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A Framework for Green Remodeling Enabling Energy Efficiency and Healthy Living for the Elderly

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This study proposes a framework for green remodeling for the elderly that emphasizes the role of designers and the notion of aging in place. Energy efficiency is critical for older persons because many of them spend more time at home and are less likely to heat and cool their homes appropriately. Improving the energy performance of the elderly’s housing by green remodeling could promote energy efficiency and healthy living for the elderly. Based on remodeling components derived from related work, key factors to be considered regarding the remodeling for the elderly were investigated. A framework for green remodeling enabling energy efficiency was developed for home upgrades for the elderly. Identifying the area of application and critical components for energy efficiency helps improve the energy performance for the elderly. This study is significant because it considers the elderly’s characteristics and experiences in the development of a sustainable remodeling process rather than new-building construction.
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energies
Article
A Framework for Green Remodeling Enabling Energy
Efficiency and Healthy Living for the Elderly
Sung Jun Park 1,2 and Mi Jeong Kim 3, *
1Department of Interior and Environmental Design & Architectural Engineering, Keimyung University,
Deagu 42601, Korea; sjpark@kmu.ac.kr
2Department of Architectural Engineering, Keimyung University, Deagu 42601, Korea
3Department of Housing and Interior Design, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02447, Korea
*Correspondence: mijeongkim@khu.ac.kr; Tel.: +82-2-961-9275
Received: 7 July 2018; Accepted: 1 August 2018; Published: 6 August 2018
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Abstract:
This study proposes a framework for green remodeling for the elderly that emphasizes
the role of designers and the notion of aging in place. Energy efficiency is critical for older persons
because many of them spend more time at home and are less likely to heat and cool their homes
appropriately. Improving the energy performance of the elderly’s housing by green remodeling
could promote energy efficiency and healthy living for the elderly. Based on remodeling components
derived from related work, key factors to be considered regarding the remodeling for the elderly
were investigated. A framework for green remodeling enabling energy efficiency was developed
for home upgrades for the elderly. Identifying the area of application and critical components for
energy efficiency helps improve the energy performance for the elderly. This study is significant
because it considers the elderly’s characteristics and experiences in the development of a sustainable
remodeling process rather than new-building construction.
Keywords: energy efficiency; home remodeling; healthy living; sustainability; elderly’s housing
1. Introduction
Most studies on health smart homes have emphasized the adoption of cutting-edge technologies
in home environments to provide smart services and promote healthy living [
1
]. However, the concept
of ‘smart’ does not only relate to technology but also to eventually enabling a smart life for residents.
Non-technological methods, as long as they are effective and efficient for a healthy living, could be
considered in the implementation of health smart homes. Emphasizing sustainability, we became
interested in the processes of remodeling home environments to improve performance and health.
Rather than new constructions, which causes waste and pollution, governments have recommended a
sustainable remodeling approach for home performance upgrades. Sustainable housing design can
lessen the impact on the environment, decrease the use of natural resources, and decrease energy
consumption [
2
]. Wilson and Jacob [
3
] showed that home performance upgrades relating to air
pollution could improve the quality of a home environment, resulting in improved occupant health
outcomes. They emphasized the link between home performance and associated health outcomes
and raised the issue of ‘green renovation’ associated with the remodeling process and performance
upgrades. Promoting improvements in energy efficiency is a crucial issue in home environments.
However, little research has been conducted on the improvement of energy performance brought
about by remodeling in the domain of health smart homes. In this research, the concept of the health
smart home is extended, emphasizing energy management in the housing for the elderly.
