ENERBUILD tool: Pilot evaluations

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In the ENERBUILD project, the ENERBUILD tool for assessing the sustainability of buildings in the Alpine Space was developed. This tool was then tested on 46 buildings in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, and France. the findings were released in the ENERBUILD publication ENERBUILD Tool: Transnational Pilot Testing on 46 Buildings and Experiences on Advisory Services. The following article deals with the pilot testing of 46 buildings. You can also read the results of the pilot testing of 5 advisory services and certification bodies.

The ENERBUILD tool was the basis for the development of the CESBA generic tool.


Testing the ENERBUILD tool on buildings within the Alpine Space

The ENERBUILD tool has been tested and evaluated on 46 buildings in the Alpine Space. It is an interregional assessment tool to evaluate the environmental, social and economic performance of public buildings in the Alpine regions. The testing of the ENERBUILD Tool documents the operable structure of the tool. In particular the comprehension, usability, cost effectiveness, regional adaptability of the tool. This is supported by the positive feedback of the established advisory services and certification bodies. Additional the project partners made some suggestions for improvements on criteria level. Here, the assessment criteria are listed:

Name Maximum points
A Quality of location and facilities 100
B Process and Planning Quality 200
C Energy and Utilities 350
D Health and Comfort 250
E Building Materials and construction 200

Furthermore there were pilot evaluations on 5 Certification bodies and Advisory services.

For the assessment process and the criteria, go to the article on the ENERBUILD tool.

Resumee of pilot testing and general overview on results

The testing of the ENERBUILD Tool documents the operable structure of the tool. In particular the comprehension, usability, cost effectiveness, regional adaptability of the tool. This is supported by the positive feedback of the established advisory services and certification bodies. Additional the project partners made some suggestions for improvements on criteria level.

The regional adaptation and implementation of the ENERBUILD Tool into the public subsidiary system of public buildings in Vorarlberg in 2011 and the scheduled implementation of the ENERBUILD Tool in the province Alessandria in 2012 shows the applicability within the existing building market.

Andrea Moro integrates the ENERBUILD Tool into the international debate on the assessments of buildings. In his study „Comparison of Assessment Labels” he prescripts the position of the ENERBUILD Tool as following „The transnational comparison of main the existing labels shows the absence of a common approach. […] Common public policies and common market actions would need a common reference certification. […] It would be necessary to identify at European level a common set of key criteria (and relative indicators) that should be adopted by the national/regional labels in the way to allow the comparison of buildings performance. In this sense an interregional tool like ENERBUILD Tool can play a key role. ENERBUILD Tool is already a synthesis of the most important building assessment criteria in the Alpine region, having been recognized by all the project partners. From ENERBUILD Tool it would be possible to extract the most significant indicators that could be part of the European common set.”

Next steps are

1. the improvement of the tool (water – consumption, spatial planning, energy efficiency and energy production (photovoltaic))

2. the exchange of the ENERBUILD Tool and its evaluation results on the European level

3. capitalizations of the positive experiences and knowledge in the different Alpine regions as well as in other European areas

The table below table shows a general overview on the assessment results. You can click on the different building names to get access to the analyses, summaries and findings of the 46 pilot evaluations on the ENERBUILD tool. Be aware that the table might extend over the right end of your screen.

Overall, the three highest evaluated buildings are:

