Energy performance analysis of an office building in three climate zones

Nusrat Jung*, Satu Paiho, Jari Shemeikka, Risto Lahdelma, Miimu Airaksinen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Most of the studies encompassing dynamic simulations of multi-storey buildings account only for a few selected zones, to simplify, decrease simulation run-time and to reduce the complexity of the ‘to be simulated’ model. This conventional method neglects the opportunity to see the interaction between different zones as it relates to whole building performance. This paper presents fifteen individual cases of dynamic simulations of a six-storey office building with 160 zones. The energy performance analysis was conducted for three climate zones including Helsinki in Finland, London in the United Kingdom and Bucharest in Romania. For each location, the following three cases were simulated: (i) building as usual simulated according to valid national building codes; (ii) Energy-efficient (EE) case with selected necessary parameters enhanced to reduce total delivered energy demand; and (iii) nZEB case representing partial enhancement of the EE case based on the parametric analysis. The results of nZEB indicate that for Helsinki, it is possible to reduce the space-heating load by 86%, electricity consumed by lighting, appliance, and HVAC by 32%. For London, the heating load is reduced by 95%, cooling load is slightly increased, and electricity demand is decreased by 33%. For Bucharest, 92% of energy in heating can be saved, cooling energy demand was reduced by 60% and electricity consumption by 34%. Based on the nZEB cases for each location, alternative heating and cooling choices of a radiant floor panel system and radiant ceiling panel system were explored. There are small differences in absolute consumption demand for heating, cooling, and electricity for three cases in each location. The specific energy/m2 for heating remained nearly the same in all systems for all three cases in each location. Alternative choices for heating and cooling by using Radiant Ceiling Panel (RCP) and Radiant Floor Panel (RFP) were investigated for all final nZEB cases. Marginal difference in heating energy required for space heating can be seen for London nZEB IHC and London nZEB RCP of 0.8 kWh/m2/year and for Bucharest nZEB IHC and Bucharest nZEB RCP case of 1.3 kWh/m2/year. RFP has the availability of large surface area for heat exchange and can provide heating at a low temperature and cooling at high temperature, but requires supporting air based cooling during the humid season. For RCP, the limited temperature exchange surface may increase the airflow rate, but supplies it at a lower temperature for the same load.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1023-1035
Number of pages13
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Bucharest
  • Dynamic simulations
  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy performance
  • Helsinki
  • London
  • Multi zone
  • nZEB
  • Office buildings
  • Radiant ceiling panels
  • Radiant floor panels


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