Data-driven framework towards realistic bottom-up energy benchmarking using an Artificial Neural Network

Geraldi, M.S.; Ghisi, E.
Applied Energy

Energy benchmarking of buildings has an important role in improving energy performance by establishing a reference for the energy efficiency of the building stock. The simulation of archetypes followed by a generalisation model has been widely used to obtain benchmarks. However, even though archetypes summarise the main features of the building stock, the uncertainties must be accounted for in the modelling process. Moreover, testing the response of the benchmarking model using the actual building stock data supports the reliability of the method. This paper aims to propose an innovative framework to reduce the uncertainty of archetypes for benchmarking buildings. A standard framework for data compiling is proposed and an assessment of the uncertainty of variables using entropy and cluster analysis allowed to obtain representative archetypes. An Artificial Neural Network (ANN) was used as a predictive tool, and it was applied to benchmark a sample of actual buildings. Also, the simulation outcomes were used to determine energy end-uses according to the climatic zones. The framework proposition is presented alongside with a practical application. The result is an unprecedented benchmarking model: the archetype considers more variation in parameters of the building stock with higher uncertainties. Additionally, the modelling process showed to be robust for combining different datasets, and the ANN achieved high-performance metrics. Conclusion indicates the potential of using the framework for other typologies. Moreover, the framework demonstration is used for a school stock in Brazil, showing a trend to the inefficiency while a specific case study was explored, showing the potential of the method to find faults in the building energy use.