Energies 2018,11, 2031; doi:10.3390/en11082031 www.mdpi.com/journal/energies
Energies 2018,11, 2031 2 of 10
The global aging phenomenon has created a housing problem in terms of older people’s health and
economic security. Arguably, their health and economic capacity is challenged by the energy efficiency
of housing and the rising cost of energy [
4
]. Choi and Park [
5
] have argued that a home-improvement
strategy, especially in relation to energy efficiency, should be employed for the elderly whose physical,
mental, and social functions are lower than those of people in other age groups. Energy efficiency
is critical for older people because many older people spend more time at home and are less likely
to heat and cool their homes appropriately [
4
,
6
]. Poor building thermal characteristics that cause
inappropriate heating and cooling present a potential risk to elderly occupants by affecting them
physiologically, for example, by affecting respiratory and coronary conditions [
4
,
7
,
8
]. Older people
tend to have lower incomes than younger people and tend to live in inefficient, old housing [
9
].
Therefore, energy-efficient home upgrades are critical for the successful management of their home
energy costs and their health and well-being in daily life. However, current remodeling components
for improving energy efficiency only emphasize the economic and environmental aspects of buildings.
They do not support the experience of older people whose physical, mental, and social functions are
degraded. Proposing a green remodeling framework reflecting the health status and individual needs
of the elderly can decrease remodeling costs by concentrating on specific planning factors and items
for the elderly in the customized remodeling process.
The purpose of this study is to develop the framework for green remodeling for the elderly by
identifying elements that are essential for improving energy performance for healthy living. Improving
the energy performance of the houses by remodeling is one alternative for solving environmental
problems and can have a great effect on the economics of buildings [
10
]. Further, identifying the area
of application and critical components for energy efficiency helps improve energy performance for the
elderly through the remodeling process. In addition to the economic and environmental aspects of the
home environment, this research considers the elderly’s characteristics and experiences in a sustainable
remodeling process that emphasizes aging in place. Aging in place means that people grow older in
their homes and do not need to move into institutionalized care facilities. This is broadly recognized to
be desirable for both older people and governments [
11
]. Affordable and appropriate housing could
play a fundamental role in enabling active and independent living for older people, which could
decrease demands on aged care systems [
12
]. First, to achieve the aim of this research, related work on
energy performance in buildings was critically reviewed and remodeling components associated with
energy efficiency were identified. Second, based on the remodeling components derived from related
work, key factors in the remodeling process for the elderly were investigated. Finally, the framework
for a remodeling process enabling energy efficiency was proposed to support green home upgrades
for the elderly.
Many previous energy-related studies have dealt with quantitative energy savings and
optimization, emphasizing the efficient management of energy. However, this study differs in approach,
considering the link between aging and health of the elderly and green remodeling for energy saving in
housing in light of the socio-demographic changes inherent in an ‘aging society’. This study emphasizes
that energy savings of buildings to maintain a sustainable environment are very important because
the fast-growing cohort of the elderly worldwide comprises the majority of the energy consumers.
In addition, the elderly needs customized remodeling to reflect their health and other needs in the
place in which they live. Since many countries support the cost of remodeling of the houses of the
elderly as a part of welfare policy, it is necessary to induce optimal use of the financial support from
the government for remodeling for energy efficiency. In particular, green building and eco-friendly
architectural planning approaches emphasizing the improvement of energy performance in buildings
are highly needed in the remodeling of aging buildings as one energy saving strategy, because those
approaches can provide a ‘green upgrade’ in energy performance at a reasonable cost. It is expected
that the result of this research will contribute to increasing knowledge in the domain of energies.
