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APPLICATION NOTE

BUILDING AUTOMATION AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY:


THE EN 15232 STANDARD
Angelo Baggini, Lyn Meany

May 2012

ECI Publication No Cu0163


Available from www.leonardo-energy.org/node/156301

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Document Title:

Publication No:
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Application Note Building Automation and Energy Efficiency: the


EN 15232 Standard
Cu0163
01
May 2012
Angelo Baggini, Lyn Meany
Bruno De Wachter

Document History
Issue

Date

May 2012

Purpose
First publication, in the framework of the Good Practice Guide

Disclaimer
While this publication has been prepared with care, European Copper Institute and other contributors provide
no warranty with regards to the content and shall not be liable for any direct, incidental or consequential
damages that may result from the use of the information or the data contained.

Copyright European Copper Institute.


Reproduction is authorised providing the material is unabridged and the source is acknowledged.

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CONTENTS
Summary ........................................................................................................................................................ 1
Introduction.................................................................................................................................................... 2
Advantages of automation technologies ........................................................................................................ 2
EN 15232 BAC classifications and factors: from paper to practice ................................................................... 4
Energy Efficiency Classes for Building Automation and Control Systems............................................................... 4
Automation functions ............................................................................................................................................. 5
Temperature control ................................................................................................................................ 5
Lighting ..................................................................................................................................................... 6
Drives and motors .................................................................................................................................... 6
Technical alarms and power management .............................................................................................. 7
Remote control......................................................................................................................................... 7
Starting from a building energy audit ..................................................................................................................... 7
Calculating BACS Efficiency: Comparison of the Detailed and BAC-Factors Methods ............................................ 7
Method of BAC efficiency factors ............................................................................................................. 8
Detailed calculation method .................................................................................................................. 10
Financial Assessment of Building Automation Projects ........................................................................................ 10
Standard EN 15232 and the EPBD ................................................................................................................. 10
Conclusions................................................................................................................................................... 15
References .................................................................................................................................................... 15

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SUMMARY
Automation, control, and supervision systems can have a significant impact on the energy consumption of
buildings and their occupants, reducing it by 10, 20, or even more than 50 percent. In recognition of that fact
and to encourage implementation of these systems, the European Committee for Standardization issued EN
15232 Standard: Energy Performance of Buildings Impact of Building Automation, Controls, and Building
Management for use in conjunction with their Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). These
documents define conventions and methods for estimating the impact of building automation and control
systems (BACS) on the energy performance of building.
Focusing on EN 15232, in this paper, we present an overview of BACS, highlighting the advantages they can
provide and describing the primary functions they can perform. Because a building energy audit is the first
step in developing any energy management program, we describe the three different levels of complexity of
such an audit before tackling the details of the EN 15232 BACS classification system and looking at some
examples of BACS implementation schemes.
The actual savings in both energy usage and costs that a BACS can provide is of primary interest to building
managers and owners as well as BACS system designers. We describe the two calculation methods presented
within the Standard: the simple Method of Efficiency Factors, useful for obtaining a quick estimate, and the
more rigorous Detailed Calculation method, which returns a more accurate result but requires much more
information and effort. We also examine two different procedures for evaluating the costs associated with a
BACS: the Payback method and Life-Cycle Cost Analysis.
Finally, we explore how the methods and classification system of EN 15232 work with those of the EPBD.

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INTRODUCTION
Several recent studies have shown that despite the focus of European policies on energy efficiency, energy
consumption in European buildings continues to increase, leading to increases in both energy expenditures
and environmental pressures. Although the environmental and economic impact of appliances, HVAC systems,
and office equipment appear minor when compared with production activities, together the millions of
buildings in Europe make a significant contribution to the EUs total energy consumption.

Figure 1 Primary Energy Consumption in Europe.