1. EAO Styria - Austria - Neumarkt: 999 points

2. EAO Styria - Austria - Weißkirchen: 996 points

3. ZVDK - Switzerland - Triemli Zürich: 979 points

Download of table in pdf format

Assessment results: Table

Criteria Nr. Title Must criteria Max. Points Vorarlberg - Austria: Bizau Vorarlberg - Austria St. Gerold Vorarlberg - Austria Thüringerberg Vorarlberg - Austria Rankweil RAEE - France - Combe RAEE - France Bassens RAEE - France Chambèry le Haut RAEE - France - Les Jardins d'Eden RAEE - France - Operation Buisson RAEE - France La Terassse RAEE - France - Maison Vercors RAEE - France - Pappillons Regione Piemonte - Italy - Mazzé Regione Piemonte - Italy - PUEEL Regione Piemonte - Italy - Torre Balfredo Regione Piemonte - Italy - Passiv house Cieré Regione Piemonte - Italy - Mondovì EAO Styria - Austria - Weißkirchen EAO Styria - Austria- Eppenstein EAO Styria - Austria - Scheifling EAO Styria - Austria - ITZ Zeltweg EAO Styria - Austria - Neumarkt TZS Tyrol - Austria - Zams in Tyrol TZS Tyrol - Austria Medical Centre Ried TZS Tyrol - Austria - Landeck TZS Tyrol - Austria - Kramsach Prov. of Trento - Italy - Romarzollo Prov. of Trento - Italy - Floriani Prov. of Trento - Italy Mezzolombardo Prov. of Trento - Italy Mayer Prov. of Trento - Italy - Vigo Paronage Prov. of Trento - Italy - Vigo Town Hall Prov. of Alessandria - Italy - Ovada I Prov. of Alessandria - Italy - Ovada II Prov. of Alessandria - Italy - Ovada III Prov. of Alessandria - Italy - Peano Enlargement Prov. of Alessandria - Italy Peano Gymnasium Prov. of Alessandria - Italy - Palazzo Edilizia Prov. of Alessandria - Italy - Sobrero Gymnasium EURAC - Italy - Brunneck EURAC - Italy - Mühlen EURAC - Italy - Lajon School EURAC - Italy - Lajon Rest Home ZVDK - Switzerland - Zermatt ZVDK - Switzerland - Eichmatt ZVDK - Switzerland - Triemli Zürich
A Quality of location and facilities max. 100 50 47 60 84 25 76 68 100 58 86 80 96 48 48 48 50 70 86 62 100 50 100 50 56 62 62 88 60 92 100 50 50 87,5 87,5 87,5 87,5 87,5 57,5 100 56 82 56 56 62 76 100
A 1 Access to public transport network 50 20 12 12 48 0 26 18 50 20 36 30 46 10 10 10 0 20 36 12 50 0 50 0 6 12 12 50 18 50 50 0 0 50 50 50 50 50 20 50 6 32 6 6 12 36 50
A 2 Ecological quality of site 50 30 35 48 36 25 50 50 50 38 50 50 50 38 38 38 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 38 42 42 50 50 50 37,5 37,5 37,5 37,5 37,5 37,5 50 50 50 50 50 50 40 50
B Process and planning quality max. 200 200 200 180 155 135 60 145 110 150 200 174 90 190 180 150 189 190 180 168 160 160 160 133 130 160 130 170 140 195 180 135 170 80 170 180 104 115 185 104 130 130 140 165 106 163 200
B 1 Decision making and determination of goals 25 15 25 15 0 25 10 25 25 25 25 24 25 25 15 25 24 25 25 23 25 25 25 18 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 15 25 25 14 25 25 14 15 5 15 20 16 25 25
B 2 Formulation of verifiable objectives for energetic and ecological measures M 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 0 0 20 25 20 0 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 10 15 15 10 20 20 20 20 20 20 0 20 25 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 18 20
B 3 Standardized calculation of the economic efficiency M 40 35 35 30 30 0 0 0 0 40 40 40 0 20 20 20 40 20 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 40 0 40 40 40 40 0 40 40 0 0 40 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 40
B 4 Product-management - Use of low-emission products 60 60 60 60 60 60 10 60 0 10 60 60 10 40 40 30 20 40 50 60 40 50 30 40 25 45 25 50 50 50 50 50 50 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 30 30 30 55 0 50 55
B 5 Planning support for energetic optimization 60 60 60 30 20 30 20 60 60 30 60 30 30 60 60 30 60 60 60 40 50 40 60 50 55 60 55 35 45 35 45 0 35 20 40 45 25 25 55 25 55 60 60 55 50 55 55
B 6 Information for users 25 25 25 25 250 0 0 0 25 25 25 0 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 15 10 15 15 0 0 25 0 0 0 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 10 15 15 15 20 15 25
C Energy & Utilities (Passive house) max. 350 264 350 324 191 350 321 128 243 327 219 350 350 94 213 162 350 185 316 193 209 50 314 194 137 350 350 303 312 235 246 285 330 82 97,5 71,5 82 10 230 116 329 336 350 302 350 350 350
C 1 Specific heating demand (PHPP) M 100 84 100 100 40 100 46 0 76 52 92,5 100 100 30 88 22 100 10 100 10 91 100 100 82 100 100 100 100 40 100 64 100 0 10 23 0 0 100 0 54 76 100 87 76 100 85
C 2 Specific cooling demand (PHPP) M 100 50 100 49 73 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 0 0 0 91 0 64 37 28 55 37 55 100 100 28 37 55 73 46 55 82 60 10 82 10 0 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 91
C 3 Primary energy demand (PHPP) M 125 100 125 125 68 125 125 0 24 125 16,5 125 125 64 125 90 125 125 125 101 76 125 47 0 125 125 125 125 93 34 125 125 0 0 0 0 0 85 0 125 125 125 65 125 125 125
C 4 CO2-emissions (PHPP) 50 30 50 50 10 50 50 28 43 50 10 50 50 0 0 50 50 50 27 45 14 50 34 10 0 41 37 50 50 47 39 50 50 0 27,5 38,5 0 0 45 16 50 35 50 50 50 50 50
D Health and Comfort max. 250 60 155 105 115 150 0 200 0 150 50 200 175 135 125 85 85 150 250 235 250 250 250 105 100 120 120 0 10 30 50 50 50 165 75 145 132 152 175 145 111 140 120 117 65 65 225
D 1 Thermal comfort in summer 150 0 65 65 65 150 0 150 0 150 0 150 150 75 75 50 50 75 150 150 150 150 150 50 65 65 65 0 0 0 0 0 0 65 0 45 52 52 75 65 65 65 65 65 65 65 150
D 2 Ventilation - non energetic aspects 50 50 40 40 40 0 0 50 0 0 0 0 25 30 25 25 25 25 50 50 50 50 50 25 25 25 25 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 25 50 50 50 50 50 25 25 25 25 25
D 3 Daylight optimized (+ lightening optimized) 50 10 50 0 10 0 0 0 0 0 50 50 0 30 25 10 10 50 50 35 50 50 50 30 10 30 30 0 10 30 50 50 50 50 50 50 30 50 50 30 21 50 30 27 50
E Building materials and construction max. 200 174 194 184 148 115 175 140 162 140 200 177 139 180 180 150 140 150 164 181 156 185 175 77 102 123 42 0 130 55 109 75 75 133 172 85 191,7 182,8 132 175 129 129 50 132 53 123 104
E 1 OI3TGH-lc ecological index of the thermal building envelope (respectively OI3 of the total mass of the building) 200 174 194 184 148 115 175 140 162 140 200 177 139 180 180 150 140 150 164 181 156 185 175 77 102 123 42 0 130 55 109 75 75 133 172 85 191,7 182,8 132 175 129 129 50 132 53 123 104
Sum max. 1000 748 946 853 693 775 632 681 615 825 755 981 850 647 746 595 814 745 996 839 875 695 999 559 525 815 704 561 652 607 685 595 675 547,5 602 569 597,2 547,3 779,5 640 755 817 716 772 636 777 979

Alessandria: Pilot testing of the ENERBUILD tool

PP9 Alessandria indicated results below average. The strengths of the projects are Quality of building materials, location and facilities, Health and Comfort. The weaknesses are Process and planning quality as well as Energy & Utilities.

