Building Renovation Challenge, practical approaches

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This paper sets out the findings of a workshop which involved experts from EU-funded projects, organised around four parallel sessions.

The European building sector is fragmented and not yet able to offer holistic solutions for deep renovation at acceptable cost and quality. The building process usually involves multiple separated disciplines, which leads to additional costs and risk of failure. The renovation market is principally supply driven which can lead to a mismatch between the offered products and the end-user’s needs. Many customers see high operating costs and poor environment as an acceptable alternative to the time-consuming, disruptive and risky renovation process. Further research and demonstration efforts are necessary in various domains relating to building renovation.

While most renovation decisions are taken at building level by individual owners, optimal integration of RES often requires planning and implementation at a district scale. This escalates from a single stakeholder decision to a multi-stakeholder decision. More research and demonstration is required relating to district level renewable energy sources (RES), more analysis and assessment of existing demonstrations, more opportunities for districts to learn from each other’s best practice.

It is important that the market has trust in Energy Performance Certificates (EPC). Improved monitoring is needed to assess the correctness of EPC predictions. Policies could consider requiring Member States to set up monitoring campaigns that randomly check the relation between predicted and measured consumption, and developing a common methodology for such assessments, and incorporating them in European databases.

Decision making in building renovation is influenced by a number of non-technical stakeholders. We need to recognise who these stakeholders are, what drives them and what barriers they face. We need to focus attention more broadly on the multiple benefits of energy renovation and continue efforts to raise awareness.

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