As illustrated in Figure 1, buildings rank first among the major consumption categories in Europe. They account
for 41% of the total energy consumption, of which 85% is attributed to room heating and cooling and 15
percent to electrical energy, with lighting accounting for most of that 15%. Space heating accounts for 70% of
total household energy use in the EU. Because the number of European households and the size of the average
dwelling continue to grow, so does the amount of energy used for residential space heating and electricity.
Also contributing to the increase in energy demand is the fact that as homes become more and more luxurious
and offices more functional, both are being equipped with an increasing number of electronic appliances.
In recent years, the main goal of Energy Efficiency (EE) policies has been to promote the use of more efficient
appliances and components. However, this approach is not the only way to reduce consumption; better, more
efficient use of traditional appliances and components can be equally effective. Therefore, along with
promoting energy efficient equipment, EE policymakers are advancing another way to reduce consumption:
improving system efficiency. In fact, increasing system efficiency is the only approach available to the many
existing buildings that for cultural and historical reasons cannot be transitioned to state-of-the-art
construction technologies. For buildings in which components cannot be improved, only a system approach is
feasible.
In 2007, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) issued the EN 15232 Standard: Energy
Performance of Buildings Impact of Building Automation, Controls, and Building Management. EN 15232 is
one of a series of standards developed to support the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2002/91/EG
(EPBD). Together, these documents define conventions and methods for estimating the effects of building
automation and control systems (BACS) and Technical Building Management (TBM) on energy performance
and use in buildings. Specifically, EN 15232 presents methods for estimating the impact of various energysaving measures that can be used in conjunction with building energy assessments.

ADVANTAGES OF AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES


Building automation systems provide many opportunities for energy conservation in the home and in the
workplace for example, anywhere that manual control or poor scheduling result in the inefficient operation
of lights, HVAC, and other environmental control systems. It is estimated that a fully optimized BACS can
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return energy savings of between 10 and 30 percent; the savings can be even greater in older or poorly
maintained structures.
A BACS can be particularly valuable in buildings where other energy efficiency measures cannot be
implemented. Regulations preclude many historical buildings from envelope changes or invasive measures. For
these buildings, a BACS employing wireless technologies may be the only means to achieve significant energy
savings. Considering the age of the European building stock (see Figure 2) and the number of protected
historical buildings, the potential impact of building automation systems is clear.

Figure 2 European Building Stock Age.


For example, using the efficiency factors introduced in the next chapter, one can easily see that by
implementing an advanced BACS, the owners of a typical hotel in an historic building could reduce the hotels
energy demand by nearly 48%. That savings is similar in magnitude to that achievable by but without the
problems associated with costly envelope improvements.
Unlike traditional approaches to improving energy efficiency in buildings, building automation systems offer
scalability and flexibility over time. By adopting the right provisions in terms of cableways or bus wiring upon
installation, the automation system can be modified in the future to
-

Meet the changing needs and behavior of occupants.

Integrate new functionalities and new components, such as sensors and new optimization algorithms.

Expand and enhance the system as additional funding becomes available. A system may be designed
to perform basic functions at first and later modified to incorporate functions that are more
sophisticated.

Building automation systems offer additional advantages when integrated with renewable energy sources.
There are two important constraints to the energy available through small-scale renewables: the space
available for the installation and the energy available from the source over time, which frequently does not
align with human behavior. For example, the energy available from a photovoltaic system is limited not only by
size of the area available for installation, but also by the time of day and the weather. With no feasible ways to
increase the size of the installation, only a reduction in demand can improve the buildings energy
performance.
On the other hand, however, a BAS capable of load and power supply control can balance energy demands
with the availability of the renewable energy, automatically shifting some consumption without interfering
with the habits of building occupants. Building automation ensures that renewable systems are integrated,
controlled, and regulated optimally within the overall building systems.
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Finally, in contrast to traditional structural measures to improve energy efficiency, building automation can be
extended to domestic appliance management. Many modern appliances have digital controls and can be
interconnected with relative ease. This allows the development of integrated home automation networks that
give users increased flexibility and control over appliance operation and reduces their energy consumption.
In addition to the advantages offered by individual BACS, the standardization of these systems, such as that
promoted by EN 15232, offers several more, including:
-

Interoperability: Standardization ensures that the products of different manufacturers used in different
applications can operate and communicate with each other.

Flexibility: Standardization better enables future extension or modification of installations.

Product quality: Specific product standards define verified energy performance criteria and assure users
of product characteristics and quality.

Choice of Manufacturers: Standardization helps ensure that there will be more than one manufacturer of
the parts and equipment required for each functionality.

