Buildings are responsible for a large fraction of total U.S. energy demand and buildings are replaced slowly. About one third of the U.S. population lives in multifamily buildings. The residents of multifamily buildings often have below-average incomes and they are sometimes exposed to high levels of potentially harmful indoor contaminants. The U.S. is embarking on a program of aggressive energy retrofits in homes, with a substantial focus on retrofits of subsidized multifamily housing. This program of retrofits provides an opportunity to simultaneously improve energy efficiency and occupant’s health and comfort.
This study has developed a protocol for selecting optimal packages of retrofits intended to simultaneously reduce energy use and improve indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in apartments serving low-income tenants. The protocol was used to select retrofits for 16 apartments from three buildings in different California climates. Each apartment was retrofit. Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) parameters were measured before and after retrofits and energy data were collected for the one year periods before and after retrofits. After retrofits, IEQ was generally improved. Energy data are still being analyzed.