|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 5|
More than half of the urban population in Romania lives today in residential buildings made out of large prefabricated reinforced concrete panels. Since their initial design was made in the 1960’s, these housing units are now being technically and morally outdated, consuming large amounts of energy for heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting, while failing to meet the needs of the contemporary life-style. Due to their widespread use, the design of a system that improves their energy efficiency would have a real impact, not only on the energy consumption of the residential sector, but also on the quality of life that it offers. Furthermore, with the transition of today’s existing power grid to a “smart grid”, buildings could become an active element for future electricity networks by contributing in micro-generation and energy storage. One of the most addressed issues today is to find locally adapted strategies that can be applied considering the 20-20-20 EU policy criteria and to offer sustainable and innovative solutions for the cost-optimal energy performance of buildings adapted on the existing local market. This paper presents a possible adaptive design scenario towards sustainable retrofitting of these housing units. The apartments are transformed in order to meet the current living requirements and additional extensions are placed on top of the building, replacing the unused roof space, acting not only as housing units, but as active solar energy collection systems. An adaptive building envelope is ensured in order to achieve overall air-tightness and an elevator system is introduced to facilitate access to the upper levels.
Based on an indoor environmental quality (IEQ) index established by previous work that indicates the overall IEQ acceptance from the prospect of an occupant in residential buildings in terms of four IEQ factors - thermal comfort, indoor air quality, visual and aural comforts, this study develops a user-friendly IEQ calculator for iOS and Android users to calculate the occupant acceptance and compare the relative performance of IEQ in apartments. “IEQ calculator” is easy to use and it preliminarily illustrates the overall indoor environmental quality on the spot. Users simply input indoor parameters such as temperature, number of people and windows are opened or closed for the mobile application to calculate the scores in four areas: the comforts of temperature, brightness, noise and indoor air quality. The calculator allows the prediction of the best IEQ scenario on a quantitative scale. Any indoor environments under the specific IEQ conditions can be benchmarked against the predicted IEQ acceptance range. This calculator can also suggest how to achieve the best IEQ acceptance among a group of residents.