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Master Architecture, Urbanism and Building Sciences

Specialisation Building Technologies

AR4B025 Sustainable Design Graduation Studio

TiSD certified

A Zero Energy terminal building

for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Climate Design and Andy van den Dobbelsteen

Sustainability first mentor

Structural Design Ir. Joris Smits

second mentor

student 4242718 Mira Conci
+31 (0)682007895
page number
4 0.1
5 0.2

8 1.1 Why Zero Energy Buildings
12 1.2 What does Zero Energy mean
24 1.3 Selected study case
37 2.0 SITE
38 2.1 Location
41 2.2 Climatic aspects, their influence and potentials
52 3.1 Shape, orientation and thermal zoning
62 3.2 Building structure
68 4.1 Passive systems and their efficiency
84 4.2 Active strategies overview and selection
109 7.0 APPENDIX
110 7.1 A. International regulations on Zero Energy Buildings
112 7.2 B. Sustainable solutions - EU High Speed Rail Network
114 7.3 C. Selected working material

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0.1 Preface 0.2 Introduction
I have always approached architecture as a way to rebuild the natural environment according to our needs.
The main topic of this thesis is the use of energy in a selected commercial building, a small airport terminal.
In this sense, I think concepts such as biomimicry, defined on Wikipedia as “the imitation [...] of nature for the
The aim is to plan a Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB) through passive strategies, reuse of energy flows, reduc-
purpose of solving complex human problems”, are not to be understood as avant-garde but as basic knowl-
tion of its consumption and generation from renewable sources. I overviewed, selected and adopted all possible
edge for any kind of design. Nature is for me the most intuitive inspiration source to turn to in order to imagine
sustainable concepts and systems and measured their impact on the energy performance of the study case
and shape architecture, its processes and elements are what has taught us how to create technology in the first
object. This creates a critical pathway made of quantifiable steps towards Zero Energy, which can be followed
place. The era of technology has begun when we started sharpening small stones inspired by animal’s teeth and
and applied on other projects as well.
claws, after that all the way up to computers has been a correlated, although bumpy, learning curve in which
science and technology have been going hand in hand. Scientific progress allows for the creation of new tools,
Energy is an urgent subject to be dealt with in a sustainable way for two main reasons: climate change caused
which in turn open the path to new opportunities for observations, experiments and discoveries, meanwhile, the
by greenhouse gases emissions derived by the use of fossil fuels, and their depletion as a global resource,
comfort offered by technology allows for time with which to develop the aesthetics of our crafts. Architecture
which brings uncertainty about their availability in the future. International bodies have expressed the urgency of
represent this development, it is the science of construction with the sensibility of art.
a substantial cut in carbon emissions, in order to do so the use of fossil fuels, which sets the basis of our current
In the past, construction was based on vernacular wisdom, which developed from the observation of the
lifestyle, will have to be replaced by clean, renewable alternatives. Together with energy saving strategies and
natural environment. Nowadays, such aspects are left aside during the formative stage of new generations of
systems, these are the best options to avoid an energy crisis today and in the future. The worldwide production
architects. Students are not encouraged to learn how to create a comfortable environment following physics,
of goods and services is addressed, and the commitment will have to be unanimous. The role of architecture is
the laws of nature, but rather to leave this task to other professional figures, specialized in modern technologies.
to design energy neutral buildings from now on. The technology to do so is here, and the next generations of
This is a huge loss of knowledge and authority, and a dangerous trend for this profession.
professionists will be trained to meet the challenge as the only possible alternative. It is important that we open
the path to the change through awareness, research and innovation. Current levels of comfort won’t necessarily
The rising interest towards sustainability shows that architecture built without vernacular wisdom playing a
be affected by the replacement of the energy sources, indeed, in the case of energy neutral buildings they may
central role in the planning process is just not efficient enough. To make architectural projects sustainable, sci-
improve due to a closer relationship with natural cycles. Even though changes in our lifestyles may be unavoida-
entific knowledge should be brought back into architectural matters and seen as the basic, shaping principle.
ble, maintaining and increasing the efficiency of key services like communication and transport will be of primary
Sustainability should not be a goal or a fancy addition, but the foundation and load-bearing structure of any
interest in the development of sustainable technology.
While researching on an opportunity to plan a NZEB that would present an interesting case study, I came
I decided to specialise in energy, which for me is a central player in the issue of contemporary unsustainable
across the topic of sustainability in the aviation industry. Air travel has been growing steadily in the past decades
architecture. Energy neutral buildings are not a new concept, they have been the only concept for nearly all of
and is expected to keep a rate of +5% for the next 20 years, but the discussion on its contribution to GHG
architectural history. The whole supply of energy has been generated in the direct vicinity of its use, for example
emissions makes it unavoidable that a future-proof adaptation strategy will have to be implemented. There
by a fireplace, or by sunlight. Nowadays energy neutral buildings integrate passive strategies, which have been
are many aspects that can be made more sustainable, from aircrafts to communications to the actual building
tested and selected throughout the progress of civilization, with active technologies, which require modern
portfolio. I compared studies on sustainable indicators with the specific case of Schiphol Airport, and I could see
systems currently based on fossil fuels, in order to offer the best of indoor comfort. I want to understand this
that its corporate responsibility is doing a great effort in meeting environmentally friendly development and back-
typology of buildings better and learn how to implement them, because I believe they represent the future of the
fitting its current programme. On the other hand, Schiphol is planning an expansion which wouldn’t help but in
built environment.
fact worsen its most unsustainable feature: extremely long taxiways to and from one of its busiest runway, the
Polderbaan. I think this situation has the potential for a research on the efficiency of NZEBs in airport planning,
therefore I decided to meet this challenge for my graduation thesis.

Would a satellite Net Zero Energy terminal building be more sustainable in terms of energy consumption and
cost than the currently planned expansion of Schiphol Airport?
Cost is an important indicator for the feasibility of any project, not only because it would otherwise be difficult
to interest investors, but also as a sustainable practice, because usually what costs less uses less resources.

I first determined indicators to evaluate the performance of the standard solution against my project, and
secondly designed and analysed the process towards a Net Zero Energy building. The design process is mainly
based on Andy Van Den Dobbelsteeen’s New Step’s Strategy, which stresses the importance of avoiding the
use of fossil fuels through the planning of waste energy flows, and Thomas Hootman’s book “Net Zero Energy
Design. A guide for commercial architecture.“, which presents eight steps to progressively reduce the building’s
energy need and optimise its use.

It is my hope that this thesis can contribute positively to the discussion on energy efficiency in the built environ-

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6 7
1.1 Why Zero Energy Buildings foreign capitals directed to the unregulated use of fossil fuels, thus affecting markets and the effectivity of the
taxation scheme.
Capturing and storage of CO2 by means of filters at exhaust pipes is expensive, not completely efficient, and
Climate change at the current stand of its technology it lowers the performance of the systems on which it is applied, but there
is potential for better technologies and, for certain cases, it could be the only solution that acts fast enough.
During the development of technology along the 20th century, mankind seems to have been pushing nature
to its limits, ignoring that life only survives when balance is preserved. The concept of balance, or homeostasis,
makes possible for every living being to exist. The human body, just as animals and plants, regulates breathing
and eating in order to maintain a stable flow of energy. When a plant receives too much or too little water to the
point of overcoming its homeostatic ability, this will lead to damages and, if the imbalance is not relieved soon,
the consequences may be irreversible. The same equilibrium regulates the planet Earth, the carbon and water
cycles are important examples of this. The consequences of an imbalanced flow of energy in humans and ani-
mals can be seen in a very short time, while for longer cycles like those regulating the planet the consequences
may take longer to experience.
It is predicted that disproportions in the natural balance of the environment, of which civilization has been

Generated by CamScanner from

responsible so far, will have sensible consequences during the 21st century.

During the last two centuries carbon dioxide concentrations from burning fuels started to exceed, slowly but
steadily, the natural flow managed by the planet in its cycles of renewal. According to MacKay in his book “Sus-
tainable Energy - without hot air”, the biosphere and the oceans send into the atmosphere 440 and 330 giga-
tons of CO2 per year, amounts that have been naturally balanced out by earth’s natural flows for millennia. Fossil
fuels burning causes an extra 26 gigatons of CO2 per year, an amount which can be only partially re-assorbed
and keeps on accumulating in the atmosphere, just like a person who starts eating a little too much every day AROUND 2 A YEAR FORESTRY +
who will soon start to gain weight, slowly but steadily. Moreover, it is now assumed that the capacity of oceans DIMINISHING CO2 LEVELS +60% AGRICULTURE
to absorb extra carbon is reducing, due to the fact that exceedingly high concentrations of this chemical in the
What’s going on with What happened so far? RESPECT TO 200
water cause an acidification reaction which kills micro organisms responsible for its absorption capacity. the carbon cycle? SURFACE WATERS VEGETATION 700
adapted from IPCC 2009 Report
adapted from “Sustainable Energy - +2° UNAVOIDABLE
What happens when carbon dioxide can’t be re-assorbed in the atmosphere is that heat waves can’t be without the hot air” MacKay
transmitted toward space and instead bounce back to earth, warming up air and surfaces. FROM
8.4 TO 26 A
This process and its consequences have been researched and documented by various sources ever since SOILS 3 000 YEAR
the 1960s (Wikipedia, 2013). Measurements and data have improved the predictions, and the use of simulating
softwares has given very precise scenarios. Within the 21st century, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change predicts a global warming of the average temperature in the range of 1.4°C to 5.8°C. Impacts of this
change will affect human health, water resources and accessibility, biodiversity and extreme weather events. FUELS 1 600
What is essential to know is that such increase in average temperature is something that has never occurred
since the development of civilization, and will surely affect the supply of goods and services on a planetary
scale. In the most recent IPCC Report, it is stated that “there is high confidence that neither adaptation nor
mitigation alone can avoid all climate change impacts. Adaptation is necessary both in the short term and longer
Why should we care? A WHOLE ROW OF
term to address impacts resulting from the warming that would occur even for the lowest stabilisation scenarios OCEANS 40 000
assessed. There are barriers, limits and costs that are not fully understood.”

Today we have a better understanding of our impact on the planet and alternative, advanced technologies.
Unfortunately, we also have evidence that it is very late to stop polluting, and an overwhelming amount of bu-
reaucratic and economic barriers towards starting to do so.

On the left, a map of the Netherlands shows monitored changes in temperatures during the last decades.
On the next page, a graphic summary of the research on climate change. The diagrams show the carbon Who proves the ICE CARROTS PHYSICAL PROPERTIES What is the future of EMISSION CAPTURING AND
cycle with indicative amounts and carbon emission shares by source as a percentage. The figures indicate
CO2 emissions? TAXES STORAGE
sources of informations for the measurements that form the base for predictions of future scenarios based on AIR QUALITY
historical data and laboratory tests, the fact that consequences will affect biodiversity and basic resources such warming effect?
as food and water, and the future of carbon emissions, taxation and capturing and storage.

Taxation is difficult to implement for many reasons, for example, it is seen as unfair to apply taxes on emerging
markets for reasons that are mainly responsibility of first world countries, also, if a global taxation system is not
Average yearly temperature in the Netherlands 1951-1980 and 1981-2010.
equally implemented on a planetary scale, some economies may profit from their exemption and even attract
source: De Bosatlas van het klimaat, 2011. p.26

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Depletion of fossil fuels
In 1796 James Watt patented his steam engine, inaugurating the Industrial Revolution. Steam engines made
possible worldwide transport, which boosted unprecedented possibilities for commerce and therefore massive
production, powered in turn by the same technology. The rules of demand and supply where thus both depend-
World total 10 000
ing on coal, the first fossil fuel used by humanity (wood is not regarded as a fossil fuel but a renewable source).
Economy regulates growth, and in turn, policies. Ever since fossil fuels started to be the basis of our economy, CHEAP CONSUMPTION
8 000
they have been extracted from the soil at an increasingly fast rate, the worldwide production of coal doubled FOSSIL 1971 - 2010
every 20 years during the whole 20th century (MacKay, 2009). by fuel (Mtoe) 6 000
The fact that the market for fossil fuels and the rate of production of goods promoted each other means that Source: IEA 2012 Key
World Energy Statistics
constantly new consumers have to be found in order to absorb the supply and secure constant growth. Be- 4 000
cause of this worldwide producers developed marketing strategies aimed to convince the public to consume as Why does economy
much as possible: first world countries became the consumer society and the role model to aim to. play a substantial role? 2 000

Architecture has also been affected by the needs of the consumer society. With the availability of cheap Topic 3 Climate change and its impacts in the near and long term under different scenarios CREATION OF A 1971 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010
energy supplied by monopolies, designers have been required to plan very inexpensive buildings that had to be Coal/peat Oil Natural gas
constructed very fast because of industrialisation-related urbanisation. Vernacular wisdom and the use of local Examples of impacts associated with global average temperature change Biofuels and waste* Electricity Other**
resources have been abandoned because of economic reasons. Modernism has sold the idea that “form ever (Impacts will vary by extent of adaptation, rate of temperature change and socio-economic pathway) GOODS FRODUCTION
follows function” (Sullivan, 1896), but this function doesn’t seem to follow climatic or environmental rules, the
way that would make them thermally comfortable and energy efficient. Global average annual temperature change relative to 1980-1999 (°C)
World total primary 14 000
0 1 2 3 4 5 °C
Nevertheless, things are changing, as usual, thanks to economical reasons. Apart from the fact that the health Increased water availability in moist tropics and high latitudes WGII 3.4.1, 3.4.3 THE CONSUMER 1971 - 2010 10 000
of the planet is compromised, there is scientific evidence and agreement on the fact that fossil fuels are not only SOCIETY by fuel (Mtoe)
WATER Decreasing water availability and increasing drought in mid-latitudes and semi-arid low latitudes 3.ES, 3.4.1, 3.4.3 8 000
nocive, but also running low. provides a chart of how many years of fossil fuels remain for Source: IEA 2012 Key World
3.5.1, T3.3, 20.6.2,
each country, based on reserves-to-production (R/P) ratio. The ratio is an estimate of the length of time that Hundreds of millions of people exposed to increased water stress
Energy Statistics 6 000
the reserves would last if production continued at that rate. The chart for 2010 shows only three countries in 4 000
the world whose oil reserves would last more than 100 years. But will production continue at the same rate? Up to 30% of species at Significant† extinctions 4.ES, 4.4.11
increasing risk of extinction around the globe GLOBALIZATION, OR 2 000
Historically not, world production has been growing regularly, and in 2013 has risen again by 2,2%, according T4.1, F4.4, B4.4, RISE OF NEW
Increased coral bleaching Most corals bleached Widespread coral mortality 6.4.1, 6.6.5, B6.1
to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2013. With developing countries like India and Brazil projected to ECONOMIES 0
1971 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010
4.ES, T4.1, F4.2,
achieve life standards similar to those of Europe and America for their population, if we keep basing our produc- ECOSYSTEMS Terrestrial biosphere tends toward a net carbon source as:
~15% ~40% of ecosystems affected
tion on oil the projected growth of production will have to increase even more. Always according to BP’s annual 4.2.2, 4.4.1, 4.4.4, Coal/peat Oil Natural gas Nuclear
Increasing species range shifts and wildfire risk 4.4.5, 4.4.6, 4.4.10,
review, consumption is already higher than production. Oil reserves may become economically unfeasible within B4.5 Hydro Biofuels and waste Other*
a generation, even though new technologies for extraction such as fracking could offer different scenarios. Coal Ecosystem changes due to weakening of the meridional
overturning circulation
is currently too polluting, and natural gas, while still emitting GHG, would have to be extracted in much higher
volumes, and much faster, to become the leading fossil fuel. Complex, localised negative impacts on small holders, subsistence farmers and fishers 5.ES, 5.4.7
Tendencies for cereal productivity Productivity of all cereals 5.ES, 5.4.2, F5.2
Moreover, international relationships may become increasingly delicate if first-world comfort standards keep FOOD to decrease in low latitudes decreases in low latitudes

basing their energy sources on the fossil fuels reserves of few other countries. In order to lessen the possibility Tendencies for some cereal productivity
to increase at mid- to high latitudes
Cereal productivity to 5.ES, 5.4.2, F5.2
decrease in some regions
of extreme political actions or even conflicts, countries should invest on local, renewable sources. Shared poli-
cies on sustainability and international collaboration will be essential if a global energy crisis has to be avoided. Increased damage from floods and storms 6.ES, 6.3.2, 6.4.1, How is humanity going to 14 000 How do we produce the Oil reserves are running out, oil price is rising because of demand. Future emission
The cost of climate change will probably affect governments in the next decades. Ageing population will be About 30% of
global coastal
cover its huge needs? 12 000
future % of renewables?
taxes will make it even more expensive.
more vulnerable to extreme temperatures and floods may affect living areas causing expensive damage. COASTS wetlands lost ‡ 10 000 How do we offset fossil
Also, since fossil fuels are currently in the hands of few producers and distributors, widespread energy genera- Millions more people could experience T6.6, F6.8, TS.B5 8 000
fuels? Natural gas and coal can’t take over oil’s share. They are too polluting and future
coastal flooding each year
tion could create new possibilities for the growth of markets and sources of profits. emission taxes will make them sensibily more expensive.
8.ES, 8.4.1, 8.7, 6 000
Increasing burden from malnutrition, diarrhoeal, cardio-respiratory and infectious diseases T8.2, T8.4
8.ES, 8.2.2, 8.2.3, 4 000 ALL (?) COUNTRIES WILL NEED MORE ENERGY.
Increased morbidity and mortality from heat waves, floods and droughts 8.4.1, 8.4.2, 8.7,
HEALTH T8.3, F8.3 2 000
Changed distribution of some disease vectors 8.ES, 8.2.8, 8.7, THE TIME TO INVEST IN RENEWABLE ENERGIES IS NOW.
B8.4 0
Substantial burden on health services 2005 2010 2015 2020
0 1 2 3 4 5 °C
In this page, examples of impacts by rate of temperature change. † Significant is defined here as more than 40%. ‡ Based on average rate of sea level rise of 4.2mm/year from 2000 to 2080.
In the next page, a graphic summary of the concepts of energy supply and consumption, and a projection of
global future needs.
source: IPCC, 2011. Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. p.51
Warming by 2090-2099 relative to 1980-1999 for non-mitigation scenarios
10 11
Energy efficiency report
1.2 What does Zero Energy mean
Smart energy grids RENEWABLES
In the Netherlands, power is mostly generated using natural gas, due to 1959 discovery in Groningen of the INTERNATIONAL
largest natural gas field in Europe. The growth in consumption and the mix of resources can be seen in the CONNECTIONS

graph on lower right. Carbon dioxide emission per capita are among the highest in Europe, mainly because of
the large refining and chemical industries, while the rate of electricity transmission and distribution losses are at
4%, among the best performing European countries (Enerdata, 2009).
1.3. Energy efficiency and CO 2 trends: large fall in CO 2 directly, or buy green certificates. Since 2002, the green certifi-
An efficient strategy, which is being implemented in many intensity
countries, isthanks to fuel substitutions
that of diversifying energy sources. cates can be used to buy electricity produced from renewables
Renewable sources are of different kinds, but currently they Total
all need very big
energy portions of land
consumption in unit
per orderof
deliver(primary energy abroad. However, the new law on renewables specifies that in
amounts of energy which come even close to present needs. The efficiency of their generation and harvesting
intensity), measured at purchasing
is under research to become more effective, yielding more power per unit and/or surface area. Furthermore,
power parity, is only slightly order to qualify for government aid, the “green” electricity must DAMS
higher than the EU average (by
renewable energy sources are widespread and intermittent, which means they are not always available and8 percent). be produced in the Netherlands.
therefore their storage has to be planned.
In the next page, a table taken from MacKay’s book gives an impression of the ratio land to power generated
Primary energy intensity decreased at a slower pace than in the 2.2. Power generation trends by source: thermal sources
by source, and the estimated energy demand for Europe in 2050.
Smart energy grids are a possible solution for the future ofEU as a whole:
distribution 1.2ofpercent/year
and use compared with 1.7 percent/
energy. It is a fascinating dominate power generation
year for delivery
concept, but requires a huge monetary investment and a consistent the EUtime.
Much of 1990 and 2009.
the current infra- Final energy con- Thermal sources represent 85 percent of power generation.
structure will have to be replaced. sumption per unit of GDP (final intensity) decreased at a faster The share of natural gas in electricity production is growing
A smart grid is a network of energy supply that uses controls andthan primary
sensors energypower
to distribute intensity. That trend, which was even
as needed. rapidly and in 2009 represented about 60 percent of the overall
In the next page a graphic diagram based on the book “De more Bosatlas noticeable between
van de Energie“ 2000this
illustrates and 2009, reflects increased
concept. production (50 percent in 1990). The share of coal-fired elec-
Energy is produced from a series of renewable sources, placed losses within
in the country,
energy which could comprehend but
conversion. tricity production decreased from 40 percent in 1990 to 25 NATIONAL
not be limited to: wind farms on-and off-shore, tidal pools and streams, wave power, PV panels, hydroelectric SMART GRID
percent in 2009. As a result, CO 2-free sources play a marginal
facilities, crops for combustion and biofuels, and international connections to foreign clean energy suppliers, the
most common example of which is concentrating solar power emissions
COin2 deserts. per unitofof
Generation GDPenergy
nuclear (CO 2 intensity)
is an decreased faster role in electricity generation and in 2009 made up just 15
interesting possibility, but still controversial. than total energy intensity over the period 1990-2009 due to percent of total generation (6 percent for biomass, 5 percent
The energy which enters the grid goes to power the industry, services such as transport, and small consum-
substitutions of coal by biomass in the primary energy mix. for nuclear and 4 percent for wind energy).
ers, while the excesses will be stored in dams. Dams will be able to cover peak power demands or lulls in the
supply system by generating hydroelectric energy. The industryFuelwill substitutions
have a dedicatedexplain
supply about 30emergency
pipe for percent of the CO 2 intensity
situations, for example in the case that the normal grid is notreduction between
fully functional, 1990
or under and 2009.
Small consumers will have an own small scale smart grid, for example for urban areas, which will exchange Figure 5: Power generation by source
energy two ways with the nation-wide grid. The smaller smart grids will perform as a down-scaled version of CONSUMERS
the national network, they will have energy inputs from localFigure
generation such as
4: Energy and PVCOpanels on roofs
2 intensity and other
trends 120
micro-renewables, and storage systems, for example through reserve electric car batteries. Stored power will
1990 -in
2009 Source: “Sustainable Energy - without the hot air” MacKay
be redistributed by the grid if necessary, smart house appliances will be programmed order to switch on or 2000 - 2009 100
recharge batteries during times in which supply is available.
Urban areas will be planned in order to make use of waste energy -0.2% flows, such as Combined Heat and Power ESTIMATED ENERGY DEMAND FOR EUROPE IN 2050 :
80 Other*
from greenhouses or heat cascading, in which waste heat from-0.4% industrial processes is conveyed to houses.
4 900 tWh (10 )
Source: Bosatlas van het Energie, 2012

-0.6% Nuclear
Together with Zero Energy buildings and urban energy saving strategies such as better transport and heat dis-
tribution, smart grids could contribute to a drastically more sustainable
-0.8% and equal world, in which clean energy Gas

is produced as it is locally available, created as an unique mix for each
country, instead of being largely imported Oil
and cause of, among others, international political and economical frictions. 20
-1.2% Coal -Lignite


-1.6% 1990 2000 2009

-1.8% *Including biomass, geothermal and solar

-2.0% adapted from: H. Leenaers, M. Camarasa, 2012. De Bosatlas van de Energie.

Primary energy intensity Source: Enerdata
Final energy intensity
CO2 intensity
Source: Enerdata 12 13
2.3. Efficiency of the power sector: sharp drop in the CO 2
Net Zero Energy buildings egory are subject to market’s price changes and their performance of efficiency are therefore difficult to evaluate.

