Task 23
Task 23
SHC Task 23

Solar Energy Use in Large Buildings

Project (Task) Description

This website introduces the work and results of Task 23, a project within the Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC) programme of the International Energy Agency. Task 23 "Optimisation of Solar Energy Use in Large Buildings" has focused its work on exploring the nature of the Integrated Design Process (IDP), an approach and design procedure that has proven to be highly effective in producing high-performance and environmentally-friendly buildings.

The objectives of the Task were reached step by step by dividing the work into four subtasks.

Participants from twelve countries were involved in this Task over a five-year period, putting together the expertise from researchers, architects and consultants in producing a practical approach towards IDP. The IDP approach has been applied in a number of real design processes, and the evaluation of this experience has provided valuable feedback.

To significantly reduce the total energy use in large buildings, it is necessary to use several technologies, such as energy conservation, daylighting, passive solar, active solar, and photovoltaics, in combination. The designers of these buildings therefore need to find the optimum combinations of technologies for each specific case. This requires an integrated design approach, where the different low energy and solar technologies to be used are considered integral parts of the whole.

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Task 23 will enable the designers to realise such integrated design processes and to carry out the necessary optimisation exercises, thereby ensuring the most appropriate use of solar energy in each building project. This will be done by providing the designers with a set of design tools.

The work in the Task focuses primarily on commercial and institutional buildings, as these types of buildings all need more than one type of system. In particular, office buildings and educational buildings are addressed.

The primary results of the work will be guidelines, methods, and tools for use by building designers in the early stages of design. The Task also includes demonstration buildings, as such buildings both provide an opportunity to test the design tools developed, and as they provide an effective way of demonstrating the integration of solar technologies in real buildings. A more elaborated introduction to the Task can be found in the booklet Solar Low Energy Buildings and the Integrated Design Process - An Introduction.