A New Generation of Thermal Energy Benchmarks for University Buildings

Salah Vaisi, S. Mohammadi, B. Nastasi, Kavan Javanrodi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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In 2008, the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE TM46 UC) presented an annual-fixed thermal energy benchmark of 240 kWh/m2/yr for university campus (UC) buildings as an attempt to reduce energy consumption in public buildings. However, the CIBSE TM46 UC benchmark fails to consider the difference between energy demand in warm and cold months, as the thermal performance of buildings largely depends on the ambient temperature. This paper presents a new generation of monthly thermal energy benchmarks (MTEBs) using two computational methods including mixed-use model and converter model, which consider the variations of thermal demand throughout a year. MTEBs were generated using five basic variables, including mixed activities in the typical college buildings, university campus revised benchmark (UCrb), typical operation of heating systems, activities impact, and heating degree days. The results showed that MTEBs vary from 24 kWh/m2/yr in January to one and nearly zero kWh/m2/yr in June and July, respectively. Based on the detailed assessments, a typical college building was defined in terms of the percentage of its component activities. Compared with the 100% estimation error of the TM46 UC benchmark, the maximum 21% error of the developed methodologies is a significant achievement. The R-squared value of 99% confirms the reliability of the new generation of benchmarks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6606
Number of pages18
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • CIBSE TM46
  • Energy benchmarking
  • Energy performance certificate
  • Thermal energy efficiency
  • University campus

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