Different ways to define and label a building of this category reflect various approaches to the same problem. Net Off-Site Zero Energy Use buildings use only renewable energies to operate, as generated both on and off- 1 AVOID ENERGY DEMAND
The difference lays in their design and operational goals, the shared aspects are the attention to the flows of site. This implies an urban, regional or national scaled network of emissions-free energy supply in order to cover
energy, towards the complete avoidance of the use of fossil fuels and related GHG emissions. needs when on-site renewables can’t provide enough power, such as the smart grid will be. A building in this
Neutrality means that the final sum of factors defined as adding and that of factors defined as subtracting will category would be disconnected from the public grid supplying fossil-fuels generated electricity. Benchmark strategies
have to balance out at the end of the observed period, usually one year.
top downSTREAMS
An Energy Autarkic House, or Off-the Grid, is a building which generates and uses its own energy at all times. whole buiilding certifications
∑ (adding factors) - ∑ (subtracting factors) / ∆ time = 0 An example of this category are Earthouses, mostly built in warm climates, which make use of a combination of
small scaled electricity and thermal energy sources such as PV cells and biomass, integrated with passive sys-
Different indicators can be compared using a common measurement unit, categories of energy neutral build- tems. Off the Grid houses are a charming and effective solution, but they need a larger area of land per person
ings are characterized by the unit set for evaluation. The reason to measure one year of operation is to allow for to generate their power and can’t be implemented on a urban scale. They also need storing facilities which, if 3 PRODUCE SUSTAINABLE
seasonal fluctuation and to re-assorb peak uses. The importance of using as little energy as possible is therefore not properly sized, may lead to excessive costs or shortages of energy during peaks. They don’t contribute their ENERGY
clear, the building will have to balance out a smaller amount. energy to the network and can’t profit in a well planned exchange of green energy production and consumption end sideways
On this page, a diagram illustrating different typologies. between users. use base case
Zero Net Site Energy Use indicates a building for which the subtracting factors are the use of energy sources, Zero Net Site Energy Use Zero Net Source Energy Use Net Zero Energy Emissions Net Zero Energy Buildings are the most common and certified typology. These projects even out purchased CLEAN AND EFFICIENTLY
usually electricity and natural gas, as measured on the consumption bill or on the electricity meter, and ex- energy from the grid with on-site and off-site renewable generated energy. They contribute with excess energy,
pressed in kWh. The adding factors are kWh generated by renewable sources harvested within the building’s selling clean power in excess, and don’t need excessively big storage facilities. These buildings are designed in
physical boundaries. It is a standard used in the U.S. and may indicate for example a building which generates order to minimize the need for energy and actively contribute to the future’s smart energy grid. bottom up
all its energy from PV panels placed on its roof. It is possible and necessary to build only ZEB from today on, the way to go is a professional and motivated Diagram of Van densubmetered data New Steps
team,a client with sufficient information to understand the challenges of the project and competitive market op- Strategy.
Zero Net Source Energy Use indicates a similar case, where the renewable energy generated has to balance portunities for the industry working on sustainable technologies. source: H. Pötz and P. Bleuze, 2012. Urban
out not just the energy as expressed on the electricity meter, but that as accounted for when leaving the plant, W W The figure on top right is a diagrammatic summary of Van den Dobbelsteen’s New Steps Strategy, which can green-blue grids for sustainable and dynamic cities.
therefore calculating production and transport losses. These are an important coefficient in the efficiency of a be applied on the built environment on different scales, from nation-wide to local to single buildings. Simulta- Published by Coop for life
country’s energy bill, and they are measured as national averages. According to “De Bosatlas van de Energie”, neous adoption of this strategy on different scales exponentially raises its efficacy. The main point is that the
during the generation of electricity 56% of the input energy is lost in cooling towers at the plant, 2% is the share time for fossil fuels is over, their use should be avoided entirely in order to fully switch to a sustainable, efficient
used by the plant to operate, 2% is lost during transport. Only 40% of the energy is available for direct use, this employment of resources based on the concepts of natural balance.
means the Source Energy Factor is 2.5. In this category the power generated on site through renewables has to The figure on bottom right is a diagrammatic summary of a Net Zero Energy Building and its main indicators. Net Zero Energy Building
be bigger than the power consumed by the building, to compensate for the efficiency of the supply system.
W=W W>W W = CO2 use + CO2 construction
For Net Zero Energy Emissions buildings the unit of the equation is tons of CO2 or CO2-equivalents (which + embodied energy non renewable renewable
means converting all greenhouse gases emissions into the amount of CO2 which would cause an equivalent U.S. standard } oil W W water
also Zero Carbon Buildings or
warming effect). This category balances out tons of CO2 emitted through use, and in some cases construction Zero Emissions Buildings GHG natural gas geothermal
coal biomass
and embodied energy, with the generation or purchase of emissions-free renewable energy. To determine the
nuclear (uranium) wind
quantity of emissions, a carbon emission factor must be applied to the site energy use for each energy source solar
or fuel used. Schiphol Airport has adopted this strategy by investing in its CO2 neutrality. According to their
Annual Report, their gross CO2 emissions amounted to 112,830 tonnes in 2012, as calculated applying emis- Net Zero Cost Net Off-Site Zero Energy Use Off the Grid Net Zero Energy Building W=W
sion factors based on those of the Foundation for Climate Friendly Procurement and Business (SKAO). These
Site Energy [kWh]
emissions have been “neutralized” by means of purchase of Norwegian hydropower, and Certified Emission total energy used, from all energy sources, as
Reduction (CER) rights obtained through projects that are part of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). measured on site (electricity meter or utility bill)
The chosen project creates wind energy in China.
Source Energy [kWh]
This corporate strategy has evident advantages, it creates a better image and gives a motivating example as a
total energy used, from all energy sources, as measured
public building without the need of too big or expensive renovations in order to change their own consumption. $ W at the power plant (includes transport losses)
The fact that a greener image is appealing to business seems to be supported by international commissions site energy x source energy factor
who are awarding sustainable behaviours, for example the Airport Carbon Accreditation assigned by the Airport 1.04 for T&D electricity in the NL (Enerdata, 2011)
Council International, or the worldwide LEED accreditations. Purchasing certificates may look more feasible to W W W Coefficient Of Performance
some businesses, who could otherwise postpone their sustainable strategies, it also supplies green energy on $ W ratio of energy out to energy in
the market, influencing positively its share in the economy, and provides motivating informations on the genera-
Energy Use Intensity [kWh/m²]
tion of green energy to the purchasing group.On the other hand, it may be seen as an easy way out which frees total annual building energy use by gross building area,
from the need of own responsibilities towards the environment and within one own’s context. indicator of buildings performance, comparison tool for
$=$ 100%W W=W W=W projects with similar use in the same climate area
Net Zero Cost uses currency to quantify the offset of renewables against fossil-fuel generated energy. A quick 108 for the NL, 100 for EU average (Enerdata, 2011)
also Energy most regulated and
internet search can provide informations about the fact that the cost of renewables has been generally falling, Autarkic House used typology
while fossil fuel’s prices are constantly rising, green energy is becoming more competitive. Buildings in this cat- ENERGY USED = ENERGY PRODUCED

14 15
tangible today, essential for the future

Planning a Net Zero Energy Building Planning for energy neutrality comprehends an exploration stage and a design stage, which can be further
divided into three phases: avoid energy demand, reuse energy flows, and generate energy from renewables.
New standards make use of passive strategies learned through architectural history, current ideas about de- Why are ZEB currently difficult to implement? The diagram on the right presents all steps towards the materialization of the project, first, energy consump- EXPLORATION
sign and best of state-of-the-art technology. Future buildings will connect to the living world more than they do passive energy efficient renewable
tion has to be estimated and a target has to be set, then the site has to be analysed and its resources evalu-

design building systems energy CREATE AN ENERGY BASELINE
today, they will contribute to the homeostasis of the planet. ated, then massing and geometry are developed during space planning and thermal zoning, after which the
cost and schedule are usually drivers
Buildings need to be planned for durability and preservation, which implies simple, clean details, easy main- Net Zero Energy
for program, design and operation failure to live up to performance potential building’s skin is addressed under the aspects of superinsulated envelope and strategic porosity like doors and
Set peer building benchmark
tenance, flexible spaces and a beautiful aging. They will be based on occupancy and climate, and therefore project = loss of time and money
use and windows, active system’s efficiency is addressed, occupancy aspects like plug loads, sensors and controls are

be more healthy. Costs will be cut down with design solutions that address multiple problems at once while building owners don’t know how to occupancy managed and finally the resulting consumption is covered with the integration of renewable energy generation.
& delivery
significantly cutting building loads, such as the strategic use of thermal mass, shadings and active systems like define performance requirements It is important to mention that although these steps are presented as subsequent, they can and have to be
PV panels as roofing material. NZEBs are a marketable and economically exploitable solution, what is lacked taken in consideration as a whole at all times. They can also be developed independently or at different mo-
today is only the collective imagination, while the support of the industry is uneven and inconstant but steadily ments depending on informations available or priorities, which are own of each project. The design process can Set peer building benchmark
increasing. Even though a cultural shift may be unavoidable, such as more awareness and commitment for the adjust decisions as it goes according to the feedback from interdependent aspects of the design.
user, moving from fossil fuels will reward with a big potential for the growth of economies through sustainable
Net non renewable energy sources may be used, but over the course of there are multiple options to achieve net zero buildings, the base is
a year they have to be balanced out by renewable generated energy the use of synergies, balancing out energy and thermal loads

technologic innovation. In the next pages each step will be briefly described in order to define the elements and strategies which will Avoid energy demand


1. Avoid energy demand


be used to develop each aspect.


Zero Energy does not mean it doesn’t use energy, the building can have a full cost is effectively cut down with design solutions that address

NZEBs should be the approach to all built environment, all building typologies. Such buildings are currently

program demand. take care of occupational performance variables multiple problems at once, significantly cutting building loads

difficult to implement because of the correlated effect of cost and schedule usually being drivers for program,



design and operation, and building owners being unfamiliar with how to define performance requirements. This

leads to misunderstandings until the point in which, due to poor communication or resources made available,
Building design + one year operation, evaluationcost

milestones for the energy worldwide building stock has a potential for application, what we

Set peer building benchmark


the project fails to live up to its potential and money and time is lost in after-built solutions (which in turn are model as-designed and as-built, active occupancy lack is the collecive imagination, a cultural shift is needed

asked to be even cheaper and faster). Benchmark strategies peer building
Avoid energybenchmark
Planning and delivering a Zero Energy building implies an owner’s commitment and contractual top down responsibili- conventional integrated
If a building cannot achieve zero energy, it may be possible to
ties which may be different from the current standards. Thomas Hootman in his book Net whole Zero Energy
buiilding Design
certifications achieve it on a community scale. The global water cycle works this
way. A closed loop system may appear as linear in/out when
speaks of “front-load design”, meaning that “integrated design requires an innovative and iterative process
that invests design effort up front in order to derive cost-effective and integrated solutions”, or, more accurate benefits economic greater market value, lower life-cycle cost
examined on a small scale.
concepts aesthetic durable, focuses on preservation
2. Reuse waste flows
planning will lead to shorter delivery time and avoidance of time-consuming patching up in case of problems.
Designers of NZEBs are challenged from the beginning of the conceptual phase to address many aspects of social enhanced quality of life healthy based on occupants use and climate
the construction at once, but simulating softwares are of primary help in this and together withend a competent sideways

1. Avoid energy demand

team this can make it possible to deliver a project which balances out cost, schedule, quality and performance base environmental
dramatic reduction of GHG emissions
VS options

towards the best possible solution.
Reuse wastedemand

Planning, though, is just the first stage, while operation is the real objective, it’s where carbon emissions are STRATEGIC POROSITY energy
cut and real savings in costs will be experienced. This stresses out the need for a positive and active relationship
bottom up
with the client and final users, they need to be involved in the challenge of achieving energy neutrality.
data Energy
tangible today, essential for the future
3. Generate renewable energy
built environment
modeling with softwares can give very different result than the ones measured as-built, for example because of
the personal use of plugs on offices, which can raise the energy consumption of a project beyond the planned
target. Reuse waste flows
Why are ZEB currently difficult to implement?
On the right, graphic visualisation of basic concepts about ZEBs: the elements involved on both sides of the
2. Reuse waste flows
equation towards neutrality, conventional planning process against integrated planning process, and the way to cost and schedule are usually drivers
envision buildings as closed cycles within the bigger cycle of the built environment with
Net Zero they Building
Energy exchange for program, design and operation single
buildingfailure to live up to performance potential 3. Generate
2. Reuserenewable energy
waste flows
= loss of time and money
non renewable renewable building owners don’t know how to
} oil W W water define performance requirements
GHG natural gas geothermal
coal biomass
nuclear (uranium) wind

Site Energy [kWh] weather user 3. Generate renewable energy

3. Generate renewable

total energy used, from all energy sources, as patterns

Generate renewable

measured on site (electricity meter or utility bill)



Source Energy [kWh]

total energy used, from all energy sources, as measured

at the power plant (includes transport losses) energy


site energy x source energy factor
1.04 for T&D electricity in the NL (Enerdata, 2011)


Coefficient Of Performance


ratio of energy out to energy in

Energy Use Intensity [kWh/m²] 16 17
total annual building energy use by gross building area,
indicator of buildings performance, comparison tool for conventional integrated
DESIGN SPACE PLANNING, Avoid energy demand
Energy baseline Massing, geometry and thermal zoning THERMAL ZONING
The first thing I will do is to define fundamental aspects about building volume, its programme, and its Energy
CREATE AN ENERGY BASELINE The design phase starts with space planning, which takes in consideration size, shape and aesthetic vision
Avoid energy dem
Use Intensity (EUI). The target is to establish the lowest feasible energy consumption for the project, where while giving priority to sustainable program guidelines such as avoid building more than is needed, plan spaces - massing, wall to floor
- volume
feasible is understood as possible within the budget. According to Hootman (2011), a Zero Energy Building is fi- with multiple purposes, adaptable, and expandable to future changes. - orientation
- massing, wall to floor
- program / occupancy
nancially profitable when its EUI is cut by 40-60% respect to the average building of the same typology. In order - enhanced microclimate
- orientation
- Energy Use Intensity
to calculate this, we need a baseline created from the energy consumption values of peer buildings. [kWh/m2/year] Informations on the prevalent weather collected during the site inventory phase will give a general idea about - enhanced microclimate
During this stage of the exploration it is also useful to divide energy by end use, in order to set targets for the impact of heating and cooling on energy consumption. The choice of passive strategies is made based on
power densities, and start thinking about the program that has to take place in the building. the need for the artificial creation of a warming or cooling microclimate within the building’s boundary, which
aims to lower these impacts. Examples of how to create a cooling microclimate are solar shade, cooling breez- 1 Decide on the creation of microclimate(s): In the Netherlands, energy use is much more impacted by
1 Decide on the creation of microclimate(s):
Site Inventory es, the use of water and evaporative cooling from vegetation or surfaces. Examples of a warming microclimate
The goal is to establish the lowest feasible energy use budget for a project. In the Netherlands, energy useheating
is muchthan
cooling. by
The second and last step of the exploration is the documentation of site and climate. The different manifesta-
EXPLORATION CREATE A SITE INVENTARY are through solar access and absorption, and wind protection. Knowing which of these strategies will need to
solar shade heating than by cooling.

- boundaries be implemented from early on in the design stage helps against the “snowball effect”, in which changes lead to
tions of climate are caused by energy present in the environment at all times in different forms, this energy is EXPLORATION CREATE - topography,
- boundaries
Benchmark geology
strategies greater damage as they roll down the (project’s) path. solar shade
solar reflectance
free and can be used to passively temperate a building, thus mitigating its thermal loads. In order to do so it - sorroundings,
- topography, geologygeography cooling
is important to understand the opportunities presented by local climate and weather. According to Wikipedia, topdata
- climate down
- boundaries set NREL target for average office in CLimate Zone 4A = 78 kWh/m2
solar reflectance
cooling breezes
- sorroundings, geography Orientation is usually selected to satisfy the view and conform to boundaries, but it affects climate greatly by microclimate Schiphol: Cooling Degree Days 2009-2013 base temp.20°-22°
weather is defined as “the predominant conditions of a place averaged over a long period of time”. Seasonal whole- topography,
building certifications
- climate data set geology Passivhaus = 120 kWh/m2 cooling breezes cooling
water and evapotranspira-
summary diagrams give thus a good overview of the potentials for the planning of passive strategies and about - sorroundings, geography
way of solar and wind access. Sunlight warms and lowers the need for artificial lighting, while wind can be used tion from vegetation microclimate Schiphol: Cooling Degree Days 2009-2013 base=temp.20°-22°
60 - 30
the presence of resources for energy generation. Climate data can be elaborated using a weather file, which - climate data set
in cross- or stack ventilation systems. Ratios such as wall to floor and surface to volume play a fundamental role water and evapotranspira- = 60 - 30

in the energy consumption: more surface exposed may mean more opportunity to temperate indoor climate, but tion from vegetation
can be read by dedicated softwares and used to plot charts and diagrams of useful informations. The important
also more aggressions to mitigate. solar access
indicators are temperature, humidity, wind, ground temperature, solar radiation and its geometry, sky cover and
illumination, and psychrometric charts. These data and their elaboration will define the best orientation for the Massing and geometry have been consciously selected since architecture’s dawn in order to achieve a more solar access
solar absorption warming
For a top-performing airport terminal (NL) Heating Degree Days 2009-2013 base temp.16,5°
building and the choice of passive strategies to be implemented. comfortable indoor environment, examples of it are countless in architectural history. In hot climates, such as in microclimate
end solar absorption
Climate = free
use energy!
sideways calculated with Energystar Target FInder
Weather = predominand conditions of a place 2 the Arabic countries, traditional architecture presents windcatchers, towers or chimneys built directly above the
wind protection Heating Degree Days 2009-2013 base=temp.16,5°
The rest of the site inventory documents aspects of the location regarding size and configuration, resources base case = 135 kWh/m microclimate
and constrains such as existing buildings, connections to the transport network and aspects of the standard Climate = free energy! VS options Weather = averaged
predominand overconditions
a long period of aofplace
time main space that create a pressure change which moves the air, ventilating the room and lowering the tempera- wind protection = 2484
distribution of energy. averaged over a long period of time
ZEBs have to reach a reduction in energy
ture. In Greece and southern Italy many houses have an open patio in front of the entrance, which blocks the 2 Massing and geometry
Climate = free energy! Weather = predominand conditions of a place sun from directly hitting the house and pre-cools the air thanks to the shadowy space. Generally, studying local
In this phase it is important to determine if elements located on site can modify its microclimate, for example demand of 40-60% in order to be economi-
averaged over a long period of time traditional architecture gives useful inputs for the integration of passive strategies to lower energy consumption.
2 Massing
orientation: climate, view, boundaries, access,
and geometry
topography, other existing features
through the presence of bodies of water, or if wind movements and solar access are affected by existing artificial take advantage of Netherland: Koeppencally profitable 81cool
= Cfb, kWh/m 2
orientation: climate, view, boundaries, access,
bottom up Geiger classification marine.
A more modern example is that of some European capital cities, such as Berlin, where letter shaped buildings
or natural elements. Such configurations, which are unique to each location, can offer potentials and constrains passively mitigate Recommended: solar shading, natural ventilation, solar heating. topography, other existing features
submetered data free energy
take advantage of from Netherland: Koeppen Geiger classification Cfb, cool marine.
which averaged data will not display. passivelythermal
mitigateloads climate
protect inner courtyards and inner facing rooms from cold winds, which in winter can sensibly raise the need for wall to floor, surface to volume
free energy from&site Recommended: solar shading, natural ventilation, solar heating.
thermal loads heating. wall to floor, surface to volume
&siteadvantage of Netherland: Koeppen Geiger classification Cfb, cool marine.
passively mitigate Recommended: solar shading, natural ventilation, solar heating.
free energy from
thermal loads Another aspect to consider in this section is thermal zoning, which is the natural range of temperatures that
climate &site 81 000 W per hour per m2 / 20 W/m2
2 Fast calculation for solar energy yield, adjust target if needed. x 2(night time) arise within a building because of the effect of outdoor climate acting on its skin. The corridor of space running
x 4(when not performing at peak power) along the exterior wall of the building has a more extreme temperature than the interior area, generally hotter to
= 32 400 m2 the south-west and cooler to the north, because of the sun’s incidence. The different zones can be positively
1 Use weather data file (.epw) to plot charts of: exploited by coupling ranges of thermal conditions with desired temperature for the building’s program. North
1 Use weather data file (.epw) to plot charts of: facing spaces can for example be coupled with low-occupancy functions such as storage, or functions that Letter shaped, i.e. Berlin, natural ventilation, Hot climates, passive pre-cool of air
need cooling, such as kitchens and data centres. inner protected courtyard through shading, windcatcher
1 Use weather data file (.epw) totemperature
plot charts of:
Letter shaped, i.e. Berlin, natural ventilation,
inner protected courtyard
Hot climates, passive pre-cool of air
through shading, windcatcher
humidity 3 Thermal zoning