Energies 2018,11, 2031 3 of 10
2. Energy Efficiency and Home Remodeling
2.1. Energy Performance in Buildings
Many building environmental assessment schemes, such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design), BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment
Method), and CASBEE (Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency), have
been developed internationally. There is variation among these assessment schemes both in performance
criteria and the organization of certificate systems [
13
]. Table 1summarizes sustainability-related
evaluation items derived from five certificate systems [
14
,
15
]. The concept of sustainability in housing
often deals with issues such as limited resources, especially energy, to lessen the effects of development
on the natural environment [
2
]. The implementation of sustainability through green building is
important in the built environment because green building can increase building energy performance
and improve the occupants’ health [
10
]. In Table 1, “Thermal environment” includes the control of
temperature and humidity in each space and the use of renewable energy. “Air environment” deals
with the evaluation of air purification, ventilation, and hygiene, considering the ambient conditions
and avoiding the use of hazardous finishing materials. “Light environment” includes the evaluation of
the level of sunshine and natural light within the house, the appropriate level of illumination of the
artificial lighting, and the related equipment. The items related to sustainability in environmentally
friendly buildings and green remodeling are generally associated with the conditions and methods of
maintaining the temperature, air, and light environments of buildings, considering the surrounding
natural conditions, and the equipment plan for the appropriate level and use of renewable energy
resources in controlling the buildings artificially.
Table 1. Evaluation Items of Eco-Friendly Architecture and Green Remodeling.
Certificate System Thermal Environment Air Environment Light Environment
GBCC (Green Building
Certification Criteria)
Use of an automatic thermostat
for each room
Restrain use of
harmful substances Secure sunshine within the house
Degree of ventilation design
LEED (Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design) Supply of heating and cooling Air purification -
Protection from radon
BREEAM (Building Research
Establishment Environmental
Assessment Method)
- - Natural lighting
CASBEE (Comprehensive
Assessment System for Built
Environment Efficiency)
Room temperature, humidity
control, and monitoring
Applicability of the air
environment conforming to
building standards (no smoking,
ventilation, CO2monitoring)
Measurement of anti-glare of
daylighting, illuminance level,
and lighting
Green Remodeling
Insulation for air tightness and
anti-condensation, heat source
equipment, solar heating
equipment,
geothermal equipment
Ventilation for external weather
conditions, ventilation and
control, sanitary equipment,
control equipment
Lighting equipment, photovoltaic
equipment, control equipment
Recent research has been carried out on green remodeling in connection with the improvement
of energy efficiency in buildings. Many researchers have worked on the energy performance related
to remodeling of houses. Wilson and Jacob [
3
] considered the economic aspects of housing energy
efficiency and the health aspects of residents by classifying them according to categories, such as
insulation, windshield, heating repair and relocation, window and door relocation, and ventilation.
For the economic aspects of energy performance, the concept of passive houses using solar panels is
often applied in the remodeling of houses [
16
,
17
]. Harmless finishing materials, carbon monoxide
alarms, and smoke alarms are often suggested in the remodeling of houses considering energy
performance and health [
18
,
19
]. It is desirable to consider the economic and health aspects of
residents in addition to the physical aspect of the environment when supporting energy performance
in remodeling houses. Residents’ overall health could be improved through remodeling that considers
the thermal environment, the air environment, and the light environment. In particular, the monitoring
Energies 2018,11, 2031 4 of 10
of pollutants that determine the IAQ (indoor air quality) could alleviate respiratory diseases, such as
asthma, and hypertension. This would minimize the economic burden of residents by reducing
healthcare costs. Figure 1links the effects of energy efficiency from remodeling with energy
performance in houses.
Energies 2018, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 4 of 10
in remodeling houses. Residents’ overall health could be improved through remodeling that
considers the thermal environment, the air environment, and the light environment. In particular, the
monitoring of pollutants that determine the IAQ (indoor air quality) could alleviate respiratory
diseases, such as asthma, and hypertension. This would minimize the economic burden of residents
by reducing healthcare costs. Figure 1 links the effects of energy efficiency from remodeling with
energy performance in houses.
Figure 1. Correlation of energy performance items and the effect of housing energy efficiency.
There are many different energy-saving strategies that can be implemented in houses. Therefore,
architects often have difficulty prioritizing the application of appropriate strategies in the process of
energy performance improvement and efficient management [10]. To solve this difficulty for energy-
saving strategies, Lechner [20] suggested a three-tier approach including the first tier of basic building
design approaches, the second tier of passive systems, and the third tier of mechanical equipment.
