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Themeninfos – A compact guide to energy research

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Turning design intend into performance in operation
Themeninfo I/2010
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Commissioning and optimisation of buildings

There are now many highly efficient new buildings around – at least on paper, anyway. Only when a building actually goes into operation does its owner really know whether it makes the most of its potential efficiency or not. However, not enough attention is paid to the long phase of operation. A clean break generally takes place when the keys to the building are handed over: The architects and energy planners have specified target values, but actually achieving these values is either left to others or else disappears completely off the radar. However, ambitious energy concepts in particular require expert fine-tuning and monitoring in the initial phase and continuous monitoring afterwards in order to achieve optimum performance with minimum energy consumption. Investigations carried out in recent years have made this very clear.

Efficiency issues are not being dealt with satisfactorily in the case of existing buildings either. As far as building operators are concerned, fault-free operation and occupant comfort have priority, and energy-efficient operation is often not even mentioned in them specification document. In many buildings, simply modifying operation management or implementing other low-cost measures could reduce electricity and heat consumption by between 10% and 20%.

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The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology plans to harness this huge potential with its new Commissioning, Optimisation and Monitoring (EnBop) research area as part of the “Energy-optimised construction” (EnOB) research focus.

This Themeninfo brochure features a number of examples from this research work. The brochure will also demonstrate, on the basis of experience gathered so far, just how optimisation of operations can be firmly integrated into the various phases – from planning, construction and commissioning, right through to everyday operation – in order to actually achieve the planning goals.

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