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Buildings 2013, 3(1), 220-244; doi:10.3390/buildings3010220

The Eco-Refurbishment of a 19th Century Terraced House: Energy and Cost Performance for Current and Future UK Climates

School of Architecture, University of Liverpool, Abercromby Square, Liverpool L69 7ZN, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 December 2012 / Revised: 25 January 2013 / Accepted: 30 January 2013 / Published: 21 February 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Design and Construction)


The UK government, responding to concerns over climate change impacts, has undertaken to reduce CO2 emissions to 80% of 1990 levels by 2050. This scale of reduction will require major improvements in the energy efficiency of the existing UK building stock, which is the dominant consumer of fossil fuel-generated energy. Housing is a key sector, and since 70% of all current homes in the UK will still exist in 2050 then low carbon refurbishment is critical if CO2 reduction goals are to be met. This paper uses computer modeling to examine the annual operational energy performance, long term energy cost savings and internal thermal conditions for a 19th century terraced house that was eco-refurbished to near a Passivhaus standard. The dwelling was modeled for three locations (Edinburgh, Manchester and London) using current and future climate scenarios (2020s and 2050s under high carbon emission scenarios). Simulation results suggest that there would be very little diminution in heating demand in the future for the house with no refurbishment, whilst the eco-refurbishment produced a significant reduction in energy demand and CO2 emissions. Analysis of the payback period and net present value indicate that the economic optimum varies according to energy prices and that the high construction costs incurred for an eco-refurbishment to a near Passivhaus standard could not be justified in terms of a cost/benefit analysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; low carbon housing refurbishment; 19th century house climate change; low carbon housing refurbishment; 19th century house

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mohammadpourkarbasi, H.; Sharples, S. The Eco-Refurbishment of a 19th Century Terraced House: Energy and Cost Performance for Current and Future UK Climates. Buildings 2013, 3, 220-244.

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