The recently adopted IEA EBC Annex 80 on Resilient Cooling

An inexorable increase in energy consumption for the cooling of buildings, and the increase in overheating of buildings is caused by urbanisation and densification, climate change, elevated comfort expectations, and inappropriate architectural design practices.

Meeting this challenge requires further development and application of low energy and low carbon cooling solutions on a large scale. In order to expedite the transition of our new-build and existing building stock to nearly zero energy building (nZEB) and nearly zero carbon building (nZCB) status we have to take immediate action.

To work on this important matter a new Annex has been approved by the IEA EBC Executive Committee at the Stockholm meeting in June and the Annex 80 Preparation Phase has officially been launched. During this one-year period scientists from participating countries will gather to further develop the research programme for the upcoming three-year working phase.

The main topic is Resilient Cooling for Residential and Small Non-Residential Buildings. Research efforts will be structured in four subtasks. Subtask A “Impact Assessment” will assess available technologies across all participation countries which facilitate Resilient Cooling. The goal is to investigate potential benefits, costs and other impacts of resilient cooling technologies and systems in different countries to increase multilateral transfer of knowledge. Furthermore appropriate Key Performance Indicators (KPI) will be developed and agreed on to evaluate resilience of cooling systems using a holistic approach that includes affordability, life cycle cost effectiveness, energy efficiency, carbon intensity.

Subtask B “Solutions” will carry out specific research towards improvements and new developments of resilient cooling and overheating protection solutions. Complementary to technological research it will furthermore develop recommendations for the way in which these systems should be integrated with other building design features and sub-systems.

Subtask C “Field Studies” will showcase the opportunities and benefits of resilient cooling through analysis and evaluation of well-documented applications of different low energy and low carbon technologies. The field studies will synthesise examples of specific technologies and solutions rather than focussing on specific buildings. It will examine the performance gap of existing cooling applications, with special concern at socio-technological interaction as well as control strategies.

Subtask D “Policy Actions” will deal with policy related endeavours promoting energy efficiency and resilience in cooling. This subtask seeks to advance product labelling programmes, AC minimum energy performance standards (MEPs) as well as the implementation of sustainable building codes in national, European and international standards.

The annex will yield instructions for the improvement of existing systems and their control strategies as well as for the implementation of new resilient cooling solutions for residential buildings and small non-residential buildings. It will generate guidelines for resilient cooling solutions allowing for the reduction of overheating risks as well as the cost-effective, energy-efficient and low-carbon coverage of cooling demands. It will also produce recommendations for labelling programmes, the integration of resilient cooling in legislation, standards on national, European and international levels as well as in design briefs and in energy performance calculation and verification methods.

The Annex 80 is open to all interested scientific and industrial researchers as well as governmental stake holders of countries within the IEA EBC programme. For further information please visit the website http://annex80.iea-ebc.org/meetings or contact Peter Holzer, operating agent of EBC Annex 80 at: peter.holzer@building-research.at

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