{ {{
humidity wind
ground temperature
temperature seasonal 3 Thermal
building program: desired range of thermal conditions, loads based on use
wind building program: desired range of thermal conditions, loads basedinterior:
on usemore
3 Divide energy byground
end use, solar radiation
temperature humidity
power summary
(budget) for each use.
diagrams stable temp.
solar geometry
solar radiation wind summary ext. North: interior:
enclosed more
solar geometrysky cover
temperature diagramsseasonal data centers, stable temp.
ext. North:
sky cover radiation summary kitchens
data centers, light enclosed
diagrams courtyards,
solar geometry
illumination kitchens light wells
sky cover Commercial Building Energy End-use, 2006
illumination morning daylight
atrium ,sunspace
Source: T. Hootman, “Net Zero Energy Design.” morning daylight
2 Locate adjacent buildings, conventional energy sources, utilities. atrium ,sunspace
2 Locate adjacent buildings, conventional energy sources, utilities.
Do adjacent bodies of water impact the site’s microclimate?
evening daylight
ext. East/West: buffer temp.
2Do Do adjacent bodies impact wind movement?
Locate adjacent
adjacent bodies buildings,
of water impact theconventional energy sources, utilities.
site’s microclimate?
Do adjacent bodies impact wind movement?
evening daylight
ext. East/West: buffer temp.
Do adjacent bodies of water impact the site’s microclimate?
Do adjacent bodies impact wind movement?
ext. South: sunroom with thermal mass
provide against overheating
direct/ South:daylight,
with thermal mass
18 19 provide against overheating
direct/ diffuse daylight, shading
Active systems
Avoid energy demand
Envelope Once scenarios for peak heat-gain and loss are calculated, active systems have to be planned in order to - occupants
The building’s envelope is the barrier between outdoor and indoor environment, it has to protect from the - transmissions cover the remaining need for raising or lowering the temperature to reach the desired comfortable range, and - lighting
elements while offering the best comfort possible. With the goal of lowering energy consumption in mind, it is - solar radiation other comfort factors. During this phase, low-energy systems have to be researched and elaborated according - equipment
important to know how much active systems will have to compensate for after passive strategies have been - internal heat gain to the characteristics of project and site. Active systems for neutral energy buildings can be completely based
applied. This can be found out by calculating peak load situations for heat gain and heat loss. The indicators for on electricity, they can make use of fuels for on-site combustion for heating, or, if they employ fuels from the
this calculation are transmission, solar radiation, infiltration, ventilation and internal heat gain, of which only for standard distribution grid, they have to be net exporter of renewable energy in order to maintain their Net Zero
the last one does the envelope’s performance not play a fundamental role. balance. The important aspect here is that each transformation of energy loses some and lowers the overall transmission + solar radiation + infiltration + ventilation + internal heat gain = peak load for heat gain or heat loss [kWh/m2]
transmission + solar radiation + infiltration + ventilation + internal heat gain = peak load for heat gain or heat loss [kWh/m2] efficiency of the system. Generating electricity on site is much more efficient, as it is using direct current instead
Transmission is the rate at which a building loses heat or warms up through its wall assembly, and is ex- of alternate.
pressed by the U-value [kWh/m2K]. Strategies for a good U-value, which is the lowest possible, are to super- DESIGN MANAGE PLUG LOADS occupants + lighting + equipment Reuse waste flows
insulate or use thermal mass, depending on temperature swings. Thermal mass performs better whit higher Lighting has to be designed as a complement to daylight. The most efficient lighting fixtures have to be chosen
temperature ranges within the addressed time period, usually an averaged day of the year. thermal resistance R-value = 1/[W/m
K°] in order to lower light power density. Sensors can switch lights off or dim them based on daylight and occu- - plan schedules Qo = density x Sensible Heat Gain
transmittance U-value = 1/R = [kWh/m2K°] - plan controls, sensors + density x Latent Heat Gain
pancy, control strategies based on the building program can further select times when artificial light is needed.
lighting power density
Solar radiation is a measure of heat gain through the effect of sunlight. It can be welcomed or avoided, de- Q = U-value x Area x Temp. difference
conduction Ambient light and task light can be successfully decoupled to avoid extra loads. It is useful to read requirements Ql = lighting load density x m2
pending on the need. A disadvantage occupants + lighting
of the use of+passive
solar strategies is that glass has high transmittance for lighting levels based on occupancy and tasks carefully, sometimes the lowest recommended range is already
values, but high quality glazing are now popular and can completely solve the problem because they achieve enough. For example, sometimes the literal translation of required levels causes too much artificial light, which is Qe = plug load density x m2
very low U-values. Frames are the weak link, they have to be produced and mounted with care in order to avoid radiation responsible for spots of glare.
1 All lighting and equipment default on “OFF” mode. When “ON”, the control system takes over to ensure effective energy management.
plug load density
thermal bridges. Glazing strategies with different characteristics should be chosen for each orientation in order superinsulate
Heating can be planned following strategies for Adaptive Thermal Comfort, which are described in the book
1 Reduce
DESIGN avoid load
approach PLUG
includes LOADS control based on occupancy, time and schedules, ...
automated Reuse waste flows
to maximize their contribution to the indoor comfort, for example, operable sections can create sunrooms in the thermal mass infiltration Plan efficiency measures
winter and breezes in the summer. Windows are not only useful for controlling temperatures but of course levels earth coupling ventilation ”The Indoor Environment Handbook: How to Make Buildings Healthy and Comfortable.” by Bluyssen (2009), Creatively
This is theput
onlyenergy waste
- planback
non-regulated into
load, nobeneficial
schedules use - data centers, kitchens with heat exchangers
legal requirements
of illumination, too. A high ratio of glazing to wall can provide good levels of illumination through natural light for these can widen temperatures ranges for a comfortable indoor climate. Many passive strategies can lower peak - plan controls, sensors
loads, for example the use of earth-coupled or other tempered sources. Choosing systems with a high Coef-
most of the day, especially if planned in combination with strategies regarding materials, finishes and colours
that can distribute light, or devices such as light shelves that can bounce sunlight deeper into the space. ficient of Performance is another good practice, for example heat pumps can reach a COP of 3-6, compared
22 Decide
systems: panels and screens, user-friendly control systems, centralized management
Share successfull results
with boilers, who are usually around 0.9 ( Right sizing the equip- all electric OR electricity + fuels for on-site combustion for heating OR net export of renerwable energy to mantain Net Zero balance
internal thermal loads skin thermal loads
Infiltration is the measure of droughts and thermal bridges, it is unwished for, especially during the winter, ment is important, modest distribution temperatures for more fluid can minimize the need for reheating energy.
because it can lower the indoor temperature to the point that it accounts for 35% of heat losses in households 1 All lighting andINTEGRATE
equipmentRENEWABLE mode. When “ON”, the control system takes over to ensureGenerate
default on “OFF” renewable
effective energy management.
( The concept of Passivhouses is that
Controls and sensors can take over plugs and switches to ensure effective energy management. A layered ap- 3 LIGHT Design lighting
Layered approach as supplement,
includes complement
automated control based to
occupancy, time and schedules, ... energy
a perfectly insulated and airtight building can hold its warmth for an undefined period of time. Thermal bridges
Avoid energy demand proach which sets the “OFF” position as default and includes automated control based on occupancy, then time - on site
and schedule, can have a dramatically positive effect on energy consumption.
Thismore efficient
is the onlylighting - off- site
non-regulated lowerload,
light power density
no legal requirements
often come from poor or wrong planning, low-quality execution of the building work on site, and from badly - infiltration Control strategies - lights off or dimmed based on daylight, occupancy
designed products like doors and window frames. - ventilation The display of meters, informative panels and screens, and user friendly control systems is important to give Decouple ambient light from task light

- glazing units the users a feeling of participation, even when just with their physical presence, in a shared challenge. Shar- 2 Use lowest recommended range of lighting levels
- too meters,
much light createsinformative
spots of glare panels and screens, user-friendly control systems, centralized management
Ventilation quantifies air changes and its effect on indoor temperatures, and should be controlled in order to ing results and publicly celebrating sustainable successes can motivate people to take personal undertakings Share successfull results
avoid extra thermal loads. It is possible to plan for monitoring sensors to adjust ventilation based on CO2 levels, 1 Building envelope: keep it simple, direct, use technology selectively, cost effective integrated solutions towards sustainable goals, and will make them more sensible to future initiatives. Engaging users and visitors
thus allowing it only when necessary. Passive heating and cooling can lower energy consumption and allow for too many layers/technologies = overly complex, difficult to build, prone to problems, difficult to maintain is especially important for companies and groups, because it improves their public image and sets a model to 41 HEATING
Photovoltaics Adaptive
- fixed, single/dual axis tracking,
Thermal Comfort
- widerconcentrating, hybrid?for comfort
temperature ranges
Generate renewable
follow. Solar thermal - flat plate, evacuated tub collectors?
more efficient heat recovery, which is essential in order to avoid cold air within the building. Decoupling ventila-
transmission + solar radiation + infiltration + ventilation + internal heat gain = peak load for heat gain or heat loss [kWh/m ] 2 Wind
Heat pump- Venturi effect?
systems have 3 to 6 COP energy
tion from the heating system has a positive effect on energy consumption because air’s volumetric heat capacity - couple with ground source or -other
Hydro - nearby body of on site
tempered source
is much lower than the one of water, thus is not the best choice for storing and transporting warmth. Renewable energy can be generated on a micro-scale in different ways, photovoltaics, solar thermal, wind, Research strategies to lower peak loads
2 Start thinking about balancing out flows - maybe switch off heating when plug loads are at peak? hydro, geothermal, biomass or fuel cells are the most common. Some strategies are not compatible with others,
Water - nearby
has a volumetric
- off site
heat capacityagricultural
nearly 3 500 x waste?
of that of air
Qr = GlobalBalance point: Q
irradiance outside
= vol.air temperature
heat capacity ofatair
= building
1.08 does not need heating nor cooling
Internal heat gains are difficult to manage and affect, but they can play a role in the planning of waste flows, for i
under av. conditions
v or not possible due to site conditions, therefore they have to be singularly evaluated. If producing the whole use modest distribution temperatures for more fluid, minimize reheat energy
Fuel Cell & Hydrogen
example extracting warm air from data centres and kitchens using heat exchangers. To avoid peak loads, it is [0.018 x 60
x Area climate / building program min] x
/ massing / envelope designAir Changes percan
be tuned to meet a wider range electricity needed is not possible, maybe it is possible to achieve it with district energy. Buildings with different
possible to think about balancing out flows - maybe switching off heating when plug loads are at peak? x Solar Heat Gain x Vol. of infiltration (V) x building Vol. schedules can provide energy to each other when occupants are not there, for example, offices and dwellings.
Coeff. [kW x 60 min x m x K°]

x Temp. difference 1 Photovoltaics - fixed, single/dual axis tracking, concentrating, hybrid?

The final aim of tuning climate, building program, massing and envelope design is to widen the range of out- x Temp. difference Solar thermal - flat plate, evacuated tub collectors? Work upstream to understand energy flows. Ask yourse
door air temperatures at which the building does not need heating nor cooling. The highest and lowest of these Wind - Venturi effect? system really supposed to do?”
temperatures are called the balance point of the building. Hydro - nearby body of water?
Geothermal Source: T. Hootman “Net Zero Energy Design”
2 District
Biomass energy - can
- nearby nearby
located buildings complement
agricultural waste? each other’s consuption profiles?
high quality glazing thermal controlled ventilation adjusts Fuel Cell & Hydrogen
with operable sections bridges, the rate of air based on CO2
and improved frames airtightness monitoring + passive
heating/cooling + heat recovery

2 District energy - can nearby buildings complement each other’s consuption profiles?
20 21
Built examples

Top left:
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
2010. Golden, Colorado

Top right:
World Wildlife Fund Dutch Headquarters
2006. Zeist, Netherlands

Bottom left:
Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED)
2003. Hackbridge, London

22 23
1.3 Selected study case can be implemented for sustainable growth. These aspects have been selected by Janic (2009) as relevant
indicators in the assessment of sustainable growth, and all informations are taken from his publication.
Aspects of particular interest for this thesis are energy consumption and emission of greenhouse gases.
I have read extensively about an innovative idea for an airport terminal and was inspired by their complexity, by Energy consumption in terms of crude oil, gasoline and fossil fuels happens airside because of Landing to Take
the amount of functions that they allocate, the design parameters they have to conform to, and still their need Off cycles, which account for 60% of emitted GHG, and servicing vehicles, which account for 20% of emissions.
for an iconic value and the most comfortable experience. Zero Energy Building status are yet uncommon but On the landside the same resources are consumed in ground access transport systems and buildings, which
relatively easy to achieve for dwellings, while commercial buildings have a more complex and wider range of op- account respectively for 15% and 5% of total emissions. The share of emissions for buildings is low because of
portunities to meet the challenge, and, by far, not all of their categories have been researched in this light. There the high rate of emissions from other sources, and because off-site emissions from the generation of electricity
is at this time no built Zero Energy Terminal worldwide, which convinced me that this was the right challenge to are not included. Shorter taxiways, the use of electrical powered ground servicing vehicles, better access for
face for my graduation project. public transport and Zero Energy buildings can sensibly cut emissions.
Waste management can be a resource of clean energy, which can be produced by means of thermal treat-
For both passengers and freight the air transport system plays a key role in worldwide connectivity. Accord- ment.
ing to Janic in his book “Greening Airports: Advanced Technology and Operations”, air transport has seen an Safety and land take have been previously discussed, they can be made more sustainable managing proce-
average annual growth of 5% in the period 1990-2006, and is expected to keep on growing at this rate for the dures and intensity of activities per units of land taken or accommodated traffic.
next 20 years (data are provided by the two main manufacturers of commercial aircrafts, Boeing and Airbus). Noise can be reduced at source or by redistributing operations in the available space and time.
According to Janic’s estimates, in the year 2050 CO2 emissions from the air transport systems will likely amount
to 3-5.5% of the total emissions caused by man. There are strategies to implement which could have a big im-
pact on this share, and as an important service visible to a big amount of people, the whole industry has a huge Emission of GHG
Energy consumption Waste
potential to raise public awareness on green innovation, making sustainable growth motivating for many other 20% TRANSPORT CO2, NOX, SO2, ...
groups. The aviation industry is willing to invest in corporate responsibility, and various airports and airlines have
already done so, for reasons of image (to attract investors and display international awards), financial (to avoid crude oil, gasoline, fossil fuels 60% LTO cycles shorter taxiways, shut off engine at apron, alternative fuels waste management waste avoidance - sorting
airside landside (liquid hydrogen) systems(mitigation) in minimisation - reducing
pollution taxes and cut costs), or economical (to compete with other transport methods and receive subsidies).
fuel Landing&Take Off airport ground access accord with legislatin recycling - reprocessing
ground vehicles terminals 20% aircraft ground servicing use zero emission vehicles on airport ground, optimize (storing, disposing)
How can the aviation industry become less harming for the planet, keeping profits high and people comfort- 45% movements permanent improvement
able? One way is to constrain physical growth, using available capacity more efficiently and effectively. This administrative buildings
solution decreases costs per unit of output (quantity over time), and is surely a sustainable solution for the short electrical energy 15% ground access systems minimize n° of vehicles accessing, better railway systems, waste to energy (thermal treatment)
term, but on the medium-long term and with the overall increase in GDP per developing countries, there will be heating use of lightweight speedrail from catchment area
an unavoidable demand for new facilities. 35% cooling
The second option is to manage sustainable growth in such a way that the result of benefits after costs de- HOUSEHOLD& lighting 5% electrcity consumption in plan nearly zero energy buildings
ductions is and remains positive during a predicted time-span. The benefits of airport’s growth are an increase operating facilites the buildings
equipment emissions trading, taxation systems, be in place for the
in the Gross Domestic Product of a local, regional and national area, which includes aspects like employment,
EU since 2011-2012
trade, and related welfare. The negative aspects, or costs, are the use of non-renewable sources, energy

consumption, emission of greenhouse gases (GHG), noise, land use, accidents, congestions and delays, and 1 Workload Unit = 1 passenger + baggage or 100kg freight Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe
waste. NL’s energy use by sector. 2020 goal of -50% fuel consumption&CO2 emissions p/km reduced costs
Frankfurt 16.8 kWh/WLU (2003) to14.4 kWh/WLU (2008) 10-20% from improved engines
Data from: Enerdata, 2011. Netherlands. Schiphol 184 423 103 kWh / 50 976 000 WLU = 3,6kWh/WLU (2012) 30-40% from improving airframe&operations
Air transport can be made more sustainable tackling different problems in different areas:
Energy efficiency report.
For airlines:
• moving from existing fuels to alternative propellents - i.e. liquid hydrogen
• improve aircraft engines and aerodynamics - it is a limited solution, there is only a relative margin of Security/safety Land take Noise
improvement which is physically possible
For ATC management: expansion
new procedures, respos- Low Drag / Low Power intensity = noise level / n° of aircraft operations reduce noise at source (engines, ...)
• advanced ATC/ATM procedures - innovation in communications and positioning technologies ability of Air Traffic Control / Continuous Descendent Approach vol. of activites x accomodated traffic
• advanced regulations - new technologies need new rules, or the removal of old ones, in order to be suc- Air Traffic Management Increased Glide Scope OR time forbid operations at times of day for

intensity of land use

cessfully applied Displaced Treshhold vol. of, x unit of land taken types of aircrafts
For airports: Curved Approach
• advanced airport technologies - electric vehicles, energy neutral buildings, automated gate processes noise abatment procedures
(redistributing noise)
The Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe (ACARE) has set a goal to cut fuel
consumption and carbon emissions by half within 2050 based on 2005 levels, according to their report the land-use zoning aroud airport
(minimize affected people)
reduction is shared in 10-20% from the field of competence of airlines by innovation in aircraft engineering,
vol. of airport traffic
while the rest would be reduced by Air Traffic Control/Air Traffic Management through the adoption of advanced charge excessive noise
procedures such as Continuous Descendent Approach, which lower fuel consumption by reducing flight time
and the use of engines.

In this next page, a diagrammatic presentation of the negative impacts of airports coupled with solutions that
reduced emissions, fuel consumption increased benefits (revenue) reduced emissions, fuel consumption
improved airport capacity increased land use
24 25
Schiphol’s corporate responsibility
Master Plan: prepared for the future

Schiphol is the fourth european airport for passengers and air transport movements, according to the group’s
2012 Report. It has been developing sustainable strategies and has a motivating approach towards the use of
energy. Many of the aspects which negatively affect the impact of an airport on the environment are taken into
consideration in its corporate responsibility.

Land take is made more sustainable by postponing the necessity of expansion, which means implementing
its use intensity over time first. This is possible thanks to its overall space typology, a central terminal with pier
fingers, six in this case, of which one branching in to two smaller parallel piers and a seventh, Pier A, under
Schiphol Airport AMS
construction at the time of writing this thesis. This type of design can be very economical to build, however,
passengers may be required to walk long distances between the check-in area and the aircraft gate, resulting 1 • complex commercial object
in poor time management. Pier fingers terminals have been found to be very efficient for annual passengers • mix of functions to play with
volumes up to 45 million domestic operations and 35 million international operations. At higher volumes, the
physical size of the terminal is likely to give considerable problems with respect to passengers walking distances • different requirements to be met
and transfer times through the terminal. Schiphol has been servicing nearly 35 million domestic passengers in • iconic value / image branding
2012, and the new Pier A is estimated to handle another 3 million passengers a year. Capacity saturation is thus
within a 15% increase of domestic passengers. An increase in the number of runways has been completed in
2003 with the construction of the Polderbaan, situated 7km ( North-West • as yet no existing ZEB in this typology
to the terminal.

Noise is not a major problem at Schiphol, according to its annual report, mainly because the area surround-
ing the airport is only sparsely occupied. Potential noise impacts on population living nearby is further reduced
by the remote location chosen for the Polderbaan, which aims to prolong the hours available for flying. The
Polderbaan is thus the preferred runway for nighttime flights and flights which take off heading North, because
of its location and orientation, favourable for winds blowing from South-West, the main wind direction in the 5
Netherlands. new satellite ZEB terminal VS planned expansion (2014)
Waste management is doing well in Schiphol, an average of 90% of construction and demolition waste is
• less aircraft fuel • even longer way to
4 6
reused and 35% of waste produced at the airport was recycled in 2012. Food leftovers are collected, while dis-
cussions with cleaning companies and airlines are carried on in order to agree on waste collection and disposal
systems. • more efficient timing Polderbaan
• future-proof • is it really the best
The impact of fossil fuel consumption at Schiphol is being addressed by replacing part of its ground servicing
fleet of vehicles with more efficient ones, such as electric busses, and by its ground access system, which is 3
very well connected to the nationwide rail network. Nearly 40% of people who reach Schiphol do so by public
transport, a good part of it because the train stops, comfortably, directly within the terminal.
The airport aims to generate 20% of its electricity consumption in a sustainable manner by 2020.

As mentioned in the chapter about Zero Energy Building classification, Schiphol has become CO2 neutral in
2012 thanks to the emission trading system. Although being proof of commitment and a step forward towards
a more sustainable aviation, emission trading does not mean that emissions are necessarily reduced, but just
paid for. More efficient global emissions trading and taxing schemes are under discussion since many years, but
results are difficult to achieve because of the complexity of the topic.
Name Location Length Width
According to (,
the Netherlands were among the first countries to apply a carbon tax, in 1990, then replaced it with the Environ- 1 Polder Runway 18R - 36L 3,800 metres 60 metres Aerial view of the Schiphol area with marked location ot the project’s site.
mental Tax on Fuels in 1992, which calculated the amount due 50/50 from carbon and energy content. In 1996 2 Zwanenburg Runway 18C - 36C 3,300 metres 45 metres source: Google Earth
a Regulatory Tax on Energy was introduced to target small-scale consumers. In 2004, these two taxes plus an 3 Kaag Runway 06 - 24 3,500 metres 45 metres
excise duty on mineral oils were combined into a single tax, which, according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia. 4 Aalsmeer Runway 18L - 36R 3,400 metres 45 metres
org/wiki/Fuel_tax#Netherlands), was €0.684 per litre in 2007. On top, a 21%VAT is applied on the total price of 5 Buitenveldert Runway 09 - 27 3,453 metres 45 metres
fuel, making the Dutch fuel tax one of the highest in the world. 6 Schiphol East Runway 04 - 22 2,014 metres 45 metres

It is ironic that the country taxing one of the highest prices on fuels also has one of the longest taxiways in the source: Schiphol Group Annual Report, 2012.
world, which is a very expensive and polluting way for aircrafts to use their engines. Additional to the use of fuel,
we will see that CO2 emissions are particularly high when planes have to drive on the ground.
Annual Report 2012 36
26 27
Strategy for a better use of energy at Schiphol Performance indicators
Let’s consider that Schiphol is expanding with the construction of Pier A, located on the other side of the To have an early evaluation of the cost of the terminal at this stage, I refer to Ioannis Chatzikonstantinou’s
terminal respect to its farthest runway, the Polderbaan. We have seen that this runway is widely used, and its Master thesis “Evolutionary Computation and Parametric Pattern Generation for Airport Terminal Design”, which
taxiway amounts to around 7km, which can become 11km if the plane departs from the central pier, where gives estimate costs for an airport terminal building based on three factors: price per gate, price per floor area
gates D are located (according to an user on “”), so logi- and price per shell structure surface. These differ because they reflect three different aspects of the construc-
cally probably more if the plane departs from piers C, B and A. According to Janic (2009), moving a plane on tion, relatively airline-terminal specific equipment, structure, and skin, each one determined by a separate
the ground consumes a lot and generates even more CO2. We have also seen that taxes on fuel are extremely choice. The range of costs is presented according to Chatzikonstantinou’s estimations.
high, and we would like to know if Europe is finally going to implement a taxation scheme on GHG emissions in
order to contain climate change within 2 degrees higher than average temperatures. Price per floor surface:
Is a satellite Zero Energy Building a more economically profitable and sustainable alternative than Schiphol’s
currently planned expansion? €1000 - 5000 /m2

In order to answer this question, I need to determine which indicators have an impact on its answer. I will Price per envelope surface:
evaluate it in terms of profit, because usually what costs less uses less resources, and is more likely to be sup-
ported by interested parties. €500 - 1500 /m2
My research question can be answered with an equation comparing the current solution with my alternative. If
the substraction of the two outcomes is positive, my project is theoretically more profitable. Indicators playing a Price per gate:
role in the evaluation have to be divided in one-time expenses and annual expenses, revenues will be assumed
to be the same, since the terminal will serve the same amount of passengers. €100 000 - 500 000 /gate
One-time expenses are the price of the new Pier A and the price of the new Zero Energy terminal, both ex-
pressed in €/m2. Let’s consider the expenses concerning energy. For the Pier A, I have mentioned both taxes on fuels and car-
Annual expenses are the price of energy used in the Pier A in €/kWh and €/m3 year, the total price of fuel used bon taxes, but the latter are not implemented on an European level yet, and if they were, a recalculation of taxes
on the taxiway to the Polderbaan and back, expressed in €/liter a year, and as an alternative solution for a pre- on fuels in the Netherlands would take place.
dicted future scenario the price of carbon emissions generated in the same process in €/CO2 per tonne a year. An article on the NY Times from June 2010 reports that the European Commission was evaluating a car-
The number of years considered for the calculation has a critical influence on the equation, and could be used bon tax in the range of 4 to 30€ per tonne of CO2 (
as a variable to plot charts of values over time. environment/23carbon.html?_r=5&ref=cap_and_trade&). In 2009, Finland’s carbon tax was 20€ a tonne
and Sweden’s over 40€ a tonne, but this latter was reduced to 50% for industries (http://climateanswers.
The final equation looks like this: info/2010/07/carbon-and-energy-taxes-in-europe/). If such rates were applied to the whole of Europe invest-
ments in clean technologies could find more ground, but probably such a price would be difficult to implement
for European countries with a lower GDP. I will estimate my indicator on a value averaged from the European
( €/m2Pier A + €/kWh per year + €/literkerosene per year + €/CO2 per tonne per year ) Commission’s proposal.
- ( €/m2ZEB - €/kWh per year )
Price of carbon emissions for future scenario averaged from EU proposal 4-30€/tonne:
= if >0, then the Zero Energy terminal performs better. If <0, then the Pier A performs better.
€17/CO2 tonne

There are financial and economic aspects of taxes, inflation and market swings that I do not wish to address, The annual price of electricity and gas can be read on
because I think they are not of primary importance for this calculation and because they would add unneces-
sary complexity to the scope of this thesis. This thesis deals with energy efficiency, of which cost is of course Price of Dutch electricity on 2012 levels:
an important aspect to evaluate, but it does not deal with finance. For the purpose of my personal elaboration
on the subject, simplified calculations that do not include specifications like inflation but instead make use of fix €0.21/kWh
rates, is sufficient.
The aim is to present a strategy of how to use energy more efficiently and give an objective indicative result of Price of Dutch natural gas on 2012 levels:
its profitability, not of delivering a detailed report about the economy of fuel prices and their tax calculation.
I will not consider future inflation on energy and fuel prices and interest rate that the airport would have to pay
on bank loans for construction works, assuming in a simplified way that they would almost even themselves out.
I will also simplify the fact that fuel is paid by airlines, and not by the airport, by assuming that the airport would
be able to raise fees on airlines if their expenses on fuel would be sensibly cut thanks to a better master plan.

Location of Pier A, rendered image.


