ISO 13153:2012—Design Process For Energy-Saving Buildings

Sustainable, energy efficient building adhering to design guidelines in ISO 13153:2012.

Globally, buildings and construction are responsible for much of our energy and resource use: 60% of electricity use, 12% of water use, and 40% material resource use. Each efficiency improvement in energy and resource use removes a cost that a region and its residents no longer have to pay. For example, each additional $1 invested on energy efficiency avoids more than $2 on energy supply spending. Efficiency savings in infrastructure free up money for other investments as it has the benefits of lower energy, water, and maintenance costs. ISO 13153:2012 – Framework Of The Design Process For Energy-Saving Single-Family Residential And Small Commercial Buildings specifies a guidelines of the design process for energy-saving, efficient buildings.

Why Is Building Efficiency Important?

Energy efficiency refers to using less energy to accomplish the same amount of work. Since buildings use 40% of the total energy used (predominantly from oil, gas, and coal), implementing energy efficiency for buildings is critical to reduce overall greenhouse gas emission. Buildings adhering to energy-efficiency standards like ISO 13153:2012 provide multiple benefits to those who own and occupy them, including:

  • Lower emissions: energy efficient buildings have lower greenhouse gas emissions due to their reduced reliance on fossil fuels. Buildings that use primarily clean energy such as hydroelectricity have the lowest emissions.
  • Better thermal comfort: well-designed mechanical systems and building components work together to manage comfortable indoor temperatures.
  • Improved comfort and health: continuous ventilation and fresh air throughout the building can lead to better well-being with occupants and as a result, a more productive workforce. Also, energy-efficient buildings decrease indoor air pollution since they provide cleaner combustion and better ventilation than conventional buildings; consequently, the possibility of air pollution-related diseases like asthma and lung cancer are reduced.
  • Higher Value: businesses and consumers see the increase in asset values in energy efficient buildings, and as a result there is a premium associated with buying or leasing space in well-built, energy efficient buildings. Studies have shown highly rated energy efficiency properties sell at a premium.

What Is ISO 13153?

ISO 13153:2012 provides a framework of the design process for energy-saving single-family residential and small commercial buildings, with the energy consumption ratio as the key criterion. This standard is intended to assist in the development of design guidelines for practitioners who design energy-related parts of buildings. It specifies core decisions for designers in the design process for energy conservation in buildings and the provisional selection of elemental technologies. Since technologies for energy conservation in buildings are not necessarily well-known to general designers of buildings, ISO 13153:2012  includes information in design guidelines so designers can understand how each elemental technology can reduce energy consumption.

Moreover, the reduction of energy consumption is the most important objective of the design process prescribed in ISO 13153:2012, and it should be expressed by the energy consumption ratio (i.e., the ratio of predicted energy consumption to the reference energy consumption as for a related energy use).

Elemental Technologies

Elemental technologies in ISO 13153:2012 are defined as specifications that constitute a common function in buildings and are proved to reduce energy consumption when compared with a reference method. An example of an elemental technology is the insulation of the building envelope that contributes to energy conservation in space heating energy. The standard details three kinds of elemental technologies for effective energy savings:

  1. Natural ventilation for heat removal: daylight utilization, photovoltaic power generation, solar radiation heat utilization for space heating, or solar water heating
  2. Heat control by building envelope: insulated building envelope or solar shading
  3. Energy-efficient equipment: space heating and cooling system, ventilation system, domestic hot water system, lighting system, or consumer electronics

In short, the various energy uses of elemental technology for energy saving in buildings primarily  include space heating, space cooling, domestic hot water, ventilation, lighting, consumer electronics, and cooking. Therefore, the standard maintains that when designers evaluate a certain elemental technology and its options for specifications, they concentrate on a single related energy use to check the performance of the options. When designers attempt to reduce the overall energy consumption, ISO 13153:2012 specifies that they should try to reduce different energy uses by checking different elemental technologies and their options for specifications, one by one.

ISO 13153:2012 – Framework Of The Design Process For Energy-Saving Single-Family Residential And Small Commercial Buildings is available on the ANSI Webstore.

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