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Special Issue "Sustainable Renovation and Energy Retrofit in Buildings"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "G: Energy and Buildings".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 June 2022) | Viewed by 10144

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Matthias Haase
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Life Sciences and Facility Management, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, CH-8820 Wädenswil, Switzerland
Interests: building performance evaluation; energy master planning; energy solutions; energy retrofit
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Antonín Lupíšek
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University Centre for Energy Efficient Buildings, Czech Technical University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
Interests: sustainability assessment systems; carbon footprint of buildings; interdisciplinary development of building products and tools; sustainable development
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Roughly 97% of the European Union (EU)’s building stock is not considered energy-efficient, and 75% to 85% of it will still be in use in 2050. Residential buildings alone account for around two thirds of final energy consumption in European buildings. The current renovation rate of existing buildings in the EU is about 1%–2% of the building stock renovated each year. The renovation rate for non-residential buildings is also much lower than what is needed to fulfil Sustainable Development Goals.

Although improved energy efficiency of buildings is known to be effective, also in mitigating climate change, and brings multiple benefits for the owners (reduced energy costs, better indoor comfort, higher value of the building, just to name a few), deep energy renovations are simply not attractive enough to building owners.

The main reasons for this are linked to technical, financial, human and organizational barriers in the renovation process up to date, which is very complex and highly individualized for the building in question and with so many aspects that need to be considered.

This Special Issue seeks contributions that address these challenges:

  • Role and potential of buildings’ energy retrofitting in national climate change mitigation plans;
  • National, regional and community strategies for stimulating deep energy retrofitting;
  • Overcoming barriers for decision-making on investing in retrofits, especially for homeowners;
  • Shining examples of best practices in deep energy retrofitting of public buildings;
  • New service offers to reduce the technical, human and organizational barriers of deep energy retrofits;
  • New, consumers-oriented approaches (e.g., with one-stop shop (a single point of contact) that guides through the process);
  • Role of digitization and industry 4.0 in energy retrofitting;
  • Prefabrication-based solutions (economies of scale, construction processes, reduced time spent on site by the workers, organizational challenges);
  • Market for prefabricated-based retrofitting solution homes.

Dr. Matthias Haase
Dr. Antonín Lupíšek
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Technical barriers
  • Financial barriers
  • Human barriers
  • Organizational barriers
  • Sustainable development
  • Deep Energy Retrofit
  • Building renovation
  • Climate change mitigation
  • Digitization, automation and prefabrication

