Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

John Zhai

Second Advisor

Michael Deru

Third Advisor

Moncef Krarti

Abstract

The demand for energy in China is growing at an alarming rate. Buildings have become a significant component of the energy-demand mix accounting for nearly one-quarter of the country's total primary energy consumption. This study compares the building code standards for office and hotel buildings in the hot humid and severe cold climate regions of China and the United States. Benchmark office and hotel building models have been developed for Guangzhou and Harbin, China that meets China's minimum national and regional building energy codes with the integration of common design and construction practices for each region. These models are compared to the ASHRAE standard based US reference building models for Houston, Texas and Duluth, Minnesota which have similar climate conditions. The research further uses a building energy optimization tool to optimize the Chinese benchmarks using existing US products to identify the primary areas for potential energy savings. In the case of the Harbin models, an economic analysis has also been performed to determine the economic feasibility of alternative building designs. The most significant energy-saving options are then presented as recommendations for potential improvements to current China building energy codes.

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