On October 14, 2020 the European Commission published its strategy for accelerating deep renovation of the existing building stock. The Renovation Wave is one of the main pillars of the European Green Deal towards de-carbonization of energy use for a cleaner environment.
Why a renovation wave?
The requirement for a renovation wave stems from the fact that the European building stock is not energy efficient while it is also responsible for almost 40% of the total energy use and 36% of the carbon emissions. This building stock that in its great majority will be standing for the next 30 years presents an opportunity for energy renovation interventions that will cause in positive impact on multiple levels. Apart from improved energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions, energy renovation will tackle the energy poverty, will mobilize the construction sector and will contribute to cleaner, healthy, sustainable environment. This however cannot be achieved at todays’ very low rates. The Renovation Wave strategy aspires to double the annual energy renovation rates of buildings and furthermore promote deep energy renovations. The strategy will be supported by wider policy framework that has been set up for overcoming the barriers that impede its acceleration.
What does ReCO2ST offer?
The ReCO2ST project has developed a structured methodology for deep energy renovations that responds to the key principles of the Renovation Wave Strategy as demonstrated below:
Renovation Wave Key Principle 1 – Energy Efficiency Fist: One of ReCO2ST’s main advantages is the promotion of energy efficiency through upgrade of energy systems and installation of innovative energy-efficient technologies in order to achieve NZEB renovation. Within ReCO2ST project, innovative technologies including Vacuum Insulation Panels, Smart Windows, Cool materials, Cooling Evaporative Ventilated Façade and customized HVAC units have been developed and included in the renovation scenarios of the demonstrator buildings. ReCO2ST has set a target for final energy consumption to be <60% of the original. On the ReCO2ST renovation platform various technologies can be assessed and combined to build various renovation scenarios. The optimum scenario in terms of energy and cost is the one to be implemented. This connects energy efficiency to the second key principle: Affordability.
Renovation Wave Key Principle 2 – Affordability: Cost and time efficiency are also main advantages of ReCO2ST. The ReCO2ST methodology proposes a Least Cost Approach. On the ReCO2ST renovation platform, various renovation interventions in various combinations can be evaluated in terms of energy and cost efficiency, resulting in the cost optimal one. The Payback target set by ReCO2ST is <15 years.
Renovation Wave Key Principle 3 – Decarbonisation and integration of renewables: Renewable energy solutions are part of the ReCO2ST Retrofit Kit. Concentrating Photovoltaics (CPV) and CPV/Thermal have been developed within the project and included in the renovation package of two demonstrator buildings. On the ReCO2ST renovation Platform, renewable energy producing technologies can be evaluated and included as part of the solution in the customized renovation packages. The ReCO2ST target is for PV/Thermal to cover at least 40% of the annual heating consumption.
Renovation Wave Key Principle 4 – Life-cycle thinking and circularity: Apart from LCC, Life Cycle Analysis is one of the components of the ReCO2ST renovation platform. Overall the Environmental Impact Rating Target set by ReCO2ST is <60% of original (measured in CO2/m floor area)
Renovation Wave Key Principle 5 – High health and environmental standards: Attention to human health and comfort as well as to a clean healthy environment is part of the v advantages. The ReCO2ST targets to improve user satisfaction as well as reduce indoor pollutants. One of the solutions towards user health and comfort is the installation of Nature Based Technologies for air treatment as part of the renovation package. Installation of cool roof and paving materials will induce microclimate improvements, benefiting the immediate surrounding building area. Overall, ReCO2ST offers decarbonized renovation solutions that contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment both inside and outside.
Renovation Wave Key Principle 6 – Tackling the twin challenges of the green and digital transitions together: ReCO2ST proposