Track 2: Sustainability and Conservation of Built Heritage in the Americas
APT Student Scholar Abstract and Application
Heritage buildings are increasingly the subject of retrofit projects across the globe. These projects require thoughtful execution and have a wide range of factors which affect their success. Heritage conservation, energy conservation, and indoor environmental quality (IEQ) should all be taken into consideration in the decision-making process when designing a retrofit for a historical built environment. It has been proven that in any built environment, there is a direct correlation between occupant comfort, occupant behavior and the energy consumption of the site. As the global heritage building stock is faced with the demand to improve energy performance as a result of climate change, occupant comfort aspects must be directly considered and proactively incorporated into the plans for the site. The energy and occupant comfort analysis should be linked in practice, however in many cases the focus of building retrofit is on energy and IEQ is overlooked. Occupants have been observed to behave in unexpected ways to achieve comfort if their built environment is unable to maintain acceptable properties, and this leads to unnecessary consumption of energy in many cases. For example, if radiant floor heating is implemented in a building with poor ventilation, occupants may open windows during winter months, causing a waste of energy. Intangible experiential factors of IEQ, such as daylight properties, can also be considered a component of the site’s character defining elements and are a contributing factor to the values of the site. Visual comfort, thermal comfort, air quality and acoustic comfort should be better documented and noted as experiential properties of the site which may or may not be appropriate to alter. Building conservation specialists and building performance practitioners should be made better aware of strategies for predicting and improving IEQ and energy performance of built heritage. Current methodologies for historical building energy retrofits still do not include considerations to the broader aspects of indoor environmental quality. There is little discussion on how aspects of occupant experience should be documented, predicted and managed. A methodology to more appropriately assess retrofit plans will be outlined. The methodology discussed will cover how the four aspects of IEQ can be characterized by metrics and measured. Strategies for simulating IEQ and energy of heritage buildings in tandem will be discussed and a small-scale case study will be conducted to provide energy efficient and occupant-centric retrofit design recommendations.