ISO standard for designing the ultra-efficient home
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By Liz Gasiorowski-Denis 

Between the rising cost of living and concerns about protecting the environment, homeowners have become increasingly interested in finding ways to cut down on energy use. A new ISO International Standard gives a framework for taking into consideration the design process in buildings that will lead to greater energy efficiency – and lower energy bills.

Energy consumption in buildings – including climate control, appliances, lighting and other installed equipment – represents nearly 40 % of the world’s total energy use. Introducing energy efficiency in the design process leads to a reduction in energy demand through a global approach to the building, including analysis of the building location, definition of the building envelope, energy systems and products.

ISO 13153:2012, Framework of the design process for energy-saving single-family residential and small commercial buildings, will help designers to evaluate the energy-saving effectiveness of the elemental technology options at different stages of the design process.

For example, in cold climates, the insulation of the building envelope is selected as an elemental technology, which contributes to energy conservation in space heating energy.

ISO 13153 gives a framework of the design process for energy-saving single family single family residential and small commercial buildings. The predicted reduction of consumption is expressed in an ‘energy consumption ratio’ that will enable meaningful comparisons of actual energy use, and of the potential for energy savings.

The new standard applies to new buildings and is also applicable to systems for heating, cooling, lighting, domestic hot water, service water heating, ventilation and related controls.

Dr. Takao Sawachi, leader of the ISO team of international experts that developed the standard, comments: "Despite increases in the number and the average size of homes plus increased use of electronics, improvements in efficiency have all led to decreased consumption per household. The new ISO 13153 goes a step further by helping designers make decisions on whether energy-saving technologies are adopted in a particular building project based on its specific design conditions. It is an invaluable addition to the growing group of ISO standards for energy efficiency in buildings.”

To help users get the most out of the standard, ISO 13153 also provides three annexes on the following:

·         Examples of energy-saving elemental technologies and options for specification

·         Notes on the experimental estimation of systems, taking actual conditions of usage into consideration

·         Contents of design guidelines including expression of energy consumption ratio for elemental technologies and options for specification

ISO 13153:2012, Framework of the design process for energy-saving single-family residential and small commercial buildings, was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 205, Building environment design. It costs 140 Swiss francs and is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details) and from ISO Central Secretariat through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication and Information department.

Last updated: 01/22/2013
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