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Modeling County-Level Energy Demands for Commercial Buildings Due to Climate Variability with Prototype Building Simulations

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Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
2
Pulmonary Division, School of Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
3
Department of City & Metropolitan Planning, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
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Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
5
Commercial Buildings Research Group, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO 80401, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
World 2020, 1(2), 67-89; https://doi.org/10.3390/world1020007
Received: 19 June 2020 / Revised: 11 July 2020 / Accepted: 22 July 2020 / Published: 23 July 2020
The building sector accounts for nearly 40% of total primary energy consumption in the U.S. and E.U. and 20% of worldwide delivered energy consumption. Climate projections predict an increase of average annual temperatures between 1.1–5.4 °C by 2100. As urbanization is expected to continue increasing at a rapid pace, the energy consumption of buildings is likely to play a pivotal role in the overall energy budget. In this study, we used EnergyPlus building energy models to estimate the future energy demands of commercial buildings in Salt Lake County, Utah, USA, using locally-derived climate projections. We found significant variability in the energy demand profiles when simulating the study buildings under different climate scenarios, based on the energy standard the building was designed to meet, with reductions ranging from 10% to 60% in natural gas consumption for heating and increases ranging from 10% to 30% in electricity consumption for cooling. A case study, using projected 2040 building stock, showed a weighted average decrease in heating energy of 25% and an increase of 15% in cooling energy. We also found that building standards between ASHRAE 90.1-2004 and 90.1-2016 play a comparatively smaller role than variation in climate scenarios on the energy demand variability within building types. Our findings underscore the large range of potential future building energy consumption which depends on climatic conditions, as well as building types and standards. View Full-Text
Keywords: building energy modeling; energy systems; energy demand; future climate; weather files building energy modeling; energy systems; energy demand; future climate; weather files
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mendoza, D.L.; Bianchi, C.; Thomas, J.; Ghaemi, Z. Modeling County-Level Energy Demands for Commercial Buildings Due to Climate Variability with Prototype Building Simulations. World 2020, 1, 67-89. https://doi.org/10.3390/world1020007

AMA Style

Mendoza DL, Bianchi C, Thomas J, Ghaemi Z. Modeling County-Level Energy Demands for Commercial Buildings Due to Climate Variability with Prototype Building Simulations. World. 2020; 1(2):67-89. https://doi.org/10.3390/world1020007

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mendoza, Daniel L., Carlo Bianchi, Jermy Thomas, and Zahra Ghaemi. 2020. "Modeling County-Level Energy Demands for Commercial Buildings Due to Climate Variability with Prototype Building Simulations" World 1, no. 2: 67-89. https://doi.org/10.3390/world1020007

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