EN 15232 BAC CLASSIFICATIONS AND FACTORS: FROM PAPER TO PRACTICE


The EN15232 standard includes the following:

A list of control, automation, and technical management functions that affect the energy
performance of buildings
A method for defining the minimum requirements for the control, automation, and technical building
management functions implemented in different types of buildings
Detailed procedures for quantifying the impact these functions have on the energy performance of a
building
A simplified method to obtain an initial estimate of the impact these functions have on the energy
performance of buildings

The methods and procedures described within EN 15232 are based on a system of energy classifications
assigned to the various BACS functions. This section describes this classification system and how it can be used
to calculate the improvement in building energy performance and costs resulting from the implementation of
BAC functionality.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY CLASSES FOR BUILDING AUTOMATION AND CONTROL SYSTEMS


The EN 15232 standard defines four BAC energy efficiency classes, labeled A to D, that correspond to the level
of automation, control, and supervision installed. The definition of each class is based on the presence or
absence of a set of automation functions, control, and supervision without regard to the details of their
implementation. Class C generally serves as the reference point for comparing efficiencies. As shown
graphically in Figure 3, EN15232 describes the classes as follows:

Class D Non-energy Efficient: corresponds to traditional and technical systems that provide no
automation or energy-efficiency
Class C Standard: corresponds to standard automation systems and normal controls. Class C is
considered the reference class
Class B Advanced: corresponds to advanced automation and control systems and some Technical
Building Management (TBM) functions for centralized control
Class A High Energy Performance: corresponds to systems similar to those of Class B but with levels
of accuracy and completeness that ensure high energy performance

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A building with a Class C designation must have a specified set of basic (Class C) automation and control
functions. A Class B building must have all of the functions required for Class C plus some additional, higher
level functions, such as room controllers able to communicate with the building central control. A Class A
designation requires some specific features of TBM in addition to all of the Class B functions.

Figure 3 BACS classifications.


This classification system is particularly useful in communicating with BAC users because it summarizes within
a single significant yet simple parameter the performance result of a complex system that generally is beyond
the comprehension of laypeople.
As described in further down, a buildings efficiency classes before and after BACS implementation can be used
to estimate the resulting savings in thermal and electrical energy.

AUTOMATION FUNCTIONS
EN 15232 lists the energy efficiency and processing functions of building automation and control systems
based on models for specific building types and assigns a BAC classification to each. We must note, however,
that the first edition of EN 15232 (2007) does not cover all of the available BAC functions, and that some
functions listed remain unclear. With that understanding, the following paragraphs introduce the most
important automation functions available and summarize their underlying concepts.

TEMPERATURE CONTROL
Limiting heating or cooling periods and climate conditions to actual needs leads to significant reductions in
energy requirements in the residential sector as well as the tertiary sector. The most important automation
functions useful in reducing consumption related to temperature control include the following:
1.

Establishment of micro-zones: Instead of central or no temperature control, micro-zones with


independent thermostats and valves optimize both comfort and energy consumption.

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2.
3.

4.

5.
6.
7.

Indoor air quality (IAQ) control: Rather than running the air exchange system periodically, a sensor
analyzes air quality and activates the air exchange system only when the air becomes stale.
Air exchange scheduling: Execute air exchanges at times when outdoor temperatures are less cold in
winter and less hot in summer to avoid the extreme temperature gradients that lead to excessive
losses.
Weather station/temperature control integration: Integrating temperature control with a weather
station that monitors rain, wind, and brightness can allow automatic deployment of awnings, blinds,
outdoor lighting, and irrigation to mitigate energy losses.
Occupancy-based climate control: Automatic adjustment of indoor climate conditions according to
occupancy or time of day and upon the opening and closing of doors or windows.
Frost protection in zones with occasional occupancy: Automated frost protection in rooms or zones
only occupied occasionally protects furniture and equipment.
Allowance for manual switching: Allows for local or centralized changes from automatic to manual
switching between different comfort modes (Comfort. Pre-comfort, Economy or Off).