These were classified into categories, such as heating, cooling, and lighting, with detailed elements.
Space area items for heat conservation, solar heat utilization, and detailed plans for heating
equipment were provided for the heating system. Consideration items, such as shadows and colors
for heat prevention, natural cooling techniques, and detailed plans of the cooling equipment were
considered for the cooling system. For the light system, daylight should be secured by considering
windows and interior finishing, and detailed information about related machinery and electrical
equipment should be provided for lighting installation, considering skylights and shadows.
2.2. Home Remodeling for the Elderly
The aging of older people generally manifests as physical, mental, and social dysfunction.
Therefore, a multidimensional approach is needed. Aging is associated with multiple impairments
from three medical perspectives: physical impairment, function impairment, and total impairment
[21]. Previous housing remodeling for the elderly has mainly focused on the modification of the
physical environment. However, it is necessary to consider the non-physical environment using a
multidimensional approach, considering the elderly’s mental and social dysfunction. For example,
Korean standards and manuals for home remodeling have limitations in supporting older people’s
mental and social functions because they are dominated by planning factors for indoor and outdoor
environments. To overcome these limitations, Choi and Park [22] critically reviewed previous
research on the elderly’s housing and the key theories, such as evidence-based design, universal
design, and biophilic design, and proposed nine application areas for remodeling and 43 remodeling
items considering the elderly’s multidimensional characteristics. The nine application areas of
remodeling are furniture planning, openings planning, smart home systems, space planning,
Figure 1. Correlation of energy performance items and the effect of housing energy efficiency.
There are many different energy-saving strategies that can be implemented in houses. Therefore,
architects often have difficulty prioritizing the application of appropriate strategies in the process
of energy performance improvement and efficient management [
10
]. To solve this difficulty for
energy-saving strategies, Lechner [
20
] suggested a three-tier approach including the first tier of basic
building design approaches, the second tier of passive systems, and the third tier of mechanical
equipment. These were classified into categories, such as heating, cooling, and lighting, with detailed
elements. Space area items for heat conservation, solar heat utilization, and detailed plans for heating
equipment were provided for the heating system. Consideration items, such as shadows and colors
for heat prevention, natural cooling techniques, and detailed plans of the cooling equipment were
considered for the cooling system. For the light system, daylight should be secured by considering
windows and interior finishing, and detailed information about related machinery and electrical
equipment should be provided for lighting installation, considering skylights and shadows.
2.2. Home Remodeling for the Elderly
The aging of older people generally manifests as physical, mental, and social dysfunction.
Therefore, a multidimensional approach is needed. Aging is associated with multiple impairments
from three medical perspectives: physical impairment, function impairment, and total impairment [
21
].
Previous housing remodeling for the elderly has mainly focused on the modification of the
physical environment. However, it is necessary to consider the non-physical environment using
a multidimensional approach, considering the elderly’s mental and social dysfunction. For example,
Korean standards and manuals for home remodeling have limitations in supporting older people’s
mental and social functions because they are dominated by planning factors for indoor and outdoor
environments. To overcome these limitations, Choi and Park [
22
] critically reviewed previous research
on the elderly’s housing and the key theories, such as evidence-based design, universal design,
and biophilic design, and proposed nine application areas for remodeling and 43 remodeling items
considering the elderly’s multidimensional characteristics. The nine application areas of remodeling
Energies 2018,11, 2031 5 of 10
are furniture planning, openings planning, smart home systems, space planning, circulation planning,
auxiliary and supporting equipment planning, finishing materials and color planning, lighting
planning, and IAQ planning.
As shown in Table 2, this study deals with six application areas of remodeling related to the
improvement of energy performance in housing for the elderly: openings, space, smart home systems,
material and color, the quality of indoor environment, and lighting. Twelve remodeling items with
detailed elements were derived, focusing on interrelations with energy efficiency.
Table 2.
