Low exergy building systems implementation

Forrest Meggers, Volker Ritter, Philippe Goffin, Marc Baetschmann, Hansjürg Leibundgut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Low exergy (LowEx) building systems create more flexibility and generate new possibilities for the design of high performance buildings. Instead of maximizing the barrier between buildings and the environment using thick insulation, low exergy systems maximize the connection to the freely available dispersed energy in the environment. We present implementations of LowEx technologies in prototypes, pilots and simulations, including experimental evaluation of our new hybrid PV-thermal (PV/T) panel, operation of integrated systems in an ongoing pilot building project, and cost and performance models along with dynamic simulation of our systems based on our current office renovation project. The exploitation of what we call " anergy sources" reduces exergy use, and thus primary energy demand. LowEx systems provide many heating and cooling methods for buildings using moderate supply temperatures and heat pumps that exploit more valuable anergy sources. Our implementation of integrated LowEx systems maintains low temperature-lifts, which can drastically increase heat pump performance from the typical COP range of 3-6 to values ranging from 6 to 13.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-55
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Pollution
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Buildings
  • Energy efficiency
  • Exergy
  • Heat pump
  • High performance
  • LowEx


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