Sustainable refurbishment for an adaptable built environment

Thaleia Konstantinou, Branka Dimitrijević

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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The reconsideration of the existing building stock is motivated by society’s efforts towards sustainability and resilience. The building sector has a considerable role to play in doing so. The process of refurbishment is complex, since aspects such as design decisions, existing construction, energy efficiency, and user behaviour need to be considered. The motivation for refurbishing existing buildings is related to environmental, social, and economic aspects of their use or reuse, which are the three core aspects of sustainability. The key environmental motivation is to reduce energy consumption from fossil fuels and related greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, and to include energy generation from renewables; the key economic motivation is to lessen the cost of energy used for heating, and the key social motivation is to reduce fuel poverty and improve the quality of life and well-being of the occupants.This chapter aims to explain the role of refurbishment of the building stock for sustainability and resilience. Firstly, definitions of the levels of building upgrades are given, and the motivations for refurbishment are discussed. Furthermore, the ecological, economic, and social aspects of refurbishment are deliberated on, together with the importance of the building stock for resilience. Finally, case studies of refurbishment projects are presented, providing insights into different aspects of refurbishment for sustainability and resilience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable and Resilient Building Design
Subtitle of host publicationApproaches, Methods and Tools
EditorsSaja Kosanović, Tillmann Klein, Thaleia Konstantinou, Ana Radivojević, Linda Hildebrand
Place of PublicationDelft
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9789463660327
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2018

Publication series

NameReviews of Sustainability and Resilience of the Built Environment for Education, Research and Design
PublisherTU Delft Open


  • refurbishment
  • retrofit
  • existing buildings
  • sustainability indicators
  • resilience

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