Evaluating social housing retrofit options to support clients’ decision making – SIMPLER BIM protocol

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11 Citations (Scopus)


The UK government made significant commitments to upgrading the energy efficiency of seven million British homes by 2020, aiming at reducing carbon emissions and addressing fuel poverty. One alternative to achieve better energy performance in existing houses is retrofit. However, there are difficulties associated with retrofitting social housing. It is currently challenging to compare scenarios (retrofit options) considering costs, potential energy efficiency gains, and at the same time minimising disruption to users. This paper presents a Building Information Modelling (BIM) protocol aimed to support decision making by social housing owners. It adopts BIM to simulate alternative retrofit options, considering: (a) potential reductions in energy consumption, (b) 4D BIM for retrofit planning and reduction of users' disruption and (c) simulation of costs. A what-if scenario matrix is proposed to support decision making in the selection of social housing retrofit solutions, according to client and users' needs. A case study of the retrofit of a mid-terrace house is presented to demonstrate the workflow. The main output of the work is the BIM protocol, which can support client decision making in diverse social housing retrofit projects, considering all three elements (energy simulation, planning for reduced disruption and cost estimation) in an integrated fashion. Such an integrated approach enables clients to make better informed decisions considering diverse social housing retrofit options through a simple process using readily available BIM technology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2507
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2019


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