Energy Consumption of the Building Sector: Incorporating Urbanization, Local Climate Change, and Energy Poverty

Part of the Springer Optimization and Its Applications book series (SOIA, volume 125)


Addressing energy consumption in the building sector in Europe is considered a matter of urgency, taken its contribution to the emissions of air pollutants and greenhouses gases, heat release, and annual material and energy use. In this paper, it is shown that existing, business as usual scenarios for addressing energy consumption in the building sector underestimate such critical parameters as urbanization, local climate change, and energy poverty. Furthermore, it is shown that (a) the building stock cannot be separated from the space between and around the buildings, with the space being influenced and finally shaped by urbanization, and (b) energy poverty sets an upper limit with respect to the capacity of households to comply with local climate change and energy conservation objectives. Finally, the importance of the interlinks between energy consumption on the one hand and urbanization, local climate change, and energy poverty on the other is examined and demonstrated in view of proposing an integrated energy, environmental, and social policy for energy consumption in the building sector.


  1. Akbari, H., Cartalis, C., Kolokotsa, D., Muscio, A., Pisello, A.L., Rossi, F., Santamouris, M., Synnefa, A., Wong, N.H., Zinzi, M.: Local climate change and urban heat island mitigation techniques – the state of the art. J. Civ. Eng. Manag. 22, 1–16 (2015.) In PressCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Basu, R., Samet, J.M.: Relation between elevated ambient temperature and mortality: a review of the epidemiologic evidence. Epidemiol. Rev. 24, 190–202 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bird, J., Campbell, R., Lawton, K.: The Long Cold Winter: Beating Fuel Poverty. Institute for Public Policy Research and National Energy Action, London (2010)
  4. Bohnenstengel, S.I., Hamilton, I., Davies, M., Belcher, S.E.: Impact of anthropogenic heat emissions on London’s temperatures. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 140(679), 687–698 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bouzarovski, S.: Energy poverty in the European Union: landscapes of vulnerability. WIREs Energy Environ. 3, 276–289 (2014). doi: 10.1002/wene.89 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Building Performance Institute of Europe: Europe’s Buildings under the Microscope. (2011)
  7. BWI, Building and Wood Workers International: Briefing on Labour Standards in Construction Contracts presented at the BWI World Council 7th December 2006 (2006)Google Scholar
  8. Carnegie Mellon: University Center for Building Performance. As cited in Greening America’s Schools: Costs and Benefits. October 2006. G. Kats, Capital E. Available: (2005). Accessed 24 May 2010
  9. Cartalis, C.: Towards resilient cities – a review of definitions, challenges and prospects. A. Build. Energy Res. 8, 259–266 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cartalis, C., Polydoros, A., Mavrakou, T.H., Assimakopoulos, D.N.: Use of earth observation for the development of resilience and adaptability plans for the thermal environment in urban areas, manuscript submitted for publication. Open. J. Remote Sens. (2015)Google Scholar
  11. Chief Medical Officer: Annual Report. (2009)
  12. Chrysoulakis, N.: Estimation of the all-wave net radiation balance in urban environment with the combined use of Terra/ASTER multispectral imagery and in-situ spatial data. J. Geophys. Res. 108(D18), 4582 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chrysoulakis, N., Lopes, M., San José, R., Grimmond, C.S.B., Jones, M.B., Magliulo, V., Klostermann, J.E.M., Synnefa, A., Mitraka, Z., Castro, E., González, A., Vogt, R., Vesala, T., Spano, D., Pigeon, G., Freer-Smith, P., Staszewski, T., Hodges, N., Mills, G., Cartalis, C.: Sustainable urban metabolism as a link between bio-physical sciences and urban planning: the BRIDGE project. Landsc. Urban Plan. 112, 100–117 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Coexist: In just a week, this kit turns old houses into zero-energy homes (for free). Available through: (2015)