The Alessandria pilot evaluation buildings in detail

The following links redirect you to the ENERBUILD website, where you can download the detailed evaluations in pdf format.

Pilot testing of ENERBUILD tool: General feedback

The planning process required by ENERBUILD Tool is similar to that one used in common administration process in Italy.

ENERBUILD Tool has been one interesting trans-national system for knowing many energy technicians and experts from other Countries, and also from different Italian areas, and so for comparing the level of designing and working in Provincia di Alessandria.

ENERBUILD Tool use has not been simple for Provincia di Alessandria, because technicians are involved in calculations with PHPP which has not known in our design and working studios. In particular we have noticed strong differences between common Italian evaluations and C2, C3, C4 and E1 values provided by ENERBUILD Tool.

ENERBUILD Tool can’t be generally used in our regions, with particular references to materials and ecological index catalogue by IBO BOOK which provides only for Austrian or German areas. In particular LCA – Life Circle Assessment-, about which OI3 is evaluated, is only based over Austrian data basis.

ENERBUILD Tool could be an additional tool, not unique, in evaluating public building – offices, schools, gymnasiums – towards local tools.

The evaluation was quite laborious for the amount of information that was necessary to find and sometimes difficult for the foreign laws with which we had to compare.

For the evaluation of the planning process is essential to have written documentation produced during the entire design process that does not always exist. Some criteria have therefore been discussed to see if some types of available documents (minutes, reports, etc. ...) could be considered suitable the size of the building project, important both in terms of size and shapes, technological solutions and systems adopted, helped make quite complex to evaluate.

We believe it is basic to provide to all technical ENERBUILD compilers and users of related software (suggested or required by the catalog) all indispensable instruments so that the response criteria may be unique, comparable and therefore not susceptible to subjective free interpretation. To this end, for example, would be useful to attach to the catalog of criteria ENERBUILD user manuals for suggested softwares or cited laws’s extracts, if foreign.

Pilot testing of ENERBUILD tool: Feedback towards certain criterias

B: Process and planning quality

B3: the formula given for the simplified calculation of the cost of the life cycle was not immediately clear because of a lack of methodological information.

E: Building materials and construction

E1: it was quite complicated to use the software for calculating ECOSOFT not having been provided a user manual of the program.

Certification Body of Alessandria: Summary and Findings

In recent years the Region of Piemonte, like other Italian regions, has started performing energy saving assessments on buildings based on the ITACA Protocol. The awarding of financial grants from the Region is subject to the attainment of a determined score fixed by the ITACA Protocol.

The Province of Alessandria does not have juridical power to enforce a new certification system based on the ENERBUILD Tool or to propose its enforcement at a Regional level, except in special cases as is the one reported above, in which the buildings are owned by the Province. For these buildings, the Province of Alessandria has chosen to apply the ENERBUILD Tool in addition to the ITACA Protocol.

Future reflections will facilitate decision on whether or not the criteria introduced by the ENERBUILD Tool can be suitable for the Region of Piedmont and the Province of Alessandria.

The experience gained in evaluating sample buildings through the use of the ENERBUILD Tool within the activity of the ENERBUILD project has resulted in a close cooperation with a number of professionals and firms (1 to 5 staff members each) who have developed the capacity to provide assistance in the use of the ENERBUILD Tool as a certification tool for buildings.

A series of meetings will be held, which will promote the ENERBUILD Tool as a working instrument for the professionals involved in the energy reclamation projects that the Province of Alessandria is planning to submit. The evaluation of the project results will be carried out by the consultants.

Technical developments and changes in the legal groundwork impose that the content of the ENERBUILD Tool be regularly updated. Constant adjustments and coordination of regional and national activities are necessary. To this end, synergies are recommended to prevent the tools from „drifting apart” in a long-term transnational exchange. The goal should be to create an international platform, displaying all the evaluations tools used at regional levels. Pilot applications of the ENERBUILD Tools should be further promoted and supported.

The Province of Alessandria will take action to disseminate the ENERBUILD Tool among the communes comprised in its jurisdiction.

Trento: Pilot evaluations of the ENERBUILD tool

PP8 Trento has examined the ENERBUILD Tool with results below average mainly because of 0 points in D1 Thermal comfort in summer and D2 Ventilation of all projects. Their projects strength is Process and planning quality. The weakness is Health and Comfort and Building materials and construction as well as mixed results on Quality of location and facilities.

The pilot evaluation buildings in detail

The following links redirect you to the ENERBUILD website, where you can download the detailed evaluations in pdf format.

General feedback

For what concerns the planning process, it has been done using LEED as reference and not ENERBUILD Tool, that has been applied in a second moment and so it can be considered more an evaluation tool than a planning tool.

The most problematic aspects of the research have been those related to the collection of all necessary documents and information – that sometimes must be too detailed –. For this reason, we chose to perform ENERBUILD evaluation process using data provided by Leed certification protocol. So, we had to verify where these two systems overlap and which Leed credits correspond (even partly) to ENERBUILD criteria and which have been tried for the considered building. However, if there is no correspondence (as in the case of credit D2, and, partly, credit B1) or a Leed credit has not been tried, we considered the correspondent ENERBUILD criterion as not satisfied. Section C and criteria B3 and E1 – which have no Leed equivalent – are instead calculated separately, according to the instructions of the manual.

Since the building analyzed is relatively small, this evaluation process was feasible and practicable. Mandatory criteria shouldn‘t have score

Feedback towards certain criterias

A: Quality of location and facilities

A1: is clear and easy to be faced.

