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Retrofit solutions for solid wall dwellings in England: The impact of uncertainty upon the energy performance gap

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-634
Number of pages21
JournalBuilding Services Engineering Research and Technology
Volume37
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Abstract

This study seeks to evaluate the impact of uncertainty in the pre-retrofit thermal performance of solid walls of English dwellings on post-retrofit energy use. Five dwelling archetypes, broadly representative of English solid wall properties, were modelled pre- and post-retrofit, under different wall insulation scenarios, using dynamic thermal simulation. Findings indicate that whilst solid wall insulation could result in a significant reduction of space heating demand, uncertainties in the pre-retrofit solid wall U-value could lead to a gap between the anticipated and actual energy performance. Specifically, results show that if the current U-value assumption of 2.1 W/m2K is indeed an overestimation of the in-situ U-value of solid walls, then the anticipated carbon savings could be significantly reduced by up to 65%. Practical application: The performance gap observed in this study revealed that the actual carbon savings arising from the retrofit of solid wall properties could be significantly lower than predicted. This will not only affect UK Government carbon reduction targets but it can also result in a lack of confidence amongst stakeholders who may consequently doubt the effectiveness of energy retrofit measures, thus reducing their uptake. Uncertainties regarding solid wall U-values may necessitate the re-examination of the carbon targets set for the retrofit of solid wall dwellings and the exploration of alternative ways to further reduce their carbon emissions, e.g. by specifying higher insulation thicknesses.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

Keywords

  • EDSL-TAS, Performance gap, solid wall insulation, U-value, uncertainty