EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The difference between building anthropogenic heat flux and building energy consumption

Yiqing Liu1, Zhiwen Luo1, and Sue Grimmond2
Yiqing Liu et al.
  • 1School of the Built Environment, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom
  • 2Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom

Buildings are a major source of anthropogenic heat emissions, impacting energy use and human health in cities. The difference between building energy consumption and building anthropogenic heat emission magnitudes and time lag and are poorly quantified. Energy consumption (QEC) is a widely used proxy for the anthropogenic heat from buildings (QF,B). Here we revisit the latter’s definition. If QF,B is the heat emission to the atmosphere due to human activities within buildings, we can derive it from the changes in energy balance fluxes between occupied and unoccupied buildings. Our derivation shows the difference between QECand QF,B is attributable to a change in the storage heat flux induced by human activities (ΔSo-uo). Using building energy simulation (EnergyPlus) we calculate the energy balance fluxes for an isolated building with different occupancy states. The non-negligible differences in diurnal patterns between QF,B and QECcaused by thermal storage. With this definition negative QF,B can occur as human activities reduce heat emission from buildings but are associated with a larger storage heat flux. Building operations (e.g., open windows, use of HVAC system) modify the QF,B by affecting not only QEC but also the ΔSo-uo diurnal profile. This study demonstrates the difference between QF,B and QEC and the proposed new method for estimating QF,B could provide data for future parameterization of both anthropogenic heat and storage heat fluxes from buildings.

How to cite: Liu, Y., Luo, Z., and Grimmond, S.: The difference between building anthropogenic heat flux and building energy consumption, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3188,, 2022.