Integrated seismic and energy retrofitting of existing buildings: A state-of-the-art review

D. A. Pohoryles, D. A. Bournas, F. Da Porto, A. Caprino, G. Santarsiero, T. Triantafillou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Ageing of the building stock is an issue affecting many regions in the world. This means a large proportion of existing buildings being considered energy inefficient, with associated high energy use for heating and cooling. Through renovation, it is possible to improve their energy-efficiency, hence reducing their significant impact on the total energy household and associated greenhouse gas emissions. In seismic regions, additionally, recent earthquakes have caused significant economic losses, largely due to the vulnerability of older buildings not designed to modern standards. Addressing seismic and energy performance by separate interventions is the common approach currently taken, however to achieve better cost-effectiveness, safety and efficiency, a novel holistic approach to building renovation is an emerging topic in the scientific literature. Proposed solutions range from integrated exoskeleton solutions, over strengthening and insulation solutions for the existing building envelope or their replacement with better materials, to integrated interventions on horizontal elements like roof and floor slabs. To identify pathways to combined seismic and energy retrofitting of buildings, a state-of-the-art review of all materials and solutions investigated to date is presented. This is followed by a critical analysis of their effectiveness, invasiveness, building use disruption as well as their impact on the environment. The assessment of current combined retrofitting research highlights a great potential for their application, with a potential to provide cost-effective renovation solutions for regions with moderate to high seismic risk. Still, to-date there is a lack of experimental research in this field, a need for further work on truly integrated technologies and their validation through applications on existing large-scale buildings. Moreover, there is a need for adequate design methods, regulations and incentives that further the implementation of integrated retrofitting approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105274
JournalJournal of Building Engineering
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022


  • Energy efficiency
  • Existing buildings
  • Integrated retrofitting
  • Seismic and energy retrofitting
  • Seismic strengthening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Mechanics of Materials


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