Lessons learnt from design, off-site construction and performance analysis of deep energy retrofit of residential buildings
The article introduces the process of deep energy retrofit carried out on a residential building in the UK, using a ‘TCosy’ approach in which the existing building is completely surrounded by a new thermal envelope. It reports on the entire process, from establishing the characteristics of the existing building, carrying out design simulations, documenting the off- site manufacture and on-site installation, and carrying out instrumental monitoring, occupant studies and performance evaluation. Multi-objective optimisation is used throughout the process, for establishing the characteristics of the building before the retrofit, conducting the design simulations, and evaluating the success of the completed retrofit. Building physics parameters before and after retrofit are evaluated in an innovative way through simulation of dynamic heating tests with calibrated models, and the method can be used as quality control measure in future retrofit programmes. New insights are provided into retrofit economics in the context of occupants’ health and wellbeing improvements. The wide scope of the lessons learnt can be instrumental in the creation of continuing professional development programmes, university courses, and public education that raises awareness and demand. These lessons can also be valuable for development of new funding schemes that address the outstanding challenges and the need for updating technical reference material, informing policy and building regulations.