  15. Cool Roof Rating Council, Home and Building Owners Info: (2015)Google Scholar
  16. De Cian, E., Lanzi, R., Roson.: The Impact of Temperature Change on Energy Demand: A Dynamic Panel Analysis, No. I. The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei Note di Lavoro Series Index, 2007E. (2007)Google Scholar
  17. Defaix, P.R., van Sark, W.G.J.H.M., Worrell, E., de Visser, E.: Technical potential for photovoltaics on buildings in the EU-27. Solar. Energy. 86, 2644–2653 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dol, Κ., Haffner, M.: Housing Statistics in the European Union. Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, The Hague (2010.) SeptemberGoogle Scholar
  19. Dousset, B., Gourmelon, F., Laaidi, K., Zeghnoun, A., Giraudet, E., Bretin, P., et al.: Satellite monitoring of summer heat waves in the Paris metropolitan area. Int. J. Climatol. 31, 313 (2011.) natioCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Enterprise Community Partners, Inc: Bringing Home the Benefits of Energy Efficiency to Low-Income Households. (2008)Google Scholar
  21. EU-25 Energy and Transport Outlook to 2030: Available through (2015)
  22. EURO4M: 2014 warmest year on record in Europe. Available through: (2015)
  23. European Commision: Energy Renovation: The Trump Card for the New Start for Europe, JRC Science and Policy Reports (2015)Google Scholar
  24. European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions: First European Quality of Life Survey. European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Dublin (2003)Google Scholar
  25. Fanchiotti, A., Zinzi, M.: Impact of cool materials on urban heat islands and on buildings comfort and energy consumption. In: Proc. ASES Conference, 2012 (2012)Google Scholar
  26. Fintikakis, N., Gaitani, N., Santamouris, M., Assimakopoulos, M., Assimakopoulos, D.N., Fintikaki, M., Albanis, G., Papadimitriou, K., Chryssochoides, E., Katopodi, K., Doumas, P: Bioclimatic design of open public spaces in the historic Centre of Tirana, Albania Original Research Article Sustainable Cities and Society. 1(1):54–62 (2011)Google Scholar
  27. Gaitani, N., Spanou, A., Saliari, M., Synnefa, A., Vassilakopoulou, K., Papadopoulou, K., Pavlou, K., Santamouris, M., Papaioannou, M., Lagoudaki, A.: Improving the microclimate in urban areas. A case study in the centre of Athens. J Building Serv Eng. 32(1), 53–71 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. GEA: Global Energy Assessment – Toward a Sustainable Future. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg (2012)Google Scholar
  29. Geros, V., Santamouris, M., Tsangrassoulis, A., Guarracino, G.: Experimental evaluation of night ventilation phenomena. J. Energy Buildings. 29, 141–154 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics: Global Construction 2025 (2013)Google Scholar
  31. Hamachi, L.K., Eto, J.H.: Cost of Power Interruptions to Electricity Consumers in the United States (U.S.). Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2006)Google Scholar
  32. Hamilton, I., Michael Davies, a., Steadman, P., Stone, A., Ridley, I., Evans, S.: The significance of the anthropogenic heat emissions of London’s buildings: A comparison against captured shortwave solar radiation. Build. Environ. 44, 807–817 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Harvey, L.D.D.: Energy and the New Reality 1, Energy Efficiency and the Demand for Energy Services. Earthscan, London (2010)Google Scholar
  34. Hassid, S., Santamouris, M., Papanikolaou, N., Linardi, A., Klitsikas, N., Georgakis, C., Assimakopoulos, D.N.: The effect of the Athens heat island on air conditioning load. Energy Build. 32(2), 131–141 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hermelink, A.: SOLANOVA. In: Proc European Conference and Cooperation Exchange. (2006)Google Scholar
  36. House of Commons UK Parliament: Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee. Energy Efficiency and Fuel Poverty, Third Report of Session, 2008–09. (2009)Google Scholar
  37. Hutchinson, E.J., Wilkinson, P., Hong, S.H., Oreszczyn, T., the Warm Front Study Group: Can we improve the identification of cold homes for targeted home energy-efficiency Improvements? Appl. Energy. 83, 1198–1209 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. International Energy Agency: World Energy Investment Outlook. (2014)Google Scholar
