Policy & Projects

Policy & Projects

IEA EBC Annexes and Working Groups

IEA EBC research is mainly undertaken through a series of research projects, or so-called 'Annexes'. Typically each Annex has a life span of three to four years, although extensions are possible if a continuing need for the activity is identified. Clear goals are set for each activity so that well defined products are generated. Publications are available for several ongoing and most completed annexes.

Working Groups are unique from Annexes, and they are set up to be able to collect knowledge on specific aspects between several countries, prepare new Annex projects or to follow-up on a completed project.

Annexes and Working Groups are structured so that each has a defined Operating Agent(s) who is responsible for the management and reporting of sub-tasks, research and publication of outcomes. Sitting underneath the Operating Agents are the participants. Participants consist of all parties who support the Annex or Working Group, and to which sub-tasks are assigned. 

Through the Council's engagement with DISER and the IEA, we have selected a list of Annexes deemed particularly pertinent to Australia, and these are listed below (alongside Operating Agents and participants for each).

There are other ongoing Annexes, for further information on these, please click here.

You can also check out:

IEA EBC Annexes and Working Groups of relevance to Australia

In this section you'll find information on:

  • EBC Annex 85 - Indirect Evaporative Cooling
  • EBC Annex 83 – Positive Energy Districts;
  • EBC Annex 82 – Energy Flexible Buildings Towards Resilient Low Carbon Energy Systems
  • EBC Annex 81 – Data-driven Smart Buildings;
  • EBC Annex 80 – Resilient cooling;
  • EBC Annex 73 – Towards Net Zero Energy Public Resilient Communities;
  • EBC Annex 70 – Building Energy Epidemiology: Analysis of Real Building Energy Use at Scale;
  • EBC Annex 69 – Strategy and Practice of Adaptive Thermal Comfort in Low Energy Buildings;
  • EBC Annex 67 - Energy Flexible Buildings; and
  • Working Group – Building Energy Codes.

 

Status: Ongoing (2020 - 2025)

Operating Agent: Dr Xiaoyun Xie

Objectives:

  • Carry out deep and wide investigations of indirect evaporative cooling systems, as well as for cooling towers, including cost, space, maintenance, and environmental impacts (noise, legionella and so on) to find out the main reasons why indirect evaporative cooling technologies have not been widely used.
  • Carry out field testing of existing indirect evaporative cooling systems applied in different climates to obtain real-world running data; analyze the data and provide guidance for system improvement or optimization. (Existing installations can be found in the north-west of China, western USA, Europe, Australia, and other dry regions.) 
  • Develop a general theoretical analysis method for indirect evaporative cooling processes to guide the design of various indirect evaporative cooling systems used in different dry climates.
  • Evaluate the water and electricity use of indirect evaporative cooling processes.
  • Set up a system simulation model and tool for various kinds of indirect evaporative cooling processes and systems used in different types of buildings under different dry climates.
  • Develop a guideline for designing indirect evaporative cooling systems for different types of buildings under various dry climates and water resource conditions.

Deliverables:

The planned official project deliverable is a book, provisionally entitled, “The Indirect Evaporative Cooling Source Book”. This will include the specific project outputs as follows: 

  1. theoretical analysis results for the general performance of indirect evaporative cooling technologies,
  2. fundamental analysis results through thermal analysis and optimization,
  3. simulation tools for indirect evaporative cooling technologies,
  4. design guideline for indirect evaporative coolingtechnologies, and
  5. feasibility analysis of indirect evaporative cooling technologies.

Want to get involved? You can contact the Annex Operating Agent here:

Dr Xiaoyun Xie:

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EBC Annex 83 – Positive Energy Districts

Status: Ongoing (2020-2023)

Operating agents:

Australian participant:

Annex overview

The basic principle of positive energy districts (PEDs) is to create areas within city boundaries that can generate more energy than consumed. Additionally, PEDs should be designed in a way so that they are flexible enough to respond to energy market variations by offering increased on-site load-matching and self-consumption, energy storage and increased building management control.

Objectives

The aim of Annex 83 is to develop an in-depth definition of the technologies, planning, tools and decision-making processes related to positive energy districts. Experience and data to be used in the Annex will be gained from demonstration cases.

