We have already mentioned here the scope of work of the SHELTER Project, by Intelligent Energy Europe IEE Program. During the hearing Eleni Goni introduced in detail the experimental action that are being tested by the partners, mainly Social Housing Associations, to improve the quality of the refurbishment process and achieve higher energy efficiency standards.
Social housing plays a key role in the strategy to reach the ambitious energy objectives set in the EU agenda. 25 million social housing units account for 12% of the housing stock in the EU27 and these units are responsible for 18% of the total final energy consumption. The question is whether the currently implemented energy renovation coordination models are ready to ensure a massive energy refurbishment of the social housing stock. The truth is that the lack of adapted energy renovation models is very likely to impede this process. In fact, research among Social Housing Organisations 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. The role of the architects in this process is crucial. The procuring rules applied also have a defining role. However, apart from the perspective of the coordination of renovation processes, 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. Moreover, it is necessary to address occupant behaviour and explore ways to influence tenants positively as it is a fact that potential energy savings of energy renovations can be jeopardized by the inappropriate behaviour of the tenants. All the above issues are addressed in SHELTER project: A research project funded by the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (IEE), which brings together Social Housing Organisations and European professionals for testing and promoting project team in energy renovations. URBACT WS6 is a great opportunity to communicate the outcomes of relevant research and experiences, to exchange knowledge of stakeholders coming from the building sector and local authorities, and thus to contribute towards building energy efficiency in European Cities.