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Energy Efficiency

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 1253–1277 | Cite as

Improving energy use in schools: from IEQ towards energy-efficient planning—method and in-field application to two case studies

  • Luísa Dias PereiraEmail author
  • Francisco Bispo Lamas
  • Manuel Gameiro da Silva
Original Article

Abstract

Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and energy conservation in schools are complex challenges. A significant part of the energy demand in these buildings addresses ventilation and temperature indoors. When confronted with money/energy constraints, the tendency of school boards is to cut on IEQ requirements, compromising the comfort of the occupants or worse, their health. Besides local energy production, either electrical or heating, major focus on building management systems’ (BMS) operation has been suggested, aiming at developing evidence-based energy conservation measures. Based on two field studies, a joint approach of energy and IEQ auditing was developed, establishing a state of the art of the current situation of the secondary schools in Portugal. The present study aims at enhancing energy efficiency in schools unveiling that it is possible to improve the HVAC systems’ operation and optimize energy use and costs, while maintaining good environmental conditions. This paper also seeks to contribute to the implementation of energy efficiency plans (EEP) in school buildings, presenting a comprehensive methodological approach on energy consumption in this typology of buildings, centred on the fundamental role of BMS and their proper programming. The obtained results show that there is a considerable potential for reducing energy consumption and improving energy use—in one of the schools by simply adjusting the BMS operation schedule, a decrease between 20 and 36% of the useful thermal energy consumption is expected (14.1–24.7 kWh/m2); in other occasions, a significant IEQ improvement is expected due to longer HVAC running period.

Keywords

Energy efficiency planning School buildings Occupancy information Energy management Responsible behaviour Building management systems 

Nomenclature

3Es

Energy Efficient Schools project (in Portuguese: Escolas Energeticamente Eficientes)

AHU

Air handling unit

BAC

Building automation and control

BMS

Building management systems

CCO2

CO2 concentration

CRT

Cathodic ray tube

DHW

Domestic hot water

ECM

Energy conservation measures

EEP

Energy efficiency plan(s)

EM

Energy manager

EPBD

Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

EU

European Union

EUI

Energy use indicator

EVS

Electronic variable-speed

εV

Ventilation efficiency

GFA

Gross floor area

HDD

Heating degree days

HRU

Heat recovery unit

HVAC

Heating ventilation and air conditioning

IAQ

Indoor air quality

IEQ

Indoor environmental quality

IU

Indoor unit

LV

Low-voltage

MMV

Montemor-o-Velho (school located in)

MTS

Matosinhos (school located in)

MV

Mechanical ventilation

NG

Natural gas

PD

Percentage of dissatisfied

Q

Fresh air flow rates (m3/h)

R&D

Research and development

SCE

Energy Certification System (in Portuguese: Sistema de Certificação Energética dos Edifícios)

Ta

Air temperature

TC

Thermal comfort

TUFA

Total useful floor area

VRF

Variable refrigerant flow

Notes

Acknowledgements

The presented work is part of a wider research project, entitled Energy Efficient Schools (Escolas Energeticamente Eficientes, 3Es), granted by Teixeira Duarte on the framework of the Portuguese Program of R&D Projects associated to Large Public Tenders. The authors are thankful to Parque Escolar E.P.E. for the provision of the database on the Portuguese secondary schools. The presented work is framed under the Energy for Sustainability Initiative of the University of Coimbra and LAETA (Associated Laboratory for Energy, Transports and Aeronautics) Project Pest E/EME/LA0022/2011 and was supported by the Foundation for Science and Technology under grant SFRH/BD/77105/2011.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ADAI, LAETA – Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Sciences and TechnologyUniversity of Coimbra, Rua Luis Reis SantosCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.University of AveiroAveiroPortugal

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