Method for component-based economical optimisation for use in design of new low-energy buildings

Steffen Petersen, Svend Svendsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Increasing requirements for energy performance in new buildings mean the cost of incorporating energy-saving in buildings is also increasing. Building designers thus need to be aware of the long-term cost-effectiveness of potential energy-conserving measures. This paper presents a simplified and transparent economic optimisation method to find an initial design proposal near the economical optimum. The aim is to provide an expedient starting point for the building design process and more detailed economic optimisation. The method uses the energy frame concept to express the constraints of the optimisation problem, which is then solved by minimising the costs of conserving energy in all the individual energy-saving measures. A case example illustrates how the method enables designers to establish a qualified estimate of an economically optimal solution. Such an estimate gives a good starting point for the iterative design process and a more detailed economic optimisation. Furthermore, the method explicitly illustrates the economic efficiency of the individual building elements and services enabling the identification of potentials for further product development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRenewable Energy
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)173-180
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Energy efficiency
  • Building design
  • Economic optimization
  • Cost of conserved energy


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