Activities

The project has been divided into four subtasks to be carried out by Annex participants:

Subtask A – Definitions and context:

  1. In-depth definition considering complexities of PEDs as far as possible; and
  2. Classification of PED typologies, considering various factors and creating archetypes.

Subtask B – Methods, tools, and technologies for realising PEDs:

  1. Mapping energy technologies;
  2. Mapping smart technologies; and
  3. Modelling, simulation, and optimisation tools: comparison and application.

Subtask C – Organising principles and impact assessment

  1. Economic assessment;
  2. Environmental assessment; and
  3. Humanities and social impact assessment.

Subtask D – Demos, implementation, and dissemination

  1. Demonstration cases;
  2. Planning and implementation methodology guidelines; and
  3. Dissemination.

Deliverables will be formally identified as the Annex matures.

Want to get involved? You can contact the Annex Operating Agents here:

Pekka Tuominen:

Francesco Reda:

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EBC Annex 82 – Energy Flexible Buildings Towards Resilient Low Carbon Energy Systems

Status: Ongoing (2020-2024)

Operating agents:

Australian participant:

Please contact Kate Jennings if you wish to find out how you can get involved!

Annex overview

The energy flexibility of a building is its ability to manage its demand and supply according to local climatic conditions, occupant and operator needs and energy network requirements. The completed EBC Project, ‘Annex 67:  Energy Flexible Buildings’ revealed areas where further work is needed to ensure that energy flexibility from buildings will actually be an asset for future energy networks. 

Objectives

The project objectives are to:

  • Investigate the aggregated potential of energy flexibility services from buildings and clusters of buildings located in different multi-carrier energy systems;
  • Demonstrate energy flexibility in clusters of buildings through simulations, experiments and field studies;
  • Map the barriers, motivations and acceptance of stakeholders associated with the introduction of energy flexibility measures;
  • Investigate and develop business models for energy flexibility services to energy networks, and;
  • Develop recommendations to policy makers and government entities involved in the shaping of future energy systems.

Activities

The identified set of deliverables to be achieved by participants for this project includes:

  1. A common methodology for characterization of energy flexibility;
  2. Services offered to (multi-carrier) energy networks;
  3. Stakeholder viewpoints;
  4. A collection of case studies;
  5. Business models, and;
  6. Recommendations for policy makers and government entities involved in the shaping of future energy systems.

Want to get involved? You can contact the Annex Operating Agents here:

Søren Østergaard Jensen:

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EBC Annex 81 – Data-driven Smart Buildings

Status: Ongoing (2019-2024)

Operating agent:

Australian participants:

Annex overview

This project imagines a future world empowered by access to discoverable, reliable, ubiquitous real-time data from buildings, such that digital solutions can rapidly scale and where energy efficiency knowledge can be widely encapsulated and disseminated within highly accessible software ‘Applications’. Applications, in this context, are conceived as easy-to-configure and instantiate software microservices, built on top of a common software infrastructure that facilitates data access via housed computing services or the cloud.

Conceptual representation of Model-based Predictive Control (MPC). Source: EBC Annex 81.

By embracing modern IT approaches, the hope is that the management and operation of building services can be simplified to overcome energy efficiency skills barriers and reduce reliance on manual interventions. Inside this vision, the purpose of the project is to help harness the emerging digital technology revolution to both reduce energy use in buildings and enable buildings to participate as distributed energy resources in support of increased renewable resources. The project achieves this through developments in ‘Software as a Service’ innovation, and intelligent data-driven building automation.

Objectives

  1. Provide the knowledge, standards, protocols and procedures for low-cost high-quality data capture, sharing and utilisation in buildings;
  2. Develop a Building Emulator platform that enables testing, development and assessment of the impact of alternative building HVAC control strategies in a digital environment;
  3. Develop building energy efficiency software Applications that can be used and ideally commercialised for reducing energy use in buildings; and
  4. Drive adoption of results through case studies, business model innovation and results dissemination.