LIGHTING
Automated controls that limit the operation and intensity of artificial lighting can have a significant impact on
electricity consumption, particularly in the service sector. Available lighting control systems and equipment
have evolved rapidly in recent years and today offer functionality that goes far beyond simple timer-based
on/off control. Sensors that detect ambient light levels, occupancy/vacancy, or motion can be programmed to
application-specific set points to actuate a wide range of functions, including:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

On/off control of general interior lighting appliances


On/off control of indicator lamps and LEDs
On/off control of outdoor lighting and lighting displays
Temporary switch-off of non-essential lighting equipment
Brightness control, adjusting light intensity to take maximum advantage of natural light
Programmed switching between different groups of devices to optimize the useful life of lighting
sources

In addition, an automated lighting control system can

Track the hours of operation for each appliance to optimize maintenance scheduling
Report the state of service of individual devices or groups of devices
Enable replication of individual and group command points to increase the ability of humans to take
effective manual actions

DRIVES AND MOTORS


It might appear that the energy consumed by a motor introduced into an automation system would offset any
energy-saving benefits of its function. Practically speaking, however, the balance generally tips in favor of the
drive, because the human beings that traditionally perform its function are subject to laziness and
inconsistencies in their responsiveness and their response to sensory stimuli.
Some functions for which a motor can provide energy savings include, among others:
1.

2.

Window shutters and awnings. Motorized shutter and awning operation can be either timed or
associated with specific scenarios. All can be operated by remote controls, light sensors, or weather
stations.
Venetian blind operation: A drive can move the blades of Venetian blinds up and down and adjust
them to different angles according to the position of the sun. Angling the blades to deflect direct

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3.

4.

sunlight can reduce the need for air conditioning in summer and provide glare protection for
workstation screens.
Irrigation systems: Drives can open and close water valves according to a programmed schedule.
Systems can also incorporate sunlight sensors to avoid operation during rain, thereby saving water
and protecting plants from overwatering.
Pool management systems: Pool pump, filtration, and cleaning systems all incorporate motors that
can be integrated with the BACS.

TECHNICAL ALARMS AND POWER MANAGEMENT


Technical alarm systems can play an active role in limiting the energy consumption of a building. By detecting
an abnormal condition as soon as it occurs, alarm systems can trigger the suspension of system operations
that would otherwise become inefficient or lead to greater energy loses. Note that alarm systems can be
configured to reset automatically after nuisance tripping, for bi-directional telephone or internet control for
event scheduling, and for monitoring and logging environmental and electrical parameters for the purposes of
identifying trends.
Alarm system and power management functions that can lead to reduced energy consumption include:
1.
2.
3.

Hazardous gas, fire and flood detectors, integrated with the actuation of solenoid gas and water
valves
Adverse weather detection, integrated with controlled shading devices
Actuators integrated with electrical outlets enable selected loads to be switched off, eliminating the
consumption of appliances in stand-by mode without turning off loads that require uninterrupted
power

REMOTE CONTROL
Using remote controls to manage the functions of systems can lead to a decrease in energy consumption by
allowing direct human intervention if an unexpected situation warrants it. The ability to intervene directly
during one of these unexpected conditions at the outset of the problem prevents operation of the system
during times that are potentially characterized by low efficiency and high-energy losses.

STARTING FROM A BUILDING ENERGY AUDIT


The planning of a BACS implementation or upgrade begins with a building energy audit, which can be
performed on three levels: Preliminary Analysis/Walkthrough; Energy Survey and Detailed Analysis; and
Detailed Analysis for Capital-Intensive Modifications. A Walkthrough audit is the starting point for any
assessment, an Energy Survey and Detailed Analysis is often sufficient for smaller buildings, and the highest
level of audit usually is performed only for large, highly sophisticated energy programs.
For a general introduction on Building Energy Audits: see Appendix A.

CALCULATING BACS EFFICIENCY: COMPARISON OF THE DETAILED AND BAC-FACTORS


METHODS
The EN 15232 standard presents two different procedures for determining the impact of BACS functions on
the energy efficiency of a building:
-

BACS efficiency factor method, also called the simplified method


Detailed calculation method

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The method using BAC efficiency factors provides reasonable estimates based on coefficients calculated from
actual measurements that were performed on buildings representing many different types and for rooms with
different boundary conditions. It is particularly useful in the initial phases of a project.The BAC factors method
allows one to quickly assess the impact on energy consumption of implementing a BACS and provides direct
evidence of the economic value of adopting a given level of automation, control, or supervision. It can apply to
residential buildings as well as offices, libraries, schools, hospitals, hotels, restaurants, malls, and shops.
The detailed calculation method can be applied only with comprehensive information on the building and
proposed systems. This method returns a result with higher accuracy, but it requires a much greater depth of
knowledge and much greater effort.

