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Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 987; doi:10.3390/su8100987

A Reflection on Low Energy Renovation of Residential Complexes in Southern Europe

1
Civil Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, LFC-CONSTRUCT, Laboratory of Building Physics, University of Porto, Porto 4200-465, Portugal
2
Civil Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, CITTA—Research Centre for Territory, Transports and Environment, University of Porto, Porto 4200-465, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Joanne Patterson and Derek Sinnott
Received: 30 July 2016 / Revised: 15 September 2016 / Accepted: 24 September 2016 / Published: 30 September 2016
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Abstract

The transformation of European existing building stock towards very low energy buildings requires a new approach. In this context, it seems reasonable to think that buildings should no longer be renovated individually but as part of a global energy system. Focusing on larger urban units may present some scale advantages and may constitute an opportunity to change the urban environment in a smart energy way. Specificities of Southern European countries are addressed. Due either to the climate or the life style, there are large differences in energy consumption per dwelling among southern and northern European countries. How much heating energy will be saved by over-insulating building envelopes if people do not feel the need to heat their houses in the first place? In addition, real energy use in buildings frequently shows major differences with respect to the predicted consumption. The definition of realistic solutions demands the availability of realistic predictions. A case of a residential complex in Portugal is used to illustrate the main questions and to conclude that moving from a building to a group of buildings scale may be an interesting challenge for policy makers to look closer in the near future. View Full-Text
Keywords: low-energy renovation; residential complex; southern Europe; renewable energy low-energy renovation; residential complex; southern Europe; renewable energy
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Corvacho, H.; Brandão Alves, F.; Rocha, C. A Reflection on Low Energy Renovation of Residential Complexes in Southern Europe. Sustainability 2016, 8, 987.

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