A RISK BASED METHODOLOGY TO ASSESS THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS IN TRADITIONALLY CONSTRUCTED BUILDINGS
- Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment, Faculty of Design and Technology, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Keywords: Traditional building, energy efficiency, retrofit, thermal insulation, risk assessment, building survey
Abstract. In order to achieve the CO2 reduction targets set by the Scottish government, it will be necessary to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings. Within the total Scottish building stock, historic and traditionally constructed buildings are an important proportion, in the order of 19 % (Curtis, 2010), and represent cultural, emotional and identity values that should be protected.
However, retrofit interventions could be a complex operation because of the several aspects that are involved in the hygrothermal performance of traditional buildings. Moreover, all these factors interact with each other and therefore need to be analysed as a whole. Upgrading the envelope of traditional buildings may produce severe changes to the moisture migration leading to superficial or interstitial condensation and thus fabric decay and mould growth. Retrofit projects carried out in the past have failed because of the misunderstanding, or the lack of expert prediction, of the potential consequences associated to the envelope's alteration.
The evaluation of potential risks, prior to any alteration on building's physics in order to improve its energy efficiency, is critical to avoid future damage on the wall's performance or occupants' health and well being. The aim of this PhD research project is to point out the most critical aspects related to the energy efficiency improvement of traditional buildings and to develop a risk based methodology that helps owners and practitioners during the decision making process.