Energy use and height in office buildings

Godoy-Shimizu, Daniel, Steadman, Philip, Hamilton, Ian, Donn, Michael, Evans, Stephen, Moreno, Graciela and Shayesteh, Homeira ORCID logoORCID: (2018) Energy use and height in office buildings. Building Research & Information, 46 (8) . pp. 845-863. ISSN 0961-3218 [Article] (doi:10.1080/09613218.2018.1479927)

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The relationship between energy use and height is examined for a sample of 611 office buildings in England and Wales using actual annual metered consumption of electricity and fossil fuels. The buildings are of different ages; they have different construction characteristics and methods of heating and ventilation; and they include both public and commercial offices. When rising from five storeys and below to 21 storeys and above, the mean intensity of electricity and fossil fuel use increases by 137% and 42% respectively, and mean carbon emissions are more than doubled. A multivariate regression model is used to interpret the contributions of building characteristics and other factors to this result. Air-conditioning is important, but a trend of increased energy use with height is also found in naturally ventilated buildings. Newer buildings are not in general more efficient: the intensity of electricity use is greater in offices built in recent decades, without a compensating decrease in fossil fuel use. The evidence suggests it is likely – although not proven – that much of the increase in energy use with height is due to the greater exposure of taller buildings to lower temperatures, stronger winds and more solar gains.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): building performance; buildings; CO2 emissions; energy; epidemiology; height; multivariate regression; office design; tall buildings
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Design Engineering and Mathematics
Item ID: 23746
Notes on copyright: © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Depositing User: Homeira Shayesteh
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2018 15:08
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 19:30

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