UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


EDE graduate publishes on the impact of the U-values of solid wall dwellings on energy performance

20 May 2016

Constantinos Loucari

Constantinos Loucari, who graduated from the IEDE MSc course in Environmental Design and Engineering in 2014, has recently published a paper in the international, peer-reviewed journal Building Services Engineering Research & Technology (BSER&T). The paper entitled ‘Retrofit solutions for solid wall dwellings in England: The impact of uncertainty upon the energy performance gap’ is based on his MSc dissertation supervised by Dr Anna Mavrogianni.

The study seeks to evaluate the impact of uncertainty in the pre-retrofit thermal performance of solid walls of English dwellings on post-retrofit energy use. Five dwelling archetypes, broadly representative of English solid wall properties, were modelled pre- and post-retrofit, under different wall insulation scenarios, using dynamic thermal simulation. Findings indicate that whilst solid wall insulation could result in a significant reduction of space heating demand, uncertainties in the pre-retrofit solid wall U-value could lead to a gap between the anticipated and actual energy performance. This suggests that the actual carbon savings arising from the retrofit of solid wall properties could be significantly lower than predicted. This will not only affect UK Government carbon reduction targets, but it can also result in a lack of confidence amongst stakeholders who may consequently doubt the effectiveness of energy retrofit measures, thus reducing their uptake.