Integrated Performance Optimization of Higher Education Buildings Using Low-Energy Renovation Process and User Engagement

Abdullahi Ahmed, Monica Mateo-Garcia, Andrew Arewa, Kassim Caratella

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)
    157 Downloads (Pure)


    Building performance improvement through low-energy renovation traditionally involves building performance diagnostics of the existing building, technology evaluation, selection and implementation. Effective building performance diagnostics, post-retrofit assessment and user engagement are essential to deliver performance as well as achieving socio-economic and environmental benefits at every stage of the renovation project life cycle. User’s views are often ignored when renovating a building, causing sub-optimal energy performance, user comfort and wellbeing. This paper seeks to critically evaluate the low-energy renovation process and the role of user and stakeholder engagement in the strategic implementation of low-energy retrofit technologies for performance improvement of higher education buildings. The research focuses on renovation methodology, innovative materials/systems and end-user engagement throughout the renovation project phases (pre-renovation, the renovation process and post renovation). A mixed research method was adopted, which includes building performance modelling, monitoring and user evaluation questionnaires pre and post-renovation. The research is part of European Union (EU)-funded project, targeting 50% reduction in energy consumption using innovative materials and technologies in existing public buildings. The surveys allow comparative analysis of comfort levels and user satisfaction as an indicator of the efficacy of renovation measures. A new renovation process and user engagement framework was developed. The findings suggest that there is a direct relationship between retrofit intervention, improving energy performance of low-carbon buildings and the comfort of occupants. The technologies and strategies also appear to have different impacts on user satisfaction.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1475
    Number of pages21
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2021

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


    European Union


    • Energy efficiency
    • Indoor environmental quality (IEQ)
    • Low-energy renovation
    • Stakeholder engagement
    • User satisfaction

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
    • Fuel Technology
    • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
    • Energy (miscellaneous)
    • Control and Optimization
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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