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4 authors:
Catarina Arajo
University of Minho
University of Minho
7 PUBLICATIONS 7 CITATIONS
SEE PROFILE
SEE PROFILE
Lus Bragana
University of Minho
University of Minho
8 PUBLICATIONS 9 CITATIONS
SEE PROFILE
SEE PROFILE
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Guimares, Portugal
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Guimares, Portugal
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Guimares, Portugal
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Abstract
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The building sector is responsible for consuming approximately 40% of the final energy
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in Europe. However, more than 50% of this consumption can be reduced through energy
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efficient measures. Our society is facing not only a severe and unprecedented
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environmental crisis but also an economic crisis of similar magnitude. In light of this, EU
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has developed legislation promoting the use of the CostOptimal (CO) method in order
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to improve building energy efficiency, in which selection criteria is based on life cycle
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far from ideal. Therefore, it is very important to analyse the reasons for this gap between
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theory and implementation as well as improve selection methods. This study aims to
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in the selection process of energyefficient solutions. The method uses a simple graphical
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reference line, allowing easy selection between building solutions. This method will lead
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to the selection of more desired from stakeholders point of view and more energy
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Union; CO, CostOptimal; CBA, Cost Benefit Analysis; DHW, Domestic Hot Water;
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1. Introduction
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One of the main contributors to the worlds severe environmental crisis is energy
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production and usage. In the EU27, 80% of total GHG emissions are energy related [1].
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In 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) [2] stated that the biggest
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portion of growth in carbon emissions was related to the buildings operation. The
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building sector is responsible for consuming approximately 32% of the final energy and
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almost 40% of primary energy in Europe [3]. In many countries energy is also an
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important issue due to their high dependency on fossil fuel imports. Moreover, in 2013
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more than half (53.2 %) of the EU28s gross inland energy consumption came from
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imported sources [4]. One obvious way to solve Europes energy problems is to reduce
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energy consumption [5]. This can be achieved through building energyefficient measures
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[6], [7].
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In order to deal with these issues and to accomplish the European climate and energy
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targets for 2020 [8], 2030 [9] and 2050 [10], substantial changes must be applied within
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(EPBD) and its recast, the Directive 2010/31/EU, are currently the most important
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policies [3], [11]. They aim to improve buildings energy performance. In order to fulfil
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both in new buildings and in retrofitting operations. In order to evaluate the energy and
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economic performance of building elements, the EPBD recast [3] has been imposed on
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Optimal (CO) levels of minimum energy performance requirements for buildings and
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building elements [3]. The framework for the CO methodology has been published in the
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The CO method defines a reference scenario, representing the local building market,
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and compares several alternative building solutions based on their primary energy
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demand and Life Cycle Costs (LCC). The solutions are graphically represented, based on
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these parameters. This methodology assumes that the solutions (presented as dots) will
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draw a typical Ushaped curve, as shown in Figure 1. The less expensive solution is
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therefore easily identified at the bottom. The selection process of the CO method indicates
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the CO building solution as the one leading to the lowest estimated LCC [12].
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The selection criteria for EUs CO method focuses on the lowest LCC solution, and
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therefore prioritised over energy performance. This is because the development of the CO
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method was in alignment with policy makers needs and not with building investors or
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users interests. This method was developed to be applied in the macro economy and aims
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where stakeholders are less concerned with economic performance or more aware of
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Congedo et al. [14] and Baglivo et al. [15] applied the CO method to identify cost
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optimal levels in new residential buildings located in a warm climate. The results showed
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that there is a gap between the CO solution and the energyoptimal solution, suggesting
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that this aspect should be thoroughly analysed. Becchio et al. [16] and Pikas et al. [17]
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reached the same conclusions. Due to the urgent need to reduce energy consumption in
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buildings, the selection should fall on more efficient solutions that can still be profitable.