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
A Sequential Multi-Staged Approach for Developing Digital One-Stop Shops to Support Energy Renovations of Residential Buildings
Energies 2022, 15(15), 5389; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15155389 - 26 Jul 2022
Viewed by 921
Abstract
Buildings account for 40% of the European Union’s energy consumption. Deep energy renovation of residential buildings is key for decarbonization and energy poverty alleviation. However, renovation is occurring at far below the needed pace and depth. In this context, building renovation one-stop shops, [...] Read more.
Buildings account for 40% of the European Union’s energy consumption. Deep energy renovation of residential buildings is key for decarbonization and energy poverty alleviation. However, renovation is occurring at far below the needed pace and depth. In this context, building renovation one-stop shops, which bring all project phases under one roof and provide advice, support, and finance to households, are highlighted as a promising solution. Nevertheless, this model is still absent or under-developed in most European countries and remains understudied in the scientific literature. Therefore, the present research goals are as follows: (i) to provide a critical review of emerging one-stop shop models; (ii) to streamline the deployment of building renovation digital one-stop shops by piloting a sequential multi-staged approach for Portuguese households and proposing it for replication elsewhere; and (iii) to compare case-study insights with other one-stop shops and discuss the notion in the context of the European Renovation Wave. In total, for the Portuguese case-study, five steps were conducted. The first three—stakeholder mapping, expert interviews, and customer journey—aimed to gather intel on the local energy renovation market. The results from these stages informed the design of the platform (fourth step). Finally, a post-launch market consultation survey gathered user feedback (fifth step). Insights from this study suggest that digital one-stop shops, while providing a helpful tool to close information gaps and activate specific audiences, may be insufficient on their own. As such, a more comprehensive set of instruments supporting households is needed to accelerate building renovation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Renovation and Energy Retrofit in Buildings)
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Article
Retrofitting Buildings into Thermal Batteries for Demand-Side Flexibility and Thermal Safety during Power Outages in Winter
Energies 2022, 15(12), 4405; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15124405 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1157
Abstract
Decarbonizing heating in buildings is a key part of climate change mitigation policies, but deep retrofit is progressing slowly, e.g., at a pace of 0.2%/y of the building stock in Europe. By means of tests in two flats of a multiapartment housing complex [...] Read more.
Decarbonizing heating in buildings is a key part of climate change mitigation policies, but deep retrofit is progressing slowly, e.g., at a pace of 0.2%/y of the building stock in Europe. By means of tests in two flats of a multiapartment housing complex recently renovated to very low values of energy needs, this paper explores the role of deep retrofitted buildings in providing energy flexibility services for the occupants/owners/managers and for the energy system. Key to this flexibility increase and capacity savings is the large reduction of energy needs for heating via a high level of external insulation, which allows the thermal capacity of the building mass to act as an energy storage, without the large energy losses presently affecting a large part of the building stock. Due to the limited number of case studies reporting experimental applications in real buildings, this research aims to offer an analysis based on a series of tests and detailed monitoring which show a significant increase in the time interval during which the low-energy-needs building remains in the comfort range, compared to a high-energy-needs building, when active delivery of energy is deactivated during the heating season. Intermittent renewable energy might hence be stored when available, thus enhancing the ability of the energy system to manage inherent variability of some renewable energy sources and/or increasing the share of the self-consumption of locally generated RES energy. Besides, two unplanned heating power outages which have involved the entire building complex allowed us to verify that deep retrofitted buildings are able to maintain thermally safe indoor conditions under extreme events, such as a power outage, for at least 5 days. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Renovation and Energy Retrofit in Buildings)
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Article
Low-Emissivity Window Films as an Energy Retrofit Option for a Historical Stone Building in Cold Climate
Energies 2021, 14(22), 7584; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14227584 - 12 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1486
Abstract
Low-emissivity (low-E) window films are designed to improve the thermal comfort and energy performance of buildings. These films can be applied to different glazing systems without having to change the whole window. This makes it possible to apply films to windows in old [...] Read more.
Low-emissivity (low-E) window films are designed to improve the thermal comfort and energy performance of buildings. These films can be applied to different glazing systems without having to change the whole window. This makes it possible to apply films to windows in old and historical buildings for which preservation regulations often require that windows should remain unchanged. This research aims to investigate the impacts of low-E window films on the energy performance and thermal comfort of a three-story historical stone building in the cold climate of Sweden using the simulation software “IDA ICE”. On-site measurements were taken to acquire thermal and optical properties of the windows. This research shows that the application of the low-emissivity window film on the outward-facing surface of the inner pane of the double-glazed windows helped to reduce heat loss through the windows in winter and unwanted heat gains in summer by almost 36% and 35%, respectively. This resulted in a 6% reduction in the building’s annual energy consumption for heating purposes and a reduction in the percentage of total occupant hours with thermal dissatisfaction from 14% (without the film) to 11% (with the film). However, the relatively high price of the films and low price of district heating results in a rather long payback period of around 30 years. Thus, the films seem scarcely attractive from a purely economic viewpoint, but may be warranted for energy/environmental and thermal comfort reasons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Renovation and Energy Retrofit in Buildings)
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Article
Market-Oriented Cost-Effectiveness and Energy Analysis of Windows in Portugal
Energies 2021, 14(13), 3720; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14133720 - 22 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1042
Abstract
Glazed systems in buildings can account for a significant part of overall energy consumption. The unfavorable relationship between energy savings and the increased cost of energy-efficient windows is often the main drawback cited by customers to justify its non-acquisition. of glazed windows. This [...] Read more.
