Georgiadou,M.C., Hacking,T. and Guthrie,P.(2012): A conceptual framework for future-proofing the energy performance of buildings. Energy Policy, 47, 145-155.


 This paper presents a review undertaken to understand the concept of ‘future-proofing’ the energy performance of buildings. The long lifecycles of the building stock, the impacts of climate change and the requirements for low carbon development underline the need for long-term thinking from the early design stages. ‘Future-proofing’ is an emerging research agenda with currently no widely accepted definition amongst scholars and building professionals. In this paper, it refers to design processes that accommodate explicitly full lifecycle perspectives and energy trends and drivers by at least 2050, when selecting energy efficient measures and low carbon technologies. A knowledge map is introduced, which explores the key axes (or attributes) for achieving a ‘future-proofed’ energy design; namely, coverage of sustainability issues, lifecycle thinking, and accommodating risks and uncertainties that affect the energy consumption. It is concluded that further research is needed so that established building energy assessment methods are refined to better incorporate future-proofing. The study follows an interdisciplinary approach and is targeted at design teams with aspirations to achieve resilient and flexible low-energy buildings over the long-term.

Keywords: Energy performance; Future-proofing; Low-energy buildings』

1. Introduction
 1.1. Methodological approach
2. The need for futures thinking in energy and buildings
 2.1. Status quo and priority for intervention
 2.2. Climate change
 2.3. Inertia of the built environment
 2.4. Cost-effectiveness of prevention rather than curve
3. Long-term impacts of buildings
 3.1. Impacts of buildings on the environment
 3.2. Impacts of the environment on buildings
4. Conceptual framework for future-proofed design
 4.1. Definition
 4.2. Knowledge map
5. Analysing the axes
 5.1. Coverage of sustainability issues
 5.2. Lifecycle thinking
 5.3. Accommodating risks and uncertainties
6. Types and examples of future-proofed design
 6.1. ‘Straightforward’
 6.2. ‘Lifecycle-oriented’
 6.3. ‘Uncertainty-oriented’
 6.4. ‘Comprehensive’
7. Concluding discussion