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Building retrofitting solutions should be seen as a way to not only decrease costs but also
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efficient measures is still far away from ideal and there is still a considerable energy
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Several studies have been conducted in order to identify the major barriers to a wider
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[20], Baek and Park [21], Issa et al. [22] and Thollander et al. [23] identified the initial
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costs of solutions as one of the biggest issues. The literature review performed within the
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European project Entranze (www.entranze.eu) reached the same outcome. Other studies
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[24][28] called attention to the lack of information on costs and benefits from
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measures. Thus, it is important to develop methods that promote the selection of not only
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cheaper but also more energyefficient solutions than those selected through the CO
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method.
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Other studies have been conducted with a view to analysing the costs and benefits of
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consistent method to select optimal solutions. As a result, some authors tried to develop
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Alajmi et al. [32] proposed the use of the Payback Period. Pal et al. [33] proposed the use
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of Life Cycle Costs (based on the Net Present Value approach). However, these
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approaches also prioritise the economic viability of solutions. Popescu et al. [34]
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concluded in their study that other parameters than the initial and operational costs should
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understanding that a building with energyefficient measures has an added value, and
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therefore stakeholders may be more willing to pay for such measures. Banfi et al. [35]
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residential buildings. The results suggest that the benefits of energysaving attributes are
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willing to pay for it. Therefore, other studies have already been conducted in order to
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analysed the rational willingness to pay for green apartments in Sweden. Dagher and
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Harajli [37], and Harajli and Gordon [38] analysed the willingness to pay for renewable
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based electricity in Lebanon. Soon and Ahmad [39] developed a metaanalysis on the
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willingness to pay for renewable energy. Park et al. [40] analysed the willingness to pay
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comparative methodology that takes this parameter into account. Moreover, stakeholders
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the selection of solutions that best suits their interests. Thus, this guarantees that the
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selected solution is in fact implemented in reallife situations [41]. This is very important
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The objective of this work is to develop and propose an alternative method to the CO
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method where the selection of the best building retrofitting solution is according not only
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potential of EUs residential buildings, and consequently optimise the use of energy
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resources.
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2. Methodology
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The CostBenefit Analysis (CBA) method developed in this paper intends to compare
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different building solutions with regard to their costs and energy performance. The
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analysis of the economic performance of each solution is based on capital costs (regarding
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common market practices), operational costs and maintenance costs. The energy
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performance of each solution is assessed according to the method presented in ISO 13790
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(ISO, 2008). Nevertheless, different methods are possible in order to assess the energy
144
performance of buildings.
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In order to develop the comparison and selection method, the CBA method was
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similar to the one used in the CO method  and the comparison method was developed.
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Results and conclusions were drawn for each type of solution. Finally, a sensitivity
150
analysis was performed to assess the robustness of the method in terms of energy prices
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The CBA method enables the comparison between different building solutions within the
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is considered. This reference solution is the existing or initially selected solution of the
157
building, while other solutions are considered as alternatives. The CBA method is based
158
on the cost and energy performance difference between each alternative and the reference
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solution.
160
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162
As presented in Equation 1, the buildings LCC were assessed according to the method
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164
2012 [12].
165
( )=
166
,( )
( )
()
(1)
167
168
Where:
169
 Period
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171
172
173
174
Vf, (j)  Residual value of measure j at the end of the calculation period
175
176
A discount rate (inflation) of 3% was also taken into account, as well as the evolution
177
in the energy costs. The energy prices predicted in EU energy trends to 2030, published
178
by the European Commission in 2009, were considered for the period between 2013 and
179
2030 [42]. The prices forecasted in the Energy Road Map 2050 were used for the period
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Investment costs are estimated based on market analysis, and maintenance costs are
182
calculated according to the required maintenance, and replacement costs if needed, for
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185
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The energy needs for heating and cooling are regulated according to certain comfort
187
conditions (Summer Comfort Temperature: 25C and Relative Humidity of 50%; Winter
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The calculations of heating and cooling needs were performed in accordance with
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the methodology included in the Portuguese thermal regulation, which is based on the
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quasisteady state method presented in ISO 13790. The Portuguese thermal regulation
192
provides the values of the degreedays and uses the envelope heat balance method for the
193
calculation of heating needs. With regard to cooling needs, it uses the average difference
194
between indooroutdoor temperature and the envelope heat balance during the cooling
195
period. The energy used for Domestic Hot Water (DHW) preparation is calculated
196
according to the reference DHW consumption: 40L per person and per day, heated at
197
60C [44].
