Retrofitting Strategies for Social Housing Buildings in Different Climate Conditions: The CORVI 1010-1020 Block Type in Three Chilean Cities

Waldo Bustamante, Cristian Schmitt, Victor Bunster, Paula Martinez, Francisco Chateau

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


Currently, less than 2% of the residential building stock in Chile meets minimum of thermal performance conditions while the current approach to social housing development has proved incapable of ensuring appropriate living standards. Demolishing housing blocks to replace them with new buildings is economically inefficient, environmentally damaging and socially unacceptable, as these structures represent an opportunity to renovate and upgrade existing buildings without disrupting consolidated communities. This ongoing research focuses on renovating the CORVI 1010-1020 housing blocks, a building type that was massively built across the country between 1968 and 1978. Today it is possible to find more than 2,000 units of this type of building—with no significant design variations—throughout Chile, hence between latitudes 18°S and 53°S of extremely diverse climates.
This paper analyses the impact of different energy retrofitting strategies in the thermal performance of these emblematic housing estates. Accordingly, building energy simulation is used to evaluate three scenarios, i.e., the original design without changes, a retrofitting proposal focused on meeting current thermal code requirements, and an expansion proposal aimed at increasing both thermal performance and life quality conditions. In order to assess the performance of these scenarios, the simulations focused on three cities with contrasting climatic conditions, i.e., hot-arid (Arica, 18°27'S), Mediterranean (Santiago, 33°27′S) and tundra (Punta Arenas, 53°08′S). Operational energy demand, accumulated hours of thermal discomfort, and payback time periods are considered for comparative analysis. Whereas the results evidence that the cost-effectiveness of the proposed alternatives increases in colder climatic conditions dependant on space heating; overall, this study demonstrates that the retrofitting of these social housing buildings can help achieving significant heating and cooling energy savings as well as improving indoor thermal comfort conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSmart and Healthy Within the Two-Degree Limit: Proceedings of the 34th International Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture
EditorsEdward Ng, Square Fong, Chao Ren
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherPLEA (Passive and Low Energy Architecture)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-962-8272-36-5
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event34th International Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture: Smart and Healthy Within the Two-Degree Limit - Hong Kong, China
Duration: 10 Dec 201812 Dec 2018


Conference34th International Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture: Smart and Healthy Within the Two-Degree Limit
CityHong Kong
Internet address


  • energy retrofitting
  • social housing
  • heating demands
  • cooling demands
  • sunspace

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