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  • Rationale for the notes of the meeting

Assuming that it would be very difficult and certainly not practical to try to summarize all the inputs gathered from the 5 experts and following discussion, the purpose of these notes is to find some cross cutting topics relevant to all presentations and useful for orientation of further WS6 activities.

  • REFURBISHING/RETROFITTING/RENOVATION/ ECO-RESTORATION

    Fundamental because, although a higher degree of Energy Efficiency is easier to get in new buildings, the existing stock has the greatest potential;

Why should we develop eco-restoration ?… For energy saving reasons, heritage buildings have been mishandled for years, being applied techniques that were developed for post-war buildings and were not only of poor efficiency, but also damaged old buildings. It has recently been shown that techniques inspired from eco-constructions only are appropriate and efficient to restore an old building, because they respect 2 main key drivers for performance and perennity of traditional buildings: breathability and inertia.  ...  Traditional buildings requiring eco-restoration represent 1/3 of the European building stock. (Frédérique Calvanus)

Aesthetic aspects of retrofitting are important because overall image of European cities is made by historical buildings; is possible to imagine an aesthetic regulation about buildings efficiency renovation?(Kleopatra Theologidou)

links: URBACT LINKS project
key words: refurbishing, retrofitting, eco-restoration, heritage, aesthetic

  • DESIGN vs REGULATIONS;

The role of design is fundamental for the implementation of EE principles, and therefore knowledge dissemination, education, life-long learning and training of professional play a key role. Normally policies alone are not able to work as well as experienced professionals can do.

The architect has an important position in the planning as well as realization process as the one who is able to keep in mind the target from the beginning to the end. The architect has to work as a kind of stage director, forcing the actors to play their role in the right time. Architects should use their creativity for both developing concepts as well as leading the interdisciplinary team of engineers and consultants to improve architectural quality. (Martin Seelinger)

The main role of designer in planning EE is to manage the process and maintain independence from other stakeholders. (Martin Seelinger)

The transposition of EU procurement law in some Member States is incomplete and incoherent and does not reflect the range of possibilities offered by EU legislation in the field of new coordination and project delivery models. (Eleni Goni)

links: SHELTER Project IEE
key words: design, regulations, education, architect

  • FUNDING ENERGY EFFICIENCY in EUROPEAN CITIES

Economical questions are the base of any possible action. Financial incentives are prerequisite for the participation of different stakeholders in the process of renovation.

...Deep renovation can easily realize 60-70% energy savings! Aiming the passive house or the nearly zero energy standard requests high additional costs which can’t be recovered through energy savings. (Peter Schilken)

In Social Housing big investments and additional funding are needed, which demands a long term strategy, starting with stock taking and asset management of the whole housing stock of the city, regardless ownership. (Examples are available from individual institutional owners, or the national guidelines for cities “Sanierungsplan” in Germany). (Jan Dictus)

Energy efficient renovation has a significant impact on the local economy. A recent evaluation of the City of Hannover’s Proklima fund for the year 2010 has shown that every Euro given as incentive to a grant applier has triggered (activated) an investment of almost 20 Euros by the building owner. It is the local economy who profits most of this investment. (Peter Schilken)

Additional funding should have following features:

  • Structural; to renovate the complete old housing stock of a city there is a need for big scale investments.
  • Basic techniques; Big scale renovations are most efficient using proven techniques. Funding should be targeted to that.
  • Covering deficits; Investments can only for a small part be covered by added value and saved costs. Funding is needed to cover the deficits.
  • Diversity of (small) actors; Funding should be available for a big variety of actors, owners, building industry, residents, cities, etc. The activity should be funded, not the actor.
  • Revolving; financial advantages of the investments should flow back into the fund.
  • Solidarity; individual owners or tenants cannot cover all costs. The investments are needed from a social and environmental point of view and bring advantage for whole society.
  • Labeled; If society contributes to the funding, then a transparent flow must be guaranteed, to keep relation between investments and results clear.

(Actual examples which have partly these elements: Danish Building Fund, Three Third financing model, Green Deal, European agriculture funding). (Jan Dictus)

links: PROKLIMA Hannover, GREEN DEAL, URBACT CASH project
key words: Finance, economy, funding schemes, social housing,

  • COMMUNICATION/VISIBILITY of EE.

Popularity and effectiveness of the process of increasing buildings EE depends crucially on the awareness of the stakeholders.

Communication has become a focus of the sustainable energy action plan (SEAP). Cities and stakeholders have to communicate with the building users and tenants, they has to make them aware that they can also contribute to the improvement of the building’s energy (energy and water consumption) performance. Renovation actions have to be displayed in the building itself and success of the action has to be monitored. The Display Campaign is an excellent tool to communicate with the target group and to show the progress that has been made. (Peter Schilken)

It is important to ensure that all professionals involved have the specific knowledge and skills required to perform their tasks, as the construction sector is confronted with a constant evolution of building and system products. (Eleni Goni)

Research among Social Housing Organizations has shown that in many cases energy objectives are not even included in the agendas of renovation processes. Improving the cooperation among professionals involved in renovation of social housing will be a major step towards meeting the aims of the European Union regarding the energy performance of buildings. (Eleni Goni)

It is a fact that potential energy savings of energy renovations can be jeopardized by the inappropriate behavior of the tenants. (Eleni Goni)

The development of eco-restoration will not succeed if economic actors are not strongly supported to carry out this change by looking for new market and job opportunities. In many cases, local building markets hardly meet the new technical requirements and an entire part of the building sector needs to get re-structured. (Frédérique Calvanus)

Energy efficient renovation has a bad reputation, as a consequence of bad implementation and usage of techniques. As an answer one should for renovation of houses (people’s homes) use proven techniques and skilled craftsmen. Introduce quality management in the whole chain. (Jan Dictus)

Introduce energy meters capable of showing real time energy consumption and saving is a great incentive for people’s better behavior; they should become standard despite the opposition by power companies (whose business is to sell more and more energy) (Emilio d’Alessio)

links: SHELTER Project, BUILTUP, DISPLAY-CAMPAIGN, LINKS project
key words: communication, skills, quality, action plan

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