Agent-Based Modeling of a Thermal Energy Transition in the Built Environment

Graciela del Carmen Nava Guerrero, Gijsbert Korevaar, Helle Hvid Hansen, Zofia Lukszo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
122 Downloads (Pure)


To reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, an energy transition is taking place in the European Union. Achieving these targets requires changes in the heating and cooling sector (H&C). Designing and implementing this energy transition is not trivial, as technology, actors, and institutions interact in complex ways. We provide an illustrative example of the development and use of an agent-based model (ABM) for thermal energy transitions in the built environment, from the perspective of sociotechnical systems (STS) and complex adaptive systems (CAS). In our illustrative example, we studied the transition of a simplified residential neighborhood to heating without natural gas. We used the ABM to explore socioeconomic conditions that could support the neighborhoods’ transition over 20 years while meeting the neighborhoods’ heat demand. Our illustrative example showed that through the use of STS, CAS, and an ABM, we can account for technology, actors, institutions, and their interactions while designing for thermal energy transitions in the built environment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number856
Number of pages26
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

This article belongs to the Special Issue 4th International Conference on Smart Energy Systems and 4th Generation District Heating.


  • built environment
  • residential
  • thermal
  • technology
  • insulation
  • complex adaptive systems
  • socio-technical systems
  • ABM


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