Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Modeling County-Level Energy Demands for Commercial Buildings due to Climate Variability with Prototype Building Simulations

Version 1 : Received: 5 October 2019 / Approved: 7 October 2019 / Online: 7 October 2019 (12:19:24 CEST)

How to cite: Mendoza, D.; Bianchi, C.; Thomas, J.; Ghaemi, Z.; Smith, A. Modeling County-Level Energy Demands for Commercial Buildings due to Climate Variability with Prototype Building Simulations. Preprints 2019, 2019100069 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201910.0069.v1). Mendoza, D.; Bianchi, C.; Thomas, J.; Ghaemi, Z.; Smith, A. Modeling County-Level Energy Demands for Commercial Buildings due to Climate Variability with Prototype Building Simulations. Preprints 2019, 2019100069 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201910.0069.v1).

Abstract

The building sector accounts for nearly 40% of total primary energy consumption in the U.S. and E.U. and 20% of worldwide delivered energy consumption. Climate projections predict an increase of average annual temperatures between 1.1-5.4°C by 2100. As urbanization is expected to continue increasing at a rapid pace, the energy consumption of buildings is likely to play a pivotal role in the overall energy budget. In this study we used EnergyPlus building energy models to estimate the future energy demands of commercial buildings in Salt Lake County, Utah, USA, using locally-derived climate projections. We found significant variability in the energy demand profiles when simulating the study buildings under different climate scenarios, based on the energy standard the building was designed to meet, with reductions ranging from 10% to 60% in natural gas consumption for heating and increases ranging from 10% to 30% in electricity consumption for cooling. A case study, using projected 2040 building stock, showed a weighted average decrease in heating energy of 25% and an increase of 15% in cooling energy. We also found that building standards between ASHRAE 90.1-2004 and 90.1-2016 play a comparatively smaller role than variation in climate scenarios on the energy demand variability within building types. Our findings underscore the large range of potential future building energy consumption which depend on climatic conditions, as well as building types and standards.

Subject Areas

building energy modeling; energy systems; energy demand; future climate; weather files

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