Activities

The identified set of deliverables to be achieved by participants for this project includes:

  • A proposal for government leadership on data sharing from their buildings;
  • A MVP Open Data Platform functional requirements report;
  • An online repository of exemplar datasets for building analytics research;
  • A set of data-driven control-oriented building models for different scenarios;
  • Emulator prototype(s);
  • A software repository, containing the prototype software implementations and descriptions of each application; and
  • Reports.

Want to get involved? You can contact the Annex operating agent here:

Dr. Stephen White

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EBC Annex 80 – Resilient cooling

Status: Ongoing (2018-2023)

Operating agent:

Australian participants:

Annex overview

Resilient cooling is used to denote low energy and low carbon cooling solutions that strengthen the ability of individuals - and our community as a whole - to withstand and prevent the thermal (and other) impacts of changes in global and local climates, particularly with respect to increasing ambient temperatures and the increasing frequency and severity of heat waves.

According to this definition, resilient cooling includes technologies and solutions that:

  • Reduce externally induced heat gains to indoor environments;
  • Offer personal comfort apart from space cooling;
  • Remove heat from indoor environments; and
  • Control the humidity of indoor environments.

The project is investigating resilient cooling applications against a variety of external parameters such as climate, building typologies, internal loads and occupancy profiles, various levels of BMS capabilities and automation, new buildings and retrofitting of existing buildings. Furthermore, the project is closely connected with activities such as Mission Innovation’s Challenge #7: Affordable Heating and Cooling of Buildings, the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Programme and the IEA Global Exchange on Efficiency: Cooling.

Objectives

  1. Assess benefits, potentials and performance indicators;
  2. Identify limitations and bottlenecks and provide guidance on design, performance calculation and system integration;
  3. Research towards implementation of emerging technologies;
  4. Extend boundaries of existing solutions, including user interaction and control strategies;
  5. Demonstrate the performance of resilient cooling solutions; and
  6. Develop recommendations for regulatory contexts.

Activities

The identified set of deliverables to be achieved by participants for this project includes:

  • Comprehensive resilient cooling technology profiles including instructions for successful system design, implementation and operation;
  • Specific resilient cooling R&D reports;
  • Well documented case studies and success stories; and
  • Recommendations for the integration of resilient cooling in legislation and standards.

Want to get involved? You can contact the Annex operating agent here:

Dr. Peter Holzer

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EBC Annex 73 – Towards Net Zero Energy Public Resilient Communities

Status: Ongoing, 2017-2021

Operating agents:

Australian participants:

Annex overview

Until recently, most planners of public communities - for example military and university campuses - have addressed energy systems for new facilities on an individual building basis without consideration of energy sources, renewables, storage, or future energy generation needs.

This situation in planning and execution of energy related projects does not support attainment of current energy reduction goals or the minimisation of costs for providing energy security.

The project is summarising the state-of-the-art technologies and concepts for community-wide ‘near zero energy’ master planning that consider both power and heating and cooling needs. The project also aims to enhance existing master planning strategies and modelling tools and expand their application by adding standardised country-explicit building data on specific building types, information on advanced energy efficiency technologies, and on their performance and cost characteristics.

The scope of the project is to develop the methodology and the decision-making process that will be transferred into computer-based modelling tools for achieving near-zero energy in public communities like military garrisons, universities and housing areas. The guidelines and tools to be developed within the project will support the energy master planning process and will address technical, economic, social, financial, and business components presented in the way that is easy to understand and execute. The outcomes will be applicable to public communities in participating countries.

Objectives

  1. Establishing energy goals and a database of energy utilisation indices for representative buildings and building communities;
  2. Developing a catalogue of building models, including mixed-use buildings, applicable to national public and private communities and military garrisons;
  3. Collecting and analysing best practices of energy master planning with the goal of establishing a step-by-step energy master planning process to be executed using the computerised tool;
  4. Collecting information on the architecture of advanced central energy systems, analysing their applicability to different building communities’ needs and constraints, and evaluating these scenarios from the technical, economic, financial, and business perspective; and
  5. Dissemination and training in participating countries designed for decision makers, planners, building owners, architects, engineers, and energy managers of public owned and operated communities.

