A visual energy performance assessment and decision support tool for dwellings

Amit Mhalas*, Mohamad Kassem, Tracey Crosbie, Nashwan Dawood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The target for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reduction in the UK is set at 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. The UK housing stock is one of the least energy efficient in Europe. The energy used in homes accounts for more than a quarter of energy use and carbon dioxide emissions in Great Britain. Therefore, it is imperative to improve the energy performance of the existing housing stock and fully exploit energy efficiency and renewable energy interventions. The UK has developed several policies and initiatives to improve the energy performance of the housing stock and there are a number of databases that hold information about the condition of the housing stock. However, existing approaches and tools do not allow decision makers to assess the environmental and economic effectiveness of CO2 reduction strategies at the neighbourhood level. Methods: This research presents a methodology that integrates these energy databases with visualisation systems and multi-criteria decision analyses to enable the evaluation of the environmental and financial implications of various energy efficiency and renewable energy interventions at both building and neighbourhood levels. The methodology is prototyped in a proof-of-concept tool which is validated and tested in an empirical case study with local authorities and social housing providers. Results: The validation study compared the energy performance of the dwellings estimated by the proposed methodology with the energy performance calculated from actual survey and confirmed that the results are consistent. The case study demonstrated that the methodology and the prototype can be reliably utilised to evaluate the environmental and financial implications of various energy efficiency and renewable energy interventions. Conclusion: The findings illustrate that the tool is particularly useful for town planners, local authorities and social housing providers. They can make informed decisions about the implementation of energy policies and initiatives along with energy suppliers, building engineers and architects. The tool developed in the research and presented in this paper can contribute to meeting CO2 emission reduction targets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7
JournalVisualization in Engineering
Volume1
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jul 2013
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes

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