In seismic European countries most of the residential building stock is highly energy-intensive and earthquake-prone because it was built before the enforcement of the most recent energy and seismic codes. Furthermore, this stock often shows a low architectural quality due to poor maintenance and/or construction and design deficiencies: for all these reasons, it needs deep renovation, but the use of common energy and seismic upgrading techniques is often unsustainable in terms of costs, work duration, and occupants’ disturbance. Therefore, new integrated, affordable, fast, and low-disruptive renovation actions are strongly needed. This study proposes an innovative energy, seismic, and architectural renovation solution for reinforced concrete (RC) framed buildings, based on the addition of cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels to the outer walls, in combination with wooden-framed panels. The two panels integrate insulation and cladding materials in order to improve the energy performance and the architectural image of the renovated building. Moreover, the CLT panels are connected to the existing RC frame through innovative seismic energy dissipation devices. In case of an earthquake, these devices in combination with the CLT panels reduce the drift demand of the building, preventing or reducing structural damages and consequent repair costs. In particular, this paper investigates the technical feasibility, the energy efficiency, and the architectural enhancement of the proposed retrofitting system. To this purpose, dynamic thermal simulations were conducted on a typical multi-story residential building from the 1960s, located in Catania, Italy. The results indicated that this retrofitting technique considerably improved the energy performance of the selected building, with a reduction of the global energy demand up to nearly 60%. The presented study is part of a larger research project aimed at also investigating, in a further stage, the seismic performance achievable by the above-mentioned renovation solution.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited