The Effect of Degradation on Cold Climate Building Energy Performance: A Comparison with Hot Climate Buildings




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Peer reviewed



The issues of reducing energy consumption in buildings and their decarbonisation are currently among the most pressing. However, such an important aspect of the problem under discussion as the impact of unavoidable degradation processes on energy demand in buildings remains poorly understood. In addition, there are only a limited number of practical guidelines that can be used to take this factor into account at the design stage and during the further operation of buildings. The aim of this work was to assess the potential impact of component degradation and ageing on heating energy consumption in buildings, including insulated glass units, thermal insulation, airtightness, heat recovery of mechanical ventilation systems, and photovoltaic modules. The detached and apartment buildings were considered to be in a cold climate in the context of the Republic of Belarus. The study was based on simulation research using EnergyPlus. As a result, it was found that a possible increase in heating energy consumption might reach 17.6–61.2% over 25 years in detached houses and up to 23.6–89.8% in apartment buildings. These indicators turned out to be higher than the previously identified values for cooling energy consumption in a hot–humid climate. Based on the findings, recommendations for considering the degradation factor in cold climates in practice were developed, which were compared and integrated into the author’s existing guidelines.


open access article


ageing, component degradation, durability, cold climate, building energy performance, dynamic thermal simulation, case study, decarbonisation


Taki, A. and Zakharanka, A. (2023) The Effect of Degradation on Cold Climate Building Energy Performance: A Comparison with Hot Climate Buildings. Sustainability, 15 (8), 6372


Research Institute

Institute of Architecture