In most countries about 40% of all energy is used for heating, cooling and ventilating buildings. Good indoor climate is of high priority, and as the standard of living improves in poorer countries, greater investments are being made in heating and air conditioning systems. These are often installed in buildings not suitable for active indoor climate control, resulting in an unduly high use of energy, and high costs. The change from passive to active climate control in the housing sector is especially alarming, as this has led to drastic increases in energy use in many countries.
Many countries have out-dated energy standards, or have none at all. Knowledge on sustainable and energy-efficient buildings is poor, and there is often a lack of tools and economic and business incentive to consider these aspects.
Climate control in buildings and the design of buildings also affect the urban climate. One well-known effect is the “urban heat island”, i.e. an increase in temperature in city centres. This has a negative effect on energy use in warmer countries.
Research in this area at LTH is being carried out, for example, at the divisions of Energy & Building Design, and Housing Development & Management.