Activities

The identified set of deliverables to be achieved by participants for this project includes:

  • A guide for near zero energy planning in building communities;
  • An enhanced net zero planning tool;
  • A book of case studies with examples of energy masterplans and near zero energy communities; and
  • A report summarising the results of several realised pilot case study projects.

Want to get involved? You can contact the Annex operating agents here:

Rüdiger Lohse

Dr Alexander Zhivov

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EBC Annex 70 – Building Energy Epidemiology: Analysis of Real Building Energy Use at Scale

Status: Close to maturity (2016-2020); may be extended at upcoming IEA EBC Program Executive Committee meeting in June

Operating agent:

Australian participants:

Annex overview

In response to concerns about climate change, energy security and social equity, governments around the world are developing plans to dramatically reduce energy demand and carbon dioxide emissions, - or in the case of emerging economies - develop in less energy intensive ways. This transformation will require a raft of technology and policy interventions that, to be truly effective, will require comprehensive empirical evaluation.

This project specifically seeks to support decision-makers and investors in their efforts to transform to a low carbon and energy efficient building stock. This is to be achieved by focusing on developing best practice methods for collecting, accessing, analysing and developing models with empirical data of energy demand in buildings and communities.

Idealised operation of a national building data and stock model. Source: EBC Annex 70.

Building energy epidemiology is the study of energy demand to improve the understanding of variations and causes of differences within an energy-consuming population. It considers the complex interactions between the physical and engineered systems, socioeconomic conditions, in addition to individual interactions and practices of occupants. The results will facilitate the use of empirical data in undertaking international energy performance comparisons, policy review exercises, national stock modelling and technology and product market assessments and impact analyses.

Objectives

  1. Evaluating the scope for using real building energy use data at scale to inform policy making and to support industry in the development of low energy and low carbon solutions;
  2. Establishing best practice in the methods used to collect and analyse data related to real building energy use, including building and occupant data; and
  3. Comparing across the national approaches to developing building stock data sets, building stock models, and to addressing the energy performance gap in order to identify lessons that can be learned and shared.

Activities

The identified set of deliverables to be achieved by participants for this project includes:

  • A registry on national building stock surveys and models (with actual data if available); and
  • A series of best practice and information reports on international data, models and methods.

This Annex is close to maturity, but you can still contact the Annex operating agent if you would like to learn more:

Dr. Ian Hamilton

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EBC Annex 69 – Strategy and Practice of Adaptive Thermal Comfort in Low Energy Buildings

Status: At maturity (2014-2019); may be extended at upcoming IEA EBC Program Executive Committee meeting in June

Operating agents:

Australian participants:

Annex overview

Reducing energy use and providing comfortable indoor environments for occupants are both key objectives of the building sector globally. However, establishing the appropriate balance between these competing issues is challenging. Is it possible to achieve thermal comfort in buildings without increasing energy use? To answer this, this project is focusing on:

  • Creating a scientifically based explanation of the underlying mechanism of adaptive thermal comfort for people in buildings; and
  • The application and evaluation of the thermal adaptation concept to reduce building energy consumption through design and control strategies.

Source: Rawal et. al, 2020Personal comfort systems: A review on comfort, energy, and economics, Energy and Buildings, Vol. 214, DOI: 109858.

The concept of adaptive thermal comfort is not new, but there are still existing problems to be solved in this field of research:

  • Although the adaptive effect has been observed by many researchers, the mechanism of the adaptive process is still unclear, especially the psychological and behavioural influences;
  • The thermal adaptation responses of people in diverse climatic regions can be quite different, which may result in different building design strategies and indoor environment solutions. Current understanding of occupants’ adaptive responses in different climate regions is still limited; and
  • Apart from purely free-running buildings or airconditioned buildings, mixed-mode buildings (cooling / heating together with natural ventilation) are actually the most common type. However, in existing standards there are no evaluation criteria for this kind of building. Most clients refuse to accept low energy building design with an indoor thermal environment outside the comfort range defined in current standards.

Objectives

  1. Establish a database with quantitative descriptions of occupant thermal adaption responses;
  2. Develop new or improved indoor thermal environment criteria based on the adaptive thermal comfort concept;
  3. Provide a basis for the creation or revision of indoor environment standards;
  4. Propose passive building design strategies to achieve thermal comfort with low energy consumption; and
  5. Provide guidelines for new cooling and heating devices based on perceived / individual control adaptation.

