Built environment energy trade-offs scaling

R. Pan, T. G. Gutowski, D. P. Sekulic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, a scaling of a series of high level built environment energy models has been introduced, enabling an assessment of energy trade-offs in terms of selected dimensionless governing parameters. The developed models' additional objective is to offer a tool needed to assess the order of magnitude estimates of an influence a system may have on the environment in terms of both the resources utilization and an impact of the built environment's heat dissipation (thermal footprint) on the surroundings. Moreover, the approach enables an assessment of energy trade-offs trends of change caused by the changes in individual contributions of the subsystems. The significance and innovativeness of the models are in an attempt to identify relevant energy trade-off dimensionless parameters. The models are not intended to offer a full scale analysis of energy flows but they can be used at multiple systems' scales. The complexity of the models can be increased based on the adopted set of assumptions. An applicability of the models was demonstrated by the analysis of the three categories of systems: (i) an automobile factory, (ii) a passive house and (iii) a zero energy building. The empirical data sets and their changes illustrate the scaling approach applicability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1374-1383
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Dec 15 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The lead author (RP) expresses an appreciation of the support from Chinese Scholarship Council , Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Kentucky , for an opportunity to complete these studies at MIT and UK. One of the authors (DPS) acknowledges a support facilitated through a Distinguished 1000 Plan Foreign Expert Professorship at the Harbin Institute of Technology. The first author also appreciates the support from Drs. Peng He and Tiesong Lin from Harbin Institute of Technology .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Automobile factory
  • Building
  • Dimensionless parameters
  • Energy models
  • Trade-offs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Pollution
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Energy (all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Built environment energy trade-offs scaling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this