UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Energy performance of multi-unit residential buildings : a life cycle thinking approach for BC Energy Step Code evaluation Perera, Ishanka


Multi-Unit Residential Buildings (MURB) are thriving in the residential building sector across the globe. MURBs are significantly impacting the global building energy sector in environmental, economic, and social aspects. Many countries have implemented building energy codes with performance targets set at different levels to achieve higher energy efficiency levels in buildings. Several building energy performance upgrades are available to reduce operational energy consumption and building-related emissions. Research-based performance evaluation methods are necessary to achieve successful results from the energy-efficient implementations on MURBs. The upgrade options and developed MURB designs may not perform similarly under various conditions in countries with geography covering multiple climate zones. The lack of location-based selection criteria for alternative energy performance upgrades and identifying the best performing MURB design among such upgrade combinations are critical issues in developing energy-efficient new construction MURBs. This study aims to present a comprehensive life cycle thinking-based performance assessment method to identify the potential of energy efficiency upgrade (EEU) options and an optimization model to rank best-performing design alternatives for MURBs across different climatic conditions. In this study, commonly available energy efficiency upgrades in the North American market were selected and applied to a predefined base building by creating different new construction design alternatives. The base building was constructed according to the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings with minimum required standards. Building energy simulations for each alternative model were carried out with the EnergyPlus simulation engine using the Autodesk Revit and BEopt software platforms. The eco-efficiency-based ranking method for the EEUs and the goal programming optimization-based ranking model for alternative MURB designs were developed. Lastly, BC energy STEP code performance metrics were evaluated with the developed model results to provide recommendations and guidelines to enhance the implementation process efficiency using the developed model. The results and proposed methodologies in this study are useful to numerous stakeholders, including policy and lawmakers, builders, constructors, investors, and buyers, by allowing them to obtain a comprehensive perspective of the long-term performance in MURBs.

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