PhD Socio-environmental assessment of energy renovations

KU Leuven - Leuven, Netherlands

apply before June 5, 2023

Tasks: Research

Topics: Community Engagement, Policies and Cooperation, Urban Transformation

Type: Full-time

Experience required: Entry-level

Language: English is sufficient

The existing building stock plays a pivotal role in the transition towards a sustainable built environment. The energy efficient renovation of existing buildings can significantly contribute to achieve carbon neutral and social objectives in Europe by 2050. However, energy efficient renovations are also expected to improve the performance of existing buildings in different domains i.e. environmental sustainability, affordability and well-being. The socio-environmental benefits of energy efficient renovations are currently underestimated by policy instruments and energy codes that mainly focus on the reduction of energy use and related greenhouse gas emissions. Comprehensive methods and instruments to assess the socio-environmental performance of renovation measures are lacking.

In this PhD project, you will develop a comprehensive model to assess the socio-environmental performance of energy-efficient renovations of residential buildings. Particular attention will be paid not only to the energy and environmental aspects but also to the social aspects of  renovations. Different research methods will be considered including novel methods such as Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA). Different stakeholders of energy-efficient renovations will be targeted. The model will be tested through a set of combined scenarios including different building typologies and characteristics and different renovation options in terms energy efficiency, use of retrofit materials and installations, as well as through case studies. On one side, the research aims to clarify the socio-environmental impacts and benefits of energy efficient renovation measures. On the other side, the research is challenged by the definition of appropriate methods for the assessment of sustainable renovations.

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