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Specific energy use in Swedish and Norwegian shopping malls

Panel: Panel 4. Residential and commercial sectors: delivering lower energy use in buildings

Sofia Stensson, SP Energy Technology, Sweden
Monica Axell, SP Energy Technology, Sweden
Kjell Petter Småge, Evotek AS, Norway
Per Fahlén, Chalmers University of Technology, Building Services Engineering, Sweden


The prevalence of shopping malls is growing worldwide. Internationally, there are differences in energy use and system solutions due to local outdoor climate, available energy resources, prices, national building regulations, traditions etc. On the other hand, tenants are usually international chains and they often have the same demands regarding indoor climate, system solutions etc. irrespective of the national differences. Shopping malls overall tends to have large lighting loads, high population density and, hence, a large air conditioning demand. There is also an apparent trend towards increasing glass surfaces and such design feature affects the energy balance of the building. For those interested in the energy efficiency of the building and its installations, it is interesting to know how different system solutions affect the energy use. Benchmarking between buildings gives valuable insight to energy efficient design and operation. However, available information on energy use for such benchmarking in shopping malls is still rather limited.

This study investigates shopping malls in Sweden and Norway. Available national statistical data on retail and shopping malls are reviewed. Further building statistical data were collected from building owners and managers, covering energy use in 41 shopping malls. Additional energy use data for 115 shops, within three of these shopping malls were also collected.

The building statistical data shows that the average energy use in Norwegian and Swedish shopping malls are approximately 291 and 279 kWh/m 2 /year respectively. The highest energy use exceeds the lowest figure by approximately 50 percent, indicating a significant potential for improvement. Results also show a wide deviation in energy use of the different shops in a shopping mall. The paper further provides a discussion concerning alternative benchmarking methods and necessary improvements to make valid conclusions regarding energy use in shopping malls.


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