Housing Refurbishment for Energy Efficiency and Comfort

Toward sustainable hosuing in Vietnam

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Vietnam has made a lot of significant developments in both economic and social
fields since the transition from a centrally planned to the market-oriented economy in 1986. Along with the growth of the country, the energy sector, which accounts for one-fourth of the national foreign earnings, plays an important role. In order to continue contributing to the sustainable development of Vietnam, the energy sector has to tackle the problems of ensuring adequate energy supply and minimising energy-related environment impacts.

In building sector, a newly constructed building has more potential to achieve better energy performance than a refurbished project, which is limited by unchangeable factors on the existing site. However, the importance of the existing building should not be ignored due to the fact that the number of existing buildings is outweigh the number of possible new buildings added to the market annually. Although refurbishment activities are being carried out regularly in Vietnam, little effort was recognised to improve the energy performance of the building. One of the reasons is that the contemporary construction methods in Vietnam are still quite simple and do not integrate energy efficiency measures.

Sustainable and energy-efficient housing was not just recently recognised and
concerned in Vietnam. However, there is still lack of research in this specific field. This research aims to develop a design strategy for housing refurbishment projects in Vietnam, in order to achieve better energy performance. The approach should be systematic and holistic, addressing all relevant issues in the current housing stock of Vietnam. It is expected to be used to help architects in decision making in the early design stage and to help state agencies to set guidelines and regulations for future housing of Vietnam. This led to the main research question to be answer in this thesis.

What are the design strategies for energy efficiency in Vietnam housing and how
should they be integrated in an existing house as well as in a new built house?