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Title: The application of EnerPHit standard to residential tower blocks in the UK
Author: Hirbod, Soha
ISNI:       0000 0004 7655 9126
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2018
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This study examines the refurbishment of residential tower blocks in the UK according to the EnerPHit standard, which is an adaptation of the Passivhaus standard for retrofit. Currently, no single high-rise building in the UK has achieved this standard. The research focuses on the case study of Wilmcote House, a social housing tower block in Portsmouth owned and managed by Portsmouth City council. Wilmcote House is the first UK tower block being refurbished using the EnerPHit standard. Nevertheless, the building will not fully achieve EnerPHit by the time of project completion due to a lack of compliance with the primary energy demand. The Wilmcote House case study involves an investigation of the project process from the tender early stages to the delivery of the building. Research methods such as interviewing the project team members, direct observations of the project proceedings on site, attending site meetings, and archival research into the design process have led to important insights into the challenges of the pioneering real-life project. The study also investigates the refurbishment project of Tipton House and Edgbaston House, two other social housing tower blocks in Portsmouth, to make cross-case comparisons. Portsmouth City Council appointed the same architects to propose a design for the refurbishment of the blocks based on EnerPHit, but they decided not to proceed with the project following the feasibility stage. The rare opportunity of the author to work with the architects at the initial stages of the Tipton House and Edgbaston House projects and to carry out embedded research has provided a critical understanding of the project complications. Based on the case studies, the research aims to uncover the specific requirements and difficulties related to the process of applying EnerPHit to UK tower blocks. The study also examines possible solutions to overcoming the challenges encountered at different stages of the process. The research reveals that the approach of the client and the architects towards the tower block refurbishment are two determining factors in adopting EnerPHit; the physical properties of tower blocks can create difficulties with meeting EnerPHit criteria such as primary energy demand, and the requirement for EnerPHit training and lack of sufficient communication between the teams can seriously complicate the construction stage.
Supervisor: Schoenefeldt, Henrik ; Nikolopoulou, Marialena Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: NA Architecture