A2: is well defined and the proposed index is easy to be used.

B Process and planning quality

B1 and B2: are very detailed and well done. All the most important aspects of planning phase are taken into consideration. Each point has a proper reference with LEED tool

B3: has been quite difficult to be done. LCC is a procedure more and more important in the planning phase (together with LCA) and it is important that in ENERBUILD it has a good relevance, but the ISO Standard and the Austrian standard has been difficult to be applied. For this reason, a simplified method has been followed considering the classical value analysis theory.

B3: life cycle cost analysis is a mandatory criterion, but in practice LCC are rarely calculated. Moreover, prescriptions and assumptions for profitability calculation are not clear and ISO 15686-5 is not sufficient;

B4: is very important concerning human health in indoor spaces. ENERBUILD is quite complete even if the definition of the percentage of structures with ecological declaration is not clear. It could be easier to have reference to European standards and not to local ones. Even a list of most common building components could be useful.

B5: is of course an important issue and it has clear reference, point by point, with LEED protocol. It is sufficiently clear and not difficult to be faced.

B6: is clear and very important. Unfortunately, not all the energy and environmental tools consider this aspect.

C: Energy & Utilities

C1 to C4: This is the most problematic section of the tool. In fact, we agree that, in order to have comparable results, the same energy calculation tool should be used. However, PHPP is a good tool only if a passive building has been designed, and the pilot building considered is not a passive one. Moreover, cooling demand is often overestimated and low points are given. It is our opinion that other software should be used, even national ones, taking into account that all the partners should agree on some „fixed points” so that final results of the energy calculation could be compared. For example, it is important to consider international standards. But the choice of the energy calculation tool should be free.

Some PHPP layers require information too detailed and very difficult to collect for already designed and built constructions, especially if normal passive buildings.

D Health and Comfort

D1: even if T upper limit has been raised to 27°C (in order to consider higher summer temperature in Italian situation), the upper allowed temperature is overshoot for the 16.4 % of time. In Mediterranean countries it is quite difficult that upper temperature is overshoot less than 5% of time in summer, so this limit should be rosen even taking into account only the effective period of usage.´

D2: in this case, it should be better to leave the partner free to consider national legislation and not fixed values. Also the acoustic index used should refer to international standards. In the case of the pilot building considered, calculations were not made so it is quite impossible to calculate the correct indexes. D3: the point is simple and using the EN standard it is easy to calculate. Anyway, the 5% of DF required seems to be too high. In our opinion, following LEED specification, a daylight factor up to a maximum percentage of 2% in 75% of frequently used spaces should be sufficient.

D3: only regularly occupied spaces and not entire area should be considered in order to calculate the average daylight factor.

D3: Leed certification considers only regularly occupied spaces, and it requires daylight factor up to a maximum percentage of 2% in 75% of these spaces, while according to ENERBUILD certification this factor has to be as possible equal to 5%, and superior to 2%, calculated on entire area, that is effectively a too severe request. Being the daylight factor 4,98%, we considered fulfilled the criterion.

D3: LEED do not consider acoustic criteria, so no calculus is available at the moment on this issue.

E: Building materials and construction

E1: the procedure for calculating the OI3 index is quite simple and it is an important aspect of building construction.

EURAC Italy (South Tyrol): Pilot evaluations of the ENERBUILD tool

PP10 EURAC has stated very close numbers above average with very few extreme (good or bad) results. The strengths of the projects lie in Energy & Utilities and Health and Comfort as well as the weaknesses in Process and planning quality and Building materials and construction.

The pilot evaluation buildings in detail

The following links redirect you to the ENERBUILD website, where you can download the detailed evaluations in pdf format.

General feedback

The evaluation seems feasible and practicable in an appropriate working time. The grading is quite realistic and gives a good statement about an ecological overview of the building.

The most problematic part was to gather all necessary documents and information. Part B, the Process and planning quality was evaluated within an interview with the architect. Written documentations about the single criteria were in part missing.

Feedback towards certain criterias

B: Process and planning quality

B1: criteria should be formulated more precise: division of the competitions into public competitions for architectural ideas and preliminary design, preliminary competition, executive competition, public tendering.

B3: The criterion of economic efficiency is a must criterion, but in practice not always economic efficiency is followed for smaller public buildings, like in this example.

B3: The tool of Frankfurt for calculated the economic efficiency could be added in the appendix.

B3: The criterion of economic efficiency is a must criterion, but in practice not always economic efficiency is followed for smaller public buildings.

D Health and Comfort

D2: The calculation from Uni EN 12354-5 was not done, but the planners respected principal planning strategies to avoid sound transmissions. The calculation from Uni EN 12354-5 seems very laborious.

D2: As sound-measurements could not be done, an evaluation was done by interviewing the architect and figuring out the employed measures to avoid sound transmissions of the ventilation machine.

D2: A simplified method for calculating the sound transmission should be implemented into the ENERBUILD manual.

D3: Is the average daylight factor meant for the whole surface of the building or only rooms were daylight is necessary (no corridors, technical rooms, WCs)?

D3: The daylight calculation with the described procedure of the manual is not always applicable, for example when having spaces with windows oriented in different orientations. Maybe a daylight calculation of the most important spaces with the ad of a simple software calculation (freeware Dialux or Relux) gives a more realistic result of the used spaces

Piemonte - Pilot evaluations on the ENERBUILD tool

Styria - Pilot evaluations on the ENERBUILD tool

PP6 Styria declared the best performing buildings in this evaluation process. Nevertheless the full points in D1 Thermal comfort in summer and D2 Ventilation and all best ranks in Health and Comfort shall be questioned again. The strength lies in Health and Comfort and Building materials and construction as well as the weakness in Energy & Utilities. Mixed results have been delivered in Quality of location and facilities.

