Call for papers - The First International Symposium on the Sustainable Refurbishment of the Built Environment

Start/Stop Date:
01 Feb 2017
Central London, UK
Focus Areas:
Refurbishment, resilience and sustainability refurbishment of the built environment
Type of Event:

All countries face challenges in improving the energy efficiency of their building stock.

Challenges are common to all countries, and collectively progress is slow. Policy initiatives have stalled or failed and new ideas are required if the targets enshrined in the Paris Agreement are to be met. All around us, social and economic paradigms are changing, whilst the environmental imperative accelerates.

There is a vast quantity of research in and across academia and industry at local, regional, national and international levels. However, collaboration and knowledge-sharing between silos remains limited.

There is a need for a Symposium bringing together these people at a senior level, with the following objectives:

  • Defining the role that building refurbishment should play in achieving the Paris objectives;
  • Agreeing a roadmap to enabling building refurbishment at the required scale;
  • Identifying solutions that remove the technical and social barriers that prevent the sustainable development of a market for sustainable refurbishment;
  • Understanding and removing impediments to building refurbishment.

Technical Committee

The Symposium is overseen by a Technical Committee, which peer-reviews submitted abstracts and papers to ensure quality and relevance. Members of the Technical Committee can be seen here.

Papers presented at the Symposium will be considered for publication in a special edition of the Building Research & Information Journal (BRI).

Symposium Theme

The Committee has agreed upon a theme for ISoSR of 'Refurbishment, resilience and sustainability: re-thinking assumptions and systems in a time of change’.

A short audio/visual presentation summarising the Technical Committee’s discussion around this theme is available here.

The Committee wish to stress that both domestic and non-domestic refurbishment is relevant.

Topics of interest

  • Research that highlights and quantifies the triple bottom-line benefits of successful refurbishment
  • Motivating stakeholders to deliver change
  • Visionary ideas to overcome supply and demand side challenges
  • Reducing the rebound effect
  • Evaluating trade-offs between embodied and operational energy
  • Avoiding unintended consequences that have impacted upon the reputation of the refurbishment sector
  • Reducing disruption and enabling business continuity
  • Ensuring resilience is built in to successful refurbishment strategies
  • Accelerating job creation and boosting local economic growth through supply chain development
  • Incorporating inhabitants' practices into domestic retrofit
  • Evaluation of voluntary programmes for retrofits
  • Customer motivations and impediments to undertake retrofits
  • Policy measures and policy instruments that encourage retrofit
  • Funding refurbishment
  • Comparison of cost-optimal and net-zero retrofit
  • Removing roadblocks from government, planning and finance and developing collaborative approaches
  • Cost effectiveness / financial viability of retrofit
  • Green finance and leasing
  • Integration of neighbourhood and city scale refurbishment
  • Securing private sector investment for large-scale refurbishment
  • Future socio-economic trends that impact on the drivers for uptake of refurbishment


We invite authors to submit high quality contributions describing significant, original, and unpublished results in the following categories:

Oral Presentations

Oral presentations should describe innovative research in a sustainable refurbishment context. They should describe a novel contribution to the field and should carefully support claims of novelty with citations to the relevant literature.

Poster Presentations

Poster presentations are invited from those who require an extended dialogue with delegates.Submissions from students are encouraged provided funding is available.

Key Information and Deadlines

Selected speakers are invited to present their papers as part of the conference and are encouraged to engage within lively discussions amongst peers, experts, and the general audience.

  • Length of abstract: 250 words max. + short biography: 150 words.
  • Deadline for submitting your abstract is 1st February 2017.
  • Notification of acceptance of abstract 1st March 2017.
  • Maximum paper length 3000 words.
  • Deadline for final paper submission is 1st May 2017.
  • Reviewed paper will be returned to authors on 1st July 2017.
  • Final notification of paper acceptance will be on 15th July 2017.

Submit your abstract here