28 29
The most meaningful information for the evaluation of the results is how much does it costs to drive along the (5 405 088 liters of kerosene * 0.36€/liter) + (5 405 088 liters of kerosene * 0.684€/liter)
taxiway to the Polderbaan for every flight operation. To calculate it I need to know how much fuel is burned and
how much carbon is emitted from it. These informations can be extrapolated from a lecture given in March 2012 = 5 643 000€
by T.J. Mudler from the Aerospace Engineering faculty of TU Delft, “Air Traffic Noise and Emissions”. On this
page, a tab reporting measured data for a Landing to Take-Off cycle for a JT15D-4 engine, which according to And how much would an European tax on emissions cost for this movements?
its Canadian manufacturers is used in a wide range of business aviation applications (
engines/jt15d-4c). “Idle” is the engine mode that the aircraft uses for taxiing and during any other moment while Annual price of carbon emissions for movements to and from the Polderbaan
on the ground when its motors are switched on, such as waiting by the runway or by the apron. It consumes according to predicted future scenario:
0.026 kg of fuel per second and emits 97 g of carbon oxide per kg of fuel.
In order to know how much it emits in total during taxiing time to the Polderbaan, I have to find out how much 430 tonnes * 17€/tonne
time this takes.
While Wikipedia states the taxiing time can take “up to 20 minutes”, websites where pilots and other avia- = 7 310€
tion experts chat have long threads of comments about the fact that the Polderbaan may well be one of the
longest taxiways they experienced. On, it is possible to read a forum entry called “What’s the In order to calculate the energy expenses of the new Pier A, I need to know how big it will be. According to
Polderbaan record?”, where users submitted different answers, sometimes accompanied by flight number and JT15D-4 LTO Cycle. Chart taken from T.J. Mudler’s lecture “Air Traffic Noise and Emissions”, given in March published articles it will have 8 gates. Ashford (2011) lists gate space requirements as aircraft’s wingspans plus
other informations. Recorded timings are: “28 minutes”, “23 minutes”, “just under 30 minutes from taxi-start to 2012 at the faculty of Aerospace Engineering of TU Delft. wing-tip to wing-tip clearances. These are relatively 24 to 36m for aircrafts in design group III and 4.5 meters
gate arrival”, “33 minutes gate to runway”, “34 minutes”, “42 minutes to get to the gate D”, “26 minutes” and for aircrafts code C. From render images of the new Pier A, we can see that it is planned to have gates on both
a surprising entry of “10-12 minutes” which made other users suppose that the pilot was driving the plane at sides. So the minimum required length for the pier is:
the unrealistic speed of “about 40 km/h”.(
polderbaan-record-3.html ). All these values are for one way taxiway, and recorded as record high, so for my (36 * 4) + (4.5 * 3) = 158m
calculations I will use the more generic value of 20 minutes each way. Delays and eventual waiting times at the
runway are not included because they do not affect the Polderbaan exclusively. March 31, 2012 17I will assume that the pier’s width will be 10 meters and that it will most likely be divided in two levels.

Carbon emitted by each aircraft to and from the Polderbaan: (160 * 10) * 2 = 3 200m2

40 minutes * 60 = 2 400 seconds * 0.026 = 62.4 kg of fuel * 97 g per kg of fuel Schiphol uses more than 183 000 000 kWh annually, which divided by floor area is 281 kWh/m2, and more
than 12 000 000 m3 of natural gas, which divided by floor area is 18 m3/m2. Energy expenses for the new Pier
= 6052 grams could be calculated as:

How many flights depart annually from the Polderbaan? Schiphol’s total amount of air transport movements in Annual price of energy for the Pier A:
2013 was 425 565 ( Diving this value by the
number of runways (six), omitting that the Polderbaan is among the most used ones, gives a total of almost 71 [ (281 * 3 200) * 0.21 ] + [ (18 * 3 200) * 0.60 ] = 188 830 + 34 560 = ca. 223 390€
000 movements per year.
Between fuel and energy prices, more than 5.8 million euros a year could be offset by building a Zero Energy
Carbon emitted by annual movements to and from the Polderbaan: satellite terminal next to the Polderbaan.

6052 grams * 71 000 I can assume that the price for each gate would be the same for both solutions, so what is left to calculate is
how much would each building cost, and of course how much would the connection to the main hub cost.
= 430 tonnes
For continuity, I will input values from a subsequent phase, an early conceptual design. For a 24 000m2 build-
Fuel used annually for movements to and from the Polderbaan: ing, the payback time against the currently planned Pier A would be 13.5 years.

62.4 kg * 71 000 = 4 430 400 kg * 1.22

= 5 405 088 liters of kerosene

Conversion data from

Fuel taxes on big users are subject to exemptions or different rates according to agreements and regulations,
and kerosene for the aviation industry is an even more complex matter because of its critical role in the interna-
tional transport system, but it is still possible to perform an indicative calculation of its cost.
According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (
Handler.ashx?n=pet&s=ema_eppk_pwg_nus_dpg&f=a), the average annual price for kerosene calculated on the
years 2002 to 2012 is 1.905 dollars per gallon, which makes 0.36 euros a litre. If the normal rate of environmen-
tal tax on fuels was to be applied, omitting 21%VAT because tax deductible, this adds 0.684 euros a litre.
30 31
Design preparation Configuration and layout
The infrastructure of air transport consists of airlines, airports and Air Traffic Control (ATC). The airline in-
Energy Use Intensity
How much energy will be needed? It is possible to set a target after creating a baseline of representative (2009), represented in blue, and averaging the results, represented by the red thick line, a feasible EUI site
The main indicator for airport planning is the capacity, or how many units per period of time will be handled. energy target for my project is 156 kWh/m2 a year.
dustry is constituted by alliances, whose airlines build their portfolio on operational performance, technical values.
The new Pier A will have 8 gates and handle 3 million passengers a year, an increase of around 6% of Schiphol’s
performance, and air route networks. Airports provide them and the ATC management with space, equip- A useful unit used to compare Zero Energy buildings is the Energy Use Intensity, which is a measure of the an-
current number of passengers. It is due to completion by 2016 (
ment and facilities. ATC provides equipment and services to both airports and aircrafts. nual energy consumption divided by the gross building floor area and expressed in kWh/m2/year. This unit is im-
SchipholConstructsConvertsConnects/APier.htm). My project developes the “what-if” scenario in which no
portant because it is a measure of performance, not of overall energy use. It allows for a meaningful comparison
Pier A is built but a satellite terminal which can handle the predicted growth in passenger traffic while offering
An airport area can use land in very different layouts, which is in turn influenced by the size of its com- of different buildings within the same category, or the evaluation of efficiency against an established benchmark.
a more profitable solution in terms of use of time and energy. It will be a remote satellite terminal connected by
ponents. There are standard configurations about the number and orientation of runways and taxiways, One big limitation of the EUI is that many internal and external factors that have a sensible effect on a building’s
some mechanized mean of transport, either above or below ground. Ashford, Mumayiz and Wright (2011) state
apron-gate complexes, facilities and equipment. Recommendations on design rules depend on the largest energy consumption are not reflected in the measuring unit. Aspects like occupancy density, geometry of the
that satellites can be designed with more elaborate facilities as more decentralized operation is envisaged. As
critical aircraft, expected volume of aircraft transport movements (atm), expected number of passengers, building (i.e. high- or low rise), or climate can affect the energy need of a building widely, and have to be taken
an example to follow, a good level of decentralization is achieved in Tampa Airport, where the central terminal
and cargo demand. Other influences are driven by weather, mainly wind and ceiling, and obstacles, mainly in consideration when evaluating performances. EUI databases are very recent, and have to be read carefully in
area provides main passenger services like all tickets purchase, baggage check and reclaim facilities, while only
roads and populated areas. order to understand their values into the right context, but future energy simulation softwares and metrics meas-
holding lounges and supplementary check-in facilities for passengers not carrying baggage are located in the actual Energy Use Intensity (EUI) kWh/m2/year
The ground access is granted through transport systems, road or rail based. The catchment area is the ured on site may develop better ways to compare energy use. Through wider databases, better research filters
satellites. based on 2012 values
accessibility distance and/or time for a given % of users. The average catchment distance in Europe is 15- and eventually new comparison units it will be possible to screen out candidates until a representative group of
Arriving and departing passengers flows will be separated either on two levels with enplaning passengers on
100 km, or 0.5-2 h. This information is important to plan an efficient transportation network implementing peer buildings is found. New measurement units will have to be more indicative, for example being based on the
the upper level and deplaning passengers on the lower level, according to the most common solution. Passen- 60% reduction target
rail transport as sustainable alternative to short-haul flights. main service for each typology, like kWh/passenger/year or kWh/meal served/year.
gers will change level after entering the building, which is called one-and-a-half level operation and works better 591
On the airside, the facilities and equipment are distinguished between fixed and mobile components.
at lower passengers volumes.
Fixed components are i.e. lightning systems, taxiways, aprons, and parking stands by the gates. Mobile Let’s compare known values in order to get a generic idea of EUI ranges through some examples. According
components are i.e. vehicles and tools servicing refuelling, catering, cargo, waste, and power. to ASHRAE 90.1-2007 records, the average Energy Use Consumption for new commercial buildings in Seattle
Space requirements are calculated using a number of indicators, the basic one is the Peak-Hour design de-
On the landside, the facilities and equipment are mobile or semimobile components, i.e. the physical con- is 451 kWh/m2 a year (143kBtu/ft2/year). Seattle has a temperate maritime climate, similar to that of The Neth-
mand, calculated using a parameter of percentage of annual flows, in this case: 447
nection to aircrafts, busses, stairs, bridges. erlands. The UK national average for the service sector is around 262 kWh/m2 a year (30 W/m2). Passivhaus
standards require an EUI of 120 kWh/m2 a year. The planned EUI for the National Renewable Energy Labora- 391
0.05% of 3 000 000 = 1 500 [design peak-hour]
Passenger terminals are divided in three components that can be singularly sized: tory (NREL) research facility in Golden, Colorado, is 111 kWh/m2 a year (35.1 kBtu/ft2/year). This building is in a
processors, i.e. passenger and baggage servers - to/from ground access to aircraft and back warmer and less climatically challenging location than the Netherlands, but it is an interesting example because
Always according to Ashford, Mumayiz and Wright (2011), to estimate the overall gross area requirements
reservoirs, i.e. waiting areas, queuing of the informations available about its benchmarking: ENERGY STAR Target Finder estimated its consumption
14m2 per peak-hour domestic passenger and 24m2 per peak-hour international passenger are a reasonable
links, i.e. areas equipped with facilities and services connecting processors and reservoirs - long cor- at 432 kWh/m2 a year (137 kBtu/ft2/year), from which an EUI baseline has been calculated according to 2030
guideline. In 2012, domestic passengers were 68% of the total passengers (calculated using data from Schiphol
Annual Report 2012), adopting the same proportion for the new terminal, the estimated space required is:
ridors, passageways, walkways, escalators Challenge, resulting in a 75% reduction of the estimated consumption. 236
Links are where the retail takes place. average
[(1 500 * 0.68) * 14] + [(1 500 * 0.32) * 24] = 14 280 + 11 528 = 25 800m2
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses EUIs as base unit for the accreditation of its ENERGY 156 178
STAR programme. There are directories to consult online for housing, service and commercial typologies, but 132
no official data can be found yet for airport terminal buildings. Monitoring them is more complex, they expand
or modify their physical assets at a much faster rate compared to other typologies, their equipment is often 52
upgraded or replaced, and are exposed to very different climates.
A research funded by the US Transportation Board to create EUI databases for airport passenger terminals
is underway, it will use specific indicators including climate zones and age of the facility and equipment (http:// ENERGY STAR Zurich Airport Schiphol Airport Munich Airport
Another report on EUI benchmarks for passenger terminals is being carried on at NC State University, aiming
Target Finder
at a tool for better defining each airport’s energy use goal (
energy-performance/). Both websites state that while there is guidance for achieving energy efficiency in other
big commercial facilities, there is little guidance at national and international levels for airports seeking to improve sources:
efficiency in the renovation of existing or construction of new facilities.
In order to find a baseline for this project I have to explore the performance of peer buildings from available
data. It is difficult to extrapolate absolute values from airport’s publications for many reasons: most indicators
are expressed as percentages or revenues, when units such as square meters or kWh are found it is still doubt-
ful wether reports from different groups use the same measuring standards, and although informations about
environmental performance and floor areas is generally available, the published set of data does not seem to
follow standard requirements for what it should include. For example, in the case of London Heathrow it was
not possible to get precise measures of energy consumption, while floor area was presented in detail, for Paris
Charles De Gaulle, the opposite happens.
I chose informations from a selection of European airports which should have comparable energy performanc-
es. I used only data which could be interpreted clearly.
The chart shows a simple baseline that I calculated using energy consumption per square meter for Zurich,
Schiphol and Munich airports, plus an estimation for the location Amsterdam from ENERGY STAR Target Finder.
The EUI for each airport building is displayed in green. Applying a 60% reduction as suggested by Hootman
32 33
Energy targets will shape the whole design, if they have to be changed or adapted in later stages of the plan- Where is energy used in a building and how can we impact its consumption? Energy used within a building is FACTORS CONSUMPTION
ning this can have negative outcomes such as delays and confusion, which can bring to errors or inelegant/ divided into electrical and thermal. Electrical energy powers ventilation, cooling, lighting and mixed equipment,
inaccurate solutions. In order to cross check the feasibility of an energy design goal it is useful to run a quick while thermal energy is needed to heat space and water for everyday uses. In the diagram on the right, I tried to PROGRAM BUILDING PHYSICS
simulation of solar power generation right at this stage of the project, so that the correlation between gross floor visualize their correlation.
area and EUI can be explored and, if needed, adjusted. The need for heating, cooling and ventilation is calculated based on peak heat gains and losses and other facade area transmission
Energy Use Intensity, floor area and PV power are tightly interdependent. Generated electricity is calculated us- loads, which can be quantified through building physics. The values that need to be known are transmission, floor area solar radiation heating
ing the system size in DC peak power, which is the annual generation target divided by the performance factor solar radiation, infiltration, ventilation losses, and internal heat gain. These, together with the remaining loads, are volume infiltration cooling
of the panel’s array. I calculated the performance factor using an online software, PVWatts. This software can determined by the joint action of influencing factors and mitigating strategies. Influencing factors on total energy people density ventilation ventilation
massing, thermal zoning
give results for a very personalized array using a number of customized indicators such as tilt, type, DC rating consumption are functional, derived by the building program, and external, derived from the climate. The build- int. heat gain
(used to calculate the number of panels needed) and energy price. ing program influences the use of energy through requirements of i.e. floor area and people density, architectural CLIMATE hot water
passive systems
I chose a worst case scenario with flat, fixed tilt array panels and nameplate DC power rating of 1kW, so that choices influence facade area and volume, while climate influences aspects related to air, sunlight, moisture and
use of waste flows lighting
it can be easily scaled to any size the panels come in. The second column of the results, AC Energy, is the so on. Building technology represents the intermediate stage where loads are managed and mitigated through temperature misc. equipment
Performance Factor. different design choices. These occur on different levels and scales, from the big scale of volumetric choices, to sunlight
the layout, to the selection of materials, passive systems and low-energy strategies. humidity
Annual generation target: Here is where the building both takes shape and fulfils its sustainable potential, while creating a beautiful and wind
comfortable indoor environment. ground
26 000m2 x 156kWh/m2 = 4 056 000kWh
Identifying which functions contribute to the energy use in a building, and the proportion of each end use to
System size in DC peak power: the total energy use, will make managing energy use and reduction far more effective. Each split sets a power
density budget by end use. NO FEEDBACK
4 056 000kWh / 688kWh/kW = 5 900kW value >60%
It is useful to examine peer buildings energy consumption as a starting point to define the distribution of its
shares. In this case, as data for terminal buildings are not available, I used the web-tool EnergyIQ to plot differ- better than base?
N. of 1m2 PV modules to provide a 5 900kW system:
ent charts for building groups which could have a similar energy profile in terms of climatic zone, size, years of
completion and building typology. I selected different types of offices built from the 1990s on with high operation YES
5 900 000W / 200W/m2 (20% efficiency) = 29 500m2 hours and between around 5 000 to 100 000 square meters floor area, located in a climate with prevalence of
Heating Degree Days. The image on lower right shows the resulting graph. The site energy for typical buildings SUCCESS!
Here we see that the estimated PV panels array needed to power the building using current target values is
of this type is 255 kWh/m2 , against which my goal of 156 kWh/m2 does not seem impracticable.
bigger than the gross floor area, and is thus difficult to implement, especially because the building will most
probably be divided into different levels. Possible solutions are:
The biggest share is for lighting, followed by heating and cooling. Office equipment and computers make up
- plan for a smaller building, offering a lower area per person, a delicate and debatable solution
around a tenth of the total energy use, a surprisingly low result, while the share for cooking possibly reflects
- cover an area larger than the building with solar panels, for example safety areas around the runway and the
the fact that some offices do not have cooking facilities. Lighting and equipment power densities are the sum
gates, which would otherwise go unused
of installed lighting and equipment fixtures power, in watts, divided by floor area. Different types of space in the
- lower the EUI target, but this could add complexity to the planning process and end up needing solutions
building have individual power densities. Lighting and equipment power density is an expression of installed
which would lower comfort within the building, which is not desirable. Lowering the EUI in a further stage of the
power, it becomes an indicator of energy only when converted to watt-hours, which can be done once sched-
design is always possible and would bring to savings on the budget
ule, daylight factors and data from occupant’s use are known. Power densities are also a measure of the overall
- use more efficient PV modules, for example tilted, 1-or2-Axis tracking ones. The number of square meter
system energy efficiency.
needed to provide enough power is thus reduced.
1 -Axis tracking modules with a 10° tilt have an energy yield of 897kWh/kW, thus:

4 056 000kWh / 897kWh/kW = 4 520kW 4 520 000W / 200W/m2 = 22 600m2

using 22%efficient modules the area needed is further lowered to: 4 520 000W / 220W/m2 = 20 545m2
With these values, using the footprint of the buildign to cover its energy need looks more feasible. If it will be
possible to cover surrounding spaces with solar panels, and/or to cut the EUI in a further stage of the design,
then maybe less or less efficient modules can generate the power needed and the cost of the investment will be
It is important to notice that the conversion of alternate current to direct current happens at a 0.77 efficiency,
therefore it is better to use appliances and systems than operate on DC whenever possible.

JT15D-4 LTO Cycle. Chart taken from T.J. Mudler’s lecture “Air Traffic Noise and Emissions”, given in March source:
2012 at the faculty of Aerospace Engineering of TU Delft.

34 35
2.0 SITE

36 37
2.1 Location
Schiphol Airport is located 9 km South-West of Amsterdam at -3 meters of elevation above sea level, in a
topographic area called “polder”, a low-lying land reclaimed from the sea. A map of the site is showed in the
next page. Site boundaries are drawn in light blue, roads in yellow, the terminal, its taxiways and runways in
shades of purple. 5
Residential areas are at a minimum 3 km distance from the Polderbaan. There are two control towers, one at km
the central terminal and one next to the Polderbaan. The train rails pass directly at the terminal, making trans-
portation to Schiphol especially sustainable and comfortable. Students and low-income users profit greatly from
public transport.

On page 42, a close up of the area shows possible alternatives for connecting a terminal situated next to
the Polderbaan to the central building. Passengers would reach Schiphol’s central terminal and check in their
baggage, then take a low-energy consumption transport to the satellite pier. Transport methods can be road or
rail based. A road based system would not need extensive additional infrastructure, busses could make use of Po 2.
ta erb
existing roads for most of the way. The map shows an alternative in which a passage that crosses underneath
xi aa km
a runway is built to save connection time. Rail based vehicles above ground, drawn in orange, are a more w
ay n 3
expensive solution, but they are very comfortable and use little energy. Mexico City Airport, among others, uses ca .8
this time of transport. Lightweight underground rails, drawn in black, are another solution, in this case very . 5 km
expensive and not very feasible.

The satellite building would be positioned mid-way along the Polderbaan, north of the control tower. It will
need a short- and eventually long-term parking.

Other buildings, parkings
Control Tower Kr
Highways and subways ui
Site boundary eg
Train rails

38 39
2.2 Climatic aspects, their influence and potential
l de 2. The Netherlands are located in a temperate humid climate zone. Such zones are characterized by mild tem-
km peratures including warm summers and cool winters. They experience a considerable amount of precipitation
ta an and humidity. Coastal regions experience the influence of seas and ocean by their climate-tempering impact.
xi 3. Temperate climates generally don’t have extremely hot or cold periods, but they typically have both heating
w 8
ay km and cooling periods.
ca 5
.5 km
km To understand the climate and potentials of the location I am going to use a Weather Data file. These files
are packages of historically collected data recorded at weather stations. Weather stations are usually evenly
distributed on the national territory and often placed at airports. For this project I use data from the station lo-
long term parking cated in Amsterdam, read and analysed through the softwares Weather Tool for Autodesk Ecotect and Climate
proposed location It can be debated if it would not be wiser to use predictions for future climate change instead of historical
data. Future weather files are already being offered by, for example, several universities in the United Kingdom,
Runways short term parking or can be modeled with softwares. Scenarios of future weather could be more accurate in the planning stage
Taxiways of a building which is fit to last. Zero Energy Buildings are very concerned with durability as an important factor
elevated cable car on rails, of sustainability, shouldn’t then future projections be used to plan both passive and active systems? There is
Other buildings, parkings surely an advantage in foreseeing changes and planning for adaptation, but as for now morphed projections
two possible routes
Control Tower based on different scenarios can display very different results, making it difficult to choose solutions based on
underground lightweight rail future estimates.
Highways and subways Passive strategies are inherent to the building, some, like orientation and massing, are difficult to modify. But
Site boundary they are meant to offer comfort for a wider set of climate conditions, therefore are already optimized for change.
connections for motorized vehicles The choice of up- or downsizing mechanical systems would also be difficult to justify. Moreover, mechanical
Train rails
parts are meant to be replaced and occasionally upgraded. A good compromise is to right-scale equipment for
Residents the near future while planning for space and access to allow for replacements. According to Hootman (2011),
“net zero energy buildings are, in many ways, the building’s industry ultimate response to climate change”.

Studying the climate of the site is essential to the design process, selecting informations that will shape the
design and help choosing strategies for energy saving is the essential part of design exploration. I collected
informations regarding aspects of the climate in different data sets: temperature, humidity, wind, ground, solar
radiation and geometry, sky cover, illumination, and psychrometric charts.

Chart generated with the software Climate Consultant.

