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Energy Research Centre Participated in ISES Workshop on Solar Low-Energy Housing
Asst. Prof. Dr. Ugur Atikol, director of Energy Research Centre, participated in a workshop on “Solar Low-Energy Housing in Europe” organized by the International Solar Energy Society (ISES). The following is an article that appeared on the ISES Membership Newsletter:
The ISES Workshop took place in Freiburg, Germany from 11 – 19 August. The mentor and lecture team was directed under the scientific coordination of Robert Hastings, Director of Architecture, Energy & Environment GmbH , leader of IEA Task 28 on Sustainable Buildings, and lecturer of solar architecture at several universities. Hastings presented the workshop participants with these realities and the opportunities they offer. He stressed, “It is essential to plan buildings needing only a fraction of the energy today’s buildings consume, while providing superior comfort. Housing, as a building type, is the biggest energy user and also where we spend the greatest part of our time. Accordingly it is a key target to drastically reduce energy consumption. This can be achieved through conservation and use of renewable energy.”
The Workshop, held in the tradition of the ISES Solar Academies, provided know-how and tools to aid participants meet the energy challenges of building and designing today. The plenary lectures, given by international expert professionals from research and industry, formed one element of the workshop and emphasized energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy. Lectures given on building construction for optimal energy usage included wall constructions for energy efficiency, windows frames, glass, solar controls, and principles of natural and mechanical ventilation. The use of renewable energy such as photovoltaic systems principles and components, and building integrated PV; solar thermal systems including DHW, combi– and storage systems; as well as heating systems, including combined heat and power and biomass options.
The second element of the workshop was the practical design studio where participants under the guidance of a mentor team, could apply the knowledge gained from the lectures into a real design exercise. Participants were challenged to design a project with optimal efficiency and maximum use of renewable to meet energy demands. To aid in this process, they were guided in the use of several PC simulation and design tools. These tools helped them to test and optimize their designs to meet the criteria of the design exercise. While specific parameters were given in regard to energy consumption per square meter and use of RE sources, participants were given free rein to design their projects as they wished. The results were some very architecturally creative projects.
Participants also were given the opportunity to see first hand some examples of low-energy solar houses in Freiburg. During the technical tour, participants could inspect different building examples where energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies are being put to use. The technical tour was held at the beginning of the workshop to provide participants with an idea of what is already possible and available on the market.
The planners and builders of the new energy era need to start today to meet the demands of tomorrow. It is not a question of whether or not.
solar and low-energy technologies and strategies should be applied, but when. The realities we see unfolding provide the answer, we must change the way we build now. The ISES Workshop is one way to provide planners the tools and know-how to meet this challenge and hopefully inspire them to create new solutions. The next Solar Academy for architecture is planned for the beginning of August 2007. More information about the ISES Summer Workshop can be found on the website at