Remodeling Elements Related to the Improvement of Energy Performance in Housing for
the Elderly.
Remodeling Area Remodeling Item Remodeling Elements 1 2 3 4
A B C D E F G H I J K
Opening: window,
door, gate
View of a natural
ecosystem
Provide natural lighting through
installing side windows, skylights,
and front windows
# #
Smart home system
Indoor
environment/energy
management
Install integrated controller, remote
control device showing energy
usage and meters, sensors around
windows, gate, and
automatic ventilation
# # # # # #
Install occupancy lighting, sensors
and remote controls, and automatic
time lighting
# #
Space area Proper spatial area Optimize spatial areas of rooms
and corridors
Materials and color
Finish materials
Use a matte-type of material to
prevent reflection # # #
Install floor heating for drying
slippery surfaces # #
Color
Use high saturation and low
saturation planning for the main
color scheme
# # #
Use green colors considering
solitude and nervous breakdown #
The quality of the
indoor
environment
Ventilation equipment Install ventilation on top of heating
stand of kitchen # # # #
IAQ
Install sensors monitoring fine dust,
nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide,
carbon dioxide, and VOC
# #
Thermal environment Install sensors monitoring
thermal environment #
Lighting environment Install sensors monitoring
illuminance and luminance # # #
Lighting
Light for
behavioral support
Install devices adjusting
illumination control and safety
lighting for stairs and steps on floors
and provide average illumination
(600–1000 lx) for the elderly
# #
Natural lighting
Provide a lively environment with
nature through various lights and
shadows using windows and blinds
# # #
Artificial lighting
equipment for safety
Install a wall light fixture on the
vanity mirror and install bottom
lighting for moving line at night
# #
1: Heating, 2: Cooling, 3: Lighting, 4: Ventilation. A: Thermal Preservation, B: Solar Heat, C: Heating Equipment,
D: Heat Dissipation, E: Natural Cooling, F: Cooling Equipment, G: Daylight, H: Natural Lighting, I: Artificial
Lighting, J: Indoor Air, K: Ventilation.
For the openings of the housing for the elderly, adequate space, easy opening and closing of
handles and locks, and views for observing changes in natural ecosystems should be provided [
23
26
].
Barrier-free space planning that considers the mobility of the elderly should be developed by securing
appropriate space in private rooms and passages and effective space. In addition, it is desirable
to induce spiritual and psychological healing by creating natural ecosystems in the space [
27
29
].
Through smart home systems, such as sensors, devices, and controllers that support the health,
culture, and leisure of the elderly, the management of indoor environments and energy, household
activities, security and safety, and the physical, mental, and social functions of the elderly could be
Energies 2018,11, 2031 6 of 10
supported [
3
,
30
]. Taking into account the color discrimination capability and responses of the elderly,
finishing materials and color plans that support the elderly’s mental health, such as stress, depression,
and memory assistance, should be developed [
10
,
31
36
]. The lighting plan should consider proper
illumination of artificial lighting to support the elderly’s work and activities and local lighting of
stairways and floors for guidance at night [
35
]. Natural lighting is an important factor that could
allow the elderly to recognize changes in time and relieve their depression [
36
]. The IAQ in bedrooms
affects older people’s sleep efficiency and, therefore, it is necessary to link IAQ sensors to automatic
ventilation systems. In addition, it is very important for older people’s houses to have sensors to
measure noise, light, and heat to prevent the elderly from being exposed to harmful environments and
to facilitate the management of the indoor environment and energy in houses integrally through the
Internet of Things (IoT) [19].
