Ecolonia is being built in an urban expansion area in the Dutch municipality of Alphen aan den Rijn. The urban development plane was prepared by the Belgian town planning architect Lucien Kroll. He came up with an unusual design for a living and working environment, in which as many "natural" elements as possible are incorporated. It is a project which challenges the occupants to act in an energy-saving and environmentally-conscious way.
The present study intends to optimize the concept of a breast-wall panel while conciliating the architectural aspects and energy saving strategies of non residential buildings. Thus, the panel will permit besides a recovering of solar energy gains during the winter as in a classical Trombe wall (but without is thermal inertia) a reduction of solar energy inputs during summer. In order to estimate its thermal performance, a simplified model was developed predicting energy savings both in winter and in summer periods.
In the period 1980-1987 Rotterdam carried out an energy saving programme for municipal buildings in the non-profit sector (hospitals, schools, offices, libraries, etc). The target of this programme was to save energy with a yearly balance between costs and benefits. In 1987 this programme resulted in aninvestment of F.42,000.000,--. The energy consumption was reduced with 16.000.000m3 gas. After 1987 the energy consumption slowly grew to the situation of 1980. In 1989 Rotterdam started with the introduction of energy management.
By using balanced, mechanical ventilation with a high efficiency regenerative heat exchanger it is possible to achieve twice the ventilation rote required by the Norwegian Building Code, and still consume less than half the normal amount of energy. This is the conclusion drawn from extensive measurements made in a Norwegian single Family home last winter. The measurements were made by the EMTEK-programme, which is a Norwegian government programme to promote the introduction of energy efficient products.
An evaluation of the potential for energy savings in thermal distribution systems in residential and small commercial buildings has been carried out. Thermal distribution systems are the ductwork, piping, or other means used to transport heat or cooling effect from the equipment that produces the heat or cooling to the building spaces in which it is used. This evaluation was divided into four stages.