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Evaluation of low-energy and conventional residential buildings from occupants' perspective
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Real Estate and Construction Management, Building and Real Estate Economics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8745-7390
2012 (English)In: Building and Environment, ISSN 0360-1323, E-ISSN 1873-684X, Vol. 58, 135-144 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to investigate building performance from the occupants' perspective and to compare how the residents in low-energy multi-family buildings and conventional buildings, respectively, perceive the comfort of, and satisfaction with, indoor elements. Additionally, the study explores differences in living-in, operation and management in low-energy and conventional residential buildings. The key data was obtained by surveys sent to occupants of carefully selected comparable buildings: three low-energy and three conventional residential buildings. Responses were compared and statistical difference was tested by the Mann-Whitney test and the Kruskal-Wallis test. Findings indicate that both low-energy and conventional residential buildings have satisfied and less satisfied tenants. The occupants' satisfaction might decrease if thermal discomfort leads them to use supplementary heating; however, use of supplementary cooling does not have the same significance. Problems and concerns regarding ventilation and heating appeared in both types of buildings. Results suggest that, compared with conventional buildings, low-energy residential buildings required the same or less system adjustment, which suggests that, from a lifecycle perspective, the low-energy buildings are the better investment. Occupants' responses suggest that the "green" profile of the building has a positive impact on their environmental awareness and behaviour. This paper shows that occupants' feedback is an important part of comprehensive building performance assessment, indicating areas for improvement relevant for developers and housing managers. The presented results show that problems often identified as specific to low-energy buildings also appear in conventional buildings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 58, 135-144 p.
Keyword [en]
Low-energy buildings, Occupants' satisfaction, Building performance, Perceived comfort
National Category
Economics and Business Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-104356DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2012.07.002ISI: 000309332800012Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84864361602OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-104356DiVA: diva2:566669
Note

QC 20121109.

part of a research project which is funded by SBUF, The Development Fund of the Swedish Construction Industry

Available from: 2012-11-09 Created: 2012-11-01 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. In the Business of Building Green: The value of low-energy residential buildings from customer and developer perspectives
Open this publication in new window or tab >>In the Business of Building Green: The value of low-energy residential buildings from customer and developer perspectives
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

An overarching aim of this research was to investigate the comprehensive value of green residential buildings as seen from two perspectives: that of the developer and that of the occupant (the customer). The dissertation consists of studies presented in seven papers.  The studies conducted to investigate the developer’s perspective focused on construction cost and potential profit (papers I and VII). The customer’s perspective was examined with three approaches: the impact that energy and environment have on the decision to purchase (or rent) an apartment (paper V), willingness to pay for a green apartment (paper VI) and finally, the occupants’ satisfaction with the dwelling and indoor environment (papers II, III and IV). 

The first paper examines whether increased investment costs are profitable, taking into account the reduction in operating costs. The investment viability is approached by comparing investment in conventional and green residential building, particularly passive houses, using real construction and post-occupancy conditions. The increased investment costs in energy-efficient building were also the focus of paper VII. In this paper, the aim was to study how technologies used in energy-efficient residential building construction affect the available saleable floor area and how this impacts on the profitability of the investment. Potential losses and gains of saleable floor area in energy-efficient buildings were assessed using a modelled building and analysed with the help of the average construction cost.

Papers II and IV present results from a study of occupants’ satisfaction and indoor environmental qualities. Both papers aim at comparing and analysing responses from occupants living in green and conventional buildings. Paper III focuses on a similar subject, but investigates occupants’ satisfaction among all adults living in multi-family buildings in Sweden, providing a national context for the results presented in papers II and IV. The results indicate that occupants are generally satisfied with their dwellings, but indoor environment proved to have a statistically significant effect on overall satisfaction.

