A review and critique of UK housing stock energy models, modelling approaches and data sources

Sousa, Gustavo, Jones, Benjamin M., Mirzaei, Parham A. and Robinson, Darren (2017) A review and critique of UK housing stock energy models, modelling approaches and data sources. Energy and Buildings, 151 . pp. 66-80. ISSN 1872-6178

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The UK housing stock is responsible for some 27% of national energy demand and associated carbon dioxide emissions. 80% of this energy demand is due to heating (60%) and domestic hot water (20%), the former reflecting the poor average thermal integrity of the envelope of the homes comprising this stock. To support the formulation of policies and strategies to decarbonise the UK housing stock, a large number of increasingly sophisticated Housing Stock Energy Models (HSEMs) have been developed throughout the past 25 years. After describing the sources of data and the spatio-temporal granularity with which these data are available to represent this stock, as well as the physical and social phenomena that are modelled and the range of strategies employed to do so, this paper evaluates the 29 HSEMs that have been developed and deployed in the UK. In this we consider the models' predictive accuracy, predictive sensitivity to design parameters, versatility, computational efficiency, the reproducibility of predictions and software usability as well as the models' transparency (how open they are) and modularity. We also discuss their comprehensiveness. From this evaluation, we conclude that current HSEMs are lacking in transparency and modularity, they are limited in their scope and employ simplistic models that limit their utility; in particular, relating to the modelling of heat flow and in the modelling of household behaviours relating to investment decisions and energy using practices. There is a need for an open-source and modular dynamic housing stock energy modelling platform that addresses current limitations, can be readily updated as new (e.g. housing survey) calibration data is released and be readily extended by the modelling community at large: improving upon the utilisation of scarce developmental resources. This would represent a considerable step forward in the formulation of housing stock decarbonisation policy that is informed by sound evidence.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Residential buildings, Modularity, Energy modelling, Policy support
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Architecture and Built Environment
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2017.06.043
Depositing User: Jones, Benjamin
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2017 09:46
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2018 08:08
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/43784

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