Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer

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7.2.2 Commercial and Institutional Buildings

This sub-section includes different building types, such as offices, retail stores, schools, hospitals, hotels, warehouses, theatres, and places of worship. However, within each building type, such as office buildings, the buildings are often similar in both developed and developing countries, inviting similar energy-saving strategies. Electricity is the dominant energy source, providing 70% of the resource energy demand in the industrialised countries (EIA, 1994). However, energy sources vary greatly among countries, e.g. coal is the dominant heating source for commercial and institutional buildings in China, while other sources are dominant in other countries.

As with residences, the mitigation technologies for commercial buildings can be divided into three categories. Building envelope strategies vary, depending upon the size and type of building and the climate. Wall and roof insulation is important in many building types. Modern commercial office buildings have higher internal heat loads from equipment and people, decreasing the importance of insulation and raising the importance of window and glazing systems. Building equipment strategies emphasise heating and cooling, efficient lighting, energy management control systems, and office equipment efficiency. Renewable technology strategies include photovoltaics, active and passive systems and daylighting. Too often overlooked, renewable strategies are most effective when integrated into the building orientation, shape, and design, and can be important in constraining the growth of energy consumption in urban settings. In the near future, the growing use of Internet-based information systems may change the shape of the workplace with dispersed and at-home work stations. The restructuring of the electric power industry is placing more attention on time-of-day pricing and encouraging the incorporation of load-shedding by agreement and energy storage systems within commercial buildings.

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