Homeowners and companies are paying double the amount they expect for gas and electricity because building modellers are “illiterate” when it comes to energy-saving measures. Thousands of new homes, schools and offices are using twice as much energy as predicted by computer models used during their design, according to a study by the University of Bath. The same computer models have failed to predict the temperature of glass-fronted offices in summer, resulting in overheating affecting thousands of office workers, the research found. Academics likened the problem to the Volkswagen emissions scandal, in which the company cheated pollution tests by using software that meant cars emitted several times as much nitrogen dioxide on the road as in the laboratory. The “massive underestimation” of building energy use is also undermining Britain’s chances of meeting its greenhouse gas reduction targets, the study adds, with buildings accounting for nearly half the nation’s emissions.
Times 4th May 2017 read more »