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The empirical validation of House Energy Rating (HER) software for lightweight housing in cool temperate climates

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Dewsbury, M (2011) The empirical validation of House Energy Rating (HER) software for lightweight housing in cool temperate climates. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

Against a background of a recognised need to reduce Australia‘s energy consumption and
hence greenhouse gas emissions, the Building Code of Australia (BCA), in 2003,
introduced its first thermal performance requirements for residential buildings. It
mandated a minimum performance rating of 4 Stars for new housing, when assessed by an
approved rating method. While the introduction of a 4 Star requirement had a minor
impact on construction practices, that of 5 Stars (from 2006) and 6 Stars (from 2010)
imposed considerable changes, especially in the use of timber platform floors. The
adoption of the prescribed energy efficiency measures in the BCA raised concerns from
industry and manufacturing groups, as to the accuracy of AccuRate software used to
model the building envelope. This software was developed by the CSIRO and as a result
of the thermal performance requirements, had evolved from a design tool to a regulatory
tool. Both industry and government recognised the need to validate empirically the
National House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) benchmark software ‗AccuRate‘.
The University of Tasmania, in collaboration with Forest and Wood Products Australia,
the Australian Government, the CSIRO and industry, constructed three test buildings for
the purpose of validating empirically the AccuRate software, in particular for cool
temperate climates. The test buildings followed standard residential construction practices
and represented the three most common forms of construction: unenclosed-perimeter
platform-floored, enclosed-perimeter platform-floored and concrete slab-on-ground floor.
An array of environmental measuring equipment was installed to measure actual thermal
performance in each of the test cells. A detailed house energy rating simulation was
completed and a comparison of the measured and simulated data was undertaken.
This research presents the findings of the graphical and statistical analyses of variations
between the measured and simulated data from the three test cells. The findings
demonstrate that while the AccuRate software modelled energy flows well, discrepancies
were measured between the simulated and measured temperatures of the test cells. In
particular the analyses identified relationships between the discrepancies in all zones and
outside air temperature, wind speed, global solar radiation and diffuse solar radiation, and
possibly the ground model. Consequently, these require further investigation and
resolution for the ongoing improvement and calibration of the AccuRate software.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: empirical validation, House Enery Rating, residential energy use, cool temperate, Australia
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2011 the author

Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2011 23:26
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:53
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