Retrofit solutions for Irish building stock: The impact of human behaviour
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Moran, Paul, Goggins, Jamie, Hajdukiewicz, Magdalena, & Rau, Henrike. (2016). Retrofit solutions for Irish building stock: The impact of human behaviour Paper presented at the World Sustainable Energy Days, Wels, Austria, 24-26 February, doi:10.13025/S86S6J
Retrofitting buildings is recognised as the most immediate, pressing, and cost effective mechanism to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions in the building and construction sector. It is necessary to double or triple the current retrofitting rate to reach the European Union (EU) short and long term goals of 20% energy reduction by 2020, and 80- 95% CO2 reduction by 2050. Boosting confidence in retrofitting buildings to a lower energy efficiency among all different stakeholders in the building value chain is essential for uptake of energy efficiency measures in the market. However, technical interventions alone have lower impact and are more expensive to implement if carried out in isolation. Thus, it is necessary to investigate the behavioural habits and attitudes of people towards energy and carbon consumption, and if these are altered, to establish the energy savings that can be made. This paper presents the preliminary results of the data collected in surveys carried out with tenants of retrofitted residential buildings in Ireland. The face-to-face interviews were conducted before the retrofit works were carried out on the tenants’ houses. Results based on the demographic profiles, thermal comfort and the behaviour towards energy consumption of the tenants are shown. Different groups, based on their demographic and socio-economic status, were identified in order to assess the impact retrofitting works may have on the energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the investigated buildings. Moreover, the paper discusses how the research project nZEB-RETROFIT, on-going in the National University of Ireland (NUI), Galway aims to combine the data obtained from the surveys with the energy consumption, temperature and relative humidity data collected preand post-retrofit of the tenants’ houses. This will allow the most effective retrofit measures to be identified for different types of households with divergent profiles regarding key demographic, socio-economic, attitudinal and behavioural variable. Furthermore, tailored engagement actions in order to motivate changes in energy behaviour within households and communities will be developed with the aim to reduce their energy consumption.