The pilot evaluation buildings in detail

The following links redirect you to the ENERBUILD website, where you can download the detailed evaluations in pdf format.

Pilot testing of ENERBUILD tool: General feedback

The evaluation of the building both in current and as planned condition with the ENERBUILD Tool emphasizes the importance not only of sustainable energy measures but an energy aware course of action in the life cycle of a building, planning, construction, use and demolition, as a whole. The evaluation procedure successfully highlighted the conditions and implications of successful thermal insulation.

The reconstructed school in Neumarkt is the building most fitting for the requirements of the ENERBUILD Tool in our region. The efforts in meticulous planning and construction produced great results in the evaluation. The project deserves to be recognized as best practice example for public buildings in Murtal.

In the planning phase, the ENERBUILD Tool is used as mean for pointing out options and consequences of building and reconstruction solutions. This valuable function could be improved in its effect with a graphical depiction of result and conclusions. Customers are already used to the energy classes and respond very well to simple yet informative illustrations.

The evaluation of the event hall in Eppenstein with the ENERBUILD Tool however revealed a great potential for improvements considering Rational Use of Energy (RUE) and Renewable Energy Sources (RES) in planning and construction.

The high-value reconstruction includes a ventilation system with heat recovery and daylight management. Additionally, a PV installation is integrated in the façade that adds to the goal of energy self-sufficiency of the building. The ENERBUILD Tool has proved itself in the evaluation of these features.

In the project, it has been paid special attention to the use of regional resources and implementing companies from within the region. Short transport ways ensure to minimize the CO2-output during the reconstruction and the grey energy of the rebuilding. A full life-cycle analysis incorporated in the ENERBUILD Tool would enable us to integrate this effort in the project.

For the application of a district heating connection there are only the options of fossil fuelled heat sources in the PHPP, but no consideration for a biomass CHP, as in case of the ITZ. However, biomass district heating is in some regions a rather popular technology and should be incorporated in the ENERBUILD evaluation procedure. Even though there is plenty of consideration on the planning process, the possibility for improvements during the use of the building has been completely neglected. There should be at least an option for the recording of later added technology, even in regards to the focus being on new constructions.

With regard to successful projects like the reconstruction of the school centre in Neumarkt, it would be good to be able to refer to such best practice examples as a way to promote the further use of the ENERBUILD Tool. A representation of different public buildings could be incorporated in training materials for the use of the ENERBUILD Tool in order to:

  • Demonstrate the feasibility of the tool in practice
  • Show the function of the tool in real-life examples as introductory exercise

Summary and findings on Advisory Service

The ENERBUILD project has given EAO (Energieagentur Obersteiermark) the opportunity to further educate their advisors, particularly on passive house and modern building technology. These have been previously neglected technologies, since there is a lack of awareness about them in our region. The EAO has planned to improve that awareness along with the development of our advisory service within the framework of ENERBUILD.

Advisory service: General facts

The advisory service is open for private persons as well as business enterprises during the office hours from 8 am to 4 pm. Due to the financing of the association through municipalities; the energy counseling on basic level is free of charge for citizens of member communities. However, special or more extensive advisory service is liable for costs. The EAO also maintains good relationships with the municipalities in our region. The EAO supports municipalities and regional initiatives as advisor for energy related solutions from public building energy analysis to support in regional development planning. The experts also give lectures on passive house building, high ecological reconstruction and the use of passive technologies and components in reconstruction.

The work with the ENERBUILD Tool prototype has lead to the adoption of the PHPP-Program for the calculation of buildings. The test of the tool and the improved advisory service has lead to a new calculation scheme for planned building and reconstruction projects. The extensive and detailed data, derived from the tool, are very helpful for the comparison between different possibilities of implementation. The gained insight also inspired a new consultation approach on municipalities.

Effect of the application of the ENERBUILD tool on advisory service

The advisory service with the ENERBUILD Tool was overall very fruitful and informative. The improved advisory service is well received by public and private customers. The ENERBUILD Tool is very extensive and yields results on a very detailed level. This creates awareness for building technology that has hitherto not existed in our region. The good acceptance of solutions on such a high level is also owed to our good personal contacts to regional businesses. This has lead to a network of innovative companies that are committed to the development of new tools and products.

The information, communicated in the advisory service and the extensive and detailed data provided by the ENERBUILD Tool will stimulate the market by creating exacting demand from private and public building owners. The continued advisory service itself will raise the awareness of builders directly. The sum of all activities will provide incentives for a higher quality in house building and house reconstruction in the region overall.

Analyses and effects of ENERBUILD tool for region

The analysis of settlements, the incorporation of a closer look of the infrastructure in the area of the analyzed building would be the consequent extension of for the evaluation of the impact of a building on the environment.

An ecological analysis in form of lifecycle analysis would put into account the otherwise external costs of production, transportation and disposal of all building components. This improvement would put more emphasis on the use of regionally available, renewable resources and local know-how on the processing of such goods. Since the cooperation with local companies is essential for the successful implementation of the ENERBUILD process in the region the highlighting of regional, eco-friendly components for buildings would not only complement the purpose of ENERBUILD but would also be very well received.

Even though it’s most difficult to implement, the acceptance of ENERBUILD Tool evaluation for subsidy application would be of greatest significance for the improvement of the ENERBUILD-process in our region. This point has been proven in the district Vorarlberg, where the subsidy for building measures depends on the rating of the respective building through the ENERBUILD Tool.

Tyrol - Pilot evaluations on the ENERBUILD tool

PP 7 Tyrol reported results below average with weaknesses in Quality of location and facilities; Process and planning quality and Building materials and construction as well as mixed results in Energy & Utilities.

