Architectural Energy Retrofit: alternative deep energy building retrofit strategy

Share this Post:

Architectural Energy Retrofit (AER): An alternative building’s deep energy retrofit strategy



The refinement of architectural space plays a catalytic role in the building’s energy balance. A different configuration on the deep energy building retrofit is presented in this paper, mainly by proposing strategies that hierarchize the invigoration of the building’s architectural design principals. These space qualities enable diversity of occupancy, environmental variability and facilitate the building envelope to operate efficiently as climate moderator. The main working hypothesis claims that bioclimatic trends, derived from primary architectural decisions of the early design phase, predispose the final energy performance of the existing building. Based on this hypothesis, the alternative retrofit proposal called Architectural Energy Retrofit (AER) strategy, focuses on the energy genetic code of these basic architectural features. It argues that their holistic revival and refinement, indoors and outdoors will pave the way for the building’s energy retrofit and a regeneration of the space. 

A school complex, old and energy-consuming, has been selected as the case study to test this theory. By solely applying architectural interventions, a reduction of 44% energy demand was achieved. The results highlighted the challenges of “quantifying” the energy efficiency of architecture. However, by exploring and focusing on the non-energy co-benefits, it also seeks to expand the perspective of energy efficiency beyond the traditional measures, by identifying and measuring its impacts across many different spheres. AER, as a counterproposal, wishes to add a new base of discussion on deep energy retrofit strategies as it follows a diametrically opposed direction than that of the typical practices. The building, instead of being “sealed” and strictly controlling its environment,  “opens” and interacts with its surroundings.



Deep energy retrofit;
Energy-demand control;
Sustainable rehabilitation practices;
Quantifying architectural disciplines;
Non-energy benefits;
Architectural energy retrofit