Understanding the Unintended Ventilation-related Impacts of Retrofit in UK Social Housing
Seb Junemann, UCL Energy Institute
Improving the energy efficiency of the UK housing stock is a key national priority for tackling the urgent problems of climate change, fuel poverty and health in the home. However, early evidence and modelled data suggests that “retrofit” can often lead to unintended consequences. Many of these unintended consequences arise from works that change the way that homes naturally ventilate (e.g. by making them more airtight) or change the ventilation requirements of the dwelling (e.g. by making them more prone to overheating and increasing the need for summer purging). Overheating and under-ventilation have the potential to have a negative impact on occupants both in terms of comfort and more serious health concerns such as cardio-respiratory diseases.
This project examines the literature base to better understand the problems that arise from retrofit as they pertain to ventilation in social housing homes. It aims to define the ventilation-related problems and identify the conditions (i.e. retrofit measures, building typologies, occupancy patterns, etc.) that are most at risk from these problems.
Supporting this literature review will be secondary analysis of relevant datasets and in-home monitoring of retrofitted social housing dwellings.
This project will provide a basis for future research, such as action research with residents in an effort to understand how occupant behaviour may be able to mitigate the impact of these problems.