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A methodology for performance robustness assessment of low-energy buildings using scenario analysis

Kotireddy, Rajesh, Hoes, Pieter-Jan, Hensen, Jan L.M.
Applied energy 2018 v.212 pp. 428-442
buildings, case studies, climate change, consultants, decision making, energy, issues and policy, uncertainty
Uncertainties in building operation and external factors such as occupant behavior, climate change, policy changes etc. impact building performance, resulting in possible performance deviation during operation compared to the predicted performance in the design phase. Multiple low-energy building configurations can lead to similar optimal performance under deterministic conditions, but can have different magnitudes of performance deviation under these uncertainties. Low-energy buildings must be robust so that these uncertainties do not result in significant variations in energy use, cost and comfort. However, these uncertainties are rarely considered in the design of low-energy buildings and hence, the decision making process may result in designs that are sensitive to uncertainties and might not perform as intended. Therefore, to reduce this sensitivity, performance robustness assessment of low-energy buildings considering uncertainties should be assessed in the design phase. The probability of occurrences of these uncertainties are usually unknown and hence, scenarios are essential to assess the performance robustness of buildings. Therefore, a non-probabilistic robustness assessment methodology, based on scenario analysis, is developed to identify robust designs. Maximum performance regret calculated using the minimax regret method is used as the measure of performance robustness. In this approach, the preferred robust design is based on optimal performance and performance robustness.The proposed methodology is demonstrated using a case study with a policymaker as the decision maker. The proposed methodology can be used by designers and consultants to aid decision makers in the design phase to identify robust low-energy building designs that deliver preferred performance in the future operation.