A new method for contrasting energy performance and near-zero energy building requirements in different climates and countries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • Ghent University
  • Tallinn University of Technology
  • Association of Engineers in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning


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.


Original languageEnglish
Article number1334
Number of pages22
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Climate correction, Economic insulation thickness, Energy performance, National regulation, NZEB, Primary energy requirement

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