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This Old Home: Retrofitting the Soviet Khrushchyovka

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The aging apartment blocks (nicknamed “khrushchyovka”, or plural “khrushchyovki” for Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev) of the former USSR are facing demolition, despite the fact that many low income families still depend on these units for housing. This paper researches the

The aging apartment blocks (nicknamed “khrushchyovka”, or plural “khrushchyovki” for Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev) of the former USSR are facing demolition, despite the fact that many low income families still depend on these units for housing. This paper researches the development of the khrushchyovka and its estate leading up to the post-Soviet period and examines case studies to assess how these buildings can be modernized to spare them from demolition and to continue to serve as a reliable low-cost housing option. Studying how other projects have addressed similar problems in their architecture, these findings will be synthesized to present a full but minimally invasive khrushchyovka retrofit prototype, with improvements that will culminate in a more energy efficient, sustainable, and comfortable living environment for residents. This prototype provides a standardized template of services and improvements to be made, and can be adjusted to include specific features that meet the needs of a certain climate or location. In the early 1960s during the Khrushchev administration, these housing blocks made from prefabricated insulated concrete panels were constructed all over the USSR to alleviate housing shortages. A lot of them have an in practice service life of 150 years, meaning that many are incredibly durable with millions of people still living in them today. With their small size (ranging from 323 to 646 ft² depending on the number of bedrooms), they continue to be a suitable housing choice for low income small families and young people (Aliashkevich 31). Amid the threat of demolition to make way for cheaply made luxury-priced condos, many residents in the former USSR contend that their beloved khrushchyovki should be preserved (Watson), as they still have the capacity to be renovated in the interest of energy efficiency, cost savings, and community comfort.

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2021-12

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The Effects of an Energy Efficiency Retrofit on Indoor Air Quality

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To investigate the impacts of an energy efficiency retrofit, indoor air quality and resident health were evaluated at a low‐income senior housing apartment complex in Phoenix, Arizona, before and after a green energy building renovation. Indoor and outdoor air quality

To investigate the impacts of an energy efficiency retrofit, indoor air quality and resident health were evaluated at a low‐income senior housing apartment complex in Phoenix, Arizona, before and after a green energy building renovation. Indoor and outdoor air quality sampling was carried out simultaneously with a questionnaire to characterize personal habits and general health of residents. Measured indoor formaldehyde levels before the building retrofit routinely exceeded reference exposure limits, but in the long‐term follow‐up sampling, indoor formaldehyde decreased for the entire study population by a statistically significant margin. Indoor PM levels were dominated by fine particles and showed a statistically significant decrease in the long‐term follow‐up sampling within certain resident subpopulations (i.e. residents who report smoking and residents who had lived longer at the apartment complex).

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2015