UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


Adaptation of London's social housing to climate change through retrofit:


30 June 2015


Areti-Maria Makantasi & Anna Mavrogianni (June 2015) Advances in Building Energy Research

The UK social housing stock is highly vulnerable to climate change-induced indoor overheating. This paper presents an evaluation framework for the climate change resilience of the London social housing stock that combines dynamic thermal modelling to assess the impact of retrofit on current and future indoor temperatures and a carbon and economic analysis of retrofit packages to predict their ranking based on the priorities of different socio-economic groups. Under the 2050s High emissions scenario, 90th percentile probability, unventilated flats in the case study building were found to overheat in the future (63% increase compared to the current climate), while natural ventilation kept the overheating hours within acceptable limits. Internally applied wall insulation combined with low ventilation rates could potentially increase future overheating (48% increase). Fixed shading had a reverse impact, reducing the overheating hours by 28%, but increasing the winter heating demand by 19.5% compared to the pre-retrofit performance of the building. Movable external louvers provided a better balance between cooling and heating needs, reducing the overheating hours by 37.5% and increasing heating demand by 8%. The study findings indicate the need for optimization of social housing retrofit packages in order to combine carbon emissions reduction with future climate resilience.

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