  39. Jenkings, D.P.: The value of retrofitting carbon-saving measures into fuel poor social housing. Energy Policy. 38, 832–839 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Joint Research Center: Energy Renovation: The Trump Card for the New Start for Europe. European Commission Joint Research Centre, Institute for Energy and Transport (2015)Google Scholar
  41. Juan-Carlos, C., Dowling, P.: Integrated assessment of climate impacts and adaptation in the energy sector. Energy Econ. 46, 531–538 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kapsomenakis, J., Kolokotsa, D., Nikolaou, T., Santamouris, M., Zerefos, S.C.: Forty years increase of the air ambient temperature in Greece: the impact on buildings. Energy Convers. Manag. 74, 353–365 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Keatinge, W.R., Donaldson, G.C., Cordioloi, E., Martinelli, M., Kunst, A.E., Mackenbach, J.P., Nayha, S.: Heat-related mortality in warm and cold regions of Europe: observational study. Br. Med. J. 321, 670–673 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kolokotroni, M., Zhang, Y., Watkins, R.: The London heat island and building cooling design. Solar. Energy. 81, 102–110 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kolokotsa, D., Santamouris, M.: Review of the indoor environmental quality and energy consumption studies for low income households in Europe. Sci. Total Environ. 536, 316–330 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Kolokotsa, D., Santamouris, M., Akbari, H.: Advances in the Development of Cool Materials for the Built Environment. Bentham Books, New York (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Li, D., Bou-Zeid, E.: Synergistic interactions between urban heat islands and heat waves: the impact in cities is larger than the sum of its parts. J. Appl. Meteorol. Climatol. 52, 2051–2064 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Marmot Review: The Health Impacts of Cold Homes and Fuel Poverty. cold_homes_health.pdf (2011)
  49. Mastrapostoli, E., Karlessi, T., Pantazaras, A., Gobakis, K., Kolokotsa, D., Santamouris, M.: On the cooling potential of cool roofs in cold climates: use of cool fluorocarbon coatings to enhance the optical properties and the energy performance of industrial buildings. Energy Build. 69, 417–425 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. McDonell, G.: Displacement ventilation. Can. Archit. 48(4), 32–33 (2003)Google Scholar
  51. McGregor, G., Pelling, M., Wolf, T., Gosling, S.: The Social Impacts of Heat Waves, Science Report – SC20061/SR6. Environment Agency, Bristol (2007)Google Scholar
  52. Middelkoop, B.J., Struben, H.W., Burger, I., Vroom-Jongerden, J.M.: Urban cause-specific socio-economic mortality differences. Which causes of death contribute most? Int. J. Epidemiol. 30, 240–247 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Navigant Research: Zero Energy Buildings. Description available through (2015)
  54. Nichol, J., King, B., Quattrochi, D., Dowman, I., Ehlers, M., Ding, X.: EO for urban planning and management state of the art and recommendations for application of earth observation in urban planning. Photogramm. Eng. Remote Sens. 73, 973 (2007.) ote SGoogle Scholar
  55. Odyssee-Mure: Energy Efficiency Trends in Buildings in the EU Lessons from the ODYSSEE MURE project. Available through: (2012)
  56. Polydoros, A., Cartalis, C.: Use of Earth observation based indices for the monitoring of built-up area features and dynamics in support of urban energy studies. Energy Build. (2014). doi: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2014.09.060
  57. Preston, I., Moore, R., Guertler, P.: How Much? The Cost of Alleviating Fuel Poverty, Report to the EAGA Partnership Charitable Trust. CSE, Bristol (2008)Google Scholar
  58. Rigo, G., Parlow, E.: Modelling the ground heat flux of an urban area using remote sensing data. Theor. Appl. Climatol. 90, 185oreti (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Rübbelke, D., Vögele, S.: Distributional Consequences of Climate Change Impacts on the Power Sector: Who gains and who loses? CEPS Working Document, No. 349 (2011)Google Scholar
