Enhancing sustainability and resilience of elderly dwellings : Optimized refurbishing parameters and air conditioning operation

Jaafar Younes, Minzhou Chen, Kamel Ghali, Risto Kosonen, Arsen Krikor Melikov, Azin Velashjerdi Farahani, Simo Kilpeläinen, Nesreen Ghaddar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Refurbishing buildings to minimize lifecycle costs and increase reliance on natural ventilation may reduce building resilience to extreme weather. This is critical for elderly whose health is affected by exposure to thermally stressful conditions. This study proposes a novel approach for refurbishing elderly houses to enhance their sustainability and heatwave resilience with the aim of supporting low-income groups. This approach involves using multi-objective optimization to identify refurbishment parameters and an autonomous control strategy to provide thermoneutral indoor conditions at a low cost. The optimization procedure and control strategy were applied to a case study for a representative apartment in the Mediterranean climate using a validated building model. The strategy led to substantial reduction (61%) in cooling energy, while the optimization yielded Pareto solutions that showed trade-offs between lifecycle cost and resilience. A selected solution resulted in reduced electrical usage for heating (37%) and cooling (45%) and decreased indoor overheating during heatwaves. The study recommends design features for cost-effective and resilient elderly housing in the Mediterranean climate, such as limited window area, enhanced thermal properties, and a modest air conditioning system for low-income populations. Larger windows and AC systems are recommended for high income populations seeking reduced operational expenses and improved sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113065
Number of pages18
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Building resilience
  • Cooling and ventilation control strategy
  • Elderly housing
  • Elderly thermoneutral conditions
  • Energy reduction
  • Heating
  • Multi-objective optimization of refurbishment parameters


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