'The Power of Tower Retrofits: Exploring concurrent improvements to inhabitant experience and energy efficiency'
There are thousands of post-war residential towers in and around the City of Toronto and many other metropolitan regions around the world. Despite their material- and space-efficiency, these towers are similar in energy-intensity to detached homes and also face a slew of occupant comfort and wellbeing challenges. I’ll begin by describing the numerous performance issues which plague this building type, including transmission of airborne contaminants (e.g., aerosols containing COVID-19, cannabis and tobacco smoke), thermal, acoustic and visual discomfort, uneven heating and ventilation, summertime overheating, and limited controllability for occupants. Then, we’ll explore some of the current research related to improving occupant comfort and control through innovative retrofit approaches also intended to reduce energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions. Current projects examining the impacts of building retrofits on inhabitant and community wellbeing will also be shared.
Marianne Touchie, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering
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