METHOD OF BAC EFFICIENCY FACTORS


Standard EN 15232 provides a list of all the functions of automation, control, and supervision related to
building energy performance and assigns a BAC classification (which may differ between residential and nonresidential buildings) to each function. Each classification has an associated efficiency factor corresponding to
a building type. These factors were determined by comparing the annual energy consumption in a reference
room with that of the same room under the same conditions (time of occupation, user profile, weather
conditions, sun exposure, etc.) but with different levels (A, B, or C) of automation, control, and supervision
functions.
Note that as shown in Table 1 on the next page, different efficiency factors apply depending on whether the
application under consideration is thermal or electrical. Also note that the energy for electrical lighting was not
taken into account in the calculation of the EN15232BAC efficiency factors. Consequently, the impact of
automation and control on the electrical energy consumption of lighting systems must be assessed separately
according to the EN 15193 standards.
Figure 4 shows the conceptual framework for calculating reduced energy consumptions of a building using the
BAC efficiency factors (fBAC).

Figure 4 Conceptual framework of the BAC factors method.


Table 1 shows the direct relationship between the energy consumption of a Class A, B, or D room or building
with one of the reference Class C. Using this table, one can quickly calculate the impact of adding automation
functions to a room or building.

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Table 1 Efficiency factors (reference Class C).

(From EN 15232.)

Table 2 illustrates how to calculate the percentage of energy savings could be achieved by implementing Class
B and Class A automation functions in a Class C office and residence. For example, automating the cooling in a
Class C office to the Class B level will result in a 20% reduction in energy consumption; upgrading to Class A
functions increases these savings to 30%.
Table 1 Percentage of thermal savings achievable by adopting automation systems with reference to Class C.
Office

Residence

Class

Savings

Class

Savings

(1- 0.8/1) 100 = 20%

(1- 0.88/1)*100 = 12%

(1- 0.7/1) 100 = 30%

(1- 0.81/1)*100 = 19%

Although EN15232 sets Class C as the reference class, many buildings fall into Class D. Setting Class D as the
reference class, a similar calculation shows that upgrading an office with no automation, control, or
supervision to Class A will result in a 54% reduction in energy consumption.
Although EN15232 sets Class C as the reference class, many buildings fall into Class D. To calculate the
potential energy savings achievable by implementing a BACS in a Class D building, use the applicable reduction
factor (k) as illustrated in Table 3. For example, multiplying the Class C-based efficiency factor for a residential
building by the reduction factor (ka) shows that upgrading this building from Class D to Class A could achieve a
0.81 * 0.736 = 59.6% reduction in thermal energy consumption.
Table 2 The reduction factor k to switch from Class C to Class D as a reference, for residential buildings
Thermal energy

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kc

fBACc/fBACd

0.909

kb

fBACb/fBACd

0.800

ka

fBACa/fBACd

0.736

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Electrical Energy
kc

fBACc/fBACd

0.926

kb

fBACb/fBACd

0.861

ka

fBACa/fBACd

0.852

Using the method of the efficiency factors at an early stage of a building automation project can be useful, and
it does not preclude subsequent detailed calculations during later stages to obtain a more accurate estimation.

DETAILED CALCULATION METHOD


The detailed calculation procedure incorporates the five basic methods listed below. Methods 2 through 5
apply according to the basis on which the control system acts.
1.
2.

3.
4.
5.

Direct method: Based on simulation of the system in accordance with EN 13790 "Thermal
performance of buildings - Calculation of energy use for space heating and cooling"
Method based on mode of operation: Considers the different states of an application on which a
control acts, such as fan on/fan off for an HVAC system. The energy consumption is calculated for
each state and summed to yield the total consumption of the application.
Method based on the time of operation: Considers the duration of operation and a ratio that
characterizes the function in question
Method based on room temperature: Used in cases where the control system affects room
temperature
Method of correction coefficients: Used when the automatic control acts on the basis of multiple
factors, such as time, occupancy, and temperature.