The pilot evaluation buildings in detail

The following links redirect you to the ENERBUILD website, where you can download the detailed evaluations in pdf format.

General feedback

The evaluation is quite practicable in an adequate working time. Getting all the necessary information and documents is the most difficult part of it. To evaluate the planning process it is helpful to do interviews, because written documents don’t exist or it is not possible to get them. The result seems to be realistic.

There should be a bonus for reconstructions. Some additional or other criteria for reconstructed buildings should be added.

Some additional tools would make it easier to handle the ENERBUILD Tool. At the moment some calculations are very complex. It would also be helpful to do trainings for planners who want to work with the ENERBUILD Tool.

Feedback towards certain criterias

D Health and Comfort

D3: criterion is quite hard to evaluate.

RAEE Lyon - Pilot evaluations on the ENERBUILD tool

PP2 RAEE Lyon reported results above average with strengths in Building materials and construction and Energy and Utilities and mixed results in all other categories exspecially in Health and comfort either very good or very bad once. Full points have been noticed in C2 specific cooling demand among all projects.

The pilot evaluation buildings in detail

The following links redirect you to the ENERBUILD website, where you can download the detailed evaluations in pdf format.

General feedback on pilot testing of buildings

The criteria of the ENERBUILD Tool allowed to value the key points of this building: envelope, choice of materials, air quality and the results of the evaluation reflect objectively the global performance of the project.

The most difficult part of the evaluation is the one concerning the planning process. It is not still evident to be able to get back documents necessary for this evaluation. The evaluation is facilitated when local energy agency participated in the evolution of the discussions and the decisions and if it is made while the project is in progress. The evaluation of the process of planning is not evident because the main criteria is based on the presence or not of „documents„ of planning without estimating really the relevance of their contents in the decision-making support and which do not necessarily report „continuous-flow„ exchanges realized during the first phases of the project. The presence of an environmental „dashboard” gives a large number of information but is not always realized.

To improve the ENERBUILD Tool, it would be good to base on figures common to the European level as the conversion primary energy/ final energy, eqCO2 energies, etc. It is also necessary to first list documents and studies and their specifications indispensable to realize to facilitate the evaluation a posteriori.

General Suggestion: Proposal to differentiate criteria depending on the nature of building: social housing building, commercial building, technical building Three stages are necessary for the evaluation of the building: collect the data and the information (written documents and exchange); redefine certain criteria of the assessment grid so that it is more coherent with the available data; complete the assessment grid. The longest part is the collection of the information.

Some data are complicated to obtain even unsuitable for local different contexts as the indicator D2 on the acoustics of the ventilation. It is not evident to connect the acoustic quality of the ventilation with the quality of internal air. Other difficulties can appear by a cultural approach different from the building as for the indicator E1 because the grey energy is a new notion in France contrary to the other European countries.

The time spent to the evaluation is essentially based on the search for information and the adaptation of the criteria to the project. Once the data collected, the evaluation is rather simple and seems good to report the quality of the project. On the building, the number of points well reports a successful project on the energy sector (current labeling Passiv‘ haus ) but which is also in phase with environmental considerations on the choices of materials and the management of the construction site.

The ENERBUILD Tool remains essentially adapted to the projects having turned to the passive approach by PHPP. In an approach other one than PHPP, the adaptations are sources of estimates to suit to the local context and so makes the comparison between European projects delicate even not relevant. The global number of points represents well the good quality of project. For the energy part, the adaptation with the French statutory calculation must be clearly identified because at present only the values stemming from PHPP are considered in this assessment grid.

Pilot testing on buildings: Feedback towards certain criterias

A Quality of location and facilities

A1: Proposal to extend this criterion to other infrastructures valuing friendly transport (cycling and train station in particular).

A: data difficult to evaluate and taking a lot of time, to list all the lines, to find schedules for the frequencies, etc.

B Process and planning quality

Proposal to add a criterion on water (management, recovery ...).

Proposition to consider the social aspect: coeducation of housing, nearness of the businesses or the creation of spaces reserved for the business / service industry aiming, among others, to reduce the environmental impact of the movings, the work in partnership with the municipality for the opening up of the district, on the management of the waste, the integration of the renovation of the school.

B5: To value the energy quality of the building (ship), we propose three options of evaluation; the answers to the following questions ventilate points:

  • A document of energy optimization 10 pts
  • A planned test for airtightness 20pts
  • An instrumentation-monitoring planned 30pts

C Energy & Utilities

The evaluation of the energy performances (need of heating and need in primary energy from PHPP) is not still adapted to the local regulation tool. Difficulties remain to convert these data to keep a global coherence in the evaluations.

To value the implementation of equipments using renewable energies sources by the evaluation of a ratio according to the total consumption.

C1: conversion from local thermal regulation to PHPP difficult

C2: need of air conditioning, proposition of 3 options without calculation: Passive refreshment: 100 pts, Active refreshment: 60 pts, Air conditioning: 10 pts

C3: estimation by ratio of the specific electricity is source of error

C4: Homogenization of the ratios of conversion for CO2 emissions.

D Health and Comfort

D1: Dynamic simulation is very costly

D2: Difficulties to estimate because of the absence of technical data on the system of ventilation.

D2: It is not evident to connect the acoustic quality of the ventilation with the quality of internal air.

D2: data difficult to obtain

D2: Proposition to decompose this criterion into 2 sub-levels:

  • Preservation of the criterion on the acoustic measures by softening and by simplifying the indicator criteria.
  • Addition of a line on the quality of the ventilation, according to the activity of the building.
  • Proposition to insist more on the evaluation of the air quality by an analysis of the air quality on site for example.

