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Sustainable retrofitting of existing residential buildings at community scale in China

Zhang, Xinshuang 2018. Sustainable retrofitting of existing residential buildings at community scale in China. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Rapid urbanisation in China is leading to significant demands for energy and resources. China's urban housing is therefore facing the following problems: on the one hand, due to the acceleration of urbanisation and improvement of living standards, there is a rising trend in new housing developments. On the other hand, many residential buildings in cities in China are below modern standards of energy performance, sustainability, or liveability, and they need to be improved. The aim of this research is to investigate the retrofit projects in Wales, UK, to explore the retrofitting of existing residential buildings at the community scale in Beijing, China, to find out how and to what extent the retrofit technologies and processes can be transferred from the UK to China, and the most suitable, sustainable, cost-effective combination of retrofit strategies to improve energy efficiency and sustainability. This is achieved through a holistic method based on qualitative research and simulation research including a literature review, case studies, on-site surveys, interviews, and modelling for the Chinese case studies. There are three stages in this research: first is to investigate low carbon housing retrofitting projects in Wales in the UK across environmental, economic and social aspects, to find out how and to what extent those technologies and processes can be transferred to China. Second is to investigate the retrofitting progress and development in China and explore the optimal retrofit solutions for different types of Chinese residential buildings at both building and community scale. The last stage looks at the research outcomes, addressing the multiple social and economic benefits, to provide suggestions and guidance for retrofitting residential buildings in China to create a high-quality living environment. The UK case study reviews seven retrofit projects. The findings show that most of the large-scale retrofit projects in the UK mainly conduct elemental retrofit, which uses one or two retrofit measures with relatively low cost, and can generally reduce energy consumptions and CO2 emissions of 10% to 30%. Meanwhile, there are some examples of deep retrofit in the UK at small scales, but the retrofit costs tend to be relatively expensive so that large-scale deep retrofit has not been considered to be financially available. Now the UK starts to look at multiple benefits of retrofit relating to issues like fuel poverty alleviation and job creation. From the case study in China, it is found that the fabric retrofit could reduce up to 54% of the gas consumption due to less heating demand with improved building envelop, while the electricity use can be significantly reduced through installing solar PV to the roof and the south facade above the third floor, with reductions of 82.2% to 90.9% for high-rises, and 168.8% to 179.2% for mid-rises and multi-storeys. The best retrofitting results can be achieved by applying the highest specification of the ‘whole-house’ approach, which combines fabric, system, and renewable retrofit measures, with annual CO2 emissions reductions of 75.6% to 80.6% for high-rises, and 104.7% to 105.2% for multi-storey and mid-rise buildings. The retrofit costs are ranging from 597.9 CNY/m2 to 1365.1 CNY/m2, and the payback years are between 10.4 to 12.6 years. Moreover, older buildings have more retrofitting potentials in energy savings and CO2 emissions reduction. In addition, there could be added benefits at the community scale, across economic and social aspects such as energy bill reduction, health improvement and job creation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Submission
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Uncontrolled Keywords: sustainable; retrofit; residential buildings; community scale; China; urban housing; carbon reduction; Beijing; energy
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 January 2019
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2021 01:06

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