40 41

The graph below gives information about the monthly high, low and mean dry bulb temperatures as monthly Heating and cooling degree days are another useful unit to evaluate a location’s climate. They are calculated
diurnal averages, comfort zone temperature range and direct and diffuse solar radiation power. Dry bulb tem- from a base external temperature at which the building will not need either heating or cooling. Each degree
perature is air temperature measured with a thermometer not directly exposed to solar radiation or moisture. above or under this temperature, counted relatively to the daily average, counts as one degree day. Base
Comfort zone temperature is a tolerance range at which the basal rate of heat production and the heat loss to temperatures are usually calculated as an indoor temperature which is adequate to human comfort, adjusted
the external environment are in balance. The organism adjusts to the temperatures within this range through for internal heat gain, which usually increases the temperature by one or two degrees. The annual sum reflects
responses that require little energy, therefore it is also described as “neutral”. Responses that involve postural the demand for energy necessary to ensure thermal comfort in the building: the smaller the amount of HDD
changes, shade/sun exposure, ventilation rate and clothing set the base for adaptive thermal comfort, which and CDD, the less energy is required. One of the targets of energy neutral design is to lower HDD and CDD
by means of passive strategies which maintain a more stable indoor temperature for a wider range of outer 30
can widen the narrow standard set by thermal neutrality. A comfortable temperature within a controlled building
environment is between 18-22 C°. temperatures, like insulation, natural ventilation and the use of thermal mass. Doing so allows to calculate heat-
ing degree days for a lower base temperature, and cooling degree days for a higher base temperature, sensibly 20C° = 66
Reading the graph we can see that for each month of the year the neutral comfort zone lies entirely outside of reducing their amount. 18C° = 154
the mean diurnal temperatures, but not outside their maximum peaks during the summer. We can then expect a
consistent energy need for heating during at least 6 months of the year. The graph gives a graphic impression of the degree days for Amsterdam and their numeric value for different
base temperatures. A few degrees of difference can have a big impact on the annual energy bill. In this case, 10
During the winter months, the mean temperature throughout the day stays within a range of 5 degrees, which
means there is little warmth coming from the sun, or the sky is generally overcast. This is reflected by the values looking at the numbers for CDD, it means that if air conditioning is switched on at 20° instead of at 18°, the an-
reached by the sun radiation path: from October to January sunlight has around half of the power it radiates nual use of energy for cooling will be more than halved. Comfort: Thermal Neutrality
from March to August. Although the sun seems to have a much stronger radiation power than the previous
month during February, it takes around two months for the average temperatures to rise by ca. 5 degrees. This informations set the starting point for the choice and development of passive thermal strategies aimed at HDD / CDD
Diurnal temperature swings reach a maximum of 5-8 C°, which from the point of view of passive design strate- keeping a comfortable indoor temperature.
gies it means that thermal mass would give little to no benefits, as it performs effectively with a minimum swing -10
of 10°. • for passive solar heating, most of the glass area should be facing south in order to maxi- °C
mize winter sun exposure, but overhangs to fully shade in summer should be integral part of < 1:00 to 24:00 >

I find this image very interesting because of its way of displaying the very basic concept of warming through the design
passive solar gain, both direct and diffuse,and it also quantifies its effect through an effective comparison scale.
• the floorplan could be organized so that winter sun penetrates into daytime use spaces
with functions that coincide with solar orientation 30

MONTHLY DIURNAL AVERAGES - AMSTERDAM, NLD • heat gain from lights, people, and equipment may reduce heating needs, so a tight, com-
°C W/m²
< 1:00 to 24:00 > pact building may lower the balance point temperature 18C° = 2940
16,5C° = 2484
• sunny wind-protected outdoor spaces can extend living areas in cool weather, like sea- 10
40 1.0k sonal sun rooms, enclosed patios, or courtyards
• low mass materials, like wood, and a tightly sealed construction could provide rapid heat
30 0.8k buildup in the morning
• super insulation would prove cost effective, increasing occupant comfort by keeping Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

20 0.6k indoor temperatures more uniform °C

< 1:00 to 24:00 >

• tiles or slate on floors might provide enough surface mass to store winter daytime solar
Comfort: Thermal Neutrality 10 0.4k gain and summer nighttime coolness 40

• vestibule entries minimize infiltration and eliminate drafts. Rotating doors are effective but 30
Temperature: max.-min. and av.
not efficient, as they use energy to operate
0 0.2k
20C° = 66
Direct Solar 18C° = 154
Diffuse Solar
-10 0.0k
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Little temp. swing Peaks in early summer On average direct and diffuse light Comfort: Thermal Neutrality
during winter months Comfort Zone radiate almost the same power HDD / CDD
always above average mean temperature -10
Max.diurnal swing ca. 10˚ in spring Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

42 43
Humidity Wind
Relative humidity is a measure of the saturation of air with water vapour, expressed as a percentage. Human Winds blow generally from the North Sea, while winds from the inland are less frequent and have a lower
comfort requires it to be in the range of 25-60%. Levels of RH higher than 70% may cause condensation on speed. Wind blows prevalently from South-West throughout the year, with average speeds from 4 to 6 m/s and
cold surfaces, allowing for mold growth, corrosion and moisture related deterioration. Too low RH conditions peaks that reach 20 to 22 m/s. There is only a slight decrease of wind intensity from day to night, but no sensi-
feel uncomfortably dry and can give physical discomfort such as dry throat and eyes, and cause problems with ble change in direction nor frequency. DEC-JAN
static electricity, cracking of paint and shrinkage of wooden elements. N
During the winter, a cold wind with average speeds around 6-7 m/s blows from SSW. This is a very chal-
Monthly average relative humidity in the Amsterdam area is above 80% for most of the year, sinking to 60-79% lenging feature because it can sensibly lower the temperature on the facade exposed to it, thus cooling the
during the afternoon of the central months. The lowest levels of monthly averaged RH are in the range of 50- interior through transmission, and because of draught in the case of poor air tightness or openings and weak
60% during afternoons of May. links such as doors. The South facade is also the side that should be maximized in order to gain passive solar
This information excludes the possibility of using evaporative cooling in the summer and the need for humidifi- heat, which in this case would mean exposing more surface to the negative effect of cold winds. This could be
cators at outdoor air intakes. solved by means of exterior wind shields or dense planting which can protect the facade, but they could prove
It also points out that the building construction will have to take particular care of preventing build up of counterproductive if they also prevent sunlight to fully penetrate in the building. Such an issue might have to be
moisture, for examples using ventilated roofs and facades, and to choose materials that don’t deteriorate rapidly analysed with digital simulations in following stages of the design development.
when exposed to humidity. According to passive design strategies, spaces with functions that don’t have continuous occupance, such
as garages or storage, are to be located on the side of the building facing the coldest wind. In this case, this is
Temperature can be measured as dry or wet bulb temperature. Wet bulb temperature is measured with a ther- also the side that gains more daylight. Following the concept according to which electricity is a form of energy
mometer which bulb is wrapped in a wet cloth, and it represents the minimum temperature of air through the more valuable than heat (heat is a by-product in the generation of electricity), the heating energy lost by placing
effect of evaporation. Wet bulb depression is the difference between the two measurements, and can indicate storage rooms elsewhere would have a lower impact than the electric energy required to light more continu-
the presence of latent energy between the two conditions. The graph of wet bulb depression shows that there ously occupied rooms that don’t get enough daylight. A further disadvantage would be the loss of the positive
are only 3 to 6 degrees of depression for this site during the time that cooling may be needed: evaporative cool- impact of natural light and view toward the outside on the psyche of the occupants. A solution could be to take
ing can’t perform well in this climate. particular care in the insulation and air tightness of the side facing the cold wind, while positioning rooms with
light occupation on the north side.

Summer winds blow slower but more often, with average speeds around 4m/s and warmer temperatures.
This information can be useful when planning for cooling through natural ventilation, the direction of winds
together with pressure changes from one side of the building to the opposite can help moving air without the
consuming energy to power mechanical fans. As we have seen, the temperature swing to balance out with
active cooling is relatively low, so maybe it could be possible to cool the building by passive means, without the
use of conditioned air.

44 45
Ground Monthly and annual global incident solar radiation can be used to calculate the best position of photovoltaics
The temperature of the soil tends to even out with depth, it gets closer to the annual average outdoor tem- and/or solar thermal panels. On this site the global annual incident solar radiation at 180º is 650 kWh/m2, out of
perature after every meter under the surface. which 93.70 kWh/m2 is collected during winter months and 209.84 kWh/m2 is collected during summer months.
In Amsterdam, temperature swings in the ground at 0.5m depth are in the range of ca. 12 degrees around According to the Bosatlas van het Energie, the best orientation for solar panels is 5º to the South, 35º of tilt.
mean annual temperature, at 4m of depth this range is halved, with temperatures going from a minimum value Using these data as an input to recalculate the radiation levels and plotting a comparison of the results, we can
of 7 ºC in April to a maximum value of 13 ºC in October. On this site the temperature starts to stabilize at 10 ºC, see that panels with this orientation receive indeed more energy, especially during winter months where this can
at 4m and deeper below the surface. be double as much. The month that receives less radiation is December, with a mean radiation of 95 Wh/m2. It
As we have seen in its data set, dry bulb temperature swings are rather narrow, thus their value is in any is important to keep in mind that tilted panels create long shadows that can sink the efficiency of shaded panels
case not too far away from temperatures in the ground, but what matters is the time of the year at which such to zero during different times of the day, flat panels on a slightly tilted roof could prove just as efficient. It is better
temperatures are measured. The ground stores colder and warmer periods for longer, and can therefore help to oversize the area of PVs needed and plan so that surplus generation of energy can be stored to use for light-
evening out transitions between outdoor air temperature and the comfort zone we wish for. In summer, when ing during the night, or to warm water to be stored in the ground to use for heating in winter, or to be sold to the
average temperatures are around 18 ºC for outer air, pre-cooling of ventilation air at 10 ºC in a 4m deep pipe grid.
below the building could passively provide all the energy needed. In winter, ventilation air at 4 ºC can samely be
pre-heated at 10 ºC before flowing through the heat exchangers, thus allowing them to operate more efficiently.
A few degrees can make a big difference in comfort and in energy consumption, so there is much potential in Solar Geometry
using earth-coupling strategies both in summer and in winter. The ideal orientation for a building in this climate, generated by Autodesk Ecotect’s Weather Tool, is showed
in the graph on the lower right. The graph is superimposed and centred on the construction site. The building
maximises its South exposition to make full use of the warming energy of the sun during the underheated period
Solar Radiation and it minimizes East and West in order to avoid overheating from the sides. It is also rotated to the East by -8
Solar radiation is measured as normal, diffuse, global horizontal and global incident. Direct normal solar radia- degrees.
tion is measured on a surface perpendicular to the direct beam of light and diffuse radiation results from the This geometry will be adapted to the programme of functions and vice-versa.
reflecting and scattering of direct light on any surface. Global horizontal radiation is the combined effect of direct
and diffuse light measured on a horizontal surface, while global incident solar radiation is the same measure,
taken on a tilted surface. This last radiation value is determined by the angle of incidence at which it is meas-
ured, which is the difference between the angle of tilt and a line perpendicular to the sun’s beams, and is the key
Optimum Orientation N
unit to calculate for the generation of active solar energy through PVs. Location: AMSTERDAM, NLD
Other values are for irradiance, a measure of radiation in the units of power per area [W/m2], and insolation, a Orientation based on average daily incident
radiation on a vertical surface. 330° 30°
measure of radiation as energy (power over time exposure) per area [Wh/m2]. kWh/m²
Total Annual Collection: 650.04 kWh/m²
AMSTERDAM, NLD (52.3°, 4.8°)
Underheated Stress: 2086.8
1.80 Worst
Overheated Stress: 0.0 1.60
Underheated Period: 93.70 kWh/m²
Overheated Period: 209.84 kWh/m² Compromise: 172.5°
The amount of solar radiation over the course of the year gives informations about how much daylight is avail- 5500.0 © Weather Tool 315°

able for lightning and passive heating, which values are necessary to calculate the ratio of building skin to glaz-
ing that creates the best conditions for comfort. The measures of direct, diffuse and global radiation levels give 5000.0

informations about the need for shading and their position. Global horizontal solar radiation compared to the 300° 1.00 60°

outdoor temperatures can help assess issues coming from overheating in summer and opportunities for passive 4500.0 0.80
warming in winter. Incident solar radiation can help orientate the building to serve the different purposes outlined
before, allowing or blocking most of the direct light. 4000.0 285° 75°

For this location, incident solar radiation at 180º, which is also the global horizontal radiation, is at its lowest 3500.0 0.20

in the central winter months, starting to rise in February, peaking in late April and again the beginning of June,
and sinking from July on. The highest temperatures are recorded in July and August because of the effect of 3000.0
270° 90°

accumulated heat in the ground and the bodies of water and the weaker, warmer winds from inland. Low solar
radiation and low temperatures in the winter months mean that there would be need of a very high ratio of very
well insulating glazing to building skin in order to warm up through the sun. This would also help the rising levels
255° 105°
of radiation in spring to passively warm the building up to a comfortable temperature faster than the outdoor
temperature. An opportunity is to use triple glazing or coated assemblies, which have a very low U-value,
respectively, 0.35 and 0.53.
In the summer, radiation levels are lower than in the spring, which means that the temperature measured
240° 120°

directly on the skin of the building, called sol-air temperature and usually higher than the surrounding air, should
not be too extreme. But radiation coming in from a very high ratio of glazing to wall can have an overheating ef- 1000.0

fect, which is an issue because peak temperatures exceed the comfort zone, so integrated shading devices will 225° 135°

be needed to control and eventually completely block out direct radiation coming from the south and eventually 500.0

west side. Avg. Daily Radiation at 172.0° 210° 150° Annual Average
In autumn, a high ratio of glazing could help to postpone the date at which heating will have to be switched 0.0
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Entire Year: 0.98 kWh/m² Underheated Period
Compromise: 172.5°
on. Highly insulated glazing, shading devices and natural ventilation controlled by sensors could make the build- Underheated: 0.77 kWh/m²
Overheated: 0.99 kWh/m²
165° Overheated Period

ing extremely energy efficient.

46 47
Sky Cover Psychrometric Chart Psychrometric Chart

The sky cover is the percent of cloud cover, it is interesting to visualize it over the course of a year. Psychrometry is the study of the thermodynamic characteristics of moist air. In a psychrometric chart the Frequency: 1st January to 31st December
The International Commission on Illumination sets definitions for the evaluation of sky cover: clear, meaning thermal comfort zone is plotted as the area in which the combined effect of temperature and absolute humidity Weekday Times: 00:00-24:00 Hrs
Weekend Times: 00:00-24:00 Hrs
completely cloudless, overcast, or completely overcast, and intermediate, based on a clear sky with the addition levels contribute in creating a pleasant environment. This comfort zone can be expanded by means of passive Barometric Pressure: 101.36 kPa
© Weather Tool 30
of atmospheric haze. In the graph for the site we can see that the clearest skies are in May to June, the most strategies, which have a direct influence on the two measured factors. Many softwares offer simulations of the SELECTED DESIGN TECHNIQUES:
overcast in December to January, and that the clearest part of the day is usually at night. The worst sky cover effect of different strategies on the psychrometric chart. 1. passive solar heating
2. thermal mass effects
condition is used to simulate the worst-case daylight scenario and calculate the daylight factor. 3. natural ventilation

As a climate with prevalent overcast conditions, strategies for daylight are a particular matter. I plotted two psychrometric charts with different passive design strategies in order to have a wider understand- 25

ing of how they work and what kind of informations they can deliver. The first chart is generated with Autodesk
Weather Tool, the second with Climate Consultant. We can see the natural comfort zone and annual recorded
Illumination peak temperatures, mostly on the lower left side of that zone, as they are colder temperatures which can hold 20

Direct normal illumination is the measure of exterior illuminance measured on a surface perpendicular to the less milligrams of water vapour.
direct sun beam. Global horizontal illumination is the total direct and diffuse sky illuminance measured on a In the first chart I plotted the effect of passive solar heating, thermal mass and natural ventilation. Passive solar
horizontal surface, both units are in lux, lumens per square meter. Daylight factor is the indoor illumination at heating can outdo the benefits of the use of thermal mass during colder periods when modifying the settings to
any point in a building measured as a percentage of outdoor illumination level, characterized by time and sky a very high level of insulation. It can indeed cover more than a half of the heating needs when the settings are 15

condition. modified to 50% ratio of glazing to wall. In the evaluation of this information is important to know if sky cover
and winds are taken in consideration. Natural ventilation, too, offers all the benefit derived from thermal mass
Typical low global illumination is about 7 000-8 000 lumens/m2. Average winter global illumination is about 10 during warm periods and more, as it creates a comfortable climate up to a higher moisture content. 10

000 lumens/m2, average annual global illumination is about 22 000 lumens/m2. There is still a broad range of temperatures that exceed the comfort zone on the cold side and a small amount
of peak temperatures that exceed the comfort zone on the hot side, for which a solution has to be found.
Comparing sky cover conditions with exterior illumination levels is useful to understand worst, best, and typical 5
cases, and how the sky conditions change with the seasons. December is the worst case scenario with highest Using Climate Consultant I could select design strategies from a selection of alternatives. These are very Comfort

percentage of overcast skies, around 90%, and lowest illumination levels, around 6 000 lumens/m2. clearly displayed because they show the annual percentage of recorded external temperatures at which the
Best case scenario is in May, with overcast sky at around 50% and illumination levels around 34 000 lumens/ indoor comfort would be preserved implementing each strategy, also expressed as amount of hours a year in
m2. Typically the cloud cover are around 65%, direct illumination’s averages range from 45 000 to 20 000 lu- which the strategy would have a positive effect. DBT(°C) 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
mens/m2 and global illumination averages range more widely from 6 500 to 34 000 lumens/m2. It would be counterproductive, overcomplex and too expensive to implement all strategies, therefore it is
To estimate design daylight factors I divide the desired interior illumination levels by the worst-case overcast important to reach as much effect as possible using as little systems as possible. I plotted strategies that I had
exterior illumination level. being selecting through the creation of data sets: sun shading, natural ventilation cooling, passive solar direct
According to Net Zero Energy Design: heat gain, and wind protection. This chart autonomously adds internal heat gain, which apparently would suffice
to create a comfortable indoor for as much as a third of the annual temperature range. Passive solar direct gain
Orientation/limited detail/occasional use = 50 - 100 lux is plotted as a dotted line indicating that it depends on many other influences, such as radiation levels and sky
such as short corridors and storages cover, and is even more optimistic than in the previous chart. Wind protection has a positive effect for 9.4% of
Basic visual tasks/moderate detail/regular use = 200 - 300 lux the annual temperatures, it lowers the base temperature at which the building is thermally comfortable by seven
such as bars, lounges, atrium, WCs, some areas of offices degrees. According to this chart the rest of the heating period, for about 60% of the annual recorded tempera-
Basic visual tasks/high detail/regular use = 500 lux tures, has to be evened out by means of active heating. Its estimated amount of hours, 5299, should not be
such as retail areas, desks, document checks confused with the Heating Degree Hours, it is a different measure.
Special visual tasks/extremely high detail = 1 000 - 2 000 lux Sun shading devices alone are sufficient for 3.3% of the annual temperatures, and have to be implemented
i.e. surgery, but also luxury retail such as jewellery, watches, and some areas of kitchens from an exterior dry bulb temperature of around 20 degrees. Natural ventilation cooling is sufficient for nearly
2% of the annual temperatures, but leaves 1% exposed to overheating. If we want to avoid active cooling while
If possible programme functions that require higher levels of illumination should be located on the side of sun completely covering peak hot temperatures, night flushed high thermal mass would be the solution.
incidence for the best-case daylight scenario, according to the solar geometry diagram.
Shape and position of the glazed surfaces play of course an essential role, and their behaviour should be
tested with a dedicated software.

48 49

50 51
3.1 Shape, orientation and thermal zoning Airline Other Services Public
Apart from contextual conditions, shape and volume of a building are dictated by the needs of the functional ranking total ranking total
Administration Concessions Mechanical Circulation
program and by design preferences. Both are important for the building in order to be commercially success-
Operations Food and beverage Shafts Waiting areas MJ/sm/yr MJ/sm/yr
ful. The indoor space has to be functional and enough to allow for comfortable use and movement, but not Baggage Airport administration Tunnels, stairs Restrooms
oversized, while the outdoor volume can follow a design concept or wish for branding, while keeping in mind Miscellaneous Electrical Exits
eventual future expansions. In both cases a good concept is to allow for flexible use.
First of all the building program and occupancy have to be known, from these, minimum floor areas for each
Communication 1 742 - little space for gates 7 808
function can be calculated. The pie chart on the right shows my calculations for floor areas dedicated to differ- 35% of 26 000 20% of 26 000
ent uses. Recommended proportions for each function are taken from “Airport Engineering”, 2009. The program 20% of 26 000 35% of 26 000 15%ROOF
ROOF generate of 26 000 30% of 26 000
energy 2
2 energy = 3 900m
is divided in space dedicated to airlines, services, public and other uses, which comprehend concessions and = 5 200m2m2 = 9 100m cool
cool = 7 800m2
catering. In the case of my satellite building, baggage handling is not operated but happens in Schiphol’s central NORTH INTERIOR minimize surface
INTERIOR minimize surface superinsulate
provide daylight
building. Passengers drop off their bags to check-in before reaching the satellite, which simplifies their journey provide daylight superinsulate
and ventilation nicest view
Rentable and administration: 55%
and ventilation nicestNon-
view rentable: 45%
and avoids wasting space and equipment by doubling the baggage handling system. Schiphol’s main terminal
can already handle the extra baggage, because the currently planned expansion also foresees to use its central EAST
system for the extra amount of processed luggage.
maximize solar heat gain
maximize solar heat gain 2 760 - difficult to expand 8 817
gates and daylight
The proportional redistribution of space dedicates more floor area to retail and catering, because income from daylight
daylight and daylight
passengers shopping and rent allows airports to impose lower taxes on airlines. Lower fees for airlines also
mean more opportunities for low-budget flights, which are popular with consumers. SOUTH
maximize solar heat gain
maximize solar heat gain
and daylight
The aesthetic of the building influences the way its volume is organized, and is an essential aspect of the archi- and daylight
main winds provide shading
tect’s design. In this case, my focus is on the passive energy performance due to the effect of volume and ori- main winds provide shading
entation of the building on this specific site. As we have seen, solar geometry and wind pattern are essential to SSW
this, because they have a great influence on indoor comfort and the use of energy for lighting. On this site, the 3 774 - boring 9 844 - selected peer
building is not constrained by neighbouring features, there are no shading volumes and the line of the horizon
is very low. The essential characteristic here is the position of the runway, from and to which the aircrafts will be
moving. I want the distance from runway to gate to be as short as possible in order to minimize fuel consump-
tion and waiting times.
Another feature is the view. Characteristically, terminal buildings have a high percentage of glazed surfaces in
order to offer a wide outlook on the parked planes and flight operations, especially take-offs. This reduces anxi-
ety and builds up a positive feeling of confidence. - panoramic view on the whole of Schipol
Keeping these considerations in mind, it is useful to start sketching possible aesthetic solutions for the design,
in order to fix quick ideas about integration of systems and geometry, as shown on the lower right of this page.
4 797 - enclosed atrium used as indoor garden
10 850
a strategy with PVs on roof, a strategy with earth coupling, maximized thermal has climatic and non-climatic advantages
a strategy with PVs on roof, a strategy with earth coupling, maximized thermal a strategy for shading integrated with PVs
micro wind turbine, internal
micro wind turbine, internal mass, small wind turbines, solar heat and daylight a strategy for shading integrated with PVs
In order to test and compare the energy performance of different solutions, I used Autodesk Vasari Ecotect. mass, small wind turbines, solar heat and daylight
courtyard to preheat air, from east and west
This software makes it possible to model volumes and simulate energy consumption for a building in any loca- courtyard to preheat air, from east and west
maximum daylight on all sides,
tion based on volume and shape, the position of floors and various design options for each part of the envelope. maximum daylight on all sides,
minimized north exposure
minimized north exposure
First, the location on the world map has to be determined, and the closest weather station will be used as
a reference for climate data. In the case of Schiphol Airport, the software finds a weather station within a 5km summer
radius. Then, it is possible to model or import shapes, assign floors and materials, and adjust options for energy winter
calculation. The actual simulation is then sent to a detached server for calculation, and made available for online 5 800 11 858
reading once ready, which usually takes a few minutes.
In the options for energy performance it is possible to adjust the level of insulation for each part of the building
envelope as well as the type of glazing. It is also possible to assign different uses to thermal zones, to specify
data for custom chosen material assemblies and change HVAC systems. Too many or too complex user defined
preferences can lead to inaccuracies and give results that can be misinterpreted. When going into detailed
building’s features in Ecotect, it needs some time and expertise to make sure that all chosen options add up to
a realistic output. For example, when adding an atrium, it is important to determine if its walls have to be calcu-
lated as external or as internal partitions, or if its volume is going to be heated or not.
Thermal zoning, or the more intense effect of external conditions on the space directly behind the facade up 6 807 12 861
to a depth of 4.5 meters, makes the simulation more precise and the effect of changing facade material more
I simulated the performance of different geometries and volumes under the same presets in order to define
how their shape contributes to energy consumption. My aim was not to reach a specific value, but to have a
set of comparable alternative solutions that behave differently under the same circumstances. The fixed set of
PRESETS: ca. 24000 m3, 80% shaded glazing
144 245 762 closed north fa
52 53 131 162 635 2 to 3-panes gla
129 148 611 1m lower uppe
features for all alternatives is: 24000sm floor area, 80% glazed surface, ventilated roof. Number of occupants
and internal heat gain are software presets, together with heating and cooling need and base temperatures.
The software’s output sheets of information can be found in Appendix C.