198
The difference in life cycle energy performance is related to the difference in the
199
building energy needs of each alternative solution when compared to the reference
200
solution. Heating, cooling and DHW systems as well as the production of renewable
201
energy, their service life and number of replacements needed over the 30 years of the
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The visualisation method uses a bidimensional graphical representation (Figure 2). The
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vertical axis represents the cost variation, and the horizontal axis represents the energy
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graph. The reference solution is always represented by point (0,0). The less expensive
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solutions will appear at the bottom in the graph, while the solutions with better energy
210
More efficient
solutions
Cheaper solutions
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212
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In this study, the value of En and Cost are calculated according to Equations 2
and 3, respectively.
216
7
217
218
(2)
(3)
219
220
221
Where:
is the energy consumption of solution j;
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225
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This means that if the En value is positive, the solution is better than the reference
227
solution as it consumes less energy. On the other hand, if the En value is negative, the
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solution consumes more energy, which means that it is worse than the reference solution.
229
Moreover, if Cost has a positive value, it means that the solution j is worse as it is more
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This method takes into consideration some important aspects when comparing
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solutions. When a solution is cheaper and has a better energy performance than others, it
233
is easy to fall into the conclusion that it is better than the reference solution (in the graph
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it appears at the bottom right corner of the quadrant IV). However, when comparing
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alternatives in which one is more expensive but has better energy performance than the
236
other, such conclusions may not be so obvious. The solution to this problem lies in finding
237
a comparison method that takes into account the value of money or the stakeholders
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to the question: To what extent is someone willing to pay for a certain improvement in
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In numerical terms, this is the same as choosing an ideal costbenefit ratio for a
243
certain budget. This ratio can be very different between stakeholders. In order to define
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this ratio, stakeholders investment willingness should be analysed. The comparative line
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should be adapted to each stakeholder. This will allow not only the comparison of
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solutions but also the selection of the one that best suits each individual.
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Taking into account that the willingness to invest in energyefficient measures can
248
vary for different levels of investment or desired energy efficiency, the line can take a
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In order to test this methods real application, this work uses a linear relationship
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79/2006 [45]. This corresponds to a payback period of 8 years. The cost difference
253
between two solutions (Cost) is related to the product between the annual energy needs
254
variation (En) and the energy costs (Ecost). By considering the payback period of 8
255
years, a line can be drawn in the graph by using Equation 4 that represents the value of
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258
259
260
( )
( )
()
(4)
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Where:
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264
265
266
267
268
269
270
271
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presents the length of time required for the investor to recover the invested value.
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solution presents a good payback period, this could mean that the solution has a good
275
implementation potential. On the other hand, if its initial costs are higher than the amount
9
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the investor is able to invest, it will not be preferable. In fact, the EUs CO method selects
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the solution with the best payback period. This is equivalent to graphing a horizontal line
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Therefore, through the CBA method it is possible to compare solutions by taking into
280
account an ideal relation between economic and energy performances (represented by the
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gradient of the reference line). Points positioned on top of a line parallel to the reference
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line will have exactly the same costbenefit relation. After defining the gradient, solutions
283
can be compared regarding their distance to the reference line. The lower and to the right
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a solution is located in relation to the reference line, the better its costbenefit ratio will
285
be.
