Energy performance analysis of mandatory design codes and voluntary green building programs under different climate change scenarios using urban building energy modeling tools : a case in Austin, Texas
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According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (U.S. EIA) (2018a), in 2017 the energy delivered to the residential and commercial building sector represented 27% of the total delivered energy in the United States. In the case of greenhouse emissions (GHG), the building sector represented around 40% emissions in the country (U.S. EIA, 2017). Anthropogenic GHG emissions are considered the main cause of climate change. One of the most notable consequences of climate change is the temperature rise. For the Austin area is expected the temperature rise between 2.6°C to 4.5°C by 2100 in comparison to the average temperature observed between 1990 and 2010 (Hayhoe, 2014). Also, building design and construction in the United States has been regulated by different codes and standards. In the case of building energy performance, there exist both mandatory codes and voluntary green building certifications to increase building energy performance. Using Urban Building Energy Modeling tools (UBEM), in this case, the urban modeling interface (UMI), this thesis analyzes the building energy performance of different mandatory design codes and voluntary green building certifications under three different climate change scenarios. UBEM tools are capable to perform an urban scale energy simulation. Mueller neighborhood located in Austin, Texas was the location selected for the modeling and simulation process for this thesis. The three different emission scenarios projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were used for this thesis, are A2, A1B, and B1. On the other hand, building templates analyzed are the International Code Council mandatory codes used in Austin, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) voluntary certification and the Austin Energy Green Building (AEGB) voluntary certification. Results from the simulation process show that it is mostly inevitable to avoid the effects of climate change in the energy performance of the building. However, buildings designed under the different green building certification requirements presented the most resistance against the increase of temperature. This methodology helps to identify the impact of climate change in buildings and can be used as feedback for policy making, climate change mitigation, and energy strategic analysis
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