Refurbishment options to decarbonise a 1960s public office building by 2050s

Bobo Ng, Jess Tindall, Jerry Edge, Joe Morrell, D. Tioh, K. Choi, Hu Du, Shen Wei, A. Waggott, A. Barber, M. Keating, Sara Walker, Zi Qian

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Climate change and the subsequent impact this has on carbon emissions for buildings has shown great concern for the industry. With over 1.35 million non-domestic buildings at least over 25 years old; the need for more practical refurbishment strategies in order to decarbonise and future-proof the old building stock against climate change is vital. The aim of this paper is to explore more sustainable, economic and less-disruptive refurbishment approaches for an air conditioned building as efficient future weather mitigation measures. Particular emphasis was placed on the evaluation of the carbon reductions associated with the best-suited approaches under two future climatic scenarios, 2030 & 2050. A building simulation model of a public office building has been developed to assess the current energy performance as well as the predicted future energy performance for two refurbishment strategies. These strategies are adaptive thermal control and fabric modification. A reduction in carbon emissions, of 7.5%, results from applying adaptive heating and cooling set points to the model with a current weather data scenario. This reduces to 6.8% in 2030 and 5.3% in 2050. The potential savings are most significant for the current climate scenario and then reduce for the 2030 and 2050 scenarios largely because of an elevation in heating set points. In terms of cooling, an upper limit to the cooling set point of 26°C prevents meaningful differentiation between the 2030 and 2050 adaptive cooling set points but is necessary due to the lack of opportunities for building occupants to adapt their conditions. There is scope for research to be carried out into the application of adaptive set points for existing buildings. Some work has been carried out on the cooling scenario but little appears to have been done for heating as of yet. Given that this could be retrofitted into BMS systems, it is a potential option to reduce building carbon emissions with minimal cost for buildings with centralised systems. For the fabric modification, a significant reduction in carbon emissions was achieved by the use of composite panels to replace much of the glazing. This resulted in a significant improvement in building performance but at a significant investment cost.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2018
EventCIBSE Technical Symposium 2018: Stretching the Envelope - London South Bank University, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 Apr 201813 Apr 2018


ConferenceCIBSE Technical Symposium 2018
Abbreviated titleCIBSE 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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