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Retrofitting conventional houses inexpensively to improve energy efficiency

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Weaver, A (2004) Retrofitting conventional houses inexpensively to improve energy efficiency. Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This research is founded on the notion that energy efficiency should be a standard
design characteristic of all housing, and that government action to mandate
performance standards for new homes fails to recognize that most people live in
existing, often inefficient dwellings. Factors contributing to the nature of existing
housing, advantages of energy efficient homes and reasons for the lack of up-take of
energy efficiency are investigated. The multi-scalar context for improving existing
housing is presented, outlining the international movement towards sustainable
development, which embraces sustainable housing and the implicit equity issues of
good housing being an essential need for all people, in particular the disadvantaged.
The heat transfer principles, techniques and potential benefits of conducting a retrofit
to improve the energy efficiency of older conventional housing are researched and a
case study retrofit carried out. Four rooms of the study house were monitored for
room temperature for one year before the retrofit and then for a further year, and onsite
external temperatures were also recorded continuously. Despite some site
constraints, including extensive shading of the house, improvements in thermal
comfort conditions in the house have been observed, together with a small overall
reduction in energy consumption. Most significant were the improvements in the
health of family members, especially that of the children, with lower frequencies of
ill-health reported and much more rapid recovery times. These findings confirm a
growing body of international research linking poor quality housing with higher rates
of respiratory and cardiovascular disease and increased winter mortality levels.
Traditional cost-benefit assessments of energy efficient retrofits have considered
financial and, more recently, environmental factors, but need to be expanded to
include the substantial, but difficult to quantify, social gains associated with
enhanced quality of living environment and occupant health.

Item Type: Thesis (Research Master)
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2004 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2015 03:59
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:54
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