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Title: Space planning and energy efficiency in buildings : the role of spatial, activity and temporal diversities
Author: Musau, Filbert
ISNI:       0000 0004 2683 7239
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2005
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When it becomes necessary to use mechanical energy in buildings, it would be expected that the amount used should not only correspond to the density of spatial utilisation but also the occupancy patterns, or vice versa – that vacancy patterns should produce corresponding reductions in energy use. Empirical evidence suggests that this is not always the case. This research aimed to find out if patterns of interior space organisation and/or utilisation have corresponding patterns of energy consumption, and if planning and/or utilisation programming strategies can enable energy savings. Although this study acknowledges that space planning is related to user organisations, it is not about such relationships. Previous research alludes to the following factors as potential determinants of energy use, but their quantitative degree of influence is not well understood: properties of interior construction elements; environmental interaction/autonomy between spaces; circulation configuration; layout density; activity relationships; and temporal factors of space use. The influence of these factors on energy is examined by quantitative analysis, which matches different plan regimes and environmental systems against different occupancy regimes. The wider target is buildings that experience varied patterns of occupancy, but the focus here is on office, laboratory, and library building typologies, by way of examples. The quantification is by computer simulation using established software packages (TAS, Lightscape, and Flovent) and Excel spreadsheets developed for this work. Further investigations in selected case study buildings involve first monitoring spatial utilisation and the corresponding running environmental systems. The data are then used to quantitatively evaluate the performance of the existing layout against hypothetical options on the existing ‘shell and core’ of each building. A conceptual approach for energy saving, which is partly based on the findings of the parametric and empirical studies, is then formulated and tested in some of the case study buildings. The thesis demonstrates that: different patterns of spatial, activity, and systems organisation have corresponding patterns of energy use; and that significant energy savings can be achieved in a best practice ‘shell and core’ through the right match of space plans with space use patterns – with potentially higher savings in a wasteful shell. It also demonstrates that adopting approaches that dynamically adjust to the temporal diversity of space use can also enable significant savings. One such approach is proposed and promising directions for further research are suggested.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Cambridge Commonwealth Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available