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Enhancing the Accountability and Comparability of Different Campuses’ Energy Profiles Through an Energy Clusters Approach
Living lab facilities are increasingly supporting university campuses sustainability management by providing consumption patterns and performance indicators. Ranking systems set criteria to universities sustainability managers in order to motivate sustainability operationalization. However, current campuses’ sustainability assessment tools do not provide specific consumption thresholds according to the different functions that could be hosted, or the building typologies or the geographic context. Because of this, the paper proposes the framing of different energy clusters, related to homogeneous consumption rates, enabling a meaningful comparison among campuses within the international rankings. Energy consumption profiles of two university campuses similar for climate, surface and population have been collected in a span of four years’ time both at the Politecnico di Torino (Italy) and Hokkaido University (Japan). A partial regression analysis on these data revealed five different clusters of homogeneous consumption ranges: cluster 1 (around 1 GJ/m2/year) includes the Art departments, cluster 2 (around 2 GJ/m2/year) includes the Science faculties, cluster 3 (around 3 GJ/m2/year) includes the hospital and the medicine departments. Cluster 4 includes the Data Centre (around 9 GJ/m2/year), and cluster 5 includes special research facilities with consumption over 10 GJ/m2/year . The proposed energy clusters approach can significantly enhance the accountability and comparability of different and complex campuses’ energy profiles, contributing to a better evaluation of universities’ energy performances.