Attended by more than 200 researchers, experts and other delegates, the 2012 REHVA Annual Conference and meeting was held in Timisoara, Romania. It was the place to be for those who wanted to keep abreast of the latest developments in the field of energy retrofitting and HVAC technology.
Sessions and workshops
The two-day conference included six technical sessions and a number of workshops. Sessions were themed around energy use and efficiency of buildings, energy efficient retrofitting, and inspections and policy. Some common themes and areas of discussion emerged during the conference.
Dynamic building monitoring
One of the many interesting points that came up during the technical sessions on energy use of buildings was that there is a requirement for improved dynamic monitoring of building energy use. Speakers used cases and actual information to show how there is often a gap between the expected level of energy used by a building – e.g. in connection with an energy retrofit – and the actual level of the building in use.
One of the conclusions was that better tools and processes should be developed to collect dynamic data on building energy use. This should be coupled with detailed reports that try to take all relevant factors into account, including e.g. building lifespan, local renewable energy, embodied energy etc. This in turn could be ‘translated’ into a dynamic signature or building passport that covers the building life cycle. Developing methods to organise technical data flows for multiple stakeholders was a central feature of this task.
Speakers used cases and actual information to show how there is often a gap between the expected level of energy used by a building – e.g. in connection with an energy retrofit – and the actual level of the building in use.
How to develop monitoring and benchmarking tools to quantify energy performance of actual HVAC systems was also discussed. The iSERV project, funded by the IEE (Intelligent Energy Europe), was presented as a possible solution. iSERV is a web-based framework to collect, store and benchmark sub-hourly operational data. The aim of the project is to collect in-use data from HVAC systems in actual buildings around Europe and provide comprehensive monthly data for users of the system. This will also provide data-based benchmarking for HVAC system energy performance and achievable energy savings for best practice.
Low and nZEB buildings
There were also a number of interesting presentations and discussions on the subject of low energy consuming and nearly zero energy or nZEB buildings. European directives require all new buildings to be nearly zero energy buildings by 2021. More and more buildings around Europe already meet the nZEB definition and many have typical (simulated) primary energy use of between 50-100kWh/(m2 a). One of the points made was that these are often extremely complicated buildings to operate and maintain and more focus should be directed towards training building operators. Also, with such low energy usage, factors such as the energy use of office appliances can become a central component of the energy balance of the building.
REHVA – The Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air conditioning Associations is an independent, professional pan European organisation that represents a network of 110.000 engineers from 26 European countries. Founded in 1963, the organisation connects European professionals in the area of Building Engineering Services.
REHVA works towards the improvement of energy efficiency in buildings. A free bi-monthly journal is published containing news, interviews, articles and case studies focused on subjects such as EU regulations, ventilation and air conditioning systems and nearly zero energy buildings etc.
REHVA also publishes guidebooks prepared with the help of leading European experts, covering topics such as solar shading, CFD calculations in ventilation design, chilled beams applications and ventilation effectiveness.
Click here to see all REHVA guidebooks
Via the exchange of technical information, practical experience and the results of research projects, REHVA brings together member associations, companies and European, international and national organisations that share a common interest in improving the building sector. The 2012 Annual Conference and Meeting in Romania turned out to be a good example of European networking.
"REHVA is an independent, professional pan European organisation that represents a network of 110,000 engineers from 26 European countries."