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Assessment Methodology for Building Energy Ratings

Project Summary

The Building Energy Rating (BER) is the energy performance certification system in Ireland. At times, differences have been observed between the energy consumption on the BER and the actual energy used by building users. Ireland has also adopted a policy of making new buildings airtight and the effects on indoor air and environmental quality is unclear due to lack of relevant research.

The AMBER project aims to provide a set of guidelines that will:

  • Assess the accuracy of the building energy ratings of A-rated buildings
  • Assess the internal air and environmental quality of A-rated buildings
  • Produce recommendations to improve the thermal comfort of the building

IES will investigate the difference between energy estimated and actual building energy consumption using its own suite of intelligent building software. The AMBER project aims to help people get the most out of their well designed and well-constructed A-Rated building in terms of their energy use, air and environmental quality, and it is anticipated that this unique research project could eventually help thousands of Irish people improve the energy efficiency of their homes and businesses.

IES' Role

IES R&D manage and coordinate this project and are responsible for the successful operation of the study.

Working together with project partners, Trinity College Dublin, IES will assist in the installation of environmental sensors within participating A-rated buildings to monitor temperatures, relative humidity and carbon dioxide.

From there, IES will undertake 3D modelling of all domestic and commercial buildings used in the study using its IESVE (Virtual Environment)  software. This will enable the project team to undertake dynamic simulation modelling and perform a sensitivity analysis to identify critical parameters that effect the difference in energy use compared to the BER rating. This analysis will be validated against the monitoring results and used to suggest realistic operational improvements. 

All of the data analytics will be done in IES iSCAN in addition to monitoring of indoor environmental quality to improve user comfort.

Upon completion of the project, IES will disseminate a set of guidelines to SEAI to upgrade the current BER system, as well as sharing guidance with other key stakeholders including homeowners, policy makers and building designers/constructors.

Project Status