Sustainicum Collection

Consus The aim of the project is to establish a regional science-society network for sustainability innovations in Albania and Kosovo in order to strengthen the connection and collaboration of institutions in the field of higher education, research and practice.

Resource facts

  • Independent of the number of students
  • Up to 3 lecture units
  • English, German

Resource Description

Building Optimization – Ultimate Energy (GO-2)(Resource ID: 216)

This teaching module is part of a module series on building optimization and is suited to courses on sustainability, in particular energy efficiency and climate protection, and aims to examine the building sector. The Building Optimization series of modules is intended to convey the essential relationships of energy efficient construction. Students can explore the optimization potentials of energy efficiency on their own using the GO Tool. The purpose of this module is to understand how to optimize ultimate and primary energy demands as well as carbon dioxide emissions by using energy efficient building utilities systems (HVACR). The module is designed for a teaching unit of one-half to an hour in length and can be implemented regardless of the number of participants.

Content of Module

  • Information and recommendations for class instructors 
  • Teaching materials and script: PowerPoint presentation (PPP) with instructions
  • Teacher’s manual:  PPP with notes (questions, answers, interpretation) and supplemented with results sheets for class instructors
  • GO tool based on MS Excel

The GO Tool is a tool for rating the energy efficiency of buildings. It can be used without special knowledge of building technology. 

Prerequisites for using this tool are the materials on “Building Optimization Energy Efficiency Values” and the “Building Optimization Instruction Manual”. The teaching module provides an understanding of how energy supply and building utilities influence the ultimate energy demand. Effects upon primary energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions will also be addressed.

Suggested Teaching Order

Time for Step 1 - 2: about 10 minutes.

1. Explanation of goal and sequence of material (the first transparencies (slides) on PPP) 2. Presentation of how final energy, primary energy, and carbon dioxide emission and their balances are shown by the GO Tool.

Time for Step 3: about 10 - 20 minutes

3. GO Tool: Energy source example for indoor and water heating. An interpretation and presentation of results can be found in the teacher documents.

Time for Step 4: about 10 - 20 minutes

4. GO Tool: Example of the optimization of building utilities (HVACR). Information and tasks according to PPP.  An interpretation and presentation of results can be found in the teaching materials.

Prerequisites for Implementation  

MS Excel: two students per computer, if possible. A prerequisite for this module is the completion of teaching module GO-0 “Fundamentals”, which contains instruction on how to use the GO Tool. It would also be an advantage to have completed teaching module GO-1 “Effective Energy”. This module is the basis for understanding the GO-3 teaching module “Building Optimization”, as well as the modules by Alexander Passer (Technical University of Graz) and Heimo Staller (AEE INTEC).

Learning Outcomes
The assessment tool is intended to teach about the essential relationships of energy efficient construction. Working independently, students gain an understanding of the effects of different building services systems on energy efficiency and environmental protection. After being briefed on the input parameters for building services systems, students have gained insight on the most significant influencing variables and potentials for optimization. Intended learning outcomes include:

1. The effects of heating systems
2. The effects of heat distribution systems
3. The effects of ventilation systems with waste heat recovery
4. The effects of cooling systems
5. The effects of lighting systems
Relevance for Sustainability
The building sector exerts a strong influence on key areas of sustainable development: consumption of non-renewable resources, climate change, waste disposal, life cycle costs, job creation, indoor air quality (health), and user comfort. Their long service life means buildings have a direct impact on future generations. Many successfully tested strategies are available for increasing the sustainability performance of buildings. The building sector offers the greatest potential for optimization with regard to climate protection and energy efficiency (see publications by the IPCC and IEA). LCA (life cycle assessments) of buildings show that, in most cases, the performance of user energy is the dominant factor of environmental impact (see for example the 2008 Michlmair thesis, TU Graz). For this reason, the energy efficiency of buildings is the most important starting point when improving ecological performance. Energy supply and building installations are fundamental characteristics of a building that must be determined in the early planning phases and that significantly influence the ecological performance of a building.
Preparation Efforts
Sources and Links

Markus Gratzl-Michlmair
Gratzl Engineering, Engineering Office for Building Physics

Concept and Supplementary Materials:
Roman Smutny

The building optimization tool is based on the OIB-training tool for non-residential buildings (see: www.oib.or.at) created by Christian Pöhn, MA39, and thus uses the calculation rules of the energy certificate updated January 2010 (incl. ventilation standard ÖNORM H 5057, cooling standard ÖNORM H 5058, and lighting standard ÖNORM H 5059).

The OIB tool was adapted for use in architecture competitions within the IEAAC (Integration of Energy-related Aspects in Architecture Competitions) project by F&E and has been successfully implemented many times. The project was developed by IFZ Graz (architect Heimo Staller, project director), TU Graz, and BOKU Vienna, sponsored by FFG and Klima- und Energiefonds and the results are available online free of charge: www.ifz.tugraz.at/Projekte/Energie-und-Klima/EZ-IEAA

A series of enhancements and simplifications were necessary to make it usable as a simplified teaching tool for residential buildings as part of the SUSTANICUM program.  These involved the following areas:

  • Active solar energy use, detailed lighting plans, shade and shadow illustration
  • Ventilation system input

The conversion factors for primary energy demand and carbon dioxide emissions are taken from the OIB Guideline 6 (October 2011 issue). The PV of income are credited to the Austrian electricity mix. The conversion factors of the comparison values for travel are from the database ECOINVENT, V.2.

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Roman Smutny,
Markus Gratzl-Michlmair


Roman Smutny
This teaching resource is allocated to following University:
BOKU - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna


Creative Commons

Teaching Tools & Methods

  • Computer program
  • Simulation program
  • Written material
  • Simulation