Assessment concept for the building design process using the Eco-factor method

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During the last years the pressure for energy improvement has increased. However, a one-sided focus on energy efficiency might be introduced at the expense of indoor climate. Therefore, it is essential that energy optimisation is integrated with assessment of indoor climate. A guideline tool with an assessment concept based on the so-called Eco-factor method been developed for an integrated design process.

The approach for the guideline is that the whole energy system, regarding both the building and the technical installations, must be considered in order to achieve energy efficient buildings with good indoor comfort and low environmental impact. This requires an integrated design approach of all building elements with involvement of numerous technical disciplines. Since each building is unique there are no allencompassing solutions and, therefore, the guidelines aim to describe the way of working to reach the goal. In order to evaluate the successfulness of different energy system solutions in different building design the assessment concept is using the Ecofactor method.

The Eco-factor illustrates the impact of two core issues: the energy related environmental impact and the indoor climate. The method consists of an index system based on indicators of physical properties that describes the environmental impact and the indoor comfort on a common score, called the .Eco-factor.. The external environmental impact part is based on emissions from operational energy use of different energy sources. All emissions during the energy sources. complete life cycle are considered .from cradle to grave.. The indoor climate part considers aspects that are closely interrelated with energy use, namely thermal comfort and indoor air quality.

The assessment concept includes a recurrent .assessment phase., where the architect and project-leader discuss different solutions with the client. Different energy solutions are assessed with their influence of the total building performance on energy use and indoor climate. This should prevent that single issues in the  design are changed without evaluation of how it affects the total building performance. The Ecofactor method aims to present the evaluation in an easy visible interpretation of the result.

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