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Façade refurbishment of existing office buildings: Do conventional energy-saving interventions always work?

Pomponi, Francesco; Farr, Eric R.P.; Piroozfar, Poorang; Gates, Jonathan R.


Eric R.P. Farr

Poorang Piroozfar

Jonathan R. Gates


Offices account for 40% of energy use in construction sector. Office building stock is already under-performing and dilapidating at a fast pace. With the current rate of replacing old building stock in the UK, it is expected that at least 60% of what was built before 1985 still exists in 2050. Therefore, refurbishment, with an aim to improve performance of buildings, seems to remain as the most feasible and arguably most cost efficient way forward. Precedent studies in this area are not few and far between. However, some recommendations and interventions seems to have been taken for granted and thought to be globally applicable almost everywhere. This study chooses a recently refurbished office building to challenge this common belief. It was shown that, from the carbon point of view, benefits as a result of interventions were marginal. It was found that a full pre-refurbishment survey, measures aimed at reducing the performance gap between intended and actual figures, and study of occupancy patterns would probably help in this respect. The study results also showed that study of contextual conditions i.e. careful considerations with regards to building orientation, topography, site constraints, and exposure to solar gains will help achieve better results. Finally it was envisaged that better user engagement, communication and using few other measures to enhance user satisfaction will help guarantee some other aspects pertaining to performance than its mere energy consumption or carbon footprint.


Pomponi, F., Farr, E. R., Piroozfar, P., & Gates, J. R. (2015). Façade refurbishment of existing office buildings: Do conventional energy-saving interventions always work?. Journal of Building Engineering, 3, 135-143.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 13, 2015
Online Publication Date Jul 17, 2015
Publication Date 2015-09
Deposit Date Feb 17, 2017
Publicly Available Date Sep 20, 2019
Journal Journal of Building Engineering
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Pages 135-143
Series ISSN 2352-7102
Keywords Façade refurbishment; Sustainable retrofit; Office refurbishment; Office buildings; Building energy simulation; Building performance
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