Survey and simulation of energy use in the European building stock
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Buildings account for around 40% of the final energy consumption in Europe and are central in the work towards increased energy efficiency. In order to plan and perform effective energy renovation of the buildings, it is necessary to have adequate information on the current status of the buildings in terms of architectural features and energy needs. Unfortunately, the official statistics do not include all of the needed information for the whole building stock. This paper aims to fill the gaps in the statistics by gathering data from studies, projects and national energy agencies, and by calibrating TRNSYS models against the existing data to complete missing energy demand data, for countries with similar climate, through simulation. The survey was limited to residential and office buildings in the EU member states (before July 2013). This work was carried out as part of the EU FP7 project iNSPiRe. The building stock survey revealed over 70% of the residential and office floor area is concentrated in the six most populated countries. The total energy consumption in the residential sector is 14 times that of the office sector. In the residential sector, single family houses represent 60% of the heated floor area, albeit with different share in the different countries, indicating that retrofit solutions cannot be focused only on multi-family houses. The simulation results indicate that residential buildings in central and southern European countries are not always heated to 20 °C, but are kept at a lower temperature during at least part of the day. Improving the energy performance of these houses through renovation could allow the occupants to increase the room temperature and improve their thermal comfort, even though the potential for energy savings would then be reduced.