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Retrofitting heritage office buildings in the UK: a case study | Emerald Insight

Awarding Institution University of Cambridge. Author Affiliation Department of Engineering.

Qualification Doctor of Philosophy PhD. Language English. Metadata Show full item record.


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Citation Pelenur, M. Retrofitting the domestic built environment: investigating household perspectives towards energy efficiency technologies and behaviour Doctoral thesis. Abstract Retrofitting the UK domestic built environment presents an excellent opportunity to improve its energy performance.


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Within this context, retrofitting is emerging as a relatively-untapped solution that allows businesses to reduce their buildings' environmental impact, while at the same time cutting running costs and energy bills, and improving building performance. There are a small but growing number of businesses, like ours, offering services specifically targeted at the emerging non-domestic retrofitting market. Through such services, businesses can not only comply with existing and forthcoming regulatory requirements, but can also future-proof the attractiveness of their assets in a market that is increasingly sensitised not only to carbon performance but also to workplace quality and its potential impact on staff health, wellbeing and productivity.

While carbon trading has given carbon reduction financial relevance in the boardroom, landlords too are seeing incentives to 'green' their properties.

Retrofitting the Built Environment

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, for example, recently published research indicating that buildings with strong environmental ratings achieved substantially higher lets — even during an economic downturn. This trend is only set to strengthen as expectations around environmental awareness and responsibility escalate.

For many companies, retrofitting an existing building can offer a better option than new-build. A total building refresh can be achieved at lower cost and with shorter overall project duration.

Introduction to Retrofitting

And while the government's legislative agenda combined with pressure to increase business efficiency are making investment in this area increasingly attractive, any decision to go beyond minimum compliance ultimately lies with business owners and commercial landlords. Of course, the key barrier to overcome is the split incentive of landlord investment leading to tenant benefit. The recent report from the low carbon construction innovation and growth team identifies strategies for bridging this gap.

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The project brings together a multidisciplinary consortium with a well balanced distribution between industry sector and research organisations. The team is composed of large companies research capabilities , technologically specialised SMEs manufacturers , research dealing with energy efficient buildings and solutions as well as open innovation and government organisations. Read more.