Total Energy Use in Buildings: Analysis & Evaluation Methods

Completed (2008 - 2013)


One of the most significant barriers for achieving the goal of substantially improving energy efficiency of buildings is the lack of knowledge about the factors determining the real energy use. There is often a significant discrepancy between the designed and the real total energy use in buildings, in which a complex array of factors play a significant role, including the user / occupant behaviour. The reasons for this discrepancy are generally poorly understood, and often have more to do with the role of human behaviour than the building design.

The ultimate outcome of this project is strengthening the robust prediction of energy usage in buildings, thus enabling the proper assessment of short- and long-term energy measures, policies, technologies. The main objectives were to:

  • Develop a new methodology for analysis of building energy use that makes it possible to investigate the effects of the main influencing factors
  • Demonstrate how these data can be used to provide meaningful indicators of energy performance of buildings (for example expression of energy use for different end uses that are generally applicable among different buildings)
  • Develop a methodology for performance prediction of energy saving policies and technologies that includes the influence of a number of related factors
  • Development of methodologies and technologies for long term monitoring of the energy use in buildings
  • Broaden our knowledge about the six factors directly influencing building energy use, namely: 
    (a) Climate 
    (b) Building envelope 
    (c) Building services and energy systems 
    (d) Building operation and maintenance 
    (e) Occupants’ activities and behaviour 
    (f) Indoor environmental quality

Operating Agent

Prof Hiroshi Yoshino
Department of Architecture and Building Science
Graduate School of Engineering
Tohoku University
Aoba 6-6-11-1203
980-8579 Sendai


Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, USA