The results in paper V indicate that energy and environmental factors have a minor impact on customers’ decision to purchase or rent an apartment. However, availability of information on building energy and environmental performance may have an effect on the likelihood of the buyers’ being interested in environmental qualities and consequently an impact on their decision. The study presented in paper VI shows that customer interest in energy and environmental factors has a significant impact on stated willingness to pay for green dwellings. The paper discusses the stated willingness to pay for low-energy buildings and buildings with an environmental certificate and attempts to assess the rationale of the stated willingness to pay for low-energy dwellings given potential energy savings.

Abstract [sv]

Fokus i detta forskningsprojekt har legat på att undersöka värdet av gröna bostäder ur ett brett perspektiv, dvs både genom att studera byggherrens och de boendes (kundens) synpunkter. I avhandlingen ingår sju uppsatser. Undersökningen av byggherrens synpunkter fokuserades på kostnader och potentiella inkomster (uppsats I och VII). Kundernas åsikter undersöktes på tre olika sätt: vilken effekt energi och miljö faktorer hade på beslut att köpa eller hyra en lägenhet (uppsats V), betalningsvilja för gröna bostäder (uppsats VI) och slutligen de boendes trivsel samt nöjdhet med inomhusmiljön (uppsats II,III och IV).

Den första uppsatsen syftar till att undersöka om ökningen av investeringskostnader vid byggande av gröna byggnader kan täckas av framtida energibesparingar och minskning av driftkostnad. Investeringens lönsamhet undersöktes genom att jämföra skillnader i byggkostnader mellan konventionella och gröna bostäder med skillnader i driftskostnader givet olika antaganden om energipriser och räntekrav. Huvudfokus i uppsats VII var också byggkostnader, men denna gång undersöktes hur nya tekniska lösningar påverkar boarea och lönsamhet av energieffektiva bostäder.  Genom att konstruera en modell av ett typhus analyserades potentiella ökningar i boarea med nya lösningar och hur detta påverkade lönsamheten i olika geografiska lägen (prisnivåer).

Uppsatserna II och IV presenterar resultat från boendeundersökningar. Båda uppsatserna syftar till att undersöka boendes trivsel och nöjdhet med inomhusmiljö samt att testa skillnaden i svar från boende i gröna och konventionella bostäder.  Uppsats III fokuserar också på inomhusmiljön, men analysen gjordes på svaren som samlades in under Boverkets projekt BETSI och resultaten är därmed representativa för alla vuxna som bor i flerfamiljshus i Sverige. Uppsats III ger därmed en national kontext för uppsatserna II och IV. Resultaten visar att boende trivs i sina bostäder, men inomhusmiljön har en statistiks signifikanta effekt på allmän nöjdhet faktor..

Resultaten i uppsats V tyder på att energi- och miljöaspekter spelar mindre roll i beslutet att köpa eller hyra en lägenhet. Den synliga informationens tillgänglighet angående byggnadens energi- och miljöprestanda, påverkar kundens intresse för dessa faktorer och därmed indirekt hushållets beslut. Resultaten i uppsats VI pekar på att kunderna, som är intresserade av byggnaders energi och miljö prestanda, är villiga att betala mer för gröna bostäder. I uppsats 6 diskuteras betalningsvilja för låg-energi byggnader och för byggnader med miljöcertifikat samt utvärderas om den angivna betalningsviljan är rationell beslut när man tar hänsyn till nuvärdet av framtida energibesparingar.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. 28 p.
Series
Trita-FOB-PHD, 2013:1
Keyword
sustainability, green buildings, residential buildings, low-energy, energy-efficiency, construction cost, profitability, occupant satisfaction, indoor environment quality (IEQ), hållbarhet, gröna byggnader, bostäder, låg-energi, energieffektivitet, byggkostnad, lönsamhet, boende nöjdhet, inomhusmiljö
National Category
Other Civil Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-131375 (URN)978-91-85783-32-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-10-30, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20131014

Available from: 2013-10-14 Created: 2013-10-14 Last updated: 2015-03-02Bibliographically approved

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