The methodology presented in this report is developed to assist refurbishment projects in the early stages to establish a sustainable retrofit strategy. Through an analysis of the energy efficiency, life cycle carbon and cost of various retrofit measures, the method can give guidance on what measures should be pursued in a project and which ones should be avoided. The method is presented though a case study, based on an actual residential refurbishment project, but it is appropriate for any building typology.
The presented method should be used in early design stages, such as RIBA Stage 0-2 in the UK, where the refurbishment strategy has not yet been established, and therefore materials, suppliers, construction methods etc. are largely undefined. This gives the analysis great flexibility to investigate various alternatives, but also presents limitations on the accuracy of the inputs used, which are discussed further in the report. Various assumptions described in this report have to be made in order to conduct the analysis but also to reduce the time required and make it a feasible method.
This study is the first step in a sequence of actions that should be taken during the entire design process to ensure that any refurbishment proposal is efficient and feasible. Studies like this one can give confidence to support our proposed strategies, reduce abortive work and direct our clients to the right decisions.
Establishing a sustainable, evidence-based strategy early on is a key part of a successful retrofit which enables client aspirations to be aligned with realistic targets and the budget.
The final conclusions of the analysis will need to be verified by consultants and engineers to confirm the results, and refine the measures if required, as more information about the project, construction method and materials becomes available.
The study presented within this report has a limited scope since it is aimed for early design stages. However, the scope could be broadened if needed, and the general methodology could be used for later stages when more information is available.