Urging green retrofits of building facades in the tropics: A review and research agenda

Wan Thing Hong*, Kamaruddin Ibrahim, Siaw-Chuing Loo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
191 Downloads (Pure)


Green building development creates many opportunities for meeting the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, most green buildings are new builds rather than retrofitted existing buildings. This may become an impediment for green development progress, as the issues of deforestation and land preservation remain unresolved. Green retrofitting of building facades is one of the most effective passive design strategies and permits perennial benefits for building energy performance, cost savings, and positive environmental impacts. There are a wide range of facade retrofit technologies readily available on the market at relatively low cost that require little installation time and yet can achieve similar energy performance levels as new green buildings. Notwithstanding these advantages, the uptake rates for these are moderately low. The challenges to widely implementing facade retrofitting of Malaysian office buildings are foreseen as holistic and include not just engineering and construction activities, but also social, economic, environmental, and governmental support. This paper aims to review the focus and direction of green development in the Malaysian construction industry and subsequently propose a research agenda for the rapid adoption of green facade retrofitting for local office buildings. The research agenda will commence with a survey on key factors that impede the uptake of green facade retrofitting, and then conducts energy simulations for contemporary green facade technologies (GFTs) using Building Information Modelling (BIM) software. It finally develops a decision-making tool for GFT selection based on simulated energy performance data and the key factors associated with building owners' considerations and expectations of facade retrofitting. The final research output is expected to act as a catalyst to spur green development progress by identifying the real issues faced by the prevailing construction industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1140-1149
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2019


  • Building facade
  • Decision-making
  • Energy saving
  • Green retrofit
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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