3. A Framework for Green Remodeling Enabling Energy Efficiency in Housing for the Elderly
This study proposes the framework for green remodeling enabling energy efficiency for housing
for the elderly, including six application areas and detailed remodeling elements. The key benefit of
the proposed system is that it will provide stakeholders with a guideline for developing a remodeling
process for housing for the elderly that focuses on energy efficiency and healthy living. In the
remodeling process, stakeholders should consider the life-cycle costs of energy-saving in addition to the
initial cost by reducing the operation and maintenance costs of housing. Although it is hard to provide
quantification of the costs associated with the proposed process, it is expected that energy-efficient
remodeling provides many benefits in terms of maintenance costs by decreasing the life-cycle cost of
housing. Thus, the expansion of energy-efficient remodeling strategies for existing buildings is critical
to green home upgrades in terms of energy performance. In this paper, an energy-efficient remodeling
process is developed to facilitate energy-saving strategies for existing buildings.
Considering the multidimensional features of the elderly, the remodeling process of the housing
for the elderly should be different from the remodeling process of other housing. As shown in
Table 2, for the process of remodeling of housing for the elderly, the application areas and the items
of remodeling should reflect the elderly’s physical, mental, and social dysfunctions. The proposed
remodeling items and elements for the elderly could improve the physical and mental function of the
elderly and also economic efficiency by optimizing energy consumption. In this way, it could reduce
the medical costs of the elderly.
Figure 2illustrates the three components of the remodeling system that enable energy efficiency in
the housing for the elderly. The first component includes remodeling planning items related to cooling,
heating, lighting, and ventilation of housing, and is focused on the sustainability of buildings to save
energy. The second component includes remodeling planning factors and items that are relevant
to energy efficiency that consider the multidimensional nature of the elderly. The third component
presents the economic and health effects on the elderly, considering the correlation between the first and
second components mentioned above. The proposed remodeling process for energy-efficient housing
for the elderly consists of 20 items of detailed plans related to the improvement of energy performance
in terms of the heating, cooling, light, and ventilation, as well as factors such as planning of space
areas, finishing and color, lighting, smart indoor environments, and integrated energy management.
Overall, it was found that lighting planning, finishing and color planning, smart indoor environment
control, and installation of energy management systems play an important role in the improvement of
housing energy performance.
First, the planning of space areas considers the optimized area of each room and the movement of
the older person who may have physical difficulties. Second, the planning of lighting and illuminance
includes designing the indoor environment to admit sufficient natural light to recognize seasonal and
temporal change and also includes controlling the lighting automatically. Natural light is critical to the
elderly’s mental stability because it can attract nature to the indoor space through changes in light
and shadow. The inflow of natural light relates to the selection of floor finish. It is necessary to use
Energies 2018,11, 2031 7 of 10
a matte finish with low reflection to prevent glare. In the case of artificial lighting, it is necessary
to install sensors in steps or stairways of the indoor environment to consider the elderly person’s
safety. Bottom lighting is necessary to prevent sudden glare at night. Third, regarding the planning
of finishing materials and color, finishing materials with low reflectance should be selected to secure
visibility for the elderly. Finishing materials suitable for floor heating equipment that can dry surfaces
should be selected to prevent slippage in the bathroom. The planning of color should consider a
green-based color scheme to relieve the solitude and any possible nervous breakdowns of the elderly.
Colors of high and low saturation are needed for the main color plan, which should consider color
reactions, such as the yellow change phenomenon of the elderly. Finally, planning of the smart indoor
environment and energy management includes the installation of an automatic ventilation system
for maintaining the quality of the indoor environment, sensors for monitoring harmful substances,
such as fine dust, VOC, and carbon oxide, and a controller.
