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Rønneseth, Ø., Sandberg, N. H. & Sartori, I. (2019):

Popular summary:

Is it possible to supply Norwegian apartment blocks with 4th generation district heating?

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4th generation district heating represents the new generation of district heating systems. It reduces heat loss from the grid, enables better use of surplus heat and renewable energy sources, in addition to reducing the strain on the electricity grid. In short, 4th generation district heating is a sustainable solution for supplying heat to Zero Emission Neighbourhoods.

However, there are technical challenges that must be solved before it is introduced. One of them is to determine how low the supply temperature can be in different types of buildings so that we can identify the minimum district heating supply temperature. In our research, we evaluated the minimum supply temperature in Norwegian apartment blocks by improving the thermal envelope and reducing the temperature levels for the heating system. Our analysis focuses on whether the reduced supply temperature guarantees thermal comfort in the building.

Our project implied developing a database of building models representative of Norwegian apartment blocks. The building models consisted of eight age groups and three levels of energy performance. We performed simulations with two different temperature levels for the radiators typical for Norwegian buildings: 80/60 and 60/40 °C.

We found that reducing the supply temperature to the radiators from 80 to 60 °C is possible for buildings newer than from 1970, even for non-renovated buildings. For older buildings, an intermediate renovation, i.e. upgrading the windows, is necessary to maintain temperatures above the minimum acceptable temperature of 19 °C. Still, we highly recommend to perform a more ambitious renovation for these buildings to reduce the number of hours with significantly reduced indoor temperature compared to the setpoint temperature of 22 °C. In addition to reduce the heating demand and thus achieve energy savings, this will also ensure that the occupants are satisfied with their thermal environment.

The results can be used by district heating companies, building owners, contractors and consulting companies, in order to evaluate the introduction of 4th generation district heating in Norwegian apartment blocks. The models and Excel sheets with hourly results for energy need are available for partners and researchers within FME ZEN, so that they could be used for other purposes as well.


By Øystein Rønneseth

Is It Possible to Supply Norwegian Apartment Blocks with 4th Generation District Heating?.

Energies, 12 (5),

Moschetti, R., Brattebø, H. & Sparrevik, M. (2019):

This paper explores the most influential aspects regarding the environmental and economic performance of zero-energy and zero-emission buildings and proposes a pathway for transition in building solutions. A representative zero-energy office building in Norway is investigated with alternative design solutions to achieve zero-emission status i.e., the extensive use of locally generated energy through photovoltaic (PV) panels and the use of materials with low embodied emissions, such as low-carbon concrete and wood. A life cycle environmental and economic assessment is performed to evaluate specific indicators during the building life cycle: cumulative energy (CED), global warming potential (GWP), and equivalent annual cost (EAC).


Exploring the pathway from zero-energy to zero-emission building solutions: A case study of a Norwegian office building.

Energy and Buildings, Volumes 188-189, 84-97.

Nielsen, B.F, Woods, R. & Lerme, W. (2019):

This article sets out to describe the role of aesthetics in citizen dialogues during the upgrading of a local swimming pool in Hammarkullen, Gothenburg. The swimming pool became an important project because of its role in a larger neighbourhood renovation project that allowed the municipality to focus on citizen engagement and inclusion.


Aesthetic Preference as Starting Point for Citizen Dialogues on Urban Design: Stories from Hammarkullen, Gothenburg.

Urban Planning, 4(1), ISSN: 2183-7653.

Predictive rule-based control to activate the energy flexibility of Norwegian residential buildings: Case of an air-source heat pump and direct electric heating

The building energy flexibility potential of a Norwegian single-family detached house is investigated using predictive rule-based control (PRBC) and building performance simulation (using IDA ICE).

John Clauß, Sebastian Stinner, Igor Sartori, Laurent Georges
Year: 2019
Journal : Applied Energy
Volume : 237
Pages : 500-518

Impacts of future weather data typology on building energy performance – Investigating long-term patterns of climate change and extreme weather conditions

This work aims at answering two research questions: does a method of generating future weather files for building performance simulation bring advantages that cannot be provided by other methods? And what type of future weather files enable building engineers and designers to more credibly test robustness of their designs against climate change?

