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Innovations in Building Processes and Policies for the Energy Renovations of Buildings

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2020) | Viewed by 3809

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, 2628 BL Delft, The Netherlands
Interests: energy; homeowner; energy efficiency; transaction cost; dwelling; residential building; energy saving; retrofitting; urban renewal
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Associate Professor, Department of Management in the Built Environment, Faculty of Architecture and Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands
Interests: building energy efficiency; housing energy renovation; behavioral change; supply chain integration for prefabrication; process & social innovation; transaction costs; market barriers; energy transition
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Despite climate agreements, energy transition targets and policies concerning energy efficiency, the renovation rates have remained low. The European Union defined the goal for reducing carbon emissions in residential sectors as 88%–91% by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels). However, to date, 85% of EU’s 160 million existing buildings are showing thermally bad conditions, and only about 1.2% are renovated each year. Technological and financial solutions to improve rates are available, but home owners do not use them as much as intended.

Innovation of processes and policies is essential to safeguard the implementation of technology innovation in the housing energy renovation. Existing technologies are often too expensive and, in combination with many obstacles in the process, the demand by home owners is very low. Cost reductions could be achieved by industrialisation of the building industry and reducing transactions costs of the renovation processes.

This Special Issue calls for papers addressing approaches, theories, case studies and strategies on process innovation for building energy renovations. It seeks for the root problems that cause the low renovation rate from the perspectives of policy makers, market stakeholders, professionals, occupants, etc. It addresses the multifaceted phenomena with a deep understanding of the institution and process (barriers and transaction costs), people (cognition and behaviour) and resources (information, incentives and intervention) combined.

Prof. Dr. Henk Visscher
Dr. Queena K. Qian
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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. Sustainability 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 2400 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.


  • process innovation
  • energy efficiency renovation
  • existing housing stock
  • transaction costs
  • market barriers
  • behavioral and cognitive biases
  • policy and incentives
  • renovation process

Published Papers (1 paper)

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22 pages, 5728 KiB  
Integrated Analysis of Energy Saving and Thermal Comfort of Retrofits in Social Housing under Climate Change Influence in Uruguay
by Lucía Pereira-Ruchansky and Alexis Pérez-Fargallo
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4636; - 5 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3240
Energy improvement studies normally use energy demand reduction as an indicator, disregarding dwellings that do not use air-conditioning systems or do so only under extreme weather conditions. They also do not quantify the impact of climate change on results. This research seeks to [...] Read more.
Energy improvement studies normally use energy demand reduction as an indicator, disregarding dwellings that do not use air-conditioning systems or do so only under extreme weather conditions. They also do not quantify the impact of climate change on results. This research seeks to evaluate and prioritize energy improvements for existing Uruguayan dwellings, assessing energy demand and thermal comfort in both the current and future climate. A social dwelling was monitored and calibrated to assess energy efficiency measures simulating the current climate and for 2050 (IPCC Scenario A2). The results show that improvements must be linked to the use of air-conditioning in dwellings. When air-conditioning use is unknown, for example, in public policy, thermal transmittance in walls should be between 0.50–0.61 W/m2 K, in roofs between 0.32–0.47 W/m2 K, in openings 2.7 W/m2 K, airtightness under 5 ACH n50 and with solar protections. However, when the use under free running is certain, thermal transmittance in walls and roofs should be 0.85 W/m2 K with an airtightness of 9.2 ACH n50 and solar protection used to avoid overheating. The operational ventilation and solar protection parameters were helpful to guarantee comfort, underlining the need for their inclusion and to train those who use them. Full article
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