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A hierarchical climatic zoning method for energy efficient building design applied in the region with diverse climate characteristics

Xiong, J., Yao, R., Grimmond, S., Zhang, Q. and Li, B. (2019) A hierarchical climatic zoning method for energy efficient building design applied in the region with diverse climate characteristics. Energy and Buildings, 186 (2019). pp. 355-367. ISSN 0378-7788

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2019.01.005


The climate-responsive strategies for energy efficient building design and management require a detailed understanding of the local climatic conditions, while climate zones are fundamental to building regulations and the application of technologies. Smaller and more homogeneous climate zones could help policy-makers and building designers to improve building energy efficiency while improving the indoor thermal environment. A new climate zoning method, with two-tier classification designed for passive building design, is proposed, using climate data (degree-days, relative humidity, solar radiation and wind speed) with Hierarchical Agglomerative Clustering (HAC) following the Ward’s method. The method is applied to the Hot Summer and Cold Winter (HSCW) zone of China as a showcase, where there are no fine climate zones for energy efficient building design with diverse climate characteristics. Seven sub-zones that consider both cooling and heating demands are generated in Tier 1. In the second tier, the HSCW zone is further sub-divided into three humidity groups, three solar radiation clusters, and four wind speed clusters. To assess the impact of climate zoning on building heating and cooling, EnergyPlus simulations are conducted with the output of heating and cooling load. The cooling loads decrease from sub-zone A to B to C (mean = 82.8, 65.3, 43.8 kWh m-2, respectively) with sub-zone mean heating A1 larger than A2 and A3, B1 larger than B2, and C1 larger than C2, which is in accordance with the assumption made in the first-tier division. The higher wind speeds can raise the possibility of natural ventilation, and further increase the free-running period (FRP) when heating and cooling are not needed. The proposed zones are mapped and provide a useful reference for the policy/building code makers for heating and cooling strategies in this region. The method to create the climate zones could be applied in any region with local climate data.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Energy and Environmental Engineering group
ID Code:82112


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