The indoor climate of the first passive house school in Norway was evaluated with the aid of a questionnaire (Örebro) with approximately 340 respondents, and three interview rounds with a total of 23 informants. The intention was to reveal whether the users experienced any problems or possibly better conditions than in a regular school building. The interviews showed that, overall, the users were satisfied with the building. The survey showed generally good results for the indoor climate. Questionnaire results were compared with reference material consisting of data for average school buildings. The indoor climate of Marienlyst School was better than the average for most of the symptoms of indoor air quality problems, for both pupils and teachers. The users did still experience some problems with the building, relating to the fine-tuning of the automatic systems: temperature control, solar control, static electricity, and pressure conditions in the building. The users also said they lacked information about the passive house concept, the building, and how to obtain optimal functionality of the automatic control systems. The reasons for the fine-tuning problems are discussed in relation to the passive house concept, and the problem indicators are probably not attributable to the concept.

Published in Journal papers


This paper provides a summary of main content and conclusions from a report on evaluation of existing potential and scenario studies concerning renovation of residential buildings. In addition to literature studies there were conducted own calculations adapted from the most important Norwegian scenario model. Also studies addressing design of regulatory requirements for measures with existing buildings were reviewed. The results were discussed in expert workshops. The technical potential for energy upgrade seems to be under- rather than overestimated. On the other hand, the paper substantiates that the renovation rate is lower than assumed in the scenarios, and illustrates that rules and requirements of laws and regulations will not ensure energy ambitious upgrade to a sufficient degree. As a consequence, other motivations and policy instruments like economic support and measures to influence sociocultural drivers are more important and essential to achieve ambitious goals. There are different types of motivation for energy efficiency and upgrading among the population. For most people, a combination of these may be important: Comfort and indoor environment, general requirements for upgrade (energy efficiency side effect), energy/financial gain, moral, image/group identity. Means to achieve ambitious upgrading in the housing sector must answer many different types of motivators. Therefore we need to have a wide range of instruments to achieve the climate goals.

Published in Conference papers

The article's aim is to present user experiences with passive houses and zero-energy buildings. The focus is on the interaction between the building and the users, specifically on how user interfaces, knowledge, and commitment influence the use of the building and the level of energy consumption awareness.

Published in Journal papers

Innemiljøet på Marienlyst skole i Drammen, Norges første "passivhus-skole", er evaluert gjennom intervju og spørreskjema med brukere. Det er utført tre intervjurunder i løpet av 2011 med totalt 23 informanter; lærere, elever og representanter fra driftspersonalet. I tillegg er det utført en spørreskjemaundersøkelse om inneklimaet i slutten av 2011, for alle elever og ansatte.

Published in Reports

This paper is based on a review of research that describes user experiences with different types of energy efficient buildings, focusing on indoor climate, technical operation, user attitudes, and general satisfaction. Energy efficient buildings are often rated better than conventional buildings on indoor climate, but when investigating more thoroughly, the users have different concerns. The varying results from the user evaluations reflect that the quality of the buildings differs. However, user concerns may also be a result of inappropriate use. Perceived personal control and sufficient information on operation and use is crucial for an overall positive experience of the building. Three areas for further research could be identified: There is a shortage of research that takes into account the social context for evaluation. The social environment, the process of moving into an energy efficient building, and prior knowledge on environmental issues, influences the evaluation of the building. Energy efficient buildings may also require specific architectural solutions, and further research should consider architectural and aesthetic aspects in the evaluation. Research on use and operation of energy efficient buildings is increasing, but there is still a need to give more detailed attention to different ways of providing information and training in operation and use.

Published in Conference papers

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