Developing a Framework for Applying Energy-Efficient Technologies in the Building Envelope of Housing Developments


Research type: Academic
Research focus: Energy efficiency through technology application in middle-income housing developments
Date created: March 27, 2006
Key terms: Energy efficiency, building envelope technology, green building, housing energy efficiency framework, middle-income residential energy generation




The Philippines has long been suffering escalating costs of imported crude oil.  This foreign crude oil is imported into the Philippines to power industries, commerce, agriculture, transport and residences allover the country.  Since the country has yet to achieve energy independence, there is no option but to continue this expensive dependence on foreign oil.  The government has forecasted that from 2004 till 2014, spanning a decade, the country is likely to almost double its requirements for energy.  This increase is led by the residential sector which requires about 3-4 percent more energy per year till 2014.  Currently, the residential sector comprises 38 percent of the total energy demand.  This is the largest contribution by any sector.  The other sectors include agricultural, industry, commerce, and transport.  There is a need to control the use of energy by the residential sector.


The residential sector is made up of each individual household in urban and rural areas throughout the country.  Energy consumption is by far greater in urban areas than rural areas.  This is not only due to the fact of higher population density but also a higher income per capita in urban centers.  Household energy use in urban centers is mainly from electricity.  This is the main source of power for lighting, recreation cooling, cooking and refrigeration.  Among all levels of the residential sector, the middle income group is the largest and contributes the most to energy demand.  Among all households in this group, the highest energy consuming appliance in use is the air conditioner.  The future demand of air conditioning in urban areas of the country is an average annual increase of 20 percent.  Thus, space cooling is certainly an area which requires intervention at the household level.  If this is achieved, there will be a positive effect on the consumption of energy in each household.  Ultimately, this will lead to a decrease in energy demand by the residential sector.


The thesis entitled “Developing a Framework for Applying Energy-Efficient Technologies in the Building Envelope of Housing Developments” aims to achieve just that – a house which does not require artificial space cooling.  This is done by making sure that the building envelope of a house meets certain performance requirements which should ensure that there would be no need for space cooling.  The unit of measurement used in this thesis for acquiring building envelope performance is the Overall Thermal Transfer Value (OTTV).  The concept of thermal comfort is used from the book Passive Cooling Technology for Buildings in Hot-Humid Localities by G.V. Manahan.  The methodology used is the comparison of a “Business –as-Usual” or BAU house and an Efficient State House.  The energy consumption of air conditioning for a BAU case is taken from the analysis of a typical middle-income household’s energy use through an energy audit.  The different materials used for the building envelope of the BAU case are compared to the materials that exhibit a more efficient OTTV level.  Also included in the comparative analysis are differences in roof slope, sizes of fenestrations and solar orientation.  From this different scenarios are produced and tabulated to come up with prescriptions that guide a designer in choosing the right materials for windows, walls, and roofs for a specific design to be energy-efficient.


A handbook for non-technical users was developed in order for the laymen to apply these guidelines.  This handbook was used in conjunction with the development of the design application of two prototype houses.  The two prototype houses were designed using the prescriptions – the first being based on parameters of the house design of a typical middle income household, while the second being a more extreme condition to test the guidelines in such a scenario.


It is hoped that with such guidelines, future housing developments would become more environmentally sensitive through energy-efficiency and design with thermal comfort in mind.




Download the thesis here.

Citation (Harvard Reference):

Lecciones, A. J. M., 2006. Developing a Framework for Applying Energy-Efficient Technologies in the Building Envelope of Housing Developments. Quezon City: [unpublished undergraduate thesis, University of the Philippines].