In the previous page I ranked 12 simulated volumes by performance and evaluated them according to their
energy generation potential and expansion opportunity. For a given floor area, the best of test is a low, rec-
tangular volume with east-west orientation. For each shape, the north-south oriented counterpart performed
significantly worse. A round, low-rise building is the second best performing, but its functionality, expressed as
opportunity for expansion, is lower. More compact shapes, taller due to a higher number floors, perform worse.
Thermal loss through transmission in winter may be lower, but heat build-up in summer results in more energy
consumption for conditioning. These solutions rank 5th and 10th. An atrium raises the thermal need because
of both transmission losses and heat build-up, but provides natural light and passive solar heat, and if properly
integrated in the climate concept it can work as a complete conditioning system. As a solar buffer space and
therefore energy collector, and as a design choice because of its beautiful integration of indoor and outdoor
space, an atrium is a feature that I wish to integrate in my building. If left open, as in the solutions ranked 8 and
11, its negative effect is accentuated, but if glazed the consumption lowers again. Glazed atria in a rectangular,
north-south oriented low rise building rank 7th, while the best orientation, by a little difference, is 8 degrees to
the west, and ranks 6th.
Round buildings maximise the positive effect of the sun, and offer a spectacular view, which is very important
in the project for an airport. Conceptually, the best orientation in this context would be towards the runway, both
for the view as for the planes reaching and departing from the gates, arrayed along the long side. This solution,
though, maximises facade surface towards an unwanted climatic condition: low setting sun. This causes the
building to be mostly shaded while the sun is warmer in winter and mostly exposed while heat builds up at the
end of summer days. The performance ranking for this solution is the worst of the test, while the opposite orien-
tation, with the facade maximising heat and light gain towards the south, ranks 4th. Three straight sides mean
expansion is easy to plan, while a large roof surface favours energy generation. Gates can still be arrayed on
the long, curved side, offering a panoramic view on their operations and on half the runway, which is more than
most of the existing piers at Schiphol anyway, while more important still, thanks to its position at a distance, it
opens on the rest of the Airport and nearly all of its traffic, landing and taking off from five other runways.
The spacious view on green fields with the amazing scene of Schiphol’s air traffic at a favourable distance will
transform being at this satellite terminal into a memorable experience. For all these reasons, I think the shape
ranked fourth is the best choice for this terminal building. The image on the next page presents the selected
volume on site, with the connection to the main hub, the view on the other runways and a possible expansion

The images on the right show how it is possible to investigate the effect of solar irradiation on each side of the 5 min.
building using Ecotect’s solar tool. The position of the sun can be set and the irradiation values read on a colour
legend. Summer and winter solstice are key moments to evaluate the effect of solar and building geometry
Here, the situation on top shows how the south facing side of the building heats up during the 21st of June,
when the sun is strongest. In the second image, the south and west sides are tilted, so that they won’t be
directly hit by the heat waves. Using the same shape for the third image, a solar study for the whole summer
presents good irradiation results, where their cumulative effect stays below 0.5 kWh/sm. In the lowest image,
always using a tilted south facade, the study for winter months presents cumulative irradiation results higher
than 0.5 kWh/sm, which means that the building receives plenty of solar warmth.

54 55
In the building, temperatures will naturally range from colder to warmer according to thermal zoning. On the The sketch on this page presents the interior layout for the selected building shape.
colder northern side they will be a few degrees lower than on the warmer south side. It is possible to make use The program is based on the concept for thermal zoning, which makes use of climatic influence on up to 4.5
of this passive conditioning of indoor space by organizing the program of functions in a similar way. Functions facade offset and natural light penetration of up to 6 meters. In this solution restrooms, kitchens and storages
with lower thermal requirements will be placed on the north side, while those with higher thermal requirements are adjacent to the straight north facade for all levels and circulation takes place within the atrium, a buffer
will take place on the south side. Thermal requirements are mostly determined by activity and occupancy rates, space suitable for a higher level of activity and relatively short occupancy time. A wide staircase leads the way
where lower occupancy means lower thermal requirements and conveniently also lower lighting needs. This towards natural light coming from above. On the ground floor, a glazed corridor along the southern facade leads
type of space usually accommodates storage, equipment and restrooms. Circulation and catering space are arriving passengers to passport check, the rest of the space on the three sides around the atrium is dedicated
characterized by constant activity and normal occupancy density, with both low and high density periods. A to retail and food concessions. On the east side there is the entrance hall, which takes advantage of the early
space with this kind of thermal profile needs warmth but also generates a lot of it, so in my floorplan it is placed morning sun to start warming first. Its volume is bigger because the first floor is cut to a balcony, that can also
in the central area of the building, which is less subject to the effect of outdoor swings and can achieve a local be directly reached through a staircase, thus helping intuitive route finding and letting more light through.
temperature balance. This type of strategy refers to vernacular architecture in which sources of heat such as The first floor accommodates departure gates arrayed along the curved facade, on the floor area that oc-
kitchen’s fireplaces were built in the middle of the house in order to make use of the passive warmth they gener- cupies up to 6-8 meters of offset there are waiting isles in an open sitting landscape. Around the atrium there is
ated. Summer overheating was not a problem because fire for cooking was lighted much less often. catering space for food and beverages and small retail such as news stands or a small convenience store.
The souther thermal zone is ideal for low activity levels, high occupancy and good lighting levels. In my floor- On the second level there is a greenhouse, which will be in as much as possible accessible to the public and
plans, it is dedicated to retail and waiting areas. an integral, essential part of the climatic concept.

The use of natural light and space is designed in a way that the organization of the indoor layout is immediate-
ly visible and the program of functions intuitively understood. This makes route finding as simple and straightfor-
ward as possible, which lets passengers experience less travelling anxiety and more confidence driven comfort.

o m
t ion
circula g
ca in
te r

56 57
In this page, preparatory sketches for the interior layout, circulation patterns and structure.

The structure is characterized by the large span roof and the atria. The round part of the roof will be slightly
slanted towards south to maximize generated electricity, while the rectangular part around the atria and on the
north side accommodates the greenhouse.

58 59
The image on this page presents the final design, all strategies and systems selected towards the final appear-
ance are presented in the next section.
The even part of the roof, which covers the greenhouse and atria, is made of triangular skylights with solar panels
mounted on the south side covered in solar cells and the northern side glazed, eventually translucent. The slanted
part of the roof is open with skylights following the radial structure underneath, and covered with solar cells on the
remaining surface. The radially developing pattern fulfils multiple functions.

60 61
3.2 Building structure
On using wood as a construction material for commercial architecture, Ruske (2004) writes “wood is a
high-tech material with added ecological value that can be used as a way of enhancing the company’s
image”. Germany has published a federal law stating that all materials for building should be energy-saving,
environmentally friendly, shouldn’t pone a risk for health, i.e. avoiding compound materials, which are also
difficult to separate, should make use of solar energy sources for comfort, allow for controlled dismantle of
structures and for recycling, or thermal use. All indicators seem to point to wood.
Timber is also largely available, it uses solar energy to grow and stores carbon dioxide while emitting
oxygen, it requires little energy is needed to transport and process. Tactile and aesthetic qualities of wood
are excellent, economic structures covering large spans are possible thanks to its low weight in relation to
its load bearing capacity. Wood also ages well and has a virtually limitless life span if properly used, requir-
ing little to no special care.
More attention is required for its details, especially because of its typical characteristic of longitudinal
shrinking while drying.

62 63

64 65

66 67
On this page a cross section of the building will show the implementation of the selected strategies and systems
4.1 Passive systems and their efficiency 234 within the building and among each other.
The selection of passive strategies for energy saving should be made according to information gathered during kWh/sm 1. PEER BUILDING
climate and site analysis, building geometry and budget. It is useful to start by looking at the energy consump-
tion splits to understand where is the potential for savings. Then, each split can be addressed individually with a 2. SHAPE AND ORIENTATION -6%
dedicated strategy. 3. THERMAL INSULATION -12%
I used Ecotect’s simulation data sheet to divide energy consumption into shares. From there, I applied each 4. INSULATED GLAZING -12%
selected strategy and calculated the relative saving. In nine consequent steps, it is possible to cut the use of
kWh per square meter by 63%, in this case from 234 to 87, thus reaching a lower value than what I previously
predicted. 5. AVOID OVERHEATING -5%
After determining the optimal shape for the volume, the applied strategies are thermal insulation of opaque 87
elements, improved windows (or thermal insulation of transparent elements), overheating avoidance through kWh/sm
geometry and construction assembly, sunshading, natural ventilation, pre-heat and heat recovery, lighting con-
cept and optimal use of artificial light by means of sensors. Each strategy and its contribution will be presented
separately in the following pages. Each passive system has an influence on the choice and integration of active
systems and energy generation, which have to be kept in mind in order to be successfully integrated in the 9. LIGHTING CONCEPT -12%
successive stages. As mentioned before, holistic architecture works as an organism in which systems are inte- 10. OCCUPANCY/DAYLIGHT -12%
grated rather than added, in a way that optimizes the efficiency of the whole concept.
My project presents a study case in which I investigate how it is possible to reduce needs and make the best
use of existing energy flows inside and outside the building, in order to minimize its energy consumption. The
values I use for my calculations are indicative and can be replaced or corrected, what is essential to this thesis
is the effect of design choices towards the goal of energy neutrality. What are the appropriate and most effec-
tive strategies to lower consumption, and how much do they proportionally impact? Such findings are not only
indicative for the specific case of my project, but for any building that strives to reach Zero Energy operation. 01. PEER BUILDING BASELINE 02. SHAPE AND ORIENTATION
The findings are therefore presented as a percentage saving on a reference value. Thanks to the use of reduction from baseline kWh/sm/yr reduction from baseline kWh/sm/yr
consumption’s shares for different uses, there are three levels on which my findings can be read. They are
presented in the text as percentage saving on their share of consumption, as saving on total consumption, and % 234 -6% 220
as stacked saving from the baseline value. The first factor is an absolute value and is mentioned in the text. The
second factor is especially useful because it can be added to calculate the efficiency of different mixes of strate-
gies, it is shown in the diagram on lower right, labelled “this strategy’s contribution on total consumption”. The
third value is specific to this presented pathway, and can be read in the graph on lower right, labelled “reduction
from baseline”.

The first stack of values in the diagrams on the right is used as baseline for comparison. I chose the solution
that ranked 9th in my shape exploration, which consumes 234 kWh/sm a year, because it is indicative of the
consumption of a comparable building oriented and shaped in an energetically inefficient way.
The averaged consumption of a similar existing building, according to EnergyIQ’s submetered data (as men-
tioned previously in this report) is 252 kWh/sm, but peer building baselines from online registers can be less
indicative because the parameters range of their categories are necessarily wide.
Ecotect’s simulation reflects modern standards of construction because the building’s completion year is set this strategy’s contribution on total
as the current year, thus the modeled consumption is foreseen to be better than most existing set of metered consumption
data. This means that the margin of saving would probably be higher than 60%, when compared to an existing
standard building.

The charts on lower right of this page compare the selected Peer Building with its relative optimal shape and
orientation. For the Peer Building, electric energy makes up 66% of total consumption, divided in miscellaneous
equipment, lighting and air conditioning and ventilation, which account for respectively 22%, 15% and 29% of
total energy consumption. Thermal energy, provided by fuel, is 34% of the total, and is divided in hot water and
heating, which are respectively 2% and 32% of the total.
For my project, orienting and massing the building volume in the most efficient way can save 6% of energy a
year. This lowers air conditioning and ventilation’s share, and heating’s share, while lighting and hot water’s share
increase respect to the total.

68 69
(Wärmedämmung) (Feuchteschutz) (Hitzeschutz)
Alle Angaben ohne Gewähr

0 EnEV Bestand*: U<0,24

Außenwand, W/m²K0.5
U=0,204 0
W/m²K Tauwasser (kg) 1 Temperaturamplitudendämpfung: 31.3
25 g/m² (0.3%) Trocknet 5 Tage (erstellt am 31.3.2014 19:10)
Phasenverschiebung: 15.5h
Raumluft: 20°C / 50% Tauwasser: 0.03 kg/m² Gewicht: 59 kg/m²

Thermal insulation U = 0,204 W/m²K

Außenluft: -10°C / 80%
Wenig Tauwasser
sd-Wert: 4.7 m
Dicke: 28.7 cm 31.3
(Hitzeschutz) To cross-check the contribution of thermal insulation alone on the improvement in energy consumption I
Thermal insulation is the first system to take into consideration in order to save on heating energy, it acts in the compared two results, one from the simplified equation on Excel sheet, and one from an Ecotect’s performance
same way clothes help us to stay warm, limiting thermal conductivity between air at different temperatures by Temperaturverlauf / Tauwasserzone simulation where defined options were modified to high levels of insulation. Ecotect’s simulation shows a reduc-
0 EnEV Bestand*: U<0,24 W/m²K0.5 0 Tauwasser (kg) 1 Temperaturamplitudendämpfung: 31.3
means of transmission, convection and radiation. Temperaturverlauf 25 g/m² (0.3%) Trocknet 5 Tage Phasenverschiebung: 15.5h tion of 12% in total consumption from the previous case. Thermal energy required for comfort lowers from
Insulation can be a disadvantage in the case where heat transmission towards the outside is wished for, such 20 Raumluft: 20°C / 50% Temperatur
Tauwasser: 0.03 kg/m² Gewicht: 59 kg/m² 68kWh/sm to 50 kWh/sm, thus is reduced by more than a quarter. Excel’s output for an average wall assembly
as during periods of overheating. Thus, a problem of insulation is its static behaviour. Dynamic insulation is 1 Außenluft:
2 3 -10°C / 80% 4 5 6 sd-Wert:Taupunkt
4.7 m Dicke: 28.7 cm with a 1.8 U-value is 130W/sm, improving the value to 0.15 results in a consumption of 94W/sm, also reduced
15 Tauwasser
being tested (Heggers et al., 2008) using water and air for transferring heat between an insulating layer, better if of slightly more than a quarter. The two methods are thus comparable. Excel’s output is however half of that
transparent for solar gain, and a storage mass. Such switchable insulating systems could retain or release heat 10 simulated by Ecotect (24 kWh/sm a year). This can be due to the fact that the calculation is simplified and is not

Temperatur [°C]
Temperaturverlauf / Tauwasserzone
when needed. 5 aided by a 3D model, to be more precise, it reads the building as if it had just one wide floor, which, as we have
The planning concept for insulation is to achieve a continuous protective layer that avoids infiltration and ther- Temperaturverlauf seen in the shape exploration, has a sensible effect on consumption. The absolute value is not essential, what
20 Temperatur
mal bridges. It has to be defined where to use insulation in respect to the building elements and construction 0
matters is the proportional factor, because that is the information I want to define and put to test in order to set
1 2 3 4 5 6 Taupunkt
assembly, the type of material and its thickness. -5 15 Tauwasser up a useful methodology
These choices are influenced by the type of structure. The structural elements themselves can have an effect
-10 10

Temperatur [°C]
on thermal performance, depending on if they provides thermal mass or not. Thermal mass absorbs tempera- How are W/sm translated into kWh/sm/yr?
ture swings, it can be activated with passive solar heat and be comfortable both in winter and in summer, when 05 50 100 150 200 250 300
[mm] 80 650
it can release stored heat during the night, thus cooling the space. Anyway, during the site analysis phase I have Innen Außen ( 94W/sm * 24 hours * 3945 Heating Degree Days at 21° base temperature ) / 364 = 24450 = 24kWh/sm/yr
seen that thermal mass does not provide any evident benefit in this climate, because of low direct radiation and
small thermal swings. Also, a problem of high thermal mass structures can be high weight and volume. 1 Gipskartonplatte
-5 (12,5 mm) 3 AGEPAN OSB/3 PUR (12,5 mm) 5 Hinterlüftung (40 mm)
2 Weichfaserplatte / Installationsebene (54 Gutex Thermowall (160 mm) 6 Fichte (12 mm)
Base temperatures have a great effect on consumption. How much would it save to lower the base tempera-
Concrete has a high thermal mass, but only when left exposed. Steel has low thermal properties, but is -10 ture to 18°?
lightweight and more recyclable. Using wood as construction material offers the best of two worlds, it has many Rechts: Maßstäbliche Zeichnung des Bauteils. Links: Verlauf von Temperatur und Taupunkt an der in der rechten Abbildung
environmental and cost advantages, and massive timber elements have an excellent thermal behaviour. markierten Stelle.
0 Der Taupunkt
50 kennzeichnet
100 150 die
250 bei
300der Wasserdampf kondensieren und Tauwasser entstehen
würde. Solange der Konstruktion an jeder Stelle[mm]
Innendie Temperatur
80 650
über der Taupunkttemperatur liegt, entsteht kein Tauwasser. ( 94W/sm * 24 hours * 2940 Heating Degree Days at 18° base temperature ) / 364 = 18kWh/sm/yr
Falls sich die beiden Kurven berühren, fällt an den Berührungspunkten Tauwasser aus.
Elements to be thermally insulated are roofs, walls, components in contact with the soil and floor slabs in con- 1 Gipskartonplatte (12,5 mm) 3 AGEPAN OSB/3 PUR (12,5 mm) 5 Hinterlüftung (40 mm) Independently from the amount of thermal energy needed, in the Netherlands 3 degrees lower base tempera-
tact with unheated space. Insulation can be placed externally, integrated in the structure, such as with timber 2 Weichfaserplatte / Installationsebene (54 Gutex Thermowall (160 mm) 6 Fichte (12 mm) tures for heating mean 25% less energy consumption.
stud walls, or internally. Internal insulation suffers from many disadvantages, from humidity buildup to loss of Schichten (von innen nach außen)
Rechts: Maßstäbliche Zeichnung des Bauteils. Links: Verlauf von Temperatur und Taupunkt an der in der rechten Abbildung
floor area, and is not recommended apart from cases of renovation of historical buildings, where the facade of Folgende Tabelle Stelle.
markierten enthältDer
die Taupunkt
wichtigsten Daten aller Schichten
kennzeichnet der Konstruktion:
reduction fromdie Temperatur,
baseline bei der Wasserdampf
kWh/sm/yr kondensieren
reduction und Tauwasser
from baseline entstehen
the building cannot be replaced. würde. Solange die Temperatur der Konstruktion an jeder Stelle über der Taupunkttemperatur liegt, entsteht kein Tauwasser.
# Falls sichMaterial λ
die beiden Kurven berühren, fällt an den Berührungspunkten R
aus. [°C] Gewicht Tauwasser
[W/mK] [m²K/W] min220 max -18%
[kg/m²] [Gew%] 193
Good values are usually reached with insulation above 200 mm of thickness. The roof is the element that radi- Wärmeübergangswiderstand 0,130 19,0 20,0
ates the most, so particular care has to be taken there. German passiv houses, as a good example to follow, 1 1,25 cm Gipskartonplatte
Schichten (von innen/ Installationsebene
nach außen)
0,250 0,050 18,6 19,3 8,5 0,0
2 5 cm Weichfaserplatte 0,039 1,282 8,2 19,0 7,5 0,3
reach an average thermal insulation of 0.15 kWh/m2 for the whole envelope assembly. In the image on upper 3 1,25 cm AGEPAN OSB/3 PUR 0,130 0,096 7,3 11,9 7,9 0,3
right, I created a potential wall assembly for my building and tested its performance. 4 Folgende Tabelle
16 cm Gutex enthält die(65
Thermowall wichtigsten
cm) Daten aller Schichten
0,042 der Konstruktion:
3,810 -9,3 11,4 22,8 0,0
16 cm Fichte (8 cm) 0,130 1,231 -8,7 8,1 7,9 0,0
# Material
Wärmeübergangswiderstand λ 0,130 R -10,0 Temperatur-8,4 [°C] Gewicht Tauwasser
Insulating materials are divided in organic and inorganic. The choice of material has to take into consideration 5 4 cm Hinterlüftung (Außenluft) [W/mK] [m²K/W]-10,0 min-10,0 max 0,0 [kg/m²] [Gew%]
many other aspects apart from the insulating performance, for example health safety towards VOCs, stiffness, 6 1,2 cm FichteWärmeübergangswiderstand 0,130-10,0 19,0-10,0 20,0 5,4
28,7 cm1,25 cm Gipskartonplatte
Gesamtes Bauteil 0,250 4,897 0,050 18,6 19,3 60,0 8,5 0,0
fire resistance, moisture resistance, delivery sizes and price. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is a popular choice 2 5 cm Weichfaserplatte / Installationsebene 0,039 1,282 8,2 19,0 7,5 0,3
because organic, easy to shape and cut, lightweight and not expensive. Wool and cotton can be taken in con- 3 1,25 cm AGEPAN OSB/3 PUR 0,130 0,096 7,3 11,9 7,9 0,3
4 16 cm Gutex Thermowall (65 cm) 0,042 3,810 -9,3 11,4 22,8 0,0
sideration as more natural, widely available and excellent sound insulation materials, but they suffer moisture. All 16 cm Fichte (8 cm) 0,130 1,231 -8,7 8,1 7,9 0,0
insulating alternatives, anyway, come with disadvantages that have to be dealt with. Wärmeübergangswiderstand 0,130 -10,0 -8,4
5 4 cm Hinterlüftung (Außenluft) -10,0
*Vergleich mit dem Höchstwert gemäß EnEV 2009 für erstmaligen Einbau, Ersatz oder Erneuerung von Außenwänden -10,0 Seite0,0
(Anlage63, Tabelle
1).. -10,0 -10,0 5,4
How is the contribution of thermal insulation to energy consumption quantified? 28,7 cm Gesamtes Bauteil this strategy’s
4,897 contribution on total 60,0
Heating has to replace the amount of thermal energy that is lost towards the outside in a constant flux. The Hier klicken, um das Bauteil auf zu bearbeiten.
size of this loss determines the energy that has to be put back into the space. This need for thermal energy is
the output from the combination of energy content of fuel minus conversion and distribution losses. A smaller -12%
amount of electrical energy is also needed, to operate pumps that support the distribution system.
*Vergleich mit dem Höchstwert gemäß EnEV 2009 für erstmaligen Einbau, Ersatz oder Erneuerung von Außenwänden Seite 1/4
To calculate the flow of energy through transmission I used a simplified heat gain and loss equation provided (Anlage 3, Tabelle 1, Zeile 1)..
by Dr. Regina Bokel from the Department of Building Technology at TU Delft, an image of the file I used can be Hier klicken, um das Bauteil auf zu bearbeiten.
found in Appendix C. The parameters of this equation are net floor area, volume, design indoor and outdoor
temperature, transmission loss as product of envelope area and relative U-value, and ventilation loss as a
product of air change rate, infiltration rate, temperature difference and volumetric mass of air. Thermal insulation
influences only the U-value of opaque parts of the building envelope, but as we will see other passive strategies
influence other parameters, contributing in lowering total heat demand.
A similar equation is used to calculate cooling demand. This takes in consideration also solar heat gain coef-
ficient, solar heat load, and internal heat load expressed as occupant density, lighting and computer sensible
70 71
Improved windows
Glazed surfaces are sometimes seen as the weak link in thermal insulation, but they don’t necessarily have to
be. Nowadays, triple glazing and double leaf facades are common in commercial buildings that wish to have a
high percentage of glazed envelope for reasons of branding and image. Such assemblies reach 0.5W/m2K or
double-leaf facade U-value 0.35
lower, which is still around double the value of opaque insulation, but glazing offers the unique advantage of let-
ting warming solar radiation enter the space. The positive effect of passive solar heat can be fully exploited using triple glazing with outer pane
heat absorbing indoor surfaces, such as tiles, wood or other porous paving materials, better if in a dark shade. moderate solar gain
According to Hegger et al. (2004) if we include the solar gain through areas of glass, then the overall dynamic
insulating qualities of low-E glazing are equal or even better than those of standard insulating materials.
if low-e glass, g-value 0.26-0.4
otherwise 0.8
Energy efficient glass assemblies can be double glazing with low-E coating, which reach 1.1W/m2K, triple
glazing with argon or krypton filling, which reach 0.7-0.5 W/m2K, and quadruple glazing, which reach 0.3 W/ non-metal insulated frame
m2K but are considerably heavier and thicker than normal windows.
Multi leaf arrangements create double glazing facades which have more functions other than thermal insula-
tion: sound insulation, pre-heat or redirection of air for ventilation, or protection of shading blinds or rolls.
Another way to insulate transparent elements is to close them up with shutters during time of unoccupancy.
Anyway, when implementing this solution on a well insulated glass assembly, the cost of installation and main-
tenance can overdo the benefit of reduced consumption. Movable elements placed externally on a facade,
especially if automated, are more prone to be damaged or in need of maintenance, and may use a considerable
amount of energy.

