Building energy renovation quotas are not currently being met due to unfavorable conditions such as complex building regulations, limited investment incentives, historical preservation priorities, and technical limitations. The traditional strategy has been to incrementally lower the energy consumption of the building stock, instead of raising the efficiency of the energy supply through a broader use of renewable sources. This strategy requires an integral redefinition of the approach to energy building renovations. The joint project SWIVT elaborates on a district redevelopment strategy that combines a reduction in the energy demand of existing buildings and their physical interconnection within a local micro-grid and heating network. The district is equipped with energy generation and distribution technologies as well as hybrid thermal and electrical energy storage systems, steered by an optimizing energy management controller. This strategy is explored through three scenarios designed for an existing residential area in Darmstadt, Germany, and benchmarked against measured data. Presented findings show that a total primary energy balance at least 30% lower than that of a standard building renovation can be achieved by a cluster of buildings with different thermal qualities and connected energy generation, conversion, and storage systems, with only minimal physical intervention to existing buildings.
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