Least-Construction-Cost Approaches for New Housing to Achieve Higher Energy-Efficiency Requirements of Building Codes

  • Author / Creator
    Dias Ferreira, Regina Celi
  • Effective November 1, 2016, new homes constructed in Alberta, Canada, are required to comply with “Section 9.36: Energy-Efficiency Requirements” of the Alberta Building Code (ABC) 2014. This section introduces ~57% stricter energy requirements for building envelope than the previous code; therefore, it is important to investigate its implications on current housing construction practices and energy performance, and to develop a methodology for selecting cost-effective approaches for code compliance. In this context, this thesis investigates the mentioned code and codes from other countries in cold-climate regions, identifies the current common practices, develops least-construction-cost approaches to meet the code’s energy requirements, and assess the lifecycle economic performance of a code-compliant house. Three approaches for code compliance are developed in this thesis: (1) least-construction-cost upgrades for building envelope (attic ceiling, above- and below-grade walls, and windows) meeting code-specified thermal insulation values specified in the prescriptive path of the code; (2) carry out approach (1) with energy-efficient tankless domestic hot water system and optimal window sizing for less lifecycle operation cost; and (3) least-construction-cost upgrade for the performance path of the code. To perform this assessment, a 30-year lifecycle analysis is conducted using HOT2000 simulations to estimate the energy performance and operation cost of a home Edmonton. By deploying approach (1), a reduction of ~12% on energy consumption is achieved with a return on investment (ROI) of ~ −3.44%. By applying approach (2), a reduction of energy consumption of ~27% is obtained with an ROI of ~68.08%. Alternatively, in approach (3), a reduction of energy consumption of ~10% with an ROI of ~527.21% is achieved. By applying the methodology developed in this research, least-construction-cost code-compliant upgrades are easily identified for other climatic conditions and Canadian locations.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Specialization
    • Construction Engineering and Management
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Al-Hussein, Mohamed (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
    • Chen, Yuxiang (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Chui, Ying Hei (Civil and Environmental Engineering)