Integrating energy retrofit to seismic strengthening to safeguard historic unreinforced masonry buildings in Aotearoa New Zealand

  • YEAR
    Besen, Priscila
    Boarin, Paola
    2022 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers


Deep energy retrofit of historic buildings can enhance indoor environmental quality, prevent decay and obsolescence, reduce energy use and related greenhouse gas emissions. However, in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are currently no policies to regulate deep energy retrofit in historic buildings and no substantial examples of this practice. On the other hand, there are significant regulations and practical examples of seismic retrofit, especially of unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings. As several seismic upgrade projects are taking place in the country, this study explores the potential of applying energy retrofit concurrently with seismic strengthening. The research investigated three case studies, which are listed heritage URM buildings located in different climates in New Zealand. Their current performance was investigated, and retrofit scenarios were analysed through energy simulation and hygrothermal modelling. Energy models demonstrated a potential reduction of up to 92% in heating demand when comparing the most comprehensive retrofit scenario with the baseline in the coldest climate studied. The potential energy savings from each intervention were then balanced against their heritage impact to assess the most appropriate solutions for each building. The study highlights the benefits of encouraging energy retrofit concurrently with seismic strengthening, so that historic buildings are more resilient not only to seismic threats, but also to a changing climate.

Keywords: Energy Retrofit; Unreinforced Masonry Buildings; Integrated Retrofit; New Zealand Heritage.


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