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Effects of fabric retrofit insulation in a UK high-rise social housing building on temperature take-back

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Carlos CalderonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


This paper presents a two year long empirical study on the effects of fabric retrofit insulation on a high rise social housing building (a 23- storey block with 157 flat in Newcastle upon Tyne (UK). The study has followed a quasi-experimental approach coupled with qualitaitive methods and examines whether temperature take-back is taking place; whether it operates independently of socio economic characteristics due to saturation effects; and the relationship between temperature take-back, physical factors and occupant’s behavioural change. The presented empirical evidence suggests that, fi temperature take-back as extra warmth (or energy consumption savings) is not occurring. Second, the saturation effect has taken place. This supports the assumption that temperature take-back decreases owing to saturation effects when pre-intervention internal temperatures saturate (approaching 21 C) in lieu of the hypothesis that low-income householders take the benefits of an energy efficiency intervention as extra warmth rather than energy savings. Third, an upper level or maximum take-back temperature was achieved for the dwellings ranging from 20.85 C to 24.81 C. Fourth, behavioural factors such as turning on the heating appear to be less relevant than physical factors such as energy-efficiency improvements to explain the increased of standardised mean internal air temperature. The study also suggests that local building characteristics (e.g. heating pipes routing) play an influential role and that to evaluate appropriateness of retrofitted energy-efficiency insulation measures pre-intervention variables such as internal temperatures, heating system and building fabric performance should be taken into account.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Calderon C, Rodriguez M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Energy and Buildings

Year: 2018

Volume: 173

Pages: 470-488

Print publication date: 15/08/2018

Online publication date: 15/06/2018

Acceptance date: 26/05/2018

Date deposited: 23/05/2018

ISSN (print): 0378-7788

ISSN (electronic): 1872-6178

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2018.05.046


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