The chosen strategy here is a double leaf facade for the curved side, assembled of triple panes windows with
outer single pane leaf leaving a gap for sunshading devices and pre-heat of ventilation air.
The greenhouse will be made of translucent double panes skylights.
The position of the spandrel also has an influence, under 0.75m from the ground, entering sunrays don’t help
with natural lighting but contribute to overheating.
reduction from baseline kWh/sm/yr reduction from baseline kWh/sm/yr
I analysed the effect of this measure cross-checking results from an Ecotect simulation and an Excel calcula- -18% 193 -28% 168
tion. By changing from double to triple glazing, the total consumption lowers again by12%, with the energy for
heating passing from 50 to 35kWh/sm, a 30% reduction. Excel’s calculation is not as optimistic and lowers the
heating requirement by 12.5%, from 94 to 82W/sm (21kWh/sm).

this strategy’s contribution on total



72 73
Avoid overheating
Avoiding overheating is an essential aspect of energy consumption reduction. Mechanical air cooling is very Facade: overhang return inclination
energy inefficient, minimizing external cooling loads on the envelope is a good starting point towards lowering or
even avoiding its need.
External cooling loads come from sunlight, which can raise the temperature of exposed surfaces above air Roof: not ventilated green roof ventilated roof
temperature because of heat buildup in their mass. This specific measure of temperature is called sol-air, and
it is important because it means that overheating in a building can happen many degrees before outdoor tem-
peratures are felt as uncomfortably hot. This is a contradiction of bad planning and reliance on mechanical air
cooling, sometimes it has to be switched on at moments when outdoor air is actually fresher than indoors.

Heat buildup happens mostly in the roof assembly, to avoid this green roofs perform best, because of the
localized evaporative cooling effect, but their integration with generation of electricity can be complex. Another
options are ventilated roofs, which circulate air in a natural way through winds or thermal currents due to
changes in pressure. This is especially favourable in a country with nearly constant breezes such as the Nether-
lands. If the roof is used to generate electricity with solar panels, extracting hot air also helps maintaining them
at a favourable temperature, order to allowing for operation at maximum efficiency and prolonging their lifetime.
Hot air extraction is also an important source of waste heat, which can be sent back to the system by means
of heat exchangers. An air-water heat exchanger (usually 85% efficient) can retrieve warmth and store hot water
at 55° to be used in the building.

Irradiance on the building facade can be limited by shading it, which can be done by means of geometry, over-
hangs, returns and inclination. In this case, extending the roof is especially favourable, it expands the surface
that is being used for generating electrical and thermal energy.
Inclinations and overhangs make sense if they stop at least the hottest sunrays, in the Netherlands those of
June, when the sun is at an angle of around 60° from the ground. The image on the right shows a diagrammatic
representation of these concepts.
reduction from baseline kWh/sm/yr reduction from baseline kWh/sm/yr
To calculate the contribution of this measure on energy consumption, I changed the outdoor temperature for -28% 168 -32% 160
the cooling load calculation on my Excel file from 34 to 25 degrees, for as we have seen in the climate analysis,
temperatures of 34 degrees don’t happen very often, therefore if a surface is shaded to avoid them, its tem-
perature should stay much lower because the heat does not stay in the air for a long period. I also reduced solar
heat load from 700W/m2 to 600W/m2. The cooling load lowers by 13%, from 306 to 266W/m2.

This is ( 306W/m2 * 24 hours * 44 Heating Degree Days at 21° base temperature ) / 364 = 0.88kWh/m2/yr
for 266W/m2 = 0.77kWh/m2/yr
or ( 306W/m2 * 24 hours * 19 Heating Degree Days at 23° base temperature ) / 364 = 0.38kWh/m2/yr
for 266W/m2 = 0.33kWh/m2
Because of the Netherlands’s annual temperatures profile, raising the base temperature by two degrees lowers
losses by nearly 60%.

According to Ecotect’s simulation, energy for ventilation and air conditioning is 42kWh/m2, of which usually this strategy’s contribution on total
around a third is used for cooling, which means 14kWh/m2. This is a lot higher than the actual cooling loss, even consumption
before any energy saving measure is applied.
If I assume that Ecotect’s simulation was using 21° as base temperature and 36° as design outdoor tempera- -5%
ture, while an improved building would use 23° as base temperature and 25° as design outdoor temperature,
cooling loads are reduced from 0.88kWh/m2 to 0.33kWh/m2, so by 60%. The applied savings reduce the con-
sumption for cooling from 14kWh/m2 to 8kWh/m2,and the total consumption by 5%, to 160kWh/m2.

74 75
Sunshading is used to limit the amount of radiation transferred to the interior. It can be external, internal or
integrated, and of course rigid or flexible. Internal sunshading is less performing because heat still enters the
space and is trapped between the glazing unit and the backside of the shading element, which can itself be-
come hot to the touch. Integrated sunshade, usually inbetween the panes of a double or triple glazed window Sunshade: external internal in-cavity
unit, is protected from dirt and wind, but the whole unit has to be replaced in case of defects. The best protec-
tion from unwanted heat is however given by external sunshade, which can be protected with an additional leaf
of glass, when not already fitted inbetween the external and middle leaf of double leaf facades. Windows can
still be open to the inside, which is preferable for cleaning, too.
The performance of sunshading is similar to that of reflective glazing, with the advantage that it can be
implemented when needed while still allowing for thermal transmittance in winter. Reflectivity is expressed as a
coefficient and ranges from 1 for untreated glass to 0.14 and lower for external blinds.
Blinds and louvres are especially interesting because of their possibility to be tilted to let low-angle sunrays and
diffuse light in while blocking hotter rays at a steeper angle, or completely closed to achieve very low U-values.

In order to calculate the overall efficiency of the use of external blinds, I started from the last value for cooling
load and modified the g-value from 0.8 to 0.15. Cooling load is reduced from 266W/m2 to 88W/m2, which is
close to 70%. In the same way I did for the previous step, I reduce the share of electric energy for cooling by
70% too, from 8kWh/m2 to just 2.4kWh/m2 a year.
Thanks to closing the blinds in winter, the U-value for the transparent assembly lowers to 0.2 and the thermal
energy consumption from 21kWh/m2 to 20kWh/m2, or 5%. Taking 5% off the need for heating lowers the total
improvement on overall consumption for this step by 3%, to a total of 155kWh/m2.


reduction from baseline kWh/sm/yr reduction from baseline kWh/sm/yr

-32% 160 -34% 155

this strategy’s contribution on total



76 77
Natural ventilation
According to Ecotect’s simulation, my building should be using around 28kWh/m2 a year for mechanical ven-
tilation. This can be reduced by making use of natural currents, such as winds and changes in temperature and
Hot days, summer nights
pressure, to move air through the building.
The air gets preheated in the double leaf facade and enters the building through an awning section of the
window. This should ideally be the lower section, so that fresh air at a lower temperature can replace warmer
air that rises towards the ceiling as a natural effect of internal heat gain. If the awing opening is in the upper side
of the window, fresh air sinks towards the floor anyway, but mixes with warmer air doing so, lowering a bit the
efficiency of the system. This choice has to be made depending on how much freedom of operation is given to
passengers. If central management is preferred and passengers are not supposed to be able to open windows
themselves, then the ventilation opening has to be positioned at a higher level so that they won’t reach it.
Fresh air that warms up in the rooms is then naturally drawn towards the atrium and upwards because of
the joint effect of warmer temperatures in the greenhouse and stack effect driven by the raised section of roof,
which works like a small-sized solar chimney. The exhaust air can then exit the building through openings in the
solar chimney and the roof of the greenhouse. Its temperature is again an important source of waste heat, which
can be recovered with heat exchangers and transferred to water, which can be stored in the ground and used
for space heating. This heat will necessarily be at a low temperature, but the increased thermal performance
of the building makes it possible to use low-temperature heating systems, such as underfloor pipes circulating
water at 25-30 degrees.

The deep floorplan of the building will need more than the amount of air provided by ventilation awnings in the
facade. It is possible to implement another source of preheated air by placing air ducts in the ground. These will
have inlets on the north side, where the air is fresher, in order to optimise its temperature in summer, when big-
ger volumes are needed. This air will enter the indoor space from outlets placed in the floors, in order to exploit
the principle of cross ventilation explained before. This air also moves towards the solar chimney and green-
house, and its heat is transferred to heating water.
reduction from baseline kWh/sm/yr reduction from baseline kWh/sm/yr
If needed, extra air inlets can be placed on the north facade.
To extract heat during summer nights, the entire window assembly will be opened and higher volumes of fresh -34% 155 -41% 137
air will be circulated. Both awnings and windows open towards the inside to facilitate cleaning, and because of
the double leaf assembly. If needed, opening a larger area of window during the summer days avoids that air in Cold to temperate days
the cavity heats up too much before entering the building.
Filters to ensure optimal air quality have to be used at the air inlets for the double leaf facade and the ground

This system introduces the need for fans in order to move air when winds alone are not sufficient, and eventu-
ally to circulate it in some spaces within the building, but avoids energy consumption for a system that only
relies on mechanical circulation and, most of all, conditioning.
According to Energy Manual (Hegger et al., 2009) passive pre-heat of air for natural ventilation in Europe
avoids the need for mechanical ventilation and thermal conditioning for around 70% of the year. It is also pos-
sible to control all elements in the system with electronic sensor that measure the amount of CO2 in the air, and
introduce fresh air accordingly. According to Hootman (2009), this lowers the energy consumption even further. this strategy’s contribution on total
70% of energy saved means that only around 7 kWh/m2 are necessary to ventilate the building, if natural
ventilation would always be possible without circulation. Ecotect’s Weather Tool provides a yearly wind rose with
the percentage of year for different wind speeds. The percentage of the year in which winds blow slower than
10km/h, or according to the Beaufort scale, at a light breeze, thus not enough to power natural ventilation, is
around 5%. So allowing for the use of fans during those periods, savings for this location are around 65% of
28kWh/m2, which is 10kWh/m2.
On the overall energy consumption, this means a reduction of 12%, that is 137kWh/m2.

78 79
Heat recovery
For periods of extreme temperatures, which in Europe are about 30% of the year, the building will make use
of heat exchangers in combination with natural ventilation, in order to avoid thermal loads. These are able to
recover up to 90% of heat, but can’t generate new thermal energy, so a space heating system is still required
to compensate for other losses, for example through the building envelope. Cold can not be generated but only
achieved through removal of heat, it is anyway possible to operate heat exchangers in summer mode in order to
“recover” the cold from exhaust air.
Decentralised ventilation with facade mounted units, as used in this project, has many advantages. It avoids
ventilation ducts and therefore their related cost and space needs, elements can be replaced or upgraded
singularly, operation, especially if electronically managed, can be much more personalized on the specific needs
of different spaces and seamlessly adapted to new functions.
Heat exchangers integrated in the spandrel units along the facade create a local temperature balance.

Heat recovery can be added to the Excel’s sheet calculation to find its contribution to thermal energy saving.
With a 85% efficient heat recovery system, the heat losses are reduced from 20kWh/m2 to 6.5kWh/m2 (25W/
m2), thus by about 65%. This reduces the overall consumption by 16%, to 115kWh/m2.
TU Delft’s central library. Despite the sunny day
visible from the curved skylights, all lights are on.
Lighting concept & occupancy / daylight sensors
The lighting concept of a building should be designed so that artificial light can be used only as complement
to daylight, instead of replacing it. According to this principle, at any time when enough daylight is available, ar-
tificial light should not be needed. This might sound obvious, but figures showing the share of energy for lighting
out of the overall energy use suggest that it is still not the case in most commercial buildings. The picture on the
right is taken on a sunny day in TU Delft’s central library building, and shows this controversial use of electricity.
Natural light is not only free, but also very important for the organism and human well being.
reduction from baseline kWh/sm/yr reduction from baseline kWh/sm/yr
Parameters to assess the use of natural light in the building are the daylight factor and the daylight autonomy. -41% 137 -51% 115
The daylight factor is the ration between the illuminance if a horizontal, unshaded surface in the open air under
an overcast sky, to the illuminance of an horizontal interior surface. Daylight autonomy is the proportion of a typi-
cal period of usage during which the lighting requirements are guaranteed exclusively by daylight. The param-
eter for calculation is the daylight factor, for example, an average df of 3% results in approximately 50% daylight
autonomy for office workplaces. (Hegger et al., 2009)

Strategies to maximise the amount of natural light entering the building can be implemented both outside and
inside it. Light reflecting and diffusing surfaces, like water or light-coloured gravel, can scatter and redirect light
towards the interior, when positioned in front of glazed surfaces.
In Central Europe, horizontal openings such as skylights and atria have illuminance values of about three times
those for vertical openings. This means that even small skylights can achieve very good lighting results, and also
that they can be translucent or made of milky glass, which has lower radiation and transmission values but still
contributes to good lighting levels. Atrias contribute with more intense light in top floors, and more diffuse, high- this strategy’s contribution on total
quality light in lower floors. consumption
Windows are of course the primary source of light, their contribution and efficiency has been discussed previ-
ously in different part of the report. East and west windows are subject to low-angled sunrays which may cause
glare, so blinds can be used to redirect or filter it. North facing windows provide diffuse light, but can’t be too
big because of thermal losses. A thin stripe of glazing placed at the top of walls, for example for restrooms, can
provide a very pleasant lighting effect without leaving too much transmitting surface exposed.
Light coming from more than one side performs and is perceived as considerably better.
The position of interior partitions should not obstacle natural light. A good strategy is to position them at least
5m from glazed facades, and to leave space from the ceiling, to let diffuse light through.

Light can also be reflected deeper into a room using special type of glasses or light shelves coupled with
reflective ceilings, e.g. painted in light colours, or different types of pivoting louvres.

80 81
Heliostats are tracking parabolic mirrors which convey daylight deep into unlighted spaces. They can be
assisted by additional fixed mirrors for further distribution. They have to be mounted on roofs, so in this case
they would shade the solar panels and therefore be counterproductive to the zero energy concept. Lightpipes
and fibre-optics can also transport light, but their integration with the building envelope might result complex,
depending on the type of structure and choice of thermal insulation.
lamp efficiency ambient / task occupancy / daylight

After optimizing passive use of daylighting, strategies to use less energy to provide artificial light can be imple-
mented too. These affect the choice of lamps and their use. Lamps efficiency is measured as luminous efficacy,
the ratio of lumens per Watt, and service life. Low-voltage halogen lamps reach 20 lm/W, high voltage lamps 30
lm/W but their service life is somewhat shorter. Low-energy lamps reach 80 lm/W, so they are nearly three times
more efficient than HV halogens, while fluorescent tubes reach 100 lm/W, which makes them around 3.5 times
more efficient than HV- and 5 times more efficient than LV halogen lamps. The service life of fluorescent tubes
improves with the same proportion.

The use of lamps can be optimized by dividing illumination between ambient and task functions. Ambient
light requirements are between 100lx (lm/m2) for corridors and entrance halls, and 300lx for sales areas up to
500lx for offices, while task lighting starts from 750lx and should be used only for surfaces with higher demands
(Hegger et al., 2009). Using low-energy lamps at 80lm/W and an average illuminance level of 500lx, the installed
lighting power is 6.25W/m2, 40% less than Ecotect’s preset, at 10.8W/m2. By applying the reduction to the elec-
tricity consumption for lighting, this goes from 35kWh/m2 to 21kWh/m2, and the overall consumption improves
by 12% to 101kWh/m2.

Automated lighting is already widely used in commercial buildings, and is provenly saving on electricity con-
sumption. The best way to make use of sensors is to couple them with switches, in order to shut the system
on and off manually or according to occupancy schedules. Lighting outside of scheduled occupancy can be
reduced to emergency lighting (Hootmann, 2013). Automation can be occupancy and daylight related, best if 09. LIGHTING CONCEPT 10. OCCUPANCY/DAYLIGHT
in combination. Lights can be dimmed to complement natural light, when this alone is not sufficient, instead of
reduction from baseline kWh/sm/yr reduction from baseline kWh/sm/yr
being switched on to full power only. According to the Energy Manual, a wall switch with daylight-level dimming
and occupancy detention can reduce the annual lighting energy requirement to 35% of their standard levels -57% 101 -63% 87
(only wall switch).
By applying this kind of sensors, the modeled lighting consumption of my building lowers to 7kWh/m2. This is
not the installed lighting power, which remains 6.25W/m2 as previously calculated, but its annual consumption
which is taken in consideration for the zero energy balance.
The total consumption is reduced by 14%, to 87kWh/m2.

When measured in operation, buildings can perform worse or better than their modeled consumption, also
because of the behaviour of their users. Users can burden the building with extra plug loads by connecting
many devices at a time. Plug loads are not regulated by building requirements, and can’t therefore be included
in a reduction strategy. Energy saving computers and kitchen appliances, however, can be installed to great
this strategy’s contribution on total
Once having addressed all regulated electricity and thermal energy loads with a dedicated strategy aimed at
holistic integration towards the lowest possible consumption, the remaining need for energy has to be satisfied
in a sustainable way, which means all required electrical and thermal energy has to be produced from renew- -12% each
able resources. It can be produced on and off site, but off site energy has to account for transmission losses,
which often means that much more energy has to be produced, at a higher cost. On site renewables are to be
preferred. These systems are presented in the next chapter.

82 83
4.2 Active strategies selection and integration

On site electricity generation

In the first chapter I presented a plan for a sustainable society powered by national and local smart grids which
distribute renewable energy. In order to make this change happen, buildings have to be as energy efficient as
possible and contribute as much as possible to the generation of energy from clean sources.
According to Energy Manual for sustainable architecture (Fuchs, 2009), photovoltaics are the best and main
option to integrate generation of electricity in buildings. Another option for small-scale generation is using
decentralized combined heat and power. Solar thermal electricity generation has been implemented on large
scale with concentrating collectors, or as a prototype using solar chimney power plants. Wind power has been
developing fast with a trend towards bigger scale rather than locally implemented micro turbines.

I will use the electricity yield calculation from paragraph 3.4 updated to final values. All values for the energy
yield of different arrays come from

Annual generation target: adaptation integration addition

25 600m2 x 80kWh/m2 = 1 817 600kWh

System size in DC peak power:

1 817 600kWh / 688kWh/kW = 2 640kW

N. of 1m2 PV modules to provide a 3 250kW system:

3 000 000W / 200W/m2 (20% efficiency) = 13 200m2

Concepts for the application of photovoltaics in architecture are addition, integration and adaptation. Addition
means that PV modules are mounted on top of an independently functional structure. This approach will be
used on the 4 100m2 south side of the skylights that roof the greenhouse, where the modules will be at 30° tilt.
This raises their Performance Factor (AC Energy yield in kWh) to 802.
This array would generate around 660 000kWh a year at 20% efficiency, 725 000kWh at 22%.

Integration means that solar cells are used as part of the construction assembly, and are therefore energy
generators while fulfilling all other functions required for that construction layer. This approach will be used on
the 7 600m2 of 6° tilted opaque roof, where solar cells will make up the covering layer that protects insulation
and structure. They are separated from these by a ventilation cavity which serves multiple purposes, it is used to
extract heat and recover it to generate hot water, it avoids overheating of the interior and of the solar cells, thus
maintaining them at the right temperature to operate at maximum efficiency.
This array would generate around 1 100 000kWh a year at 20% efficiency, 1 200 000kWh at 22%.
Using 22% efficient systems the total is 1 925 000kWh, more than sufficient to offset the building’s consump-
tion. It actually produces more energy than needed, which can be read as going to the operation of the heat
pump, not specifically addressed in this thesis, or sold to the grid.

Adaptation means that the building has been shaped with PV electricity generation in mind, and geometrically
optimizes for this purpose. From the perspective of optimal use of the sun and its resources, we can still say
that in general terms, this approach, too, has been implemented.

84 85
On site thermal energy generation In order to make use of waste heat, this can be displaced and eventually stored to be available when needed.
In this case we need a long-term, or seasonal, storage system. These are possible i.e. in high volume water
Optimizing the building envelope lowers the necessity for heating because it reduces the heat load, and at the tanks, aquifers, in a mixture of gravel and water sealed off from the surrounding soil, or in vertical boreholes. In
same time shortens the heating period. The end-value for heat load of my building is at a passive house level, the Netherlands, the ground is particularly suitable for aquifers. Warm water is stored in a ground layer naturally
which means outdoor temperatures that make indoor heating necessary are present from late November to enclosed between thermally insulating clay strata, and is pumped up via pipes to the heat output component,
early March. where it cools and then flows back to a second storing volume of water. This separated, cooler water is then
pumped up to the heating generation component, from which it flows back down to the first storing aquifer.
The current standard for thermal energy generation is by burning fossil fuels, which cannot be allowed in Zero Additionally, it can be pumped up to the heating components during the cooling period of the year, extract heat
Energy Building and according to the New Steps Strategy. The essential aspect for the sustainable evaluation from the rooms and flow to the warm aquifer.
of systems which rely on renewable energy in the magnitude of the savings compared to fossil-fuels heating Aquifers need up to five years to be fully functional and rely on a balanced flow to operate. If the flow of water
systems. In other words, all systems which do not rely on fossil fuels have an increasingly higher ratio of energy to and from the warm aquifer is not equal to the one to and from the cool aquifer, the system won’t work prop-
output for energy input. The coefficient of performance of heat pumps is around 4.5, while a standard boiler’s is erly.
usually 0.9. The image on the right compares the energy flows in a heating system with a gas-fired condensing
boiler (a) and a heat pump installation (b, c). In the first case losses are low but GHG emissions are very high.
Using a heat pump may seem cleaner because 60 to 80% of the final energy comes from a renewable source,
but the electricity generated to power it results in high losses and emissions at the plant. It seems therefore
intuitively obvious to include decentralised renewable electricity generation when planning for an efficient use of
heat pump systems.

Heat pumps come in operation when ambient heat is not enough. The first efficient measures to turn to are
those that redirect or store extra heat that would have to be extracted from the building anyway. This can then
be employed at a different location, which is the method used in this terminal to generate hot water, or in a dif-
ferent period, which is the case for heating.
Hot water is stored in insulated tank, close to its generation source in order to minimize distribution losses. In
the case hot water is generated at the roof, the position of its tank can take advantage from gravity to save on
electricity for circulating pumps.
Solar thermal applications with collectors like flat-plates and vacuum pipes are very efficient, but they repre-
sent an expensive extra element. In this case, air as a medium is already carrying the energy, using collectors
would be a waste, because the collectors themselves would probably need to be cooled by circulating air, thus
doubling the exchanges of energy.
The need for hot water is 5kWh/m2, a total of 128 000kWh a year. Average yearly radiation at this location
is 0.98kWh/m2. The efficiency of hot air collectors is 65%, that of heat exchangers of 85%, which means that
0.54kWh can be derived from each m2 of installation. Installation space is the whole of the opaque roof and the
skylights, 8 100m2, which makes 4 400kWh on average. So the annual need could be filled up in 29 “average
radiation” hours, but this time is influenced by the rate at which the power can be harvested by storing it in source: Energy Manual Sustainable Architecture.
water. Fuchs M., 2011.
A similar calculation is possible for the use of waste heat from internal heat gains for heating purposes. This,
in the Excel file I have been using for thermal calculations, amounts at 2.8kWh/m2 (using 1500 persons as
calculated for the peak-load design factor and adjusted for energy saving bulbs). The need for heating energy is
11kWh/m2. With 85% efficient heat exchangers, the annual need can be stored in
281 600heating load/(72 000waste heat*0.85) = 5 hours of peak passenger’s traffic. Here again, the rate at which power
can be stored in hot water does play a role in the time needed for harvesting waste heat.

Water pipes at low temperature placed in the floor screed circulate the heating medium. The same system can
also cool the building during the summer.

If waste heat in not available, ambient heat too can be used for heating purposes, in this case most of the time
in combination with a heat pump. Ambient heat can be drawn from air, ground, or water sources.

Biomass is also a renewable source of energy, it can be used as fuel in a boiler. It’s incineration is clean
because it does not produce additional amounts of CO2 than what was taken up by the plants during their
growth. Nevertheless, high-temperature heating systems are energetically not as efficient as low-temperatures
ones and should therefore be avoided.

