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Development and pilot evaluation of an online retrofit decision-making tool for homeowners. [Dataset]


Amar Bennadji
Data Collector

Jamal Alabid
Data Collector


Many retrofit projects went wrong in the UK principally because of the application of inappropriate retrofit solutions, which resulted in damp issues, with some leaving houses in worse conditions than pre-retrofit. Various online tools were developed to inform homeowners about the benefits of retrofitting. Prior to this study, little was known about users' evaluation of these tools and the effects of calculator use. Furthermore, no retrofit tool aims to raise the awareness of homeowners about moisture risks in a retrofit project. The originality of this study is to develop and evaluate an online moisture-safe retrofit decision-making tool for homeowners. The adopted methodology consisted of two phases. Phase one aimed to develop the tool. In phase two, semi-structured interviews were conducted to evaluate the tool. The results indicate that the tool has been well received by homeowners. The tool significantly increased participants' awareness of moisture risks related to a retrofit project. Most participants considered the tool an eye-opener, while few of them found it scary. However, the tool did not result in an increased willingness to invest in energy efficiency measures. The discouragement was related to high investment costs and long payback periods of some retrofit measures. Based on our findings, we formulate a set of design recommendations to improve the proposed tool and help retrofit calculators, in general, overcome challenges. The accompanying output file for this output contains supplementary information.


SEDDIKI, M., BENNADJI, A., ALABID, J., GRAY, D. and DEVECI, G. 2022. Development and pilot evaluation of an online retrofit decision-making tool for homeowners. [Dataset]. Buildings [online], 12(10), article 1513. Available from:

Acceptance Date Sep 20, 2022
Online Publication Date Sep 23, 2022
Publication Date Oct 31, 2022
Deposit Date Sep 27, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 27, 2022
Publisher MDPI
Keywords Decision-making; Online tool; Retrofit; Pilot evaluation; Homeowners; Moisture-safe
Public URL
Publisher URL
Related Public URLs
Type of Data Three PDF files and an accompanying text file.
Collection Date Aug 20, 2022
Collection Method Four major methodologies have been adopted in developing energy retrofit tools for homeowners; empirical data-driven methods, pre-simulated databases, simplified normative calculation methods, and advanced calculation methods. In this paper, the tool development was based on a database of multicriteria assessments carried out for 20 building typologies representative of the UK housing stock. In a pre-simulated database, the energy performance of several combinations of building envelope, HVAC systems, and renewable energy integration is predicted using detailed numerical models of representative buildings. The choice to base the developed moisture-safe tool on a pre-simulated database is motivated by the fact that this approach allows the creation of extremely easy to use tools as they require few inputs and are highly accurate as simulations are performed in advanced simulation engines.