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Altering existing buildings in the UK


  • Roberts, Simon


The profiles of both existing housing and existing public and commercial buildings show that many have very poor thermal efficiency. The UK housing stock is replaced at a low rate of about 1% a year, so to cut energy use it is essential to address the challenges of existing buildings. This will involve reducing energy demand through passive measures such as retrofitted insulation, replacement of windows and proper airtightness, while ensuring adequate ventilation. Active measures include upgrading improved boilers and adding locally produced energy from wind, biomass, solar power and other sources. The introduction of Display Energy Certificates will increase energy awareness but there will also need to be a programme of increased demolition for the worst-performing homes. In addition, buildings will need to be adapted to cope with worse weather, higher temperatures and increased flood risk as climate change takes effect. Overheating, rather than excessive cold, is set to become a growing problem for householders and employees in existing UK buildings.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberts, Simon, 2008. "Altering existing buildings in the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 4482-4486, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:12:p:4482-4486

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Roberts, Simon, 2008. "Effects of climate change on the built environment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 4552-4557, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Killip, Gavin, 2013. "Products, practices and processes: exploring the innovation potential for low-carbon housing refurbishment among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK construction industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 522-530.
    2. Mohammad Y. AbuGrain & Halil Z. Alibaba, 2017. "Optimizing Existing Multistory Building Designs towards Net-Zero Energy," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(3), pages 1-15, March.
    3. Roberts, Simon, 2008. "Effects of climate change on the built environment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 4552-4557, December.
    4. Ballarini, Ilaria & Corgnati, Stefano Paolo & Corrado, Vincenzo, 2014. "Use of reference buildings to assess the energy saving potentials of the residential building stock: The experience of TABULA project," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 273-284.
    5. Singh, Manoj Kumar & Mahapatra, Sadhan & Teller, Jacques, 2013. "An analysis on energy efficiency initiatives in the building stock of Liege, Belgium," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 729-741.
    6. Schweiker, Marcel & Shukuya, Masanori, 2010. "Comparative effects of building envelope improvements and occupant behavioural changes on the exergy consumption for heating and cooling," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 2976-2986, June.
    7. Olonscheck, Mady & Holsten, Anne & Kropp, J├╝rgen P., 2011. "Heating and cooling energy demand and related emissions of the German residential building stock under climate change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 4795-4806, September.
    8. Hong, Tianzhen & Piette, Mary Ann & Chen, Yixing & Lee, Sang Hoon & Taylor-Lange, Sarah C. & Zhang, Rongpeng & Sun, Kaiyu & Price, Phillip, 2015. "Commercial Building Energy Saver: An energy retrofit analysis toolkit," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 298-309.
    9. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:8:p:1391-:d:107226 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Kuckshinrichs, Wilhelm & Kronenberg, Tobias & Hansen, Patrick, 2010. "The social return on investment in the energy efficiency of buildings in Germany," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4317-4329, August.
    11. Singh, Manoj Kumar & Attia, Shady & Mahapatra, Sadhan & Teller, Jacques, 2016. "Assessment of thermal comfort in existing pre-1945 residential building stock," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 122-134.
    12. Ruparathna, Rajeev & Hewage, Kasun & Sadiq, Rehan, 2016. "Improving the energy efficiency of the existing building stock: A critical review of commercial and institutional buildings," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 1032-1045.
    13. repec:eee:rensus:v:91:y:2018:i:c:p:229-247 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Groesser, Stefan N., 2014. "Co-evolution of legal and voluntary standards: Development of energy efficiency in Swiss residential building codes," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 1-16.

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