Energy provides safety, comfort and mobility to people, and is essential for industrial, commercial and societal growth. However, generation and consumption of energy give rise of greenhouse gases and various air pollutants, which have a negative impact on the natural environment and global climate. The building sector is responsible for about 40% of the energy consumption and related CO2 emissions worldwide. In order to reduce the environmental impact of buildings, energy efficient measures must be taken into account when designing, operating and retrofitting buildings. It is imperative that holistic consideration is given to the structural, environmental and energy aspects in buildings through their life. In order to maintain safe, healthy and comfortable sustainable buildings, assurance of the structural and environmental building performance must be given not only at the design, but also commissioning and operation stages of its life cycle.
This paper presents the motivation, objectives and method description of the measurement framework developed at the National University of Ireland Galway in order to continuously monitor the structural and environmental performance of operating buildings. The proposed real-time monitoring provides rich information about the building performance, offering opportunities for better control strategies for operating buildings. This may lead to safer, healthier, more comfortable and productive indoor environments, at the same time ensuring the reduced/optimised energy consumption in buildings.