Further details of these methods are provided in Appendix B.

FINANCIAL ASSESSMENT OF BUILDING AUTOMATION PROJECTS


There are two commonly used financial tools for assessing capital investments such as the installation of
building automation systems. The Payback Method is a relatively simple calculation, but its resulting payback
period does not reflect all of the costs and benefits associated with equipment or projects that continue to
provide benefits long after their costs have been recouped. Life Cycle Analysis, while requiring a bit more work
than the Payback Method, clearly demonstrates whether the savings realized from a project will be sufficient
to justify its cost.
For more information on the financial assessment of energy efficiency investments: see Appendix C.

STANDARD EN 15232 AND THE EPBD


The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) has been a very important step in the efforts of the
European Union to improve the energy efficiency of its large and aging building stock. The EPBD precipitated
the development of approximately 40 EN Standards that standardize the energy calculation methods relevant
to buildings, including EN 15232.
The Directive covers four key points:

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A common methodology for calculating the integrated energy performance of buildings. This
methodology takes into account not just the quality of the building's insulation, but also all of the
other factors that contribute to energy efficiency.
Minimum standards for the energy performance of both new buildings and existing buildings that are
subject to major renovation
Procedures for the energy certification of new and existing buildings and for public buildings. The
Directive calls for prominent display of this certification and other relevant information. Certificates
must be less than five years old.
Regular inspection of boilers and central air-conditioning systems in buildings and an assessment of
heating installations in which the boilers are more than 15 years old.

The integrated approach of the EPBD takes into account all building systems, including heating and cooling
installations, lighting installations, the position and orientation of the building, and heat recovery systems.
The EN 15232 methodology provides a valuable tool for evaluating and improving building energy
performance according to the EPBD classification scheme. Of course, EPBD classification criteria vary
depending on the country of implementation. The example described here refers to the Italian classification
scheme, but the approach can be applied universally.
The EPBD classification scheme is based on:

Calculation of net energy demands based on


o Heating, taking into consideration heat recovery, infiltration, and warming of ventilation air
o Preparation of domestic hot water
o Cooling
Calculation of energy use by building services, including
o Heat recovery, heat, and electricity consumption of the ventilation system
o The heating system, based on heat production efficiency (or the performance factor of the
heat pump system) and the electricity consumption of auxiliary equipment
o The cooling system, taking into consideration any condensate and heat losses from the
cooling system and the performance factor of the installation during the time of the year
that cooling is required.
o Electricity, taking into account the consumption by the electrical system in addition to the
use of lighting and equipment
Table 4 Building Energy Classes (EPBD implementation in Italy).

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30 kWh/m a

50 kWh/m a

70 kWh/m a

90 kWh/m a

120 kWh/m a

160 kWh/m a

More than 160 kWh/m a

Page 11

The calculations are based on existing system and envelope technologies without explicitly taking into account
any potential for efficiency improvements through building automation technologies. However, after
calculating the energy demand, the application of BAC factors allows immediately evaluation of the impact
automation could have on energy demand and consumption. In practice, one can immediately estimate the
improvement in a buildings EPBD classification resulting from implementation of a BACS by applying the
applicable BAC efficiency factor.
Table 5 shows the application of EN 15232 BAC factors to EPBD classes for different building types according to
the Italian implementation of the directive. For the purposes of these calculations, we assumed that the
electrical energy demand for HVAC auxiliary systems in a building without ventilation accounts for
approximately 13% of the total energy demand.
For each building type, the calculations assume EN 15232 Class C as the starting point and a total Energy
Demand (ED) as follows:
2

EPBD Class B :

40 kWh/m y

EPBD Class C:

60 kWh/m2y

EPBD Class D:

80 kWh/m2y

EPBD Class E:

105 kWh/m2y

EPBD Class F:

140 kWh/m2y

The calculations in Table 5 show that, depending on the initial total energy demand, the application of an EN
15232 BAC factor can often improve the EPBD class. When the adoption of the automation system
corresponds to an improvement in the EPBD class of a building, Table 13 displays the new class in boldface.
Note that in some cases, the EN 15232 Class B BAC factor suffices to improve the EPBD building classification;
in other cases, it is not possible to improve the classification at all, even with the Class A BAC factor.
The simplicity of this approach suggests that the EPBD should include BAC factor usage formally and explicitly
in its building energy demand calculation methodology.
Table 5 Application of EN 15232 BAC factors to EPBD classes for different building types (with reference to the
Italian implementation of the directive).
Automation class

