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July 1, 2022

Hygrothermal Behavior Of Post-retrofit Housing: A Review Of The Impacts Of The Energy Efficiency Upgrade Strategies.

Recart, Carolina; Dossick, Carrie Sturts. (2022). Hygrothermal Behavior Of Post-retrofit Housing: A Review Of The Impacts Of The Energy Efficiency Upgrade Strategies. Energy & Buildings, 262.

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Improving energy efficiency of existing buildings is currently among the most diverse and extensive mitigation opportunities to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions worldwide. However, the implementation of energy-saving measures has caused unintended impacts, often correlated with dampness and mold growth connected to poor hygrothermal behavior in residential buildings. The focus of this paper is research on the impacts of energy efficiency measures (EEMs) in regard to the hygrothermal behavior resulting from the interaction of building's envelope, indoor environment, and occupants. The results show that dampness and mold growth are by no means exclusive to neglected houses, since the occurrence of these pathologies actually depends upon a complex set of conditions, including indoor and outdoor conditions, occupancy, maintenance, ventilation, mechanical systems, and quality of the envelope. We found that building envelope post-retrofit may suffer from higher levels of moisture and dampness, higher condensations risks, and a faster structural degradation caused by higher humidity levels. We also found that measuring hygrothermal behavior may play a role in more accurately predicting both overall energy consumption and occupant comfort. While hygrothermal behavior may be problematic, we found evidence that retrofits may moderately improve thermal comfort. (c) 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Energy Consumption; Energy Consumption Of Buildings; Carbon Emissions; Geothermal Ecology; Housing; Thermal Comfort; Building Envelopes; Dampness And Mold; Energy Retrofits; Hygrothermal Behavior; Residential Buildings; Unintended Impacts; Indoor Air-quality; Low-income; Environmental-quality; Assistance-program; Building Envelope; Health; Ventilation; Weatherization; Performance; Mold Growths; Indoor Environments; Moisture Effects; Energy Efficiency; Residential Areas; Mechanical Systems; Moisture Content; Green Buildings; Energy Conservation; Carbon Dioxide; Mold; Emission Measurements; Emissions; Mitigation; Buildings; Occupancy; Retrofitting; Mechanical Properties