A methodology for the introduction of integrated building energy systems

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Sirr, Sean
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University College Cork
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There is an increasing awareness around the impact that society is having on global environmental issues, specifically in relation to the use of natural resources, and, in particular, the use of limited energy resources such as fossil fuels. The term ‘sustainability’ is now at the forefront of society’s moral consciousness as limited global resources come under increasing pressure due to their depletion, accelerated by economic development and expanding populations. This is evidenced in the rapid development and investment in energy efficient products and services and renewable energy generation technologies. However, for the foreseeable future clean renewables such as hydro, solar and wind will need to be supplemented by less clean energy sources such as fossil fuels and nuclear power [1]. The demand for energy use in buildings will remain a significant challenge particularly with buildings providing central societal functions as well as interacting with transport and renewable energy infrastructure. Therefore, the strategies to reduce energy consumption must consider methods to improve and sustain building energy performance that support deep renovation projects and renewable energy management. Therefore, developing strategies for integrated facility management (FM) is a key enabler of building energy conservation through more efficient operations and a greater awareness and understanding of building performance. However, FM providers and building owners struggle to implement holistic efficient energy use and opportunities for implementing conservation projects are not being undertaken due to perceived barriers in terms of financing and delivering projects to deliver the expected benefits. Despite the obvious benefits the implementation rate remains poor. The uncertainty of project outcomes due to legacy issues with control systems and a need to ensure continuity of reliable building functions mean that capital expenditure is preferred in areas with known direct business impact. This thesis sets out to address these issues by developing an iterative process for evaluating and delivering improved performance of building energy through integrated systems optimisation. The objective is to enable building managers to develop a structured approach to developing building energy performance improvements. Considering a systematic lifecycle approach will deliver comprehensive and verified building energy renovation and integration cycles. More specifically, this thesis proposes that introducing integrated systems with integrated business modelling analysis can help identify the best value projects that deliver strong energy and cost savings and enable sustainability in current building stock as an effective realization of the 2020 targets for the building sector. This thesis delivers a methodology that combines business modelling, energy performance analysis and monitoring, opportunity prioritisation and measurement and verification processes. These have been organised in an iterative, lean systems based framework that can be implemented by building owners. The methodology was developed following a case study project where an integration platform was deployed to optimise energy systems performance. The case study delivered positive results and the SSIRR methodology developed from this project is robust, repeatable and can be used to introduce integrated building energy systems management for improved performance.
Integrated energy system , Energy management , Building energy , FM business models
Sirr, S. 2018. A methodology for the introduction of integrated building energy systems. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.