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287
288
(5)
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Where:
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292
293
294
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representing the (economic and energy) performance of each solution and the reference
296
line. The best solution is the one with the greatest negative or smallest positive distance
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4. Case Study
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The case study (Figure 4) is a fourroom singlefamily detached house with a heated area
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of 271.6 m2. It is located in the North of Portugal at an altitude of 74m and about 25km
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from the Atlantic Ocean. According to the Portuguese legislation, the climatic region of
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this building is I2, V2 North (between the most severe, I3 V3, and the mildest, I1 V1,
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305
10
Legend:
1. Kitchen
2. Storeroom
3. Office
4. Bathroom
5. Corridor
6. Living room
7. Hall
8. Bedroom
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307
9. Bathroom
10. Corridor
11. Bathroom
12. Bedroom
13. Bedroom
14. Bedroom
15. Bathroom
16. Balcony
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309
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in Figure 5, Portugal has around 3,500,000 buildings and 5,700,000 dwellings, where the
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North stands out for having the largest portion (around 1,200,000 buildings and 1,800,000
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dwellings). In Portugal, detached houses are very common, representing the most popular
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BUILDING DISTRIBUTION
3543595
Portugal
North
Centre
5638503
1850813
North
Centre
1448408
Lisbon
448720
Lisbon
Alentejo
383737
198860
Alentejo
1487717
471628
Algarve
379937
98807
91959
Azores
109846
Madeira
129642
Algarve
Azores
315
316
1209830
1111682
Portugal
Madeira
317
318
The DHW preparation system of the case study is a boiler. This systems efficiency
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could not be determined either in the visit to the building or by analysing the buildings
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documents. In these cases, the Portuguese thermal regulation states the properties that
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should be assumed when performing energy calculations. For a gas boiler, an efficiency
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of 65% should be considered. With regard to the calculations for heating and cooling
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needs, the following systems were considered (common practice in Portuguese dwellings)
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[46].
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326
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Figure 6 presents a sectional view of the casestudy building, showing the heated and
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nonheated areas. The heated area is the living area where the temperature should be
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controlled and kept within the range of the comfort temperatures. The Portuguese thermal
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regulation defines the rules for identifying the heated and nonheated areas of buildings.
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As the ground floor and the loft are nonheated spaces, this study only takes into
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roofs and floors are voided slabs and the windows are double glazed with metal frames.
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Table 1 presents the area and orientation of the elements of the building.
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Glazing
Roof
Floor
Area (m2)
41.8
29.5
36.1
44.9
3.3
6.1
3.3
7.7
217.6
217.6
Orientation
North
South
East
West
North
South
East
West

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For the purpose of this work, some energy parameters were chosen in order to find
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energyefficient solutions that are important in the calculation of the buildings energy
345
performance. In previous work, these parameters were considered the most influential
346
parameters regarding the buildings energy needs and energy rating in the Portuguese
347
regulation [48].
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The parameters chosen are the following: 1) the heat transfer coefficient (U) of walls,
349
roof, floor, surface thermal bridges and windows; 2) the number of air changes per hour
350
(Rph); 3) the solar factor of windows (g); 4) the shading factor (Fs) of vertical and
351
horizontal windows; 5) the absorption factor of external walls (); 6) the efficiency of the
352
DHW preparation system (a); 7) the contribution of solar systems to DHW preparation
353
(energy supplied by the sun  Esolar); 8) the heating system efficiency (i); and 9) the
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355
The solar factor of windows is the ratio between the solar energy transmitted through
356
the window and the total solar radiation that hits the window (Portugal, 2006). In order
357
to calculate this value, the existence of external and/or internal solar protection must be
358
considered.
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360
reference solutions existing in the building were investigated. The selected alternative
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Notwithstanding, all the selected solutions are used and marketed in Portugal, and were
363
chosen because they represent the most common solutions used in the Portuguese single
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365
366
The reference solutions for each of the aforementioned parameters are shown in
Table 2.
