In this study a robust method enabling one to compare the energy performance in different climates was developed. Derived normalization factors allow “to move” the building from one climate to another with corresponding changes in heating, cooling, and electric lighting energy. Degree days, solar-air temperature and economic insulation thickness were used to normalize space heating and cooling needs. Solar-air temperature based degree days resulted in 5% accuracy in space heating and dry-bulb air temperature based cooling degree days were trustworthy in cooling need normalization. To overcome the limitation of the same thermal insulation in all climates, an economic insulation thickness was applied. Existing and nearly zero energy requirements were contrasted in four countries with a reference office building to analyze the impacts of climate and national regulation on primary energy use. By applying standard energy calculation input data and primary energy factors from European standards to buildings with national technical solutions, nearly zero energy building requirements comparison with European Commission benchmarks was possible to conduct. Generally, in Central and North Europe comparison, national input data caused much more difference than the climate.
- Climate correction
- Economic insulation thickness
- Energy performance
- National regulation
- Primary energy requirement