ISO Standard for designing the ultra efficient home

Issue 43 – October 2012

Between the rising cost of living and concerns about protecting the environment, homeowners have become increasingly interested in finding ways to cut down on energy use. ISO 13153:2012 Framework of the design process for energy-saving single-family residential and small commercial buildings gives a framework to consider the design process in buildings that will lead to greater energy efficiency – and lower energy bills.

Dr Takao Sawachi, leader of the ISO team of international experts that developed the Standard, comments, 'Despite increases in the number and the average size of homes plus increased use of electronics, improvements in efficiency have all led to decreased consumption per household. The new ISO 13153 goes a step further by helping designers make decisions on whether energy-saving technologies are adopted in a particular building project based on its specific design conditions. It is an invaluable addition to the growing group of ISO Standards for energy efficiency in buildings.'

ISO 13153 will help designers to evaluate the energy-saving effectiveness of the elemental technology options at different stages of the design process.

Energy consumption in buildings – including climate control, appliances, lighting, and other installed equipment – represents nearly 40% of the world's total energy use. Introducing energy efficiency in the design process leads to a reduction in energy demand through a global approach to the building, including analysis of the building location, definition of the building envelope, energy systems, and products. For example, in cold climates, the insulation of the building envelope is selected as an elemental technology, which contributes to energy conservation in space heating energy.

ISO 13153:

  • gives a framework of the design process for energy-saving single-family residential and small commercial buildings. The predicted reduction of consumption is expressed in an 'energy consumption ratio' that will enable meaningful comparisons of actual energy use, and of the potential for energy savings

  • applies to new buildings and systems for heating, cooling, lighting, domestic hot water, service water heating, ventilation, and related controls.

To help users get the most out of the standard, ISO 13153 also provides three annexes on the following:

  • Examples of energy-saving elemental technologies and options for specification

  • Notes on the experimental estimation of systems, taking actual conditions of usage into consideration

  • Contents of design guidelines including expression of energy consumption ratio for elemental technologies and options for specification

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Summarised from an ISO media release, 2 October 2012.

Related Standard

  • NZS 4218:2009 Thermal insulation – Housing and small buildings

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