CosteXergy - Analysis and Design of Innovative Systems for LOW-EXergy in the Built Environment

COSTeXergy Logo
© Fraunhofer IBP
COSTeXergy Logo.
© Fraunhofer IBP
The contextual framework and work package structure of the COSTeXergy action.

About COST action C24: COSTeXergy

In buildings, high-grade energy is often used in heating, cooling and ventilation systems to meet low-grade heat demands, resulting in a mismatch between the quality levels of energy supply and end-use. Exergy is a thermodynamic concept which is useful for quantifying the mismatch between the low quality of heat required in buildings, and the high quality level of electricity and fossil fuels often used in heat supply systems. Application of exergy analysis to the built environment is likely to favor systems supplying and utilizing low-grade thermal energy, and hence to support thermally neutral buildings. Exergy also provides a thermodynamic basis for developing sustainability indicators for construction, considering materials and energy through the entire life cycle of buildings.

This action addresses demand and supply aspects of the exergy chain in the built environment, including renewable energy supply and human thermal comfort. The target audience includes researchers, educators and students, industry (manufacturers and service providers), standards bodies, planners and policy makers.

The CosteXergy Action provides a wide setting for exergy researchers to interact with building professionals and with wider segments of society (e.g. planners, policy makers, standards bodies). Such interaction, in turn, enhances the possibilities of achieving significant energy savings by applying the exergy concept to the built environment.



The main objective of this Action is to broadly disseminate new scientific knowledge and practical design-support instruments that can facilitate practical application of the exergy concept to the built environment.

The Action has a strong technical focus – particularly on thermal energy in the built environment, for which there is a larger body of exergy-related knowledge available. With regard to the scale, the Action focuses mainly on the building and building component level.

On the other hand, the Action also acknowledges the importance of considering a broader context. Since it has a future-oriented character, it leaves room for emergent areas such as low-exergy building material cycles. It also leaves room for expanding the scale to the district level, since low-exergy systems for the supply of energy may require a larger scale to be effective. Furthermore, the Action acknowledges the importance of addressing not only technical issues, but also of considering interactions among different actors (e.g. industrial players, building owners, regulators).


The Action focuses on the following working objectives:

  • Definition of the practical applicability of exergy analysis to the built environment, particularly in support of wider Renewable Energy Sources (RES) deployment, and increase in the awareness and commitment of industrial players to the exergy concept;
  • Use of insights from exergy analysis to identify and develop innovative concepts and assess their potential to contribute to a substantially more effective energy resource utilization in the built environment, including a wider RES deployment;
  • Generation of innovative insights into the interaction between human body and indoor environment.



This project has been financially supported by the EU COST Action.