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368
1.3 Floor
1.4 Windows
1.5 Surface thermal bridges
4. Shading
factor
Solution
Doubleleaf cavity wall
(15cm+11cm) with 4cm
of extruded polystyrene
Lightweight slab with 4cm
of extruded polystyrene
Lightweight slab with 4cm
of extruded polystyrene
Double glazing with metal
frames
Reinforced concrete pillar
with 3cm of extruded
polystyrene
Natural ventilation
Value
g=0.75
Window external
protection Wooden
shutters
Window internal
protection  Curtains
A horizontal shading
element in two Eastoriented windows
U=0.50 W/m2C
U=0.50 W/m2C
U=0.50 W/m2C
U=3.10 W/m2C
U=0.70 W/m2C
Rph=0.95
g=0.46
g=0.63
Winter  Fo=0.71
Summer Fo= 0.61
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370
The casestudy building complies with all the legislative thermal requirements, and its
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372
373
374
The following chapters will present the application of the method to the solutions
375
analysed under two of the aforementioned parameters: heat transfer coefficient of external
376
walls (parameter 1.1) and heat transfer coefficient of floor slabs (parameter 1.2). These
377
two parameters were chosen because their results draw on important conclusions about
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the potential of the method, such as the influence of the capital costs versus operational
379
costs, and the importance of the gradient of the reference line. The application of the
380
method to other parameters showed similar results and analysis, and hence are omitted
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382
The value of initial costs and LCC have different weights to different stakeholders (a
383
building user may be more interested in the operational costs and an investor may be more
384
concerned with the initial costs). Therefore, the initial costs of each solution are also
385
386
387
388
The reduction of heat transfer through the building envelope is very important in
389
order to achieve energy efficiency in buildings [49], as well as to prevent some building
390
pathologies. The economic analysis performed for the parameter Heat transfer
391
392
perform the analysis of this parameter are shown in Table 3. The characterisation and
393
results of these solutions are shown in Table 4. Finally, Figure 7 shows the graphical
394
395
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Table 3. Alternative solutions to analyse the heat transfer coefficient of external walls.
Solution
1. Reference Solution: Double cavity wall (15cm+11cm) with 4cm of Extruded
Polystyrene (XPS)
1.1. Doubleleaf cavity wall (15cm+11cm) with 3cm of XPS
1.2. Doubleleaf cavity wall (15cm+11cm) with 8cm of XPS
1.3. Doubleleaf cavity wall (22cm+22cm) with 8cm of XPS
1.4. ETICS singleleaf cavity wall (15cm) with 4cm XPS
1.5. ETICS singleleaf cavity wall (15cm) with 8cm XPS
1.6. ETICS singleleaf cavity wall (22cm) with 8cm XPS
U (W/m2C)
0.50
0.58
0.32
0.28
0.58
0.35
0.33
397
398
The values used in this analysis are shown in Table 4. The initial and operational
399
costs of each alternative solution are presented in the second and third columns. The LCC
400
401
the fifth column. The energy needs of each solution (En) are presented in the sixth
402
column, and the variations of energy needs between the alternative solutions and the
403
reference solutions (En) are shown in the seventh column. Finally, the distance between
404
the point representative of each solution and the value of money reference line (d) is
405
presented in the last column. As explained before, the solutions with the best relation
406
between energy and economic performance are those with the greatest negative or
407
408
409
Initial
Operational Life Cycle
Costs ()
costs ()
Cost ()
5189
73521
7710
4863
75105
79968
6349
69967
76316
6860
69178
76039
5755
75105
80861
6193
70557
76750
6690
70166
76856
Cost
()
0
1258
2394
2671
2150
1960
1854
En
(kWh/m2.year)
104.69
106.95
99.63
98.51
106.95
100.47
99.92
En
(kWh/m2.year)
0
2.26
5.06
6.18
2.26
4.22
4.78
d
0.00
2.95
6.38
7.66
3.45
5.30
5.80
410
15
3000
Cost ()
Solution 1.4
2000
Solution 1.1
1000
0
4
2
En
(kWh/m2.year)
0 Solution 1
1000
Solution 1.6
2000
Solution 1.5
3000
Solution 1.2
Solution 1.3
411
412
413
external walls.
414
415
The alternative solution with the best costbenefit relation is Solution 1.3 as it
416
presents the lowest value of d (d=7,66). Although this solution shows higher initial costs,
417
its lower energy needs compensate for this value across its life cycle. Solution 1.1 presents
418
lower initial costs than the reference solution, but leads towards higher energy needs, and
419
thus has a worse costbenefit relation. The analysis of this parameter shows that using an
420
efficient solution for external walls can be a good investment, even if its initial price is
421
higher.
