I’m doing some research on the relationship between density and energy use in buildings. Can any of you big-brained readers point me to sources of the best available science?
In general, energy use per household can be expected to decline as density increases, because smaller units require less energy to heat/cool/light, and because multifamily units share walls, which reduces heat loss. But unfortunately there are heaps of variables that can complicate this relationship.
Ideally, my goal is to establish an order of magnitude approximation, as in: an X percent increase in housing unit density will result in a Y percent reduction in building energy use.