Buildings are major contributors to global energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. There has been increasing effort and attention from industry and academia towards improving the energy efficiency of buildings and lowering the carbon footprint of this sector in the context of urban development. However, due to highly integrated and complex interactions between buildings, occupant behaviours and the surrounding environment, most current studies are largely limited to the energy modelling and assessment of individual buildings, rather than on the whole of a precinct system. This research proposes a precinct-scale life-cycle model to support the energy evaluation at the precinct level, as well as the optimal planning and redevelopment of urban precincts. The model encompasses three main types of energy components, i.e. operational, embodied and travelling energy, which are related to the physical and functional characteristics of an urban precinct. The model construct is underpinned by establishing a precinct baseline energy profile for precinct objects. It uses energy intensity measures and incorporates the impacts of environmental, morphological, and socio-economic factors of the precinct based on a systems perspective. The model application is demonstrated by a case study which analyses an outer suburban precinct in Adelaide, South Australia, which represents a typical example of urban expansion and transit-oriented development in Australian cities.
Keywords: Life-cycle energy; Energy intensities; Building; Precinct; Environmental factors