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The energy and indoor environmental performance of super-insulated dwellings – A fabric optimisation case study in the UK

Lookup NU author(s): Xinxin Liang, Dr Mohammad Royapoor, Dr Yaodong WangORCiD, Professor Tony Roskilly



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


The role of high performance fabrics in reducing building energy demand is gaining international significance. With state-of-art building materials, it is feasible to exceed basic regulatory requirements of low energy buildings and create super-insulated fabrics. In this work, a sensor network is imbedded in a three bedroom family house built to Passive House fabric limits and equipped with local electricity generation. First annual compilation of measured data showed the ability of the fabric to maintain indoor thermal comfort within stable performance as the maximum daily temperatures between the warmest and coldest space did not exceed 1.8 °C. The primary energy consumption of the 219 m2 dwelling was 65 kWh/(m2a), which was much better than that of the 120 kWh/(m2a) Passive House target. But the space heating requirement however exceeded the limits of Passive House requirements due to occupant interventions and unfamiliarity with the complex nature of services and relying on the mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) and its post heater system to maintain the target indoor temperature. The MVHR limits the CO2 built-up to an average night time maximum of 700 ppm in bedrooms, an overall indoor average of 528 ppm with an absolute maximum instance of 1750 ppm. It is also found that the temperatures in the office room was overheated to 25 °C for approximately 8.5% of the time in a year, i.e. 747 hours. In order to eliminate this overheating problem and reduce the energy consumption for heating to the limits of Passive House standard, an energy model was developed, validated and used to find out the solutions. The results from the modelling showed that reducing MVHR set-point temperatures was the most effective method; increasing thermal mass and adding cooling load were the second and third effective measures to solve the overheating problem.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Liang X, Royapoor M, Wang Y, Roskilly T

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 4th Sustainable Thermal Energy Management International Conference (SusTEM2017)

Year of Conference: 2017

Pages: 285-294

Print publication date: 28/06/2017

Acceptance date: 13/03/2017

Date deposited: 11/09/2017