Workshop - Towards the definition of a guideline for building users

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Workshop details

Title: Towards the definition of a guideline for building users. Step 1: objective and main contents

Date: 16.01.2014

Duration: 4 pm – 6 pm

Location: EURAC, Bolzano

Target audience: Public Authorities

Number of participants: not known

Workshop summary

This workshop was conducted within the CABEE project by EURAC.

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After a brief introduction by Roberto Lollini (EURAC), in the first presentation, Dagmar Exner (EURAC) presented the meaning of user behaviour. Nowadays, the potential reduction of energy consumption in low-energy buildings is often undermined by the users' misconduct. Although these buildings are constructed with insulated walls, very efficient doors and windows, and heated or cooled with very efficient plants systems, a misconduct can lead to very different consumption levels from calculated values. There is a strong need for more information towards users, but the main topic remains the kind and structure of contents. In the second presentation, Alexander Told (Agenzia CasaClima) presented the results of some monitored low-energy buildings, and the discrepancy between calculation values and real consumption. In addition, he presented a focus on irregularities of monitored values, i.e. the use of heating systems during hot days (average temperature above 20° C), that again underlines the influence of behaviors or settings. After the presentations, the participants has been divided in two discussion groups. The two discussion groups underline quite similar aspects.

User Manual and user behavior

The User Manual should be intended as a guideline with different levels of detail. The deepness of detail they want to be informed about depends on the will of users, in relation with the personal interests. Due to this fact, the Manual should be written with a simple language, but with different levels of information. This consideration also follows social aspects.

The user behavior should be optimized by a sort of long-term education: this means that the awareness on architectural and power plant design should start from the beginning. The final user shall be provided of a basic knowledge of building physics and plant regulation.

The groups discussed on two other relevant points: the first one is the need of a clear warranty on manufacts. This means that builders should be responsible for the quality of buildings, at least for a defined time (i.e. one year, three years etc.) during which the responsibility for problems solution is clearly assigned and warranted.

The second one is the need of a maintenance service and a maintenance program, preferably structured according to the contents of the User Manual, that users should know and follow to keep buildings and plant in the best conditions.

Recommendation for the users

Some information for the Knowledge Hub were introduced during the workshop. In particular, some practical advices (such a kind of vademecum) for the users or in order to choose the designer, the building enterprise and during the phase of renovation are reported. In particular:

  • Ask for the references (for example visiting ended construction site or visioning a portfolio)
  • During the planning/execution phase some communication moments between the user, the designer and the builder have to be established
  • Fix a meeting with the building enterprise after a time interval to check the operational condition of the building (i.e. after one year)
  • Define a maintenance programme with fixed costs and detailed interventions (the building enterprises have to be evaluated even according to this criterion)


Download the workshop agenda here