Considering user profiles and occupants’ behaviour on a zero energy renovation strategy for multi-family housing in the Netherlands

O. Guerra-Santin (Corresponding author), H. Bosch, Peter Budde, Stella Boess, Tillman Klein, Sacha Silvester

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28 Citations (Scopus)
62 Downloads (Pure)


A number of facade solutions have been developed in recent years to solve the problem of large-scale renovation of housing. In the Netherlands, housing associations have the ambition to achieve an energy-neutral renovation approach, and so, some aim at energy neutrality. However, few address the complexity of multi-family rental dwellings and more importantly, the importance of user behaviour in the actual performance of the buildings. In current approaches, the zero energy target is sought for an average household. In this paper we present an approach to zero energy renovation in which the influence of occupants’ behaviour in building performance is taken into account to eliminate the uncertainties related to energy savings. The results are used to inform the design process regarding the amount of energy production required to reach zero energy performance, and the feasibility of the on-site energy production only with photovoltaic panels. The research showed large statistically significant differences on energy consumption between the different household types, which could contribute to pre-bound effects if these differences are not considered when calculating energy savings and return of investments. When considering scenarios based on behaviour after renovation, the difference between the lowest and the highest heating demand is reduced to 34%.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1847-1870
Number of pages24
JournalEnergy Efficiency
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Building simulation
  • Occupants’ behaviour
  • Zero energy


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