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Energy benchmarking in educational buildings through cluster analysis of energy retrofitting

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A large part of the stock of Italian educational buildings have undertaken energy retrofit interventions, thanks to European funds allocated by complex technical-administrative calls. In these projects, the suggested retrofit strategies are often selected based on the common best practices (considering average energy savings) but are not supported by proper energy investigations.


In this paper, Italian school buildings’ stock was analyzed by cluster analysis with the aim of providing a methodology able to identify the best energy retrofit interventions from the perspective of cost-benefit, and to correlate them with the specific characteristics of the educational buildings. This research is based on the analysis of about 80 school buildings located in central Italy and characterized by different features and construction technologies. The refurbished buildings were classified in homogeneous clusters and, for each of them, the most representative building was identified. Furthermore, for each representative building a validating procedure based on dynamic simulations and a comparison with actual energy use was performed. The two buildings thus singled out provide a model that could be developed into a useful tool for Public Administrations to suggest priorities in the planning of new energy retrofits of existing school building stocks.