86 87
Off site electricity generation Water Greenhouse
0.1l/m2 * 8 000m2 * 364 = 291 200 l/year
This system developed from electricity generation plants. These produce a high amount of heat that cannot be Closing water cycles will be of increasing importance with the impacts of climate change. Problems with of which virtually all of it can be recycled
used close to the site and on the contrary, has to be extracted to guarantee functional operation of the plant, groundwater levels, accessibility and/or pollution are already present in the Netherlands and Europe. Collecting, (
therefore adding negative environmental impacts because of the use of fossil fuel generated cooling. These inef- purifying and reusing water needed locally is possible with careful planning.
ficiencies have boosted the development of decentralised power generation, on locations where co-generated Rainwater that is collected in gutters can be stored in an underwater tank, where it is filtered and used in the The yearly need of nearly 871 200 liters can be completely covered by harvesting rainwater, even without
heat can be transferred where it is needed, for example dwellings. CHP small scale generation is therefore very building for all functions were non-potable water can be allowed (making use of warning signs). counting on a purifying pond.
useful to provide power and heating to neighbourhoods, because transmission losses are minimized and waste Black ad grey water from buildings can be fed into the central three-layer fermenter together with solid organic
heat put to use. waste. Pre-filtered water is then filtered before flowing through a sandbed and collected in a pond or basin, a
Generally, CHP plants are 90% efficient and produce 62% of heat and 28% of electricity. process which can last several weeks. The pond will replenish the underground tank at need.
When the fuel used is renewable and produced in an environmentally sustainable way, this system can be
implemented in the energy balance of a Zero Energy Building. Suitable types of fuel are biomass, hydrogen (fuel Rainwater
cells), or waste heat and solar energy in the case of combined cooling, heating and power. This last system 800 l * 16 300 m2 = 13 000 000 l/year
makes use of an integrated sorption-type refrigeration unit, which has significant advantages over electrical
cooling (Hegger et al, 2009). Since waste heat and solar energy are already exploited in my building, the need Commercial building water consumption
for cooling is taken care by the thermal system, and fuel cells are in a development phase, biomass is the 3 million passengers/ 364 “ LEED Baseline 70 l/person/day = 580 000 l/year
choice of fuel. The building generates a considerable amount of biomass, and putting it to use is essential to the of which 95% can be non-potable thus recyclable
concept of efficient management of resources. (
Closing the biomass cycle on top of the energy cycle is a great opportunity for sustainable urban grids and
offers a huge potential for livable future cities.

In and around this building, biomass is generated from agricultural waste from the greenhouse, and food and
sewage waste from the building and the aircrafts. These are collected in a local but off-site central fermenter,
where organic matter separates in three layers, a lower solid one, a middle liquid one and a higher one in gas
state (Kristinsson, 2012). Fermented organic solid matter becomes richly fertilized soil, useful in all types of ag-
riculture and growth of urban green patches. Liquid waste after floating solid matter has precipitated can be fed
into the water cycle. The resulting gas is methane and has a high caloric content, at this stage it’s called biogas,
and can be used for CHP.

The rest of Schiphol Airport’s building and aircraft traffic, and even nearby towns like Hoofddorp, can deliver
their waste to the CHP plant too. Generated electricity and heat could then be proportionally redistributed, sold
or bought among the contributing parties.
The local CHP plant is then an emergency source of electricity for my satellite terminal, to make sure that the
Zero Energy goal is always met.

88 89
90 91

92 93




16.5 14.5
4.6 4.6

94 95





96 97

98 99
solar cells

folded aluminum deck

e.g. Kalpzip system


vapour barrier
26cm insulation

thermally decoupled clips

structural steel deck

aluminum gutter skylight truss

secondary steel profile
steel supporting brackets
primary structure
twin glulam beams
perforated alumin cladding
steel connection node

timber clad steel

finishings panels façade mega-truss

flooring assembly
structural steel deck
secondary structure
steel trusses
integrated building services
interior triple glazing
with retractable shading
intermediate façade-bearing truss
flooring assembly
ventilated cavity concrete
26cm insulation
external single glazing

100 101

102 103
Conclusion With this project, I found my personal way of integrating ethic principles into my professional
field. Specialising in a more sustainable use of resources within the built environment has
always been my goal and energy has turned out to be the right match for me, I will surely keep
This thesis’s project is a case-study that aims at creating a precedent for anyone who is working on the energy performance of buildings.
interested in achieving energy neutrality in commercial buildings. It is essential to me that my
findings are not specific to this design but applicable to any other project. The strategy and
logical thinking I have tested and described set a flexible path that can be followed to obtain
multiple results: very low consumption figures, local generation of power and thermal energy, a
seamless integration of building systems while maintaining indoor comfort.
I succeeded in providing a system to calculate energy savings in 10 steps, on three levels:
as a reduction of the specific share within the total energy consumption pie, as a proportional
reduction on the (modeled or measured) total energy consumption, and, when stacked up,
as an improvement from a low-performing building to a Net Zero Energy one. Each step can
be singularly implemented, or as a combination, and the resulting improvement can be easily
I explained necessary essential concepts and described the calculations needed to measure
the efficiency of each strategy or step. I am positive that anyone with a basic technical knowl-
edge can successfully repeat the process on any another building-specific case.

During this project, I learned that energy efficiency is not a matter of technology but of plan-
ning. It is possible to consistently cut the amount of energy that buildings need to operate,
and it is possible by just having the knowledge to do so, as a professional figure and within a
motivated design team. A preliminary briefing together with the client, the contractor and other
important involved parties should make it possible to agree on an energy saving strategy, after
which, its implementation should not be difficult.
The problem, it seems to be, is that design teams are not motivated to do so, or do not
possess the necessary knowledge and think energy efficiency is difficult and expensive. Also,
when weighing choices, the current method seem to ease the path towards well-known,
inefficient solutions - such as bigger or more powerful mechanical systems - or by simply
extending the use of fossil fuels. This introduces the need for motivation and steadiness being
constant along the design process.

At the beginning of the project, I expected my choice to focus on building technology to be

an obstacle to architectural creativity, and that this would result in my building lacking an aes-
thetic appeal, but I expected it to work well. I was mistaken. I must have been influenced by
the wrong information, because I learned that architectural choices and energy efficiency can
integrate each other perfectly, and leave space for creativity on both sides. Passive systems
influence the geometry and shape of the building, the use of materials, its outer appearance
and inner functionality. The level of creativity and originality that this creates is unique. It can
even be integrated with a design or aesthetic concept, if wished.
Building technology should not be a headache for architects, but a very effective tool to
make stunning designs.

My building can be energy neutral with current clean energy-generation technology. Future
developments in i.e. electricity from the sun will make this even easier to achieve. I do not see
a reason why Net Zero Energy buildings should not be the only type being built from now on.

104 105
Reflection before taking them. When design choices are rushed, with the passing of time and new infor-
mation arising, it can happen that timely/quality/aesthetically bad solutions have to be either
Aspect 4: the relationship between the project and the wider social context.

taken care of, or somehow tolerated for the rest of the process. And they add up. It is difficult Reading about the aviation industry, its parts and how each one foresees to meet the
My motivation in architecture is sustainable use of resources. In order to follow this fas- but rewarding to achieve a balance between giving oneself time to think and weight research future challenge of depleting resources and environmental impact, raised in me contrast-
cination, I decided to work on the topic of energy use in buildings. The choice of method and design choices, and working for fast seeking instant-satisfaction results. ing feelings about the thought that it doesn’t matter how damaging or controversial some-
is an holistic, integrated approach, while the argumentation is both a moral and functional The fourth phase was a natural continuation of the methodology for the previous phase. The thing is, if it’s a pleasure, we will try anything to keep hold on it as long as it’s allowed. It
one. The moral motivation is an ethic choice of working for the well-being of present and design focused on technology, so active strategies overview and selection for low-energy sys- happens with intercontinental flights, heating up our houses, smoking. I also read about
future generations, while the functional motivation is because buildings that make better tems, use of waste flows, generation of clean energy and their integration. Here again I used Schiphol and found an interesting study case to use for my graduation project, because
use of resources are usually cheaper, last longer and, because of the more intense plan- an iterative feedback process along the holistic approach of convergent pathways. During this they are currently in need for an expansion. Since my argumentation also bases on the
ning, are more beautiful. stage following this approach felt easier because of two reasons, first, I had experience with assumption that buildings that make better use of resources are cheaper, I made a rough
it, second, the narrowing of area around the best solution thanks to discarding inefficient and profit estimation against a standard solution, using a very linear, mathematical approach,
The holistic approach rejects the “triangular” approach in which only two out of three ineffective choices and combinations of each aspect during the previous phase. This is specifi- and my findings support this assumption.
aspects can be fulfilled at the same time. For architecture, usually these aspects are cost, cally why an holistic methodology works well, because if you are on the right path, things fit The wider social context of the environment and its citizens would profit from a building
time and performance. For sustainability, people, planet and profit. The holistic approach better together, solutions emerge naturally and choices don’t have to be struggled upon but which produces all the energy that it needs, therefore it doesn’t add that source of pollu-
proceeds from a broader framework inwards until finding a common meeting point, like in just allowed to happen. During this phase, I could see my building coming together like an or- tion to the current emissions. Professionists and other figures which are interested in the
an “X” shape. It makes wide use of iterative feedback. ganism, and I realized that the cooperation of some systems resembled biomimicry principles, development of zero energy buildings will gain knowledge from a case study dealing with
without having specifically steered or forced them into the concept. These findings prove that an until now non-researched commercial category, especially in sight of the 2020 dead-
Aspect 1: the relationship between research and design. my approach worked very well. During the third and fourth phase, research has been adding line, from which on all new buildings in the Netherlands will have to be energy neutral.
value and supporting decisions to the development of the project, in such a way that it was Schiphol Group would gain profits related to increased traffic, even in a larger proportion
Research and design stages influenced each other continuously during my graduation difficult to tell where research ended and design started. than for a “standard” non-energy neutral solution, and corporate image.
project. Even though I necessarily started in a research phase and ended in a design Because of the use of iterative feedback, it has been necessary to move back and forth be-
phase, both have been intermittent along the development. This is due to the iterative tween research,design and also different phases. I have needed steps back to refine and rede-
feedback methodology. fine the project, and the specific parameters of feedbacks had to be rewritten while knowledge
and expertise improved. I learned about how much weight to give to different aspects along
Preliminary research has focused on what are Net Zero Energy buildings and why do the way, which meant some of my assumptions had to be revisited. This has been source of
they need to be implemented. This lead to research on current and foreseen energy both frustration, satisfaction, and, in the aftermath, self-confidence.
generation, distribution and consumption in the built environment. At this stage I chose
my location/object and analysed it from the perspective of my subject/study case, so Aspect 2: the relationship between the methodical line of approach of the studio
how is the current, standard typology built and managed from the energetic point of view. and the method chosen by the student in this framework.
This linear approach worked well and built strong foundations of knowledge on which to
develop my project. Another phase which has been present throughout the design and research is that of engi-
neering, where I researched and applied the holistic approach to the structure of my building
The second phase of research was coincident with the first phase of design. I researched and its integration on site through physical connections. This added an extra challenge to
site, climatic aspects and their influence and potentials for passive energy savings. This the topic because engineering is usually not a problem of energy, but the point of choosing
posed the framework for the holistic approach, it defined boundaries from which to begin an integrated approach against all others is that of making things work together as one,
“filtering” information and related design choices. During this phase, I applied the holistic without leaving half-solutions or unclear aspects open for the sake of a few pre-chosen ones.
approach to research, in order to prepare its application to design, which is more com- Holistic design stands opposite to that architectural trend which decides to focus on a specific
plex. I could already see that integrated strategies allow for a much broader understand- characteristic of the building or reaching a specific, unique goal. This latter has the effect of
ing, but need discipline, focus and steadiness to be followed. delegating the task of making every other aspect and function work to a series of different
professional figures, leaving room to all kind of inefficient wrap-ups.
The third phase concentrated on architectural design, specifically passive strategies More than once when meeting difficulties during the development of my graduation project,
overview and selection, their relation to shape and volume, to architectural program and I found myself thinking “it’s either doing it right, or not doing it at all”. It was a thought that
thermal zoning, to functions and systems, and their integration. During this phase, I mostly reassured me that I was on the right track, and boosted my willpower. Sometimes, I still had
used an iterative feedback process along the different “axis” of aspects, until I found the to leave out something that had been difficult to achieve, but if I hadn’t tried, I would not have
conceptual meeting point. This approach needed a little more time to define and organ- know that it would not have worked.
ize. Sometimes it was difficult to wait with some decisions in order to weight all aspects

106 107

108 109
International regulations on Zero Energy Buildings.
EU Energy Performance of Directive 2010/31/EU
Building Directive Energy Performance Certificate
International sustainable planning awareness
If we want to plan an energy neutral building we need to understand where this typology conceptually stands certifications National Renewable A-D classification based on renewable energy supply options, prioritizes demand
within the international construction industry and what are the policies that regulate it. Energy Laboratory their application and emphasizes demand-side reductions fraud control
As for now there is no international market-accepted standard to certify an energy neutral building, but many Article 9
research institutes around the world are working on benchmarking and classification programs. The main issue net zero as standard practice All new buildings will have to be nearly zero-energy by 2020

with setting a common measurement scale is that, as we have seen, calculating a building’s performance in
2030 Challenge carbon neutral - no fossil fuels, GHG emitting energy allowed to operate All public buildings will have to be bìnearly zero-energy by 2018

relation to energy can be expressed in many ways. Thomas Auer from Transsolar Energie Technik, during his Germany has a leading role
lecture “Environmental Quality” at the 2013 Facade Presentation on Design vs. Development in Detmold, sup- net zero energy buildings which produce as much energy as they use
ported the idea according to which the most efficient way to compare a building’s use of energy is not per meter ASHRAE Vision 2020 when measured on the site The Netherlands Energy Performance or NEN 7120, In place since July 2012
but rather per occupant person. Energy is a system with many parties involved, and different approaches can Stardard for Buildings }
Public buildings are always required to have an Energy Performance Energy Performance Pag. 1 Energy Performance Indicator of the building,
be more meaningful for different targets. (EPG) A++ to G
Certificate since 2009, today 30% of residential building stock is covered Certificate
Energy Performance of annual primary use in MJ
The American National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has been working on defining Net Zero Energy sets provisions for member states mandatory in case of transaction but no penalty for not having one (kWh + m³ gas + GJ heat)
Building Directive governmental incentive annual CO2 emission
Buildings and provides publications to understand their classification, while the International Living Institute better EPC allows housing corporations to ask for a higher max. rental building type, assessor, expiration date
Challenge has started the first-of-its-kind certification program specifically for this category, the Living Building price by law
United Kingdom zero carbon houses by 2016
Challenge. Germany
Pag.2 recommended energy saving measures
Passivhaus program Energy Performance requirements have been in place since 1995 and
The main certification programs for sustainable projects in the U.S. are currently ENERGY STAR and LEED, for Netherlands agreement for energy neutral buildings by 2020 updated every couple years, in form of energy coefficient of efficiency Pag.3 description of how the EPI is calculated
both of them, the performance scale does not reach the level needed to define energy neutral buildings. France energy-positive buildings by 2020 0.6 from 2011 onward, >0.2 from 2018 (energy efficiency / type + size)
Many institutes train and certify professionists, like ASHRAE’s Building Energy Modeling Professional (BEMP)
Min. requirement for all building envelop parts Rc = 3.5 m²K/W (5 in 2015)
certification. It is a positive thing that specific formative programs are being offered to motivated groups, but For windows max U -value 1.65 W/m²
they should not become competence of a new super-specialized professional category. It is extremely important
that skills like energy modeling, building physics and integrated sustainable technologies are directly matter of rating systems help owners to understand which performances they want from their buildings Energy Performance EPG + EMG used to meet building requirements (Bouwbesluit)
Standard for alternative Quality Assurcance softwares in guideline BRL9501
study at universities, in order to form future generations of professionists that can successfully plan every stage
of their projects and be a key member of the design team. Architects have been progressively estranged from setting targets is important to share decisions and to understand requirements systems (EMG)
the scientific part of planning, encouraged to rely on specialists to “fit in” the systems of their buildings, but this
many labels therefore focus on a single annual number as a goal for a project Lente Akkoord accord of building and construction sector, agreement with public and
behaviour should change, otherwise integrated design processes will be out of their reach. (eventually a sliding scale to meet variables, peaks) private interests to achieve NZEBs by 2020

Sustainable planning in Europe

The Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD) is the key document of the European Union to implement labelling ENERGY STAR 1-100 points system, not set up to rank ZEBs Energy consuption per capita is 40% higher than EU average,
due to large refining and chemical industries
legislation about sustainable building. It concerns 29 countries and gives directions on which common targets to
pursue and how to approach them. The EPBD is recast every few years in order to keep up with developments, energy needs energy use
the last version from 2010 sets the year 2020 as maximum deadline by which all new buildings will have to be U.S. Green Building Council LEED rating, not set up to rank ZEBs Natural gas 45% 45% Industry
Oil 40% 35% Household&Service
nearly-zero energy. At the moment Germany leads the innovation thanks to its Passive House concept, also, Coal 10% 20% Transport
from 2012 onwards all new governmental buildings have to be Nearly Zero Energy Buildings. Biomass 5%
Nuclear 2%
International Living Future Institute Living Building Challenge, first-of-its-kind ZEB certification program
Electricity consumption per capita 6 600 kWh/capita, 15% higher than EU average
In the Netherlands The industry has a share of 40% of national electricity use
In the Netherlands the EPBD is put into practice with the Energy Performance Standard for Buildings (EPG), A+ to F grade, operational rating based on application from a certified
ASHRAE Building Energy Quotient assessor Efficiency of the power sector at 45%
or NEN 7120, in place since July 2012. The country has been regulating the energy performance of its newly
designed buildings ever since 1995, updating the requirements every few years. All requirements for buildings, power generation
Thermal Sources 85%
together with the details about performance, are in the Bouwbesluit. Policy type used to transpose the EPBD CO2-free sources 15%
are regulatory instruments, codes and standards, information and education, and a performance and compari-
son label, the Energy Performance Certificate. The Netherlands’s energy efficiency policy targets transport, resi-
dential and public buildings, while the renewable energy policy targets primarily geothermal, bioenergy, biomass
for heat, and offshore wind farms. The planned reduction in CO2 emissions for 2030 relative to the year 1990 is
planned to be -57% (De Bosatlas van de energie). In the next page, more details about the content of the EPG
and the Netherlands’s use of energy according to Enerdata.

110 111
improve available capacity management.

This means that passengers can take advantage of

promotional offers for certain times and journeys. The EU high-speed railways (categories I, II and III) in 2020
most loyal customers are also offered additional ser-
5.2 APPENDIX B vices, such as the facility to cancel, change or fast-track
their reservation. New promotions similar to ‘low-cost’
alternatives, such as iDTGV in France, also offer different pack-
Sustainable solutions - EU High Speed Rail Network ages, depending on the passenger’s specific requirements.
1990-2006 +5% annual average for Air Passenger Transport - predicted annual REYKJAVIK
Before thinking how to build, a very sensible question is whether to build at all. In the case of very congested average growth of 5% for next 20 years
airports, like London Heathrow, it is wise to first consider alternatives to the expansion through a better ground +16% annual average for High Speed Rail
transport network. Europe is perfect for the implementation of a better railway network, which would act as a
short-medium haul transport system integrated with main airport hubs for long-haul movements, because of Data from: M. Janic ́, Greening Airports.
its relatively small area on which population is densely spread at 116 people per square kilometer (Wikipedia,
2012). Sundsvall

Comparing data from Janic’s calculations, HSR is surely a most environmental friendly solution in terms of GHG If the HSL network is deployed as planned, it will allow sav-
emissions and energy consumption. There are net savings in profit, if the externalities from impacts caused by ings of the equivalent of 22 million tonnes of CO2 between
Energy consumption
HSR transport are lower than those caused by APT (land take, noise, ...). now and 2020 and 34 million tonnes per annum once the OSLO
Air Passenger Transport High Speed Rail network has been fully deployed in 2030 (11). Skottan

A Trans-European network is already in place for four main airports, Amsterdam Schiphol, Frankfurt Main, Paris
Charles de Gaulle, and Madrid Barajas. The European Union is planning to growth of a true multi-nodal system delays and congestion costs for airlines and passengers costs only for passengers
that allows for intermodality, which means travelling by air,rail and urban public transport during the same Research is already under way with a view to minimising Glasgow

journey, by 2020. Airlines will be able to complement their services making use of high-speed train networks to
noise located but impossible to mitigate spread, noise barriers difficult the environmental impact of high-speed trains by reducing KØBENHAVN
channel passengers from various regions to a central airport, or substitute connection flights between hubs. The energy 0.380 short haul (100 seats) 0.19 French TGV (430 seats) their dependency on fossil fuels. Numerous projects funded Leeds
Thalys trains have already created this synergy between Brussels and Paris Charles-De-Gaulle, as has Amster- [kWh/p-km] 0.586 medium haul (150 seats) 0.22 German ICE (380 seats) by the EU framework research programme have also focused 22

1.618 long haul (400 seats) Birmingham

dam Schiphol with the national Dutch train network. The European Railway Agency (ERA) was set up in 2004 in on reducing noise pollution from HSLs. Mention should also AMSTERDAM
order to support its development while guaranteeing its efficiency beyond national barriers. GHG emissions 99.8 sh 4.011 TGV be made of the European Noemie campaign, the aim of CO2 emissions by mode of transport in the EU-27 LONDON
[CO2/p-km] 153.9 mh 27.51 ICE Antwerpen

424.9 lh which was to evaluate the noise impact of high-speed trains. BRUSSEL Erfurt

Frankfurt am Main PRAHA

land take influenced by volume of traffic influenced by distance PARIS Nürnberg

[ha/km] 30 x n° of runway 3.2 x line length For its part, the European Commission issued a commu- Other 0.7 % Metz
Stuttgart WIEN
nication in July 2008 on rail noise abatement, which made Navigation 15.3 % Civil aviation 12.5 % Tours
intensity (EU) 3.23 2.88 Basel
[million p-km/year/ha] provision for measures to be adopted to halve the noise from Innsbruck

freight trains. Thus, by 2014, the noise caused by the rail fleet Railways 0.6 % Limoges Lyon
BERN Bolzano
should be reduced significantly for 16 million citizens (12). Bordeaux Torino Verona
De Compostela Bilbao Toulouse Genova Bologna
Dax Montpellier SOFIA




inter-airport Porto Perpignan Marseille SKOPJE


Salamanca Valladolid



au Barcelona
ium LISBOA Toledo









connecting APT with HSR Trans-European HSR network VALLETTA

less Air Passenger Transport on short and medium haul 29 000 km on plan (12 500 new)
Data from: M. Janic ́, Greening Airports.
= less congestion, noise, air pollution, costs
Completed Under construction Planned
Category I Category I Category I
0 300 600 Category II Category II Category II
Road transport 70.9 % km
Category III Category III Category III
1990 - 2006 +5% av. annual for APT Administrative land accounting units
+16% av. annual for HSR Source: EU energy and transport in figures — Statistical pocketbook 2010.
(GISCO Database, Eurostat)
Cartography: European Commission, 20 November 2008.

Among transport modes, road transport causes the biggest share in CO2 EU high-speed railways in 2020. Categories indicate maximal speed.
1971 - 2006 0.5 to 4.25 x trillion Revenue Passenger - Km
emissions by far and has therefore to be replaced by cleaner alternatives. source: European Commission, 2010. High-speed Europe, a sustainable link between citizens.
+5% av. excpected growth in the next 20 years (Janic, 2011)
source: EU energy and transport in figures - Statistical pocketbook, 2010. p.22

112 (11) European Commission, ‘European high speed rail — An easy way to connect’ 113
(12) Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council ‘Rail noise abatement measures addressing

Selected working

114 115
Energy Analysis Report Energy Analysis Report Energy Analysis Report Energy Analysis Report Energy Analysis Report

Annual Carbon Emissions

alternative shapes (20)

alternative shapes Analysis
Analyzed at 4/9/2014 1:54:43 PM

Energy Analysis Result

Potential Energy Savings Monthly Peak Demand

Monthly Cooling Load

Annual Energy Use/Cost

Building Performance Factors

Energy Use: Fuel Monthly Fuel Consumption

Energy Use Intensity

Life Cycle Energy Use/Cost

Renewable Energy Potential

Energy Use: Electricity Monthly Heating Load

Monthly Electricity Consumption

1 116 2 3 4 117 5

118 119
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