  60. Santamouris, M. (ed.): Energy and Climate in the Urban Built Environment. Published by Earthscan, London (2001)Google Scholar
  61. Santamouris, M.: On the energy impact of urban heat island and global warming on buildings. Energy Build. 82, 100–113 (2014a)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Santamouris, M.: Cooling the cities – a review of reflective and green roof mitigation technologies to fight heat island an improve comfort in urban environments. Solar. Energy. 103(682–703), 2014 (2014b)Google Scholar
  63. Santamouris, M.: Regulating the damaged thermostat of the cities – status. Impacts. Mitig. Strateg. Energy Build. 91, 43–56 (2015a)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Santamouris, M.: Analyzing the heat island magnitude and characteristics in one hundred Asian and Australian cities and regions. Sci. Total Environ. 512–513, 582–598 (2015b)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Santamouris, M., Kolokotsa, D.: Passive cooling dissipation techniques for buildings and other structures: the state of the art. Energy Build. 57, 74–94 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Santamouris, M., Kolokotsa, D.: On the impact of urban overheating and extreme climatic conditions on housing energy comfort and environmental quality of vulnerable population in Europe. Energy Build. 98, 125–133 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Santamouris, M., Kolokotsa, D.: Urban Climate Mitigation Techniques. Earthscan, London (2016)Google Scholar
  68. Santamouris, M., Papanikolaou, N., Livada, I., Koronakis, I., Georgakis, C., Argiriou, A., Assimakopoulos, D.N.: On the impact of urban climate to the energy consumption of buildings. Sol. Energy. 70(3), 201–216 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Santamouris, M., Paraponiaris, K., Mihalakakou, G.: Estimating the ecological footprint of the heat island effect over Athens, Greece. Clim. Chang. 80, 265–276 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Santamouris, M., Synnefa, A., Kolokotsa, D., Dimitriou, V., Apostolakis, K.: Passive cooling of the built environment – use of innovative reflective materials to fight heat island and decrease cooling needs. Int. J. Low Carbon Technol. 3(2), 71–82 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Santamouris, M., Synnefa, A., Karlessi, T.: Using advanced cool materials in the urban built environment to mitigate heat islands and improve thermal comfort conditions. Solar. Energy. 85, 3085–3102 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Santamouris, M., Gaitani, N., Spanou, A., Saliari, M., Gianopoulou, K., Vasilakopoulou, K.: Using cool paving materials to improve microclimate of urban areas – design realisation and results of the flisvos project. Build. Environ. 53, 128–136 (2012a)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Santamouris, M., Xirafi, F., Gaitani, N., Spanou, A., Saliari, M., Vassilakopoulou, K.: Improving the microclimate in a dense urban area using experimental and theoretical techniques. – the case of Marousi, Athens. Int. J. Vent. 11(1), 1–16 (2012b)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Santamouris, M.: Using cool pavements as a mitigation strategy to fight urban heat island—a review of the actual developments. Renew. Sust. Energy Rev. 26, 224–240 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Santamouris, M., Alevizos, S.M., Aslanoglou, L., Mantzios, D., Milonas, P., Sarelli, I., Karatasou, S., Cartalis, K., Paravantis, J.A.: Freezing the poor—indoor environmental quality in low and very low income households during the winter period in Athens. Energy Build. 70, 61–70 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Santamouris, M., Cartalis, C., Synnefa, A., Kolokotsa, D.: On the impact of urban heat island and global warming on the power demand and electricity consumption of buildings–a review. Energy Build. 98, 119–124 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Sarrat, C., Lemonsu, A., Masson, V., Guedalia, D.: Impact of urban heat island on regional atmospheric pollution. Atmos. Environ. 40, 1743–1758 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Sarwant, S.: New Mega Trends: Implications for Our Future Lives. Palgrave Macmillan, London (2012)Google Scholar
