Technical, Financial, and Social Barriers and Challenges in Deep Building Renovation: Integration of Lessons Learned from the H2020 Cluster Projects
1.1. Deep Renovation
- either more than 25% of the surface of the building envelope undergoes renovation
- Fewer builders needed on site: Installation time is 1 prefabricated module element (20 m2) per hour (with 3 installation crew member employed on site);
- Faster lead time: the total installation time will be cut to 1 day for the deep retrofit of the façade of the demo building (200 m2) and maximum 31 days for the intervention of an entire apartment block;
- Use of BIM in the construction process that will reduce errors and clashes;
- Use of Plug&Play HVAC and ICTs integrated in the prefabricated modules.
1.2. State-of-the-art Deep Renovation Solutions in EU Funded Projects
- Development of an assessment approach, enabling the development and the testing of technical progress of state-of-the-art technologies;
- Development of guidelines, including the transfer of knowledge and skills, to be delivered and disseminated among all the EU community (researchers, practitioners, building industry, technology vendors, and producers, etc.)
- Better knowledge and understating for the building industry on properties and duration of advanced materials, to enhance the performance of their products/concepts, as well as calculation methodologies, assessments, and testing procedures.
- Benefits for the industry sector include the validation of integrated solutions enabling better collaboration among companies supplying different technologies to be integrated and utilization of each other’s competencies, products, and experiences.
1.3. Main Barriers Encountered in EU Deep Renovation Projects
- Technical barriers;
- Financial barriers;
- Social barriers.
1.3.1. Review of Technical Challenges
1.3.2. Review of Financial Challenges
1.3.3. Review of Social Challenges
2. The H2020 Cluster Projects Initiative
- 4RinEU: Robust and Reliable technology concepts and business models for triggering deep Renovation of Residential buildings in EU (http://4RinEU.eu/)
- P2ENDURE: Plug-and-Play solutions for Energy-efficiency deep renovation of European building stock (https://www.p2endure-project.eu/en)
- Pro-GET-OnE: Integration of Plug-and-Play solutions and users’ centered approach to solving both energy and seismic requirements during deep renovation of residential buildings (https://www.progetone.eu/)
- MORE-CONNECT: Development and advanced prefabrication of innovative, multifunctional building envelope elements for MOdular REtrofitting and CONNECTions (https://www.more-connect.eu/)
- To share barriers and strategies to overcome with respect to deep renovation in EU;
- To keep up to date with knowledge, practices and learn among each other;
- To co-create new approaches, project ideas;
- To enhance knowledge and technology transfer, as every partner is not only involved in EU projects but also in the implementation of the latest developments;
- To identify synergies among projects that may lead to specific collaborative work.
3. The Projects Cluster Workshop
3.1. Technical Aspects
- decrease the assembly risks on site and the impact of human error, since most of the work is done in the controlled environment of the factory
- enhance the level of performance of the technologies installed (in comparison to the predicted ones), since the quality control of the components is performed in the factory
- minimize the design and production process faults thanks to standard products (dimensions and shape) and optimized, automated production.
3.2. Financial Aspects
3.3. Social Aspects
- There is the need for a multiple solution approach to unlock the deep renovation market (residential)—political support (more obligation, more supporting schemes), proactive promoters (better offer), more aware occupants (knowledge about the co-benefits, engagement, etc.).
- There is the need for different approaches according to the users. If we deal with a social housing company, a housing company, or a condominium, it may be quite different to have the users’ engagement. It would be particularly interesting to be able to identify the “early adopters”, the most prepared/convinced communities, as the effort (in time and money) will be less. We may ask ourselves “How can we detect the most prepared occupants/owners?”
- Health is dependent on many aspects (food, lifestyle, environment, buildings, etc.). Certainly the population is not aware enough of the importance of “environmentally healthy buildings and cities”. Effective practices to communicate with the users about the relative importance of these factors among other healthy aspects still need to be isolated and studied.
- what is relevant for people in their homes;
- why they decide to renovate and what are their expectations;
- their awareness of seismic safety and energy efficiency issues;
- the added value in terms of real estate increase of the building after the renovation to counterbalance the economic costs of investment.
- Building confidence and having enhanced communication possibilities among the involved actors and inhabitants. In addition, early users’ involvement and personal contacts are key aspects to consider.
- Taking into account the users’ needs and motivations, as well as the social climate at the site.
- The renovation should imply more building value and improved aesthetics.
- It is important to explain and emphasize the benefits to health and wellbeing.
- It is useful to set up training or education programs to increase awareness about climate change, energy efficiency, and seismic safety. More mature communities in terms of sustainability awareness may engage more readily in deep renovation processes.
- Leadership inside the concerned community may inspire others, so an already trained and trusty person can reduce some resistance.
- Increase in rent is not well perceived, especially when vulnerable homes are concerned.
4. Open Questions and Future Guidelines
- To what extent can the existing technical solutions and current inhabitants’ motivations respond to the need for a more resilient built environment (energy and/or seismic)?
