Optimizing the integration of renewable energy in existing buildings

Ahmed A. Hassan, Khaled El-Rayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents the development of a novel optimization model for optimizing the use of RE measures in existing buildings to satisfy an owner-specified target reduction in energy consumption while minimizing the required building upgrade costs. The model performance was evaluated using a real-life case study of an educational building with a total area of 20,717 m2. The optimization model was used to identify an optimal combination of RE technologies that minimize the upgrade cost for this case study while satisfying its specified 80% energy reduction goal. The model minimized the building upgrade cost by making a number of optimal selections, such as locating the majority of solar RE technologies in building segments facing south due to their higher exposure to the sun radiations. The results of this analysis highlight the original contributions of the model in identifying an optimal set of RE measures that minimize the building upgrade cost while satisfying all owner-specified requirements, providing a detailed description of the optimal building integration plan of RE technologies, and complying with practical functional requirements, and constructability constraints. These capabilities are expected to support building owners and decision-makers in their efforts to integrate cost-effective RE measures in existing buildings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110851
JournalEnergy and Buildings
StatePublished - May 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Building energy consumption
  • Building segmentation
  • Building upgrade
  • Building-integrated photovoltaics
  • Federal buildings
  • Genetic algorithm
  • Optimization
  • Renewable energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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