E Building materials and construction

E1: data difficult to obtain

Environmental Quality of Building (EQB) - a new tool to achieve energy targets

Metropole Savoie, observer of ENERBUILD project, decided in 2009 to advise projects to be energy efficient and had also the will to implement an eco-conditionality of public subsidies at the same time.

Rhônalpénergie-Environnement, through ENERBUILD project, added the concept of Environmental Quality of Building (EQB) to this „energy target”, which goes much further than the classical energy target. This EQB could also help Metropole Savoie to define some criteria of eco-conditionality for public subsidies.

Strengths and weaknesses of ENERBUILD tool

What is a great strength of ENERBUILD Tool is its compactness, with a limited number of criteria and simple to use.

The time spent to collect all data can be very long in some cases (data for the transport criteria for instance). Some criteria can take a lot of time to be assessed, meaning that the process of evaluation is more expensive.

To calculate the OI3 index was quite difficult, because the calculation of embodied energy is not usually made by engineers in France. The calculation of the OI3 index is based on German or Austrian projects, not for France. The tool should allow the calculation with national tool, giving the same hypothesis for all tools (life duration of the building, scope of the calculation etc…). Using such tools raises the question of tools and databases of products at European level.

Switzerland: Pilot evaluations on the ENERBUILD tool

PP13 Switzerland reported very mixed results on project level as well as on partner level. The common strengths lie in Quality of location and facilities and Energy & Utilities, the weakness in Building materials and construction.

The pilot evaluation buildings in detail

The following links redirect you to the ENERBUILD website, where you can download the detailed evaluations in pdf format.

General feedback

Retrieving the required information was quite difficult. Different sources had to be requested, reviewed and compared. If further tools are needed as part of the ENERBUILD Tool evaluation (particularly PHPP and the OI3 calculator), the corresponding data for those tools has to be gathered, determined via auxiliary calculations, or estimated if not available.

The relevant information about the building consists of gathered results (e.g. national/ local certification standards) and, thus, calculated values, which depend on their calculation method. This means they cannot be transferred directly into the ENERBUILD Tool. Tracing them back to their origin to finally use them for PHPP and OI3-Index calculations, which themselves are part of the ENERBUILD Tool, is quite time-consuming.

Also, the evaluation relies on the help of planners and architects, who need to provide further information which was not relevant for the local certification process (e.g. the „Ecological quality of the site”). If data is missing, there is little room for estimates.

Since not all data, which the PHPP calculation would need, could be retrieved, there might be deviations. Also, the Swiss Minergie-P standard consults other floor areas (heated gross floor area) and calculates the demands differently. Thus, a comparison between the results of PHPP and Minergie-P cannot be taken to draw conclusions from. Since the PHPP only accounts to about one third of the possible points of whole ENERBUILD Tool, those deviations were considered to be insignificant. Assigning e.g. the value of of „C1 - Specific heating demand”, the target value of 15 kWh/m2a is based on PHPP calculation, while the initial value (local limit for heating demand) is based on other national calculation methods (SIA 380/1). Therefore, determining the score for the ENERBUILD Tool will most likely always be subject to deviations.

There could be an option to adjust the maximum score if not all criteria could be evaluated, so that with a potential maximum „800 points” and achieved „600 points”, the overall achievement would still be 75%. The descriptions how to distribute the points of the „Prescription ENERBUILD Tool Criteria” are diverse: one uses a formula, while another one has to be interpolated, and a third one needs another complex tool etc. Providing a list and overview of the required (sub) tools to convert basic data/ information into scores for the ENERBUILD Tool would be helpful as a checklist for involved institutions or planners/ architects etc.

Feedback towards certain criterias

D: Health and Comfort

D1: the maximum score cannot be reached without dynamic calculation. Thus, maxing out the potential score, another more complex tool would have to come into consideration. This seems not to be very user friendly, comparing the cost-benefit ratio.

D2: two times lists the same criteria for sound imission measurements while assigning different scores.

E: Building materials and construction

E1: uses contradictory indices. All of the following indices are mentioned: OI3TGH-lc, OI3TGH-BGF, OI3TGH-BGF WG Ref. There should be clarification. Maybe also the possibility of (just) calculating the surfaces and their specific OI3 of the construction without another tool would help to lighten the process. If Ecosoft is used, the OI3 index for „construction & maintenance” could also be an interesting addition to the broad approach of the ENERBUILD Tool.

Vorarlberg: Pilot evaluations on the ENERBUILD tool

The results of the evaluation with the ENERBUILD Tool by LP Vorarlberg are above average and with strengths in Process and planning quality and Building materials and construction as well as weaknesses in Quality of Location and site.

The pilot evaluation buildings in detail

The following links redirect you to the ENERBUILD website, where you can download the detailed evaluations in pdf format.

General feedback

One of the buildings was first planned as a regular building according to legal efforts. After internal discussion it was decided to build a „healthy and sustainable” building according to the directives of Nachhaltig Bauen in der Gemeinde” - regional adaption of the ENERBUILD approach.

A process of optimizing the material input, chemical input and reducing energy demand was initiated by the local adaption of the ENERBUILD tool. As a result of the process the energy demand could be halved, the input of indoor air pollution could be reduce about 90 %.

One of the buildings combines a kindergarten with a fire department. Therefore it was a challenge to separate the parts in the building with different needs and demands in room temperature and comfort aspects. Also the ecological efforts had to be separated concerning the different parts and usage of the building.

An important advantage oft the ENERBUILD Tool compared to other assesment systems is, that it has been specialy developed for public buildings. As for public buildings the decicion making and the planning process is different from other builodings, it is important to consider these special aspects in the assessment system. As the decision making process for public buildings is more complicated for public building, the need for a quality control for decision making process and planning process is higher.

