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Climate change and the built environment: an evaluation of sustainable refurbishment options for higher education buildings in the UK

Abu Aisheh, Yazan (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

Higher education institutions (HEIs) in England occupy approximately 25 million m2 of gross space. Many of the buildings in these estates were constructed when thermal standards were far lower than those specified today. Estate managers now need to consider how to manage existing buildings in order to meet new requirements for occupants’ comfort, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission targets. The choice of whether to refurbish, or demolish and rebuild, requires a critical analysis of a range of environmental, social and economic issues. To this end, the Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE) developed a toolkit that identifies crucial issues to be taken into account to make this choice clear. However, while this toolkit represents a considerable step forward in the decision-making process, it does not incorporate the projected impact of climate change and its uncertainty. Thermal modelling analysis of an existing naturally ventilated higher education building, built in 1974, suggests that projected changes in the UK climate will significantly increase building overheating. Therefore, it is essential that the impacts of climate uncertainty now and in the future are considered when refurbishment options are assessed. A framework has been developed, taking climate change impacts into consideration, which ranks different refurbishment options according to the following performance criteria: thermal efficiency, environmental impact and cost effectiveness. Whilst the use of single performance criterion results in different ranking of refurbishment solutions in this case study, the use of high performance glazing is the best overall single refurbishment solution. In general a combination of high performance glazing, wall insulation and the use of external shading together are considered to be the best combined refurbishment solution. External shading is the least effective single refurbishment solution.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:School of Civil Engineering
Subjects:TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1460
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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