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energy consumption. Heating energy can be drastically reduced down to
15 kWh m 2 a 1 even in cold climates, while cooling energy demand is on the increase
due to higher levels of comfort, but also to ever-increasing internal loads. These
are caused by more electrical equipment in both the residential and non-residential
sector. Measured electrical energy consumption is often at 50 kWh m 2 a 1 or more,
although best practice examples show that consumption levels in residential build-
ings can be at only 12 kWh m 2 a 1 and 35 kWh m 2 a 1 in office buildings. Lighting
electricity consumption in well-designed buildings can be as low as 5 kWh m 2 a 1 ,
but can also reach values of nearly 70 kWh m 2 a 1 and thus adds to the cooling
energy demand. As a result, cooling energy consumption levels in a moderate
European climate are typically between 30 and 60 kWh m 2 a 1 , but can reach values
as high as 150 kWh m 2 a 1 . The results of the author's measurements in a best
practice passive office building and a 'standard' building from the EU eco-building
program, combined with the average Mediterranean values provided by the
Catalan Energy Institute and statistics from the US government, summarize the status
of building energy consumption today (see Figure 1.22).
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