The ENERBUILD Tool helped in describing the aims of the project. So it helped in the decision making process in the municipality. The ENERBUILD Tool leads the planning team to improvements of the building envelope and arrangement of windows.

For future use, it would be helpful to adapt the ENERBUILD Tool to the needs of refurbishments. Another important aspect concerning the tool is its open source approach: only this approach allows for regional adaptations in the assessment system.

Feedback towards certain criterias

A: Quality of location and facilities

A1: Reduce Points for access to public transport network – too much weight in rural areas. For rural aeras it is difficult to achieve high score in criteria „A1 - access to public transport network“: Even if the building of interest can be reached frequently but only by one single bus line, only 20 points can be achieved.

B Process and planning quality

In general, the criteria halped very much to define controllable aims fort he energetic and ecologic qulity.

  • Side sheets for calculation of the points, for finding the points for each sub-criteria
  • Side sheets for further information about the fulfilling of the criteria

C Energy & Utilities

As PHPP has been sucessfully evaluated by comparisons with measured values oft he energy consumtion, it is an appropriate choice of calculation programm. For European projects, the use of phpp seems tob e the only chance to do any comparisons of the energetic quality of projects. Apart from the correctness of the results, the availability in many european languages is a big advantage.

Quality management in calculation of energy demand is necessary respectively recommended. It would be of great advantage to include a criterion quality control for calculation of energy demand calculations. In the Vorarlberg regional version oft he ENERBUILD Tool, it turned out, that this criterion is of great importance.

D Health and Comfort

Make a suggestion how to deal with different results for indoor air quality in different rooms with different surfaces. How to get the points – is it the average, is it the worst value?

D2: error in the formulation of highest quality criteria. It must say „Noise imission measurement on the most exposed working space”. LA,nT < 25 dB und LC(50-4000),nT < 45 dB =>50

E Building materials and construction

In criteria „E1 – Building materials and construction„ the formula for calculation of OI3 needs to be adapted. An adoption of Ecosoft 4.0 necessary

Pilot testing of certification body in Vorarlberg

Establishment of advisory services and certification bodies in Vorarlberg

Since the end of the 1990 years private builders in Vorarlberg receive housing subsidies, in case a high energetic and ecological standard is converted. Due to this long experience of the consideration of energetic and ecological building criteria the planners and craftsmen are familiar with it. In the past years the call became loud for an adjustment of the guidelines for the payment of state promotions for municipalities for buildings above ground level. Municipalities, which generate a higher energetic and ecological building standard than others should receive higher subsidies.

Since 2006 an „advisory service” exists as support for public buildings on community-level. Therefore a „certification service” was established in the ENERBUILD project. Object and task of the certification service is to issue an independent building certification „Kommunalgebäudeausweis - KGA”. The state subsidies for community buildings depend on the results (points) of the KGA certification.

In December 2010 the Vorarlberg federal state government decided the adjustment of the guidelines for the grant of federal state subsidies concordantly. The basis promotion according to different building types was reduced by 2%. In reverse extra amounts up to 4% can be generated in dependence of the energetic and ecological performance of the buildings (calculated points in the KGA). Additionally the height of the upper limit of the accepted building costs has been increased in dependence of the points in the KGA. Under the leadership of the „Environmental Federation of Vorarlberg” (Umweltverband Vorarlberg - an association of all 96 municipalities in Vorarlberg) 6 private technical offices were trained to offer this certification service. These small offices are not involved in the planning and execution process of the respective building.

Process of certification

Step 1: The municipality/city defines in advance an appropriate number of points to achieve in the KGA as an „ecological goal„.

Step 2: During the planning and execution process of the building-project the appropriate measures are converted. If desired the environmental federation of Vorarlberg supports the municipality/city.

Step 3: Within 3 months after deployment of the building the KGA certification document has to be submitted. While facilitating all relevant documents the costs for the KGA certification are limited to 1.600 Euros.

Requirements for certification tool and certification body

For a broad application of a certification tool for buildings it is important that the criterion set is not too complex. The process should be highly cost effective. The criteria should be generally understandable and be clearly described in the application explanations. If possible common building calculation methods should be used. A special challenge was to guarantee the greatest possible simplification with as less losses of the content as possible.

During the establishment of the certification service it appears very important, that the persons, which should be trained, are familiar with the contents „energy efficiency" and „building ecology". Appropriate practice tests (application of the tools) during the training appeared to be as essentially important.

An annual exchange between the KGA issuer and the public authorities secure the quality of the certifications. Due to experience data there is an annually (slight) adjustment of the criteria and their weighting within a multi stakeholder process scheduled. The guidelines for the grant of subsidies will be decided also annually by the Vorarlberg Federal State Government.

Future outlook

Due to technical developments and changes of the legal basic conditions it appears necessary to hold contents of the ENERBUILD Tools updated. Constant adjustments and coordination of regional and national activities are necessary. For this synergies can be used and a drifting apart of the used tools can be avoided at a long-term transnational exchange. The ENERBUILD Tool was developed together with transnational project partners within the ENERBUILD project. It was adjusted to the basic conditions of Vorarlberg in coordination with the local and federal state authorities. The goal should be an international platform, on which all regionally used building rating tools are shown. Pilot applications of the ENERBUILD Tools - special for outstanding projects - should be further supported and marketed. Regionally (in Vorarlberg) the tool should be used also for non-municipality public buildings (e.g. national- and federal schools). This should be promoted accordingly. The public work inclusive marketing of the results should be forced.


ENERBUILD Tool: Transnational Pilot Testing on 46 Buildings and Experiences on Advisory Services (2012)