Improving energy efficiency of existing residential buildings using effective thermal retrofit of building envelope

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Indoor and Built Environment, 2019, 28 (6), pp. 744 - 760
Issue Date:
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© The Author(s) 2018. Upgrading the energy efficiency of existing buildings is a well-known issue around the globe. Given the very low renewal rate of the building stock, thermal retrofit of the existing buildings seems to be a good solution to improve the environmental performance of the building sector. Several studies have acknowledged the lack of knowledge, experience and best-practice examples as barriers in thermal retrofit of existing buildings. Therefore, this study has focused on developing recommendations on the most effective and feasible retrofitting techniques for existing buildings and performing financial analysis of initial investment vs. return based on the quantitative results of the energy modelling. Thermal comfort modelling software FirstRate5 has been used to simulate the annual heating and cooling energy consumption of nine benchmark buildings through a range of retrofitting techniques. Dwellings of varying construction materials including weatherboard, cavity brick and brick veneer have been simulated to improve accuracy. Examining seven different thermal retrofitting options in this study, it has become apparent that there is significant heating and cooling energy reduction, with payback period of less than three years, by implementing two options of the examined retrofitting cases to existing residential dwellings.
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