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Sofia Murillo Camacho, Krisangella and Fouseki, Kalliopi and Altamirano Medina, Hector Decision-Making Processes of Residents in Preservation, Thermal Comfort, and Energy Efficiency in Heritage Buildings: A Pilot Study in Mexico City. This article belongs to the Special Issue Beyond Energy Efficiency in Architecture. New Challenges and Research Trajectories for Buildings and the Built Environment, 12.

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With building construction representing one of the largest sectors responsible for the use of natural resources, retrofitting existing heritage buildings becomes a necessity, albeit a challenging one. The emergence of specific guidance on retrofitting heritage buildings has unveiled more than never the need to understand how residents negotiate, thermal comfort, energy efficiency, and heritage conservation decisions. The paper reports the complexity of the decision-making process of residents of heritage buildings in the Historic Centre of Mexico City regarding energy efficiency, intending to improve thermal comfort and reduce energy consumption while preserving heritage values. The study involved in-depth semi-structured interviews with users of heritage buildings that were thematically analysed, complemented by the monitoring of internal environmental conditions and system dynamics analysis. The results show that although the residents perceived the buildings’ temperature as poor, passive thermal comfort actions (e.g., wearing more clothes and closing windows) were preferred against invasive retrofitting solutions for thermal comfort due to residents’ resistance to a potential loss in the buildings’ values and the high cost of changes. The degree of change necessary for maintenance, renovation, and actions for improving the thermal comfort of a heritage building is related to values and to their preservation for future generations. The users’ changes were limited to small-scale interventions in floors and ceilings while avoiding touching what they consider essential to preserve and protect (i.e., social and cultural values). Integrating the user into the decision-making process would enhance the long-term continuity and sustainability of retrofitting policies and guidelines, thus avoiding losing heritage-built stock.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: heritage values; user; sustainability; thermal comfort; energy efficiency; heritage buildings; decision-making; preservation; Mexico City;
Subjects: English > Climate Change Adaptation
Depositing User: Susanna Carlsten
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2022 04:49
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2022 04:49

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