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Reducing energy consumption and improving comfort by retrofitting residential buildings in the hot summer, cold winter zone of China

journal contribution
posted on 20.09.2022, 09:12 authored by Christopher Tsang, Eftychia SpentzouEftychia Spentzou, Kevin LomasKevin Lomas, Miaomiao He
China's Hot Summer and Cold Winter zone with a 550 million population, accounts for 45% of China's building energy consumption; as such, building retrofits could offer substantial energy savings. This paper presents results from a dynamic thermal modelling study of a typical urban multi-storey residential building under three types of A/C operating schedules. Seven energy saving retrofit measures (external wall insulation, roof insulation, double-glazing, air infiltration control, window shading, communal staircase design and energy-efficient A/C) were evaluated, and the retrofit strategy with the highest annual energy savings and lowest thermal discomfort was identified. This retrofit strategy was subsequently evaluated for other flats (apartments) with different orientations and positions in the typical building. The annual space-conditioning energy could be reduced by 59 to 68%, depending on the flat location, orientation, and A/C operating schedule. The findings were then scaled up to estimate the potential energy savings in the city of Chongqing. Over 320 multi-storey residential buildings were represented by twelve archetypes. Space-conditioning energy consumption was reduced by up to 58% (18.8 TWh). This work provides evidence of the potential energy savings of city-scale retrofit that could aid China in reducing building energy consumption and achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.


Low carbon climate-responsive Heating and Cooling of Cities (LoHCool)

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

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  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Journal of Architectural Engineering


American Society of Civil Engineers


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This material may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the American Society of Civil Engineers. This material may be found at [URL/link of abstract in the ASCE Library or Civil Engineering Database].

Acceptance date









Dr Efi Spentzou Smith. Deposit date: 19 September 2022

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