Improving the predictive power of simplified residential space heating demand models : a field data and model driven study

Doctoral dissertation Marc Delghust (FWO-VITO PhD Fellowship)

Improving the Predictive Power of Simplified Residential Space Heating Demand Models: a Field Data and Model-Driven Study Large discrepancies have been found in different countries when comparing real energy use in houses to the theoretical energy use calculated using energy performance of buildings (EPB) calculation methods. Theoretical energy savings deduced from energy performance certificates (EPC) are rarely achieved in reality. This prediction gap has become a major concern in the residential building sector, where the information provided on energy performance certificates is often the only energy related basis to support investment decisions in construction and renovation. Additionally, the simplified energy performance calculation methods are also often used for building stock analyses to support policy making by analysing potential savings on a regional or national level.

This dissertation focuses on the gap between real and theoretical energy use figures for space heating in Belgian single-family houses. Analyses of user surveys, measurement data, energy use data and energy performance calculations revealed various causes for this gap. For example, variations in heating and ventilation profiles at room level proved to have a large impact, as well as simplified assumptions made in the calculation models within the context of policy enforcement. Based on these findings, a new simulation tool was developed that allows making more accurate predictions of the energy saving potential of renovation measures. This pragmatic simulation tool can be used for individual building projects as well as for building stock analyses based on statistical data, to support policy making.

To conduct this PhD research, Marc Delghust was granted a PhD Fellowship by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO)


Doctoral student: Marc Delghust
Public defense: 2015-11-06
Supervisors: prof. Arnold Janssens and dr. Yves De Weerdt

Examination Board:
prof. Rik Van de Walle, chairman
prof. Arnold Janssens, supervisor, UGent - vakgroep Architectuur en Stedenbouw (EA01)
dr. Yves De Weerdt, VITO, Mol
prof. Laure Itard, Technische Universiteit Delft, Nederland
prof. Gustaaf Roels, KU Leuven
prof. Michel De Paepe, UGent - vakgroep Elektrische Energie, Metalen, Mechanische Constructies en Systemen (EA08)
prof. Dirk De Meester, secretaris, UGent - vakgroep Architectuur en Stedenbouw (EA01)
prof. Ruben Verstraeten, UGent - vakgroep Architectuur en Stedenbouw (EA01)

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