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Within the Energy Department of Politecnico di Milano, the end use Efficiency Research Group (eERG) is dedicated to research, technology transfer and teaching about the efficient use of energy in buildings. In particular, this includes the fields of: low energy buildings; passive cooling techniques - night ventilation, ground coupling, etc -; efficient lighting and daylighting; technical and economic analyses of energy-using products; and evaluation and certification of energy savings in the context of liberalised energy markets.

The Politecnico di Milano (PoliMi) is a state university with curricula both in Engineering and Architecture. The nine schools are dedicated to education, while the 16 departments are dedicated to research. The Dipartimento di Energia is involved in research in three sectors: electric power generation, transmission and distribution; energy technologies in transport; thermal engineering and efficient final energy use. The end-use Efficiency Research Group, active since 1996, comprises seven researchers and has carried out about 2,5 million Euros in external research contracts in the period 2000-2010.

Past and ongoing work of eERG includes: research on advanced glazing, shading, and ground exchangers for heating and cooling, using experimental test facilities and computer simulation; building simulations to identify retrofit savings potential, with special focus on passive summer comfort; energy analyses to support the integrated design of advanced low energy buildings; large in-field measurement campaigns to assess comfort levels in buildings (ASHRAE Class I measurements and subjective surveys in commercial buildings).

eERG has promoted and coordinated an IEE project on the adaptation of the PassivHaus concept for Mediterranean climates. This work has proposed a new performance-oriented standard definition for PassivHuas (PH), adapted to warmer climates, including an upper limit to the energy need for cooling and a more explicit definition of summer comfort. eERG performed simulations to find models of buildings able to meet the new PH standard in archetype warm Italian climates and to support the design of real buildings, some of which have been extensively monitored and analysed. Current work is focused on further improvements, and the realization and monitoring of zero energy houses in Mediterranean climates, in conjunction with IEA SHC task 40 - ECBCS annex 52, as well.

Teaching activities include "Thermodynamics” and ”Building Physics”, for Building Engineering students at the Politecnico di Milano, and Vice Direction of the 12-month post-graduate Master’s Course in Renewable Energy, Decentralised Generation and Energy Efficiency (

Ongoing and recent projects include: GreenBuilding, promoting energy efficiency and renewables in non residential buildings (IEE 2005-2006 and 2007-2010); Commoncense, Comfort Monitoring (IEE 2007-2010); KeepCool 2 (IEE 2007-2010)  and KeepCool (2004-2006),  promoting sustainable summer comfort in the service building sector; Thermco, thermal comfort in low energy buildings (IEE 2007-2009); and El-Tertiary (IEE 2005-2007) and Remodece (IEE 2003-2005), monitoring electricity consumption in the tertiary and domestic sector. eERG has promoted and coordinated various projects, e.g Passive-on (see above), EuroWhiteCert (on energy efficiency policy and saving certificates (IEE 2005-2007)), DSM pilot actions and the removal of DSM disincentives from price regulation (IEE 1998-1999).

A selection of eERG publications:

Pagliano, L., Zangheri P., “Comfort models and cooling of buildings in the Mediterranean zone”, to be published in ABER – Advances in Building Energy Research 2010, Volume 4, p. 1-34,

“The PassivHaus Standard in European warm climates: design guidelines for comfortable low energy homes; Part 3: comfort, climate and passive strategies”,

A. Dama, T. Kuhn, L. Pagliano, “Modelling the solar factor of glazing combined with indoor Venetian blinds”, in Proceedings of PLEA, Geneva, September 2006,

L. Pagliano, S. Carlucci, T. Toppi, P. Zangheri, “Combining high-end architecture and low energy: energy analysis to support the design of a large office building within the Greenbuildingplus project.” In Proceedings of IEECB’08, Frankfurt,

Angelotti A., L. Pagliano, G. Solaini “Summer cooling by earth-to-water heat exchangers: experimental results and optimisation by dynamic simulation” in Proceedings of “EuroSun 2004, pp. 2-678 – 2-686, Freiburg, Germany, 2004.