Energies 2018, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 7 of 10
First, the planning of space areas considers the optimized area of each room and the movement
of the older person who may have physical difficulties. Second, the planning of lighting and
illuminance includes designing the indoor environment to admit sufficient natural light to recognize
seasonal and temporal change and also includes controlling the lighting automatically. Natural light
is critical to the elderly’s mental stability because it can attract nature to the indoor space through
changes in light and shadow. The inflow of natural light relates to the selection of floor finish. It is
necessary to use a matte finish with low reflection to prevent glare. In the case of artificial lighting, it
is necessary to install sensors in steps or stairways of the indoor environment to consider the elderly
person’s safety. Bottom lighting is necessary to prevent sudden glare at night. Third, regarding the
planning of finishing materials and color, finishing materials with low reflectance should be selected
to secure visibility for the elderly. Finishing materials suitable for floor heating equipment that can
dry surfaces should be selected to prevent slippage in the bathroom. The planning of color should
consider a green-based color scheme to relieve the solitude and any possible nervous breakdowns of
the elderly. Colors of high and low saturation are needed for the main color plan, which should
consider color reactions, such as the yellow change phenomenon of the elderly. Finally, planning of
the smart indoor environment and energy management includes the installation of an automatic
ventilation system for maintaining the quality of the indoor environment, sensors for monitoring
harmful substances, such as fine dust, VOC, and carbon oxide, and a controller.
Figure 2. A remodeling system enabling energy efficiency in the housing for the elderly.
Most importantly, to support the declining memory of the elderly, an integrated controller for
the thermal environment and lighting should be provided to manage energy efficiently, in addition
to a remote energy meter reading. Many older people have chronic diseases, such as respiratory
diseases, asthma, and hypertension. Therefore, plans to efficiently manage ventilation equipment,
heating, and cooling are needed. The plan to maximize natural ventilation through proper
positioning of openings is significant.
4. Discussion
The results of this research are as follows.
First, for this research, the relation between items of heating, cooling, light, and ventilation
associated with the improvement of housing energy performance and items of housing remodeling
that consider the elderly’s characteristics was examined. Details of remodeling of housing for the
Figure 2. A remodeling system enabling energy efficiency in the housing for the elderly.
Most importantly, to support the declining memory of the elderly, an integrated controller for
the thermal environment and lighting should be provided to manage energy efficiently, in addition
to a remote energy meter reading. Many older people have chronic diseases, such as respiratory
diseases, asthma, and hypertension. Therefore, plans to efficiently manage ventilation equipment,
heating, and cooling are needed. The plan to maximize natural ventilation through proper positioning
of openings is significant.
4. Discussion
The results of this research are as follows.
First, for this research, the relation between items of heating, cooling, light, and ventilation
associated with the improvement of housing energy performance and items of housing remodeling
that consider the elderly’s characteristics was examined. Details of remodeling of housing for the
elderly were presented based on various theories, such as a barrier-free, universal design considering
the safety and convenience of the physical environment, evidence-based design considering the
diverse characteristics of the elderly, biophilic design, and smart housing services. From this integrated
viewpoint, the clue to a housing remodeling process that considers energy performance and efficiency
Energies 2018,11, 2031 8 of 10
was derived for promoting the health of the elderly. Second, the details of remodeling of houses for
the elderly to improve energy performance were derived in terms of space area planning, lighting
planning, material and color planning, smart indoor environment, and energy management. This study
emphasized the four items and details as the most effective way to improve energy performance and
efficiency in the remodeling of housing for the elderly. Finally, the four remodeling factors that should
be considered first in the proposed remodeling process emphasize effective planning methods in
connection with energy efficiency to maintain the health of the elderly, leading to a reduction in the
medical expenses for the elderly. That is, the green remodeling process for energy-efficient housing for
the elderly should be carried out considering the economic and health effects on the elderly.
Previous studies have addressed the improvement of energy performance in home remodeling
for the general population. This study dealt specifically with energy efficiency in the remodeling
of housing for the elderly. Although all people are interested in the efficient use and management
of energy, it would be very expensive to plan all the details for remodeling by the government or
individuals. It is necessary to determine specific remodeling items that are more effective and efficient
for the elderly’s housing. It is expected that improving the energy performance of houses for the
elderly, who account for the largest proportion of the population at the national level, could save
energy resources at national and global levels, leading to an economically effective outcome. It is
expected that the health cost saving through the maintenance of healthy living will be effective because
the remodeling details consider the multidimensional health of the elderly. In this research, the role of
designers is emphasized and it is argued that intelligent housing, using IT-based technology, should be
planned, in addition to improving the physical environment of the house for energy efficiency. Mental
health of the elderly should also be improved via nature for healthy living, as the improvement in
energy efficiency should be attained using natural means.