- What channels to reach out to demand-side and supply-side users for deep renovation technologies?
- Do plug and play solutions actually work for deep renovation practices at the large scale?
- Are an engaged team (including users) and technical solutions enough?
- To which extent do we need policy and financial support to support penetration of deep renovation practices in the EU market?
- Are national/local political and financial schemes needed to speed up deep renovation? If so, what key issues should they include?
- What type of financial instrument will be most effective to encourage the owners to undergo a deep renovation process?
- What lessons have we learned from previous H2020 projects that can contribute to transforming theoretical findings into successful commercial products for the wider EU market upscale?
- Education/awareness programs are useful, but not enough alone, nor quick to implement.
- What trigger points will encourage inhabitants to take action beyond climate change?
- How to identify early adopters, i.e., the most prepared users, condominium, housing company to foster the innovation spill-over effect?
- How much flexibility/freedom is needed/should be provided to end-users to ensure performance and effectiveness of interventions?
- What needs (of the different actors) in the deep renovation process are not covered yet?
- Do the trigger points/drivers for renovation change a lot among countries? Which ones are common?
- Which is the best way to engage the building occupants? At which stage of the deep renovation?
- How can we manage that users perceive the direct and indirect benefits of a deep renovation?
- Is a facilitator or brokerage service between stakeholders involved in the renovation process needed?
- In general, deep energy renovation needs a participative approach with early involvement of the user. This means a higher cost in terms of integrated design and analyses dealing with social aspects, which are time-consuming. These costs need to be foreseen taking into account the starting situation. Therefore, a community already mature in terms of environmental motivations and social cooperation will be easier to integrate into the process, thus less costly in terms of investment costs.
- Innovative technologies may cause reluctance from users. Additional communication effort is needed to build trust within residents and communities.
- In terms of life-cycle cost, a higher investment in communication and social activities aimed at building trust and engaging the users may have a positive impact in both the designing and operation phase, because of fewer conflicts, blocking points and unexpected changes.
- Interest to shift from cost-optimal technologies to cost-optimal processes, including non-technological costs that may influence positively or negatively the adoption of innovative renovation technologies.
- The point of renovating while keeping the users inside their homes seems interesting, but it has appeared to be conflicting in many cases (noise, disturbances), even for short renovation periods. The business plan of the renovation needs to consider the cost of relocating people, since it can have a huge impact according to the site location and residence availability.
- Socially-related costs in terms of initial investment in enhanced communication and similar are often taken in charge by research projects or by internal commercial/R&D budgets, because of promoting new markets or because of social interest. However, it may be considered a wider general need, instead of counting on specific punctual programs.
- Aggregation of demand is a good strategy for both reducing investment and social costs.
- Taking into consideration the initial motivations of owners and tenants as regards environmental, energy and safety issues represents a positive driver.
- To include, in the renovation business plan, the costs needed to overcome social barriers such as lack of trust, lack of energy culture, lack of future vision. These costs may include training sessions, participative strategies, integrated design and many on-site visits to build a confident relationship between inhabitants and key stakeholders. These actions may need more or less effort depending on the initial situation and may need multi-disciplinary teams dealing with technical and social aspects at the same time.
- A design approach in which the energy calculation is just one isolated step of the decision making process is no longer suitable in the concept of nZEB renovation. Energy and cost optimality calculations must be used in parallel with the definition of the technical solutions, already in the early stage of design.
5. Concluding Remarks
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|Time (h/sqm)||Construction Time (days)|
|Off-Site Manufacturing||On-Site Assembly||Total Assembly||Off-Site Manufacturing||On-Site Assembly||Total Construction|
|Traditional Glass Facade system||0||0.6||0.60||0||15||15|
|Plug and Play Transparent Module||0.06||0.09||0.15||2||2||4|
|Traditional prefabricated facade panel||0.05||0.05||0.10||31||31||63||−18%|
|Plug and Play solution||0.05||0.04||0.09||31||25||56|
|Funding Scheme||Type of Action||Project Name||Solutions|
Collaborative Project targeted to a special group
|Retrofitting methodology for public buildings including existing available and newly developed innovative solutions.|
Coordination and Support Action
|ABRACADABRA (2016–2019) http://www.abracadabra-project.eu/||Renovation strategy coupling Adore, Assistant Building unit(s)—like aside or façade addictions, rooftop extensions or new building construction, with a densification retrofit policy|
Small or medium-scale focused research project
