Buildings and constructions occupy 50% or more of a city's land area and impact the environment with their elevated energy consumption. The current debates involving alternatives to limit the impacts of climate change have informed decision makers, architects, and engineers on design alternatives addressing energy efficiency in new constructions, but the existing building stock requires adaptation. Existing buildings are locked in an inefficient typology. In this context, this work presents energy efficient strategies to retrofit a typical residential building in Recife, Brazil. The study involves the application of three retrofit strategies concerning the building envelope to a baseline building, and their evaluation regarding thermal performance, electricity efficiency, and payback calculations. The results of this investigation show that reductions of 3%, 8% and 11% in energy consumption can be achieved with the proposed strategies, but not all are economically viable. The most efficient alternatives would require financial incentives from the local government to become viable options. The value of these strategies is proven when visualizing the entire city and evaluating the significant benefits of 11% reductions in one building replicated in many others.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Buildings--Energy consumption--Brazil; Dwellings--Remodeling; Sustainable buildings

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Architecture (M.Arch.)

Department, Program, or Center

Architecture (GIS)


Giovanna Potesta

Advisor/Committee Member

Dennis A. Andrejko

Advisor/Committee Member

Gabrielle Gaustad


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TH880 .K84 2016


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