  79. Schiano-Phan, R., Weber, F., Santamouris, M.: The mitigative potential of urban environments and their microclimates. Build. 5, 783–801 (2015). doi: 10.3390/buildings5030783 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Smith, M., Whitelegg, J., Williams, N.: Greening the Built Environment. Earthscan Publications Ltd, London (1998)Google Scholar
  81. Stathopoulou, M., Cartalis, C.: Use of satellite remote sensing in support of urban heat island studies. Adv. Build. Energy Res. 1, 203–212 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Stathopoulou, E., Mihalakakou, G., Santamouris, M., Bagiorgas, H.S.: Impact of temperature on tropospheric ozone concentration levels in urban environments. J. Earth Syst. Sci. 117(3), 227–236 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Synnefa, A., Santamouris, M.: Advances on technical, policy and market aspects of cool roof technology in Europe: the Cool Roofs project. Energy Build. 55, 35–41 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Synnefa, A., Santamouris, M., Akbari, H.: Estimating the effect of using cool coatings on energy loads and thermal comfort in residential buildings in various climatic conditions. Energy Build. 39(11), 1167–1174 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Synnefa, A., Karlessi, T., Gaitani, N., Santamouris, M., Assimakopoulos, D.N., Papakatsikas, C.: On the optical and thermal performance of cool colored thin layer asphalt used to improve urban microclimate and reduce the energy consumption of buildings. Build. Environ. 46(1), 38–44 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Synnefa, A., Saliari, M., Santamouris, M.: Experimental and numerical assessment of the impact of increased roof reflectance on a school building in Athens. Energy Build. 55, 7–15 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Thiers, S., Peuportier, B.: Thermal and environmental assessment of a passive building equipped with an earth-to-air heat exchanger in France. Solar Energy. 82(9), 820–831 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. United Nations: Urban and Rural Areas.: (2009)
  89. Urge-Vorsatz, D., Eyre, N., Graham, P., Harvey, D., Hertwich, E., Kornevall, C., Majumdar, M., McMahon, J., Mirasgedis, S., Murakami, S., Novikova, A., Yi, J.: Energy end-use: buildings. In: The Global Energy Assessment: Toward a More Sustainable Future. IIASA, Laxenburg and Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK (2012)Google Scholar
  90. U.S. Department of Energy: Weatherization Assistance Program: Improving the Economies for Low-Income Communities. (2006)Google Scholar
  91. Van Vliet, M.T.H., Yearsley, J.R., Ludwig, F., Vögele, S., Lettenmaier, D.P., Kabat, P.: Vulnerability of US and European electricity supply to climate change. Nat. Clim. Chang. 2, 676–681 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Vision Gain: Flat Glass Market Report 2014–2024, Opportunities For Leading Companies in Building, Construction, Automotive & Solar Energy. (2014)
  93. Washan, P., Stenning, J., Goodman, M.: Building the Future: Economic and Fiscal Impacts of Making Homes Energy Efficient. Cambridge Econometrics (2014)Google Scholar
  94. WIEGO: Woman in Informal Economy: Globalizing and Organising: Construction Workers. Available through (2015)
  95. Xu, W., Wooster, M.J., Grimmond, C.S.B.: Modelling of urban sensible heat flux at multiple spatial scales: a demonstration using airborne hyperspectral imagery of Shanghai and a temperatureple spatial scales: a demonstrat. Remote. Sens. Environ. 112, 3493 Sensi (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Yohanis, Y.G., Mondol, J.D.: Annual variation of temperature in a sample of UK dwellings. Appl. Energy. 87(2), 681–690 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Zerohomes: Zero Energy Retrofits Benefits of Remodeling Existing Homes to Zero or Near Zero. Available through (2015)

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Built EnvironmentUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Physics DepartmentUniversity of AthensAthensGreece
  3. 3.Physics DepartmentNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece

Personalised recommendations