There is no single process for renovation projects, however, there is an approach you can take in order to pinpoint the best upgrades for your project. In order to identify these optimized alterations, there are 6 steps to follow:
Demolition (if required)
This stage includes gathering information about the existing state of the project and evaluating it to understand some of its strengths and weakness. The SWOT analysis is an ideal outline for infomation gathering.
Strengths – structures, spaces, uses and aspects that work well and should be retained
Weaknesses – rooms that do not suit their purpose
Opportunities – increasing solar access, reducing heat loss in winters
Threats – items that require maintenance or repair or are structurally unsound
Information can be collected in a number of ways including referring to the existing drawings, talking to the previous design teams, site visits, surveys (highly recommended if the budget permits) and previous year's utility bills.
Climate analysis diagrams from cove.tool can also be used in parallel to manual information gathering. Understanding the local climate better may help uncover key opportunities or highlight some weakness of the current structure.
This is the stage when you have most of the existing condition information of the building and you can start modeling the geometry, identifying the scope of the project, and Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) that you want to pursue (changes to be implemented).
Energy Modeling is a part of the designing process. It can be run throughout to monitor the impact of each design decision and also have a basis or evidence for each design move.
Carbon inputs and cost optimization are a great way to decide on design strategies that are within the project budget.
The next step is putting the design into action. There might be some demolition required. It's important to assess if demolition is the most effective strategy to adopt or not, after making sure it certainly cannot be included in the design. Also, it's a good practice to consider the possibility of reusing materials if possible.
The construction process might include some on-site changes. They should be reflected back in the inputs for the energy model to keep predicting the metrics accurately.