A Dynamic-Based Methodology for Optimising Insulation Retrofit to Reduce Total Carbon Chapters uri icon

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abstract

  • AbstractOptimisation is frequently mentioned in frameworks and assessments of design for a┬ácircular economy. Adopting circular economy principles in building retrofit can reduce the use of materials and minimise emissions embedded in building materials alongside reduced operational emissions. This paper presents the optimisation of retrofitted insulation thickness, using Ireland as a case study. Detailed and robust dynamic finite element models were developed based on in-situ boundary conditions and combined with economic and environmental considerations. It was determined that optimising insulation based on cost was considerably different to optimising based on carbon. Cost-optimised insulation can reduce overall cost which could expand the reach of retrofit, allowing for more existing homes to be used more efficiently. However, this approach can lead to significant increases in operational carbon and therefore a balanced decision must be made. The methodology presented can be adopted for different regions by inputting local data, which will facilitate the adoption of circular economy principals in European retrofit plans. The approach can benefit developing circular insulation materials of low embodied carbon by building a case for their use.

publication date

  • 2024