Passive solar elements for both direct and indirect gains, are systems used to maintain a comfortable living environment while saving energy, especially in the building energy retrofit and adaptation process. Sunspaces, thermal mass and glazing area and orientation have been often used in the past to guarantee adequate indoor conditions when mechanical devices were not available. After a period of neglect, nowadays they are again considered as appropriate systems to help face environmental issues in the building sector, and both international and national legislation takes into consideration the possibility of including them in the building planning tools, also providing economic incentives. Their proper design needs dynamic simulation, often difficult to perform and time consuming. Moreover, results generally suffer from several uncertainties, so quasi steady-state procedures are often used in everyday practice with good results, but some corrections are still needed. In this paper, a comparative analysis of different solutions for the construction of verandas in an existing building is presented, following the procedure provided by the slightly modified and improved Standard EN ISO 13790:2008. Advantages and disadvantages of different configurations considering thermal insulation, windows typology and mechanical ventilation systems are discussed and a general intervention strategy is proposed. The aim is to highlight the possibility of using sunspaces in order to increase the efficiency of the existing building stock, considering ease of construction and economic viability.
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