Analysis of the Environmental Impact of the Energy Retrofitting Carried Out in a Low-income Residential Neighbourhood. The Case of Juan XXIII in Alicante, Spain

Begoña Serrano-Lanzarote*, Laura Soto Francés, Leticia Ortega Madrigal, Alejandra García-Prieto Ruiz
School of Architecture, Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera, s/n. 46022 Valencia, Spain

© 2017 Serrano-Lanzarote et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Architecture, Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera, s/n. 46022 Valencia, Spain; Tel: 679523150; Fax: +34 961207542; E-mails:,


This article presents the analysis of the improvement measures applied on an energy retrofitting carried out to 324 dwellings built in 1967 at Juan XXIII neighbourhood in Alicante (Spain). The impact on consumption reduction and the cost of each measure are shown. The neighbourhood presents significant levels of urban obsolescence, partly motivated by the poor constructive quality caused by the intense rhythm followed during its construction. Furthermore, at that time, Spain lacked specific regulations on energy saving issues. The latter is the reason why the buildings have an evident inefficient behaviour. In addition to all this, there is a significant social and economic vulnerability in the neighbourhood, with dysfunctional families and high unemployment levels.

All of the stages of the retrofitting process are presented, starting from the identification and characterization of constructive elements in their original state to the analysis of the improvement measures and the energy evaluation and used tools. Finally, these are demonstrated as the improvements in energy efficiency can produce a better quality life for the inhabitants, constituting a powerful strategy to dignify a neighbourhood, from environmental, social and economic aspects.

Keywords: Case study, Energy retrofit, Low-income housing, Passive measures, Thermal comfort.