Implementation of a range of power management strategies, pre-defined, predictive, adaptive
- Passive monitoring of systems and sub-systems, including arrays of temperature and light sensors, breakdown of electricity use by product in real-time;
- Monitoring of weather conditions, e.g., wind speed and direction, insolation, rainfall, outdoor temperature and humidity for thermal calculations;
- Monitoring of user occupancy, activity and comfort.
- Wind + Solar works surprisingly well for 8 months of the year (but is seriously oversized on average basis) with the energy balance being most strongly affected by the VAWT due to becalmed days in winter;
- Achieving annual electrical autonomy is a very difficult task at a latitude of 56.54°N, without improved storage but there is tantalizingly large average excess energy generated each month;
- A larger battery size could reduce the problem (but it would likely be unfeasibly large to statistically eliminate outages due to 5 winter days of low/no wind);
- A strict regime on “critical days” energy usage may help (using weather forecasts to trigger these);
- A seasonal store of “electricity”, even an inefficient one, would be a significant help but would need to be around 100 kWh in size—potential options being hydrogen, pumped water, biogas reactor fed by waste heat from electricity or other organic power sources?
Conflicts of Interest
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|Gateway building in prime location at the entrance to the University Botanic Gardens|
|50 m2 gross floor area divided over two floors||- 36m2 ground floor;|
|- 14m2 first floor|
|Rentable flexible office space:||- occupancy for up to 4 people;|
|- flexible meeting space; kitchenette (with sink, fridge and microwave); plant room (mechanical equipment, batteries, inverters, environmental monitoring equipment); storage to be built into building fabric; entrance lobby/air lock|
|Spatial and aesthetic language to be developed for exterior and interior that seamlessly integrates passive environmental design and energy generation systems|
|Rationalist architectural approach synthesizing form and function|
|56.54°N, East Coast of Scotland temperate climate||- BRE East of Scotland Climate Data|
|Passivhaus energy standard to be adopted||- Passivhaus Planning Package used for calculating energy performance|
|- Therm 2D Software used to calculate thermal bridging|
|Low-embodied energy materials to be used as far as possible (within the limitations of funding restrictions and availability through in-kind donation)||- Scottish timber used in novel thermally broken construction system;|
|- high performance insulation and airtight membranes;|
|- foam concrete foundation system|
|- LCA used to calculate the CO2e of the construction|
|Energy-autonomy (as an option) through use of carbon negative generation and storage||- 14% efficiency Photovoltaic Panel array|
|- Li Ion battery storage|
|Water harvesting and treatment/SUDS drainage from rainwater and grey water disposal|
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