Last Updated: 9-2023
Awareness regarding the impact of the built environment on greenhouse emissions is
increasing. Electrification is one of the options to reduce emissions in this sector. However,
this causes problems for congested grids when electrification is widely practised in the
Netherlands. Due to this, the interest in energy self-sufficient areas and microgrids increases,
in order to be able to still enable the energy transition and keep on going new developments.
Along the design research cycle, a tool has been developed from a scientific point of view,
being able to analyse residential greenfield developments (communal) upon its energy
performance in an initiative or (early) design stage by parameters, for an entire year with an
hourly resolution. The self-sufficiency of the simulated area is one of the performance
indicators, which can be improved by reducing the energy demand of the buildings in the plan
area by their parameters, increasing the energy supply or adding communal energy storage
facilities. Planning and design can be renamed to energy-oriented design and energy planning,
as the tool is intended to seek an energy-optimal scenario by changing building design and
area layout. The tool is composed of a mix of theory (literature) and knowledge of experts.
Within the research, the tool has been applied in two case studies, where tested parameter
adjustments, after a base scenario simulation, did indicate a substantial increase in energy
self-sufficiency, by reducing the demand with among others shade control, increasing the
renewable energy supply by small wind energy collectors and the installation of a battery
storage (short cycle) and a thermal energy storage (long cycle). The developed tool enables
the design of future residential area developments with energy-optimized architectural
designs, which consume less energy and perform better on energy efficiency. Ideally, these
developments are fully energy self-sufficient or even energy positive.