5. Conclusions
Because of rapid industrial development, environmental problems are becoming social issues to
be solved. There is a great interest in sustainable development that can conserve resources and energy.
There is an increasing interest in developing architectural plans focused on sustainability to slow
the aging of buildings or improve functioning through the remodeling process. In the case of newly
constructed buildings, it is difficult to maintain surrounding environments because of construction
waste. This research highlights the need for a green remodeling system for housing for the elderly
to be further refined to link the energy performance of housing to health effects. Energy efficiency
could play a critical role in the improvement of energy consumption and in achieving sustainable
development. Therefore, there should be a connection between energy-efficient design and sustainable
housing development.
This study dealt with a home remodeling plan for the improvement of energy efficiency
while considering the elderly’s characteristics and experiences. The development of a sustainable
architectural environment is very important for the efficient management and use of energy. Recently,
in the field of building energy performance, the approach to the improvement of energy efficiency has
changed from a passive to an active perspective. Buildings should be planned from the viewpoint of
human-centered design, considering residents in new building construction or building remodeling.
From this point of view, this study is significant because it proposed a green remodeling process
for a healthy, functional, and affordable living environment for older people by improving energy
efficiency in housing. It targeted residents who constitute a large proportion of our society—the
elderly. The conceptual approach of the green remodeling in this study emphasizes the strength of
remodeling of housing for the elderly for smart energy savings from the construction and architectural
perspectives. Energy-efficient home upgrades are critical for successful energy management of their
homes and their health and wellbeing. Since it is difficult for the elderly to identify how they would
apply a green remodeling process in their housing, we have tried to develop more specific remodeling
solutions for energy management and to encourage the recognition and participation of the elderly
Energies 2018,11, 2031 9 of 10
through consulting led by government agencies. Remodeling rather than constructing new buildings
is considered to be sustainable and, from the viewpoint of continuity theory in the field of gerontology,
aging in place is considered to maintain the total health of the elderly. The research themes emphasized
in this study were different from those of other studies.
Author Contributions:
Formal analysis: S.J.P.; Funding acquisition: S.J.P. and M.J.K.; Investigation: S.J.P.;
Supervision: M.J.K.; Writing—original draft: S.J.P. and M.J.K.; Writing—review and editing: M.J.K.
Funding:
This research was funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant (the Korean government
fund) NRF-2016R1A2B4007752 and NRF-2018R1C1B6008735.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access
article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution
(CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
... Rainwater harvesting system (RHS) 2 [79,81] Three-dimensional (3D) surround speaker [55] Smart glass [55,83] 1, 2 Most of the paper sources for the elements of smart-home devices were literature review papers. The terms of devices were attuned to maintain consistent terminology, and these were newly established in this study. ...
... Environmental sensor Luminance sensor [77,80] Environmental controller and actuator HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system [60,81] Smart devices and system Smart guide lighting [77,80] Artificial sunlight [23,90] Projector lamp [55] 3. ...
... Nature-immersed contents VR/AR display Wearable devices (HMD, EGD, etc.) [73,85] Screen display (FogScreen, wall display, invisible display) [83,86] Smart devices and system PC/mobile devices [60,62] Haptic actuator [85,101] Collaboration system with nature Smart devices and system Smart kitchen and toilet [82,91] Natural energy reproduction system (NERS) 1 [91,102] Rainwater recycling system (RRS) 2 [79,81] 1, 2 Most of the paper sources for the elements of smart-home devices were literature review papers. The terms of devices were attuned to maintain consistent terminology, and these were newly established in this study. ...
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