Evaluation of low-energy and conventional residential buildings from occupants' perspective
2012 (English)In: Building and Environment, ISSN 0360-1323, E-ISSN 1873-684X, Vol. 58, 135-144 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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.
Low-energy buildings, Occupants' satisfaction, Building performance, Perceived comfort
Economics and Business Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-104356DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2012.07.002ISI: 000309332800012ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84864361602OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-104356DiVA: diva2:566669
part of a research project which is funded by SBUF, The Development Fund of the Swedish Construction Industry2012-11-092012-11-012013-10-14Bibliographically approved