Author(s): Ming Hu
Due to the high heating demand, energy savings in residential buildings in cold climates has played an important role in reducing carbon emissions. The goal of this study is to investigate the difference of current multifamily buildings’ energy retrofit practices in the United States and Finland, with aim to achieve net zero energy or nearly net zero energy. Altogether, data of 57 net zero (ZEB) and nearly net zero energy (nZEB) multifamily buildings from both countries were collected and analyzed. The preliminary results indicate three differences: (1) for existing multifamily building stock, the United States has higher average energy use 266 kWh/m2, compared to that of Finland at 220-250 kWh/m2; (2) Finland has much more strict energy code requirements that contribute to the lower energy use in the similar climate condition; (3) in the built nZEB and ZEB projects, the average energy in United States is 1.7 times higher than in Finland.