SQUARE – A quality assurance management system for retrofitting with good indoor environment and energy efficiency

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The energy consumption of a building depends both on the building envelope and on the building services systems which, in their turn, affect the indoor environment.

In the EU about 1-2 % of the building stock is renovated every year, which often gives cost-effective opportunities for major energy efficiency improvements. However, in order to achieve significant reductions of energy use in existing buildings, it is important to perform future large-scale retrofitting of buildings in a systematic and controlled manner. When retrofitting a building many aspects must be taken into account, such as local resources, costs, building traditions, legislation and financing. These aspects will have an impact on decision-making and on the outcome of the retrofit, which will differ from case to case, and so there are no universal solutions. However, to achieve the intended results of the retrofit requires knowledge, continuity and communication that can be assured by a dynamic and flexible quality assurance (QA) system that describes a systematic and controlled way of working.

One example of a quality assurance system is a Swedish QA system for indoor environment that was developed about ten years ago, and has since then been successfully applied to multifamily houses/social housing, schools, kindergartens and offices (Samuelson, 2000). The clients are very satisfied with the QA system of indoor environment which has been confirmed by two investigations with questionnaires and interviews of clients about experiences and satisfaction with the QA system.

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