Activities

The identified set of deliverables to be achieved by participants for this project includes:

  • Database with a user interface including information about human thermal reactions, together with occupant behaviour and building energy consumption;
  • Model and criteria for the application of adaptive thermal comfort in buildings;
  • Guidelines for low energy building design based on the adaptive thermal comfort concept; and
  • Guidelines for personal thermal comfort systems in low energy buildings.

Outcomes

You can find a full list of Annex 69 publications here.

This Annex is close to maturity, but you can still contact the Annex operating agents if you would like to learn more:

Prof. Yingxin Zhu

Prof. Richard de Dear

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EBC Annex 67 - Energy Flexible Buildings

Status: Completed (2014-2020)

Operating agent:

  • Søren Østergaard Jensen

Annex overview

Energy flexibility in buildings will play an important role in facilitating energy systems based entirely on renewable energy sources. Flexibility is necessary to control the energy use to match the actual energy generation from various energy sources such as solar and wind power. However, before this project there was a lack of comprehensive knowledge about how much energy flexibility different building types and their usage may be able to offer to the future energy systems.

This project has demonstrated how energy flexibility in buildings can provide generating capacity for energy grids, and has identifed critical aspects and possible solutions to manage such flexibility. This knowledge is important in order to incorporate energy flexibility of buildings into future smart energy systems and to better accommodate renewable sources in energy systems. It is also important when developing the business case for using building energy flexibility within future systems to potentially reduce costly upgrades of energy distribution grids.

Objectives

  • development of common terminology, a definition of ‘energy flexibility in buildings’ and a classification method,
  • investigation of user comfort, motivation and acceptance associated with the introduction of energy flexibility in buildings,
  • investigation of the energy flexibility potential in different buildings and contexts, and development of design guidelines, control strategies and algorithms
  • investigation of the aggregated energy flexibility of buildings and the potential effect on energy grids, and
  • demonstration of energy flexibility through experimental and field studies.

Outcomes

You can find a full list of Annex 67 publications here.

A number of areas where further work is needed to ensure that energy flexibility from buildings will actually be an asset for future energy networks were identified and are the basis of Annex 82.

If you would like to learn more, you can contact the Operating agent here:

Søren Østergaard Jensen

Phone: +45 72202488
E-mail: sdj@teknologisk.dk

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Working Group – Building Energy Codes

Status: Ongoing (2019-2022)

Operating agents:

Australian participant:

  • Stanford Harrison, Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

Working Group overview

It is widely recognised that building energy codes (also known as building energy standards) are an effective policy tool for improving the energy efficiency of buildings, residential and commercial alike. However, even in communities and other jurisdictions with extensive history in this area, building energy codes are facing key issues, including:

  • A need for faster and easier methods to check the compliance of buildings with the code;
  • A need for greater reliability in the evaluation of code compliance;
  • The substantial amount of time it takes for building codes to integrate research and technology breakthroughs, limiting the energy savings potential of building energy codes;
  • The long-life of buildings and thus attending to the resulting challenge of incorporating energy efficiency into major retrofits of older buildings and the role of buildings energy codes in this;
  • The need to meet ambitious policy objectives including zero net energy construction standards, passive ventilation, etc,; and
  • The challenge of integrating various distributed energy resources including distributed solar, electric vehicles, and grid-interactive and flexible technologies.

In June 2019, the IEA EBC approved the creation of a Working Group (WG) dedicated to the consideration of building energy codes to foster stronger collaboration addressed at these issues.

Objectives

  • To enhance the understanding of impactful options and practices regarding building energy codes across different countries;
  • To provide methods for cross-national comparison that lead to meaningful information sharing; and
  • To foster collaboration on building energy code issues that leads to enhanced building energy code programs by incorporating new issues and practices.

Outcomes

The draft work plan for this WG can be found here.

The first newsletter from this WG can be found here.

If you would like to learn more, you can contact the Working Group operating agents here:

David Nemtzow

Michael Donn

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