Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Professor A.F. Burghardt


This thesis tests the feasibility of developing a methodology for investigating the energy use of proposed residential development. Recent experiences with energy impact assessment are examined, methods for predicting energy use and energy savings are identified, and applicable principles from environmental impact assessment are examined. It is determined that current energy evaluation procedures could be improved, based upon principles for developing assessment methodologies that have arisen from environmental impact assessment experience. Predictive methods are deemed necessary for forecasting the energy use of the proposed development and for predicting energy savings and greater energy efficiences that could be achieved through various measures. An examination of predictive methods and energy saving measures indicates that not all supposed energy saving methods can be substantiated.

A new methodology is proposed which incorporates the principles of accuracy and objectivity and the need to quantify energy use and energy savings before changes to the development are required. This test reveals that, although there are currently limitations to data, the methodology could highlight means for potential energy savings, as well as illustrate some changes to conventional development practices that could be lead to changes in spatial relationships and built form.

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