Amin Moazamia, Vahid M. Nik, Salvatore Carluccia, Stig Gevinga
Year: 2019
Journal : Applied Energy
Volume : 238
Pages : 696-720

Responsive building envelope concepts in zero emission neighborhoods and smart cities – A roadmap to implementation

Responsive building envelopes (RBEs) are expected to play an important role in the design of ZENs and future smart sustainable cities. RBEs are useful to optimize the balance between several energy flows at single- and multi building scale, as well as to actively manage both on-site renewable- and purchased energy in addition to improving user experience and indoor comfort by providing an interactive interface with the outdoors. This article provides a review of the potential and the requirements associated with using RBEs to manage complex interactions between buildings, clusters of buildings and utility grids.

Ellika Taveres-Cachata, Steinar Grynninga, Judith Thomsen, Stephen Selkowitz


Year: 2018
Journal : Building and Environment
Volume : 149
Pages : 446-457

Future Trends in District Heating Development

This article describes challenges that should be overcome towards implementation of low-temperature district heating (LTDH). The trends in development, operational issues, and legislative framework were revised.

Tymofii Tereshchenko, Natasa Nord
Year: 2018
Journal : Current Sustainable/Renewable Energy Reports
Volume : 5 (2)
Pages : 172-180

From Zero Emission Buildings (ZEB) to Zero Emission Neighbourhoods (ZEN): A Mapping Review of Algorithm-Based LCA

The building industry is responsible for approximately 40% of energy consumption and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union (EU). The most efficient way of reducing a building’s environmental impact is addressing it in the design stage. Here, design freedom is the greatest, but uncertainty is high and there is a nearly limitless number of design options.

Christofer Skaar, Nathalie Labonnote, Klodian Gradeci
Year: 2018
Journal : Sustainability
Volume : 10
Pages : 1-19

Influence of occupant behavior and operation on performance of a residential Zero Emission Building in Norway

Influence of occupant behavior on a residential ZEB was analyzed.
Occupant behavior may change the annual energy balance reliability by 20%.
Occupant behavior may result in grid stress variation from −5% to +13%.
Window openings and DHW would not change significantly the ZEB energy performance.

Natasa Nord, Tymofii Tereshchenko, Live Holmedal Qvistgaard, Ivar S. Tryggestad
Year: 2018
Journal : Energy and Buildings
Volume : 159
Pages : 75-88

Using a segmented dynamic dwelling stock model for scenario analysis of future energy demand: The dwelling stock of Norway 2016–2050

A dynamic and segmented dwelling stock model is applied for energy analyses.
A case study was conducted for the Norwegian dwelling stock 2016–2050.
More advanced and/or frequent renovation give limited additional energy savings.
Use of local energy sources, e.g. heat pumps and PV, has a large future potential.
User behaviour is likely to strongly reduce the real energy savings in the system.

Nina Holck Sandberg, Igor Sartori, Magnus I. Vestrum, Helge Brattebø
Year: 2017
Journal : Energy and Buildings
Volume : 146
Pages : 220-232

The impact of Zero Energy Buildings on the Scandinavian energy system

We analyse cost-optimal integration of ZEBs in the Scandinavian energy system.
We capture impact of short-term uncertainty on long-term investment decisions.
ZEBs reduce the investments in the electricity and heating sector.
The Scandinavian electricity sector is capable of integrating ZEBs with PV.
The operation of the flexible hydropower is changed with ZEBs.

Pernille Seljom, Karen Byskov Lindberg, Asgeir Tomasgard, Gerard Doorman, Igor Sartori
Year: 2017
Journal : Energy
Volume : 118
Pages : 284-296

Analysis of the impact resolution has on load matching in the Norwegian context

Generation of energy at building level has an increasing interest in Norway, as in rest of Europe. Load matching is the correlation between the buildings generation and load, which in most cases aims at optimization of the amount of self-consumption. When analysing generation in relation to load, it is of interest to study the choice of resolution and what impact this has on load match indicators. This study analyses the importance of choosing the right resolution, starting with hourly measurements, and going down towards one-minute resolution.

Kari Sørnes, Eyvind Fredriksen, Ketil Tunheim, Igor Sartori
Year: 2017
Journal+ : Energy Procedia
Volume : 132
Pages : 610-615

Thermal conductivity of cement stabilized earth blocks

Thermal conductivity of cement stabilized earth blocks (CSEB) increases with bulk density.
Thermal conductivity of CSEB slightly varies with the addition of cement.
Compressive strength of CSEB increases with increasing cement content.

Lei Zhang, Arild Gustavsen, Bjørn Petter Jelle, Liu Yang, Tao Gao, Yu Wang
Year: 2017
Journal : Construction and Building Materials
Volume : 151
Pages : 504-511