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School of the Future: Simple to use calculation tool for the energy assessment of school buildings - ASCOT Light

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The calculation tool ASCOT - Assessment tool for additional construction cost in sustainable building renovation – was originally developed for dwellings. The purpose of the ASCOT tool is to assist the user in evaluating and thereby optimise the economical costs of a building renovation project in relation to sustainable development issues. The tool is based on earlier development work in various EU- and national (DK) projects. The current version, "ASCOT Light", is targeted towards school buildings. The following national versions have been developed including default cost data:


  • Danish;
  • German;
  • Italian;
  • Norwegian.


The tool is designed to take into consideration:


  • all investment and operation costs over the total lifetime of the building;
  • the savings from the investments with respect to sustainable issues (heat, electricity, water) over the total lifespan of the building;
  • the reduced environmental impact from the energy savings;
  • the social or environmental and other external costs incurred by the project (not included in the first prototype but an option that can be added at a later stage).


The ASCOT model allows a comparison between a traditional (reference) building renovation and different sustainable concepts for the renovation of the building. This comparison will take into account usage savings during the total lifetime of the building and the frequency of future replacing of building components and systems. The tool is primarily intended for use in the early stage of the design process. It can be used for both new constructions and renovation projects.


The ASCOT tool can be used to define sustainability categories and to classify buildings according to these categories based on the calculated reduced environmental impacts.


The ASCOT tool is characterised by a simple structure that is very flexible to future changes and upgrading. Its use and results are easy to understand - enabling a steep learning curve.


The ASCOT tool calculations are based on international standards for energy calculation. Thermal performance of buildings – Calculation of energy use for space heating and cooling (ISO/DIS 13790), Heating systems in buildings – Method for calculation of system energy requirements and system efficiencies: Heat generation system, thermal solar systems.


How to use the tool:

ASCOT Light is an educational tool to be used for calculating the energy consumption of school buildings.


The spreadsheet allows for 3 forms of input: One is to select from a pull down menu. The second is a choice between different figures and the third is typing (overwriting) numbers in cells with orange (default) numbers.


It can be used to document the economy in a solar heating system, compared to other types of energy savings.



First a reference building for the optimisation must be defined in this sheet: year of construction, type of school building, number of storeys, possible solar hot water system.



Define the type of reference lighting system, level and control.


Investigate and calculate the various energy improvements.


Results of the optimisation are presented.


The tool was developed by Cenergia who also targeted it towards school buildings and easy application within the EU 7FP project “School of the Future” (260102).

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