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Changing residents’ stance on building energy retrofits by using building performance simulations, costs and payback period data

Aydemir, Gizem Nur
Starting with Stockholm Conference, countries have realized that excessive energy use can be the main obstacle in solving environmental problems. Studies have shown that buildings play a key role in consumption and production of energy; and one way forward can be to refurbish existing buildings in a way that they can contribute to the solution. Although there are many reasons to refurbishing existing homes, there are two major barriers that need to be overcome. The first barrier is the initial cost of retrofits and the other is the uncertain attitude of the occupants, regarding the interventions. This study aimed at combining these two issues with building refurbishment strategies and renewable energy usage in existing residential buildings. To this end, two case studies were selected in Ankara, Turkey. The first contains 21 low-rise blocks where 837 people are living; the second is a building complex with three high-rise blocks, having 364 inhabitants. At first, energy consumption of the existing buildings was determined by simulating their models with DesignBuilder software; and then energy retrofit scenarios were proposed. Afterwards, costs and payback periods of the scenarios were calculated with a computer software. Thereafter, questionnaire surveys were conducted to determine the occupants’ attitude towards the proposed retrofits. This thesis presents the results of the simulations with regards to consumption, reduction and production of energy in the buildings before and after retrofitting; and the findings from the questionnaire regarding the change in attitude of occupants due to the financial advantages of the interventions in the long run, rather than information about energy savings only.