Glazed systems in buildings can account for a significant part of overall energy consumption. The unfavorable relationship between energy savings and the increased cost of energy-efficient windows is often the main drawback cited by customers to justify its non-acquisition. of glazed windows. This study addresses the relationship between the investment costs in windows and their energy performance and associated costs. Seventeen window manufacturers were contacted. This survey studied the state-of-the-art and the most-used windows in terms of energy efficiency and cost. Calumen and Guardian Configurator software were used to perform this assessment. Additionally, SEnergEd software was used to simulate the energy performance and compute the equivalent annual cost for the entire life cycle of buildings. Besides the economic benefits, the impact of the energy performance of the windows on the energy performance of the building was also studied. In terms of energy, the most efficient glazing system was two windows per span, resulting in a combined solar factor of 0.43 and a 0.55 W/(m2·K) heat-transfer coefficient. On the other hand, one window per span, with a solar factor of 0.79 and a 3.05 W/(m2 K) heat-transfer coefficient is the most cost-efficient to be used in Portugal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Renovation and Energy Retrofit in Buildings)
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Article
Life-Cycle Assessment of a Rural Terraced House: A Struggle with Sustainability of Building Renovations
Energies 2021, 14(9), 2472; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14092472 - 26 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1317
Abstract
Contemporary research stresses the need to reduce mankind’s environmental impacts and achieve sustainability. One of the keys to this is the construction sector. New buildings have to comply with strict limits regarding resource consumption (energy, water use, etc.). However, they make up only [...] Read more.
Contemporary research stresses the need to reduce mankind’s environmental impacts and achieve sustainability. One of the keys to this is the construction sector. New buildings have to comply with strict limits regarding resource consumption (energy, water use, etc.). However, they make up only a fraction of the existing building stock. Renovations of existing buildings are therefore essential for the reduction of the environmental impacts in the construction sector. This paper illustrates the situation using a case study of a rural terraced house in a village near Brno, Czech Republic. It compares the life-cycle assessment (LCA) of the original house and its proposed renovation as well as demolition followed by new construction. The LCA covers both the initial embodied environmental impacts (EEIs) and the 60-year operation of the house with several variants of energy sources. The results show that the proposed renovation would reduce overall environmental impacts (OEIs) of the house by up to 90% and the demolition and new construction by up to 93% depending on the selected energy sources. As such, the results confirm the importance of renovations and the installation of environmentally-friendly energy sources for achieving sustainability in the construction sector. They also show the desirability of the replacement of inefficient old buildings by new construction in specific cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Renovation and Energy Retrofit in Buildings)
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Article
Czech Building Stock: Renovation Wave Scenarios and Potential for CO2 Savings until 2050
Energies 2021, 14(9), 2455; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14092455 - 25 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1565
Abstract
One of the major anthropogenic sources of greenhouse gases is the operation of building stock. Improving its energy efficiency has the potential to significantly contribute to achieving climate change mitigation targets. The purpose of this study was to roughly estimate such potential for [...] Read more.
One of the major anthropogenic sources of greenhouse gases is the operation of building stock. Improving its energy efficiency has the potential to significantly contribute to achieving climate change mitigation targets. The purpose of this study was to roughly estimate such potential for the operation of the national building stock of Czechia to steer the national debate on the development of related national plans. The estimation is based on a simplified energy model of the Czech building stock that consists of sub-models of residential and nonresidential building stocks, for which their future energy consumptions, shares of energy carriers and sources, and emission factors were modeled in four scenarios. Uncertainties from the approximation of the emission factors were investigated in a sensitivity analysis. The results showed that the operation of the Czech building stock in 2016 totaled 36.9 Mt CO2, which represented 34.6% of the total national carbon dioxide emissions. The four building stock scenarios could produce reductions in the carbon dioxide emissions of between 28% and 93% by 2050, when also considering on-side production from photovoltaics. The implementation of the most ambitious scenario would represent a drop in national CO2 yearly emissions by 43.2% by 2050 (compared to 2016). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Renovation and Energy Retrofit in Buildings)
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Article
Modular Web Portal Approach for Stimulating Home Renovation: Lessons from Local Authority Developments
Energies 2021, 14(5), 1270; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14051270 - 25 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1342
Abstract
Web portals have the potential to promote sustainable environmental ideas due to the capacity of digital media, such as easy accessibility, openness, and networking. Local authorities (LAs) are responsible for activating carbon savings in homes, and they are key actors when it comes [...] Read more.
Web portals have the potential to promote sustainable environmental ideas due to the capacity of digital media, such as easy accessibility, openness, and networking. Local authorities (LAs) are responsible for activating carbon savings in homes, and they are key actors when it comes to providing neutral information to their citizens. Local authority web portals may thus create environmental awareness, particularly regarding owner-occupied single-family home renovation. Nevertheless, the experiences of LAs developing web portals have rarely been studied. Therefore, this paper analyses the development process of various LA web modules and investigates how LAs foster modular web portals to stimulate the adoption of home renovation with parameters to assess LAs’ actions in terms of the management of web-modules development. A homeowner renovation journey model is applied to map current local authority developments. Case study research and interviews were done to analyse and evaluate the adoption of modular web portals developed and tested by six local authorities in four countries in Europe. Based on the development and use of the modular web portal, lessons have been derived emphasising the importance of co-creation, integrating with offline activities, and a strategic management plan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Renovation and Energy Retrofit in Buildings)
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