EN 15232 Class A

EPBD Class

ED (kWh/m2y)

EPBD class

ED (kWh/m2y)

EPBD class

40

33

29

60

49

43

80

65

58

105

86

76

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EN 15232 Class B

ED (kWh/m2y)

Offices

Building type

EN 15232 Class C

May 2012

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Automation class

EN 15232 Class A

EPBD Class

ED (kWh/m2y)

EPBD class

ED (kWh/m2y)

EPBD class

140

114

101

40

31

22

60

46

33

80

62

44

105

81

58

140

108

77

40

35

32

60

53

48

80

71

65

105

93

85

140

124

113

40

37

35

60

55

52

80

74

70

105

97

92

140

129

122

40

35

28

60

52

43

80

69

57

105

91

74

140

121

99

40

32

28

60

48

43

80

64

57

105

83

75

140

111

100

40

30

26

60

46

38

Education buildings (school)


Hospitals
Hotels
Restaurants
Wholesale
and retail
trade service
buildings
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EN 15232 Class B

ED (kWh/m2y)

Lecture hall

Building type

EN 15232 Class C

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Automation class

EN 15232 Class A

EPBD Class

ED (kWh/m2y)

EPBD class

ED (kWh/m2y)

EPBD class

80

61

51

105

80

67

140

106

90

40

35

33

60

53

49

80

71

66

105

93

87

140

124

115

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EN 15232 Class B

ED (kWh/m2y)

Residential

Building type

EN 15232 Class C

May 2012

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CONCLUSIONS
It is clear that building automation and control systems can provide significant saving in both energy usage and
expenditures. The EN 15232 Standard provides conventions and tools for assessing those savings and
evaluating potential BACS implementations.
EN 15232 introduces a four-level (A - D) system for classifying buildings according to the level of their BACS and
a corresponding classification to various levels of each BACS function. It assigns an efficiency factor to each
building classification for each building type, with different factors applying to thermal and electrical energy.
The relatively simple Method of BAC Efficiency Factors for calculating energy savings uses these factors to
return a quick estimate of the savings that can be expected by upgrading (or implementing) a BACS from, for
example, Class C to Class A. This method is particularly useful in the early stages of developing the BACS. The
Detailed Calculation Method returns a much more accurate estimate, but requires much more and quantified
information about the building systems before and after BACS implementation or upgrade.
The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive incorporates a methodology for classifying the energy efficiency
of buildings based on their energy demand. By applying an EN15232 BAC efficiency factor to the energy
demand rating of a particular EPBD class, one can easily determine the improvement in EPBD class that will
result from implementing or upgrading a Building Automation and Control System (see table 13). Together, the
EPBD and EN 15232 provide a comprehensive set of tools, classification schemes, and guidelines for planning
and assessing the impact of implementing and upgrading building automation and control systems.

REFERENCES
[1] UNI EN 15232 Energy Performance of Buildings Impact of Building Automation, Control, and Building
Management.
[2] GREENBUILDING PROGRAMME Energy audit guidelines, 2005.
[3] DIRECTIVE 2002/91/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 16 December 2002 on
the energy performance of buildings.
[4] DIRECTIVE 2010/31/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 19 May 2010 on the
energy performance of buildings (recast).
[5] A. Baggini, A. Marra, Efficacia energetica degli edifice, Editoriale Delfino 2010.
[6] Implementing the Energy Performance of Buildings. Intelligent Energy Europe 2011.
[7] Direttiva tecnica Casa Clima 2011.
[8] F. Klinchenberg and M. Sunikka, Better Building through Energy Efficiency A Roadmap for Europe, Eurima,
Meerssen, The Netherlands, 2006
[9] Europes buildings under the microscope - Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE), 2011
[10] Building Renovation and Modernization in Europe: State of the art review ERABUILD, 2006

Publication No Cu0163
Issue Date:

May 2012

Page 15