Organisation profile

Organisation profile

Head of research group: Kirsten Engelund Thomsen

Research focus

  • Energy efficiency in buildings (passive and active strategies)
  • Data-driven design, optimization and renovation
  • Integrated energy production in buildings
  • Interaction between buildings and energy systems
  • Building stock potential for energy efficiency
  • New tools for calculation of energy demand and indoor environment
  • Empirical studies, modelling and real-life application of technologies

Societal challenges
Both in regards to new building construction and renovation of existing buildings, there is great potential for improving energy efficiency, e.g. one third of Denmark's energy consumption is used for space heating. This necessitates considerable effort in energy-efficient renovation. In recent years, the climate crisis has given renewed attention to energy and resource consumption. The now increasingly visible climate changes is expected to create renewed interest in the possibilities for CO2-emission reductions related to construction in general and the adjustments that may become necessary in the construction industry of the future.

The Need for new knowledge
The research of the Energy and Buildings Research Group is based on the societal needs for minimizing the energy use and environmental impacts of the building sector while at the same time maintaining a satisfactory indoor climate in the buildings. Pursuing this, the design process and the design of buildings in general is changing continuously as well as the role of buildings as part of the future renewable energy system.

Therefore, there is a great need to establish to which extent technical requirements for new construction and renovation can improve overall energy efficiency. Which instruments have the greatest impact on energy consumption, and how can we influence building owners to implement energy-efficient renovations.

Research efforts
Our research objective is to minimize the environmental influences through increased utilization of passive and natural energy technologies such as passive solar heating, passive cooling, natural and hybrid ventilation and daylight. In some areas, the limit for optimizing single components has been reached and further development requires system optimization with simultaneous participation of all players of the building sector.

Apart from research in highly energy-efficient buildings, an important topic is research in smart integration of existing buildings in the future energy system in order to increase and optimize capacity of the existing distribution grids as well as to increase utilization of renewable energy resources,. Therefore, we have a special focus devoted to the optimization of the interaction between traditional building services and natural systems and how thermal building energy storage can benefit energy use flexibility

We will also continue to work on assessing the potential of the entire building stock for energy efficiency in the long term in relation to societal renovation strategies.

The Energy and Buildings Research Group helps to analyse and define revisions of the energy requirements in the Danish building regulations and develops tools and SBi guidelines that can help project architects and engineers, executives and suppliers, as well as owners and users of buildings to achieve energy savings.

Finally, the knowledge is translated and conveyed into practice through the continued and further training of building professionals at courses and master's programme. 

The research group collaborates broadly with the Danish building industry, national and international research institutions, Danish companies, the EU Commission as well as IEA partners to strengthen the scientific basis for the requirements of the energy consumption of buildings.

In cooperation with the building industry, national and international work is carried out on the development of calculation methods, standards and guidelines aimed at increased energy and environmental requirements for new buildings and renovations. This collaboration includes projecting architects, consulting engineers, contractors, construction industry, builders, housing associations and municipalities.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Our work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


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Collaborations from the last five years

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