|Nanotechnology-based, multi-functional and climate-adaptive panels consisting of 3 elements: lightweight concrete with Nano-additives for efficient thermal storage and load-bearing capacity; adaptable polymer materials for switchable thermal resistance; and total heat exchanger with nanostructured membrane for temperature, moisture, and anti-bacterial control.|
|High energy performance timber prefabricated modules, a tool for mass manufacturing and holistic methodologies for the renovation process, from data collecting to installation.|
Research and Innovation action
|BRESAER (2015–2019) http://www.bresaer.eu/||Coupled cost-effective, adaptable, low-intrusive and industrialized envelope (for façades and roofs) with an innovative Building Energy Management System|
|H2020||IA||BuildHEAT (2015–2019) http://www.buildheat.eu/||Standardized approaches and products for the systemic retrofit of residential buildings, focusing on heating and cooling consumptions attenuation.|
|FP7||CP-FP||CETIEB (2011–2014) http://www.cetieb.eu/SitePages/Home.aspx||Monitoring, control systems, and modeling tools of retrofitted indoor environments.|
|A systemic retrofit solution including the use of ventilated façade system, heat recovery units, photovoltaic cells, natural lighting and envelope insulation strategies.|
Large-scale integrating project
|Toolkit for envelope retrofit in existing multi-story and multi-owner buildings combined with novel design and assessment strategies, with scaffolding-free installation approaches.|
|Curtain wall system with lightweight (35% weight reduction) and highly insulating energy efficient glass modular components|
|FP7||CP-IP||HERB (2012–2016) http://www.euroretrofit.com/||Holistic energy-efficient retrofitting of residential buildings|
|Pre-fabricated retrofitting modules supported by a BIM-based Iterative Design Methodology (IDM)|
|Intuitive self-inspection techniques using augmented reality for construction, refurbishment and maintenance of energy-efficient buildings made of prefabricated components|
|Systemic renovation packages for residential and tertiary buildings|
|FP7||CP-IP||MeeFS (2012–2016) http://www.meefs-retrofitting.eu/||Multifunctional energy efficient facade system for residential buildings’ retrofits|
|H2020||IA||MORE-CONNECT (2014–2018) www.more-connect.eu/||Prefabricated, multifunctional renovation elements for the total building envelope (façade and roof) and installation/building services.|
|H2020||IA||NewTREND (2015–2018) http://newtrend-project.eu/||Integrated design methods|
|Smart and integrated NZEB renovation measures for nZEB|
|H2020||IA||OptEEmal (2015–2019) https://www.opteemal-project.eu/||Optimised Energy Efficient Design Platform for Refurbishment at District Level|
|H2020||IA||P2Endure (2016–2020) https://www.p2endure-project.eu/en||Prefabricated Plug-and-Play (PnP) systems enabled by 3D printing, laser, and thermal scanning integrated with Building Information Model (BIM) for deep renovation of building envelopes and technical systems.|
|One-stop-shop model for energy renovations|
|Smart services, technical solutions, energy-based communities|
|Multifunctional, modular, low cost and easy to install prefabricated modules|
|H2020||RIA||RE4 (2016–2020) http://www.re4.eu/||Reuse and Recycling of CDW materials and structures in energy efficient prefabricated elements for building refurbishment and construction|
|Public funding from Wood Wisdom-Net Research.||SMARTEST||Innovation in timber construction for the modernization of the building envelope|
|TES||Systematically process of surveying, renovation planning, construction and maintenance of the building stock using prefabricated large sized timber frame elements. Targeted at the refurbishment of the existing building stock built from 1950’s to 1980’s.|
|H2020||RIA||VEEP (2016–2020) http://www.veep-project.eu/||Cost-Effective Recycling of CDW in High Added Value Energy Efficient Prefabricated Concrete Components for Massive Retrofitting of our Built Environment|
|H2020||CSA||TransitionZero (2016–2018) http://transition-zero.eu/||Net zero refurbishment solutions integrating standardized design of pre-fabricated technological modules and mass-production with innovative business case for housing associations|
|IEE||ZEBRA 2020 (2014–2016) http://zebra2020.eu/||Monitoring system of market uptake of refurbished nZEB including data collection and recommendations|
|FP7||IA||4RinEU (2016–2020) http://4RinEU.eu/||Robust and Reliable technology concepts and business models for triggering deep Renovation of Residential buildings in EU.|
|Project||Pre-Fab||BMS-ICT||RES||BIM BPSM||Multi-Benefit||HVAC||Advanced Geomatics||3D Print||Smart Connector|
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D’Oca, S.; Ferrante, A.; Ferrer, C.; Pernetti, R.; Gralka, A.; Sebastian, R.; Op ‘t Veld, P. Technical, Financial, and Social Barriers and Challenges in Deep Building Renovation: Integration of Lessons Learned from the H2020 Cluster Projects. Buildings 2018, 8, 174. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120174
D’Oca S, Ferrante A, Ferrer C, Pernetti R, Gralka A, Sebastian R, Op ‘t Veld P. Technical, Financial, and Social Barriers and Challenges in Deep Building Renovation: Integration of Lessons Learned from the H2020 Cluster Projects. Buildings. 2018; 8(12):174. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120174Chicago/Turabian Style
D’Oca, Simona, Annarita Ferrante, Clara Ferrer, Roberta Pernetti, Anna Gralka, Rizal Sebastian, and Peter Op ‘t Veld. 2018. "Technical, Financial, and Social Barriers and Challenges in Deep Building Renovation: Integration of Lessons Learned from the H2020 Cluster Projects" Buildings 8, no. 12: 174. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120174