Lifetime Energy Performance of Residential Buildings: A Sensitivity Analysis of Energy Modeling Parameters
Malekpour Koupaei, Diba
Traditional building energy simulation tools often assess performance as a function of the unique climate, physical characteristics, and operational parameters that define specific buildings and communities, planned or existing. This paper presents the results of a sensitivity analysis on the input parameters (relating to both the building and climate) that affect the annual energy consumption loads of an existing residential neighborhood in the U.S. Midwest over the anticipated service life of its buildings using the Urban Modeling Interface (umi). Accordingly, first, the effect of multiple building construction characteristic packages and inclusion of outdoor vegetation, are investigated under typical meteorological climate conditions. Afterwards, since typical climate conditions may not adequately describe the potential extreme conditions that will be encountered over the entire service life of these buildings, alternative weather datasets were also utilized in the sensitivity analysis. The study’s findings suggest that cooling loads are expected to increase dramatically over the next five decades, both due to changes in the climate and the more wide-spread use of airconditioning units. Since the results showed that trees can effectively reduce cooling loads by up to 7%, it is recommended that urban vegetation should be considered as an effective adaptation measure for facing the growing cooling demands.