Journal Article

Envisioning building-as-energy-service in the European context: From a literature review to a conceptual framework


Positive Energy Buildings (PEBs) represent an emerging paradigm for high performance in the building sector. This paradigm focuses on the possibility of exploiting the interaction between individual NZEBs and smart Smart Grids, using energy surplus exchange. Acknowledging this technical potential, building sector should re-think the role of individual buildings as nodes of intelligent energy infrastructures with large penetration of distributed renewable energy resources. This requires a better understanding of the emerging properties related to PEBs and an organisation of new alliances across sectors in order to put PEBs nets into practice. However, there is no evidence of a comprehensive socio-technical framework concerning PEBs nets working at scale. This paper aims to fill this gap. Through a literature review, based on Constructive Grounded Theory Method, it proposes a new conceptual framework focused on Buildings-as-Energy-Service as a key enabler for creating PEBs nets. Research findings are organized according to four integrated lines of research, which describe: the trajectory towards PEBs nets; the management of new alliances across sectors; the definition of an ecosystem of applications for PEBs; and, the socio-technical implications in putting PBEs into practice. These research lines may contribute to re-inventing the role of the building sector in delivering tailor-made products and services for a low carbon society. Thus, academic and non-academic stakeholders in the fields of Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Planning might find this conceptual framework useful, as it summarises significant potential interactions among these sectors, emerging from recent studies. The limitations of the proposed framework are stressed as an incentive for further research in these areas.

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Sibilla, Maurizio
Manfren, Massimiliano

Oxford Brookes departments

School of the Built Environment


Year of publication: 2021
Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-03-18

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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