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