422
423
424
The heat transfer coefficients of roofs and floors were studied according to the existing
425
construction solution on the reference building. Four solutions were considered, three
426
with different insulation thicknesses (8cm, 6cm and 3cm of XPS  Solutions 1.2.1, 1.2.2
427
and 1.2.3, respectively). In the reference solution, the insulation is placed on the floor
428
surface in contact with the heated spaces. However, this solution decreases the building
429
thermal inertia. For this reason, an alternative solution with the insulation layer placed on
430
the opposite surface of the floor was studied (Solution 1.2.4), and its advantages were
431
verified (its energy and economic performance are better than the reference solution).
432
433
434
435
16
436
Solution
Solution 1.2
(reference)
Solution 1.2.1
Solution 1.2.2
Solution 1.2.3
Solution 1.2.4
Cost
()
En
(kWh/m2.year)
27829
73521
101350.1
104.7
32450
29640
26924
27829
66533
69399
77685
70585
98983.3
99038.1
104609.3
98414.7
2367
2312
3259
2935
94.7
98.8
110.6
100.5
En
(kWh/m2.year)
0
9.95
5.87
5.93
4.18
d
0.00
11.26
7.15
7.73
5.80
437
Cost ()
4000
3000
Solution 1.2.3
2000
1000
0
6
Solution 1.2
1
1000
2000
3000
9
En
(kgep/m2.year)
Solution 1.2.2
Solution 1.2.4
Solution 1.2.1
438
439
440
441
442
However, Solution 1.2.1 presents the best relation between economic and energy
443
performance (it shows the greatest negative distance to the reference line), although it is
444
not the cheapest solution (Solution 1.2.4 is cheaper). Even though solution 1.2.1 presents
445
higher costs, its energy performance makes it preferable to Solution 1.2.4 according to
446
the CBA. Solutions 1.2.4 and 1.2.1 are very similar regarding their LCC. However, with
447
a very low cost increase (~550), the buildings energy performance can increase 4.2
448
kWh/m2.year.
449
This example shows an added value of the CBA method: the possibility of choosing
450
solutions that not only are more expensive than others but also have increased energy
451
452
453
7. Sensitivity analysis
454
In order to understand the consistency of the casestudy results and its behaviour before
455
different conditions, a sensitivity analysis was carried out. The analysis considers seven
456
different scenarios, where the discount rate and the energy costs vary.
17
457
458
[12] states that when a CBA is performed a sensitivity analysis should also be developed
459
with at least two different rates. In this sensitivity analysis, the following discount rates
460
were considered: 1%, 2%, 4%, 5% and 6%. Regarding the energy costs variation, an
461
462
463
transfer coefficient of external walls. As explained before, the best solutions are those
464
465
466
Table 6. Difference in the value of parameter "d" for each solution within the different
467
Solution 1
Solution 1.1
Solution 1.2
Solution 1.3
Solution 1.4
Solution 1.5
Solution 1.6
1%
0
3.157
6.864
8.259
3.609
5.706
6.274
2%
0
3.047
6.607
7.939
3.520
5.491
6.022
468
469
The discount rate and energy price are factors with inverse impacts. The increase in
470
the discount rate will decrease the value of money. Therefore, the solutions with low
471
energy performance or high operational costs will be more advantageous as money will
472
have a lower value. However, with an increase of the energy price, the same solutions
473
will become less advantageous. This happens with Solutions 1.1 and 1.4. as these present
474
higher energy needs than the reference solution, and an increase in energy price will make
475
their operational costs also higher. Consequently, they will become more expensive in
476
relation to the reference solution. On the other hand, Solutions 1.2, 1.3, 1.5 and 1.6, which
477
present lower operational costs, become more advantageous with a decrease in the
478
479
Regarding the other building solutions analysed, the same situation occurs. Some
480
solutions become better and others become worse within the different scenarios. There
481
are only two parameters in which the conclusions change in the scenarios analysed: the
482
shading factor vertical shading (parameter 4), and the heating systems (parameter 8).
483
With regard to all the other parameters analysed, the variation on the discount rate and in
18
484
the energy costs do not change the conclusions drawn by this study. The sensitivity
485
486
487
Table 7. Difference in the value of "d" for each solution within the different scenarios
488
Solution 8
Solution 8.1
Solution 8.2
Solution 8.3
Solution 8.4
1%
0
28.91
12.54
0.56
64.69
489
490
The costbenefit relation of Solution 8.3 is very similar to that of the reference
491
solution. However, Solution 8.3 is more expensive (presenting higher initial and
492
operational costs) while having lower energy needs. With an increase of the discount rate,
493
the value of money decreases, and at some point (from 2% to 3%) Solution 8.3 becomes
494
495
Although there are some differences in the conclusions of some parameters, the
496
sensitivity analysis shows that the results of the application of the CBA method to the
497
case study present low sensitivity to the variation in the discount rate and energy costs. It
498
is always important to perform a sensitivity analysis when applying this method in order
499
500
501
8. Conclusions
502
In this work, a method was developed to not only compare different energyefficient
503
solutions, regarding their economic and energy performance, but also select the optimal
504
solution based on a costbenefit ratio. This ratio can be translated into the slope of a
505
506
507
in the comparison of different alternative solutions when applied to a case study. The bi
508
dimensional graphical analysis provides an easy and fast comparison between solutions.
509
This helps stakeholders to easily compare building solutions and understand the benefits
510
of their investment. The costbenefit method leads to the selection of higher performance
511
solutions with higher LCC, which are still desired by stakeholders. This shows an
512
improvement regarding the CO method, which always selects the less expensive solution
19
513
514
2020 targets. Moreover, considering that the selection criteria is based on the investment
515
516
practices.
517
The costbenefit method can be applied in the design phase of a new building or in a
518
retrofitting operation with the objective of selecting the best solution or combination of
519
solutions to improve energy efficiency. Thus, it can be used as a decision support tool
520
with a view to helping designers select the solutions with the best equilibrium between
521
522
The costbenefit method can also be helpful in promoting a discussion about the less
523
economic solutions, and whether some financial aid from government may be needed in
524
certain situations. For instance, the application of this method can help identify some
525
solutions with good energy performance and a prohibitive cost. This prohibitive situation
526
527
think about new programmes where some financial help may be given to stakeholders in
528
529
A sensitivity analysis regarding the variation of discount rate and energy costs was
530
performed, and the casestudy results showed they are not dependent on the variation of
531
energy prices or discount rates. The results and conclusions from the analysis of building
532
solutions (through the CBA method) do not change significantly with plausible variations
533
of these variables. Moreover, since the discount rates and the calculation of energy prices
534
were done using similar methods that were used in other methodologies, such as the EUs
535
CO method, the problem related to bad forecast is common to all methodologies of the
536
kind.
537
538
9. Future Developments
539
The gradient of the reference line used to compare different solutions is the comparative
540
541
building solutions. In the study, a payback period of 8 years was used to represent
542
common Portuguese stakeholders. In future works, a more representative gradient for the
543
value of money reference line will be developed for several types of stakeholders and
544
20
545
It is also worth mentioning that it is possible that the value of money reference line 
546
establishing the relation between the importance of money and energy performance  is
547
not completely linear. This means that the same stakeholder, while having preference for
548
a determined payback period, has a different investment willingness regarding the LCC
549
of building solutions. As a rule, it is easier to invest in cheaper solutions, even with longer
550
payback periods, than in expensive solutions with shorter payback periods. Future works
551
will study the possible nonlinearity of the reference line. Moreover, the development of
552
a 3D CBA regarding separately the initial and operational costs, and energy performance
553
is predicted. This will possibly lead to a new comparison method based not only on the
554
555
availability.
556
557
the application of this method. This is particularly important because energy savings are
558
559
560
561
562
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