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Drivers for and barriers to low-energy buildings in Sweden
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3315-4201
2015 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 109, 296-304 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

From the perspective of construction companies, this paper investigates the existence and significance of barriers and driving forces for the implementation of energy-efficient houses in Sweden. Here, eleven construction companies that build low-energy buildings comparable in performance with passive houses have been interviewed. One conclusion is that there is not one specific barrier that keeps energy-efficient housing from taking off. Instead, the barriers include a whole range of issues that have to be considered. Internal pressure has been a strong contributor to the onset of passive house constructions within the companies and the results indicate that personal commitment is central and perhaps the strongest driver. A general reflection from the interviews is that there is a need to show both construction companies and potential customers that it is possible to build passive houses and that they exist. Unlike the national building regulations, which are not considered to be relevant when it comes to energy consumption, the future building regulations from the European Union are identified as a regulatory driver. Moreover, life-cycle thinking is reported to increase among actors, but that it would be beneficial if banks as well as real estate agents could develop a comprehensive view and become better at considering energy and LCC in their capital budgeting templates. Even if the interest for passive houses is considered low among the public, the market is identified as promising among the construction companies recently actually large enough to become a driver in itself.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015. Vol. 109, 296-304 p.
Keyword [en]
Low-energy buildings, Passive houses, Energy-efficiency gap
National Category
Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-180988DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.09.094ISI: 000367410000025OAI: diva2:898303

QC 20160127

Available from: 2016-01-27 Created: 2016-01-26 Last updated: 2016-03-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Low-energy buildings: energy use, indoor climate and market diffusion
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Low-energy buildings: energy use, indoor climate and market diffusion
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Low-energy buildings have, in recent years, gained attention and moved towards a large-scale introduction in the residential sector. During this process, national and international criteria for energy use in buildings have become stricter and the European Union has through the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive imposed on member states to adapt their building regulations for ‘Nearly Zero Energy Buildings’, which by 2021 should be standard for new buildings.

With a primary focus on new terraced and detached houses, this thesis analyses how the concept of low-energy buildings may be further developed to reduce the energy use in the residential sector. The main attention is on the technical performance in terms of indoor climate and heat consumption as well as on the market diffusion of low-energy buildings into the housing market.

A multidisciplinary approach is applied, which here means that the concept of low-energy buildings is investigated from different perspectives as well as on different system levels. The thesis thus encompasses methods from both engineering and social sciences and approaches the studied areas through literature surveys, interviews, assessments and simulations.

The thesis reveals how an increased process integration of the building’s energy system can improve the thermal comfort in low-energy buildings. Moreover, it makes use of learning algorithms – in this case artificial neural networks – to study how the heat consumption can be predicted in a low-energy building in the Swedish climate. The thesis further focuses on the low-energy building as an element in our society and it provides a market diffusion analysis to gain understanding of the contextualisation process. In addition, it suggests possible approaches to increase the market share of low-energy buildings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. 64 p.
TRITA-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2014:5
building energy simulations, energy efficiency gap, energy use, indoor climate, low-energy buildings
National Category
Energy Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-143480 (URN)978-91-7595-019-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-03-28, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)

QC 20140321

Available from: 2014-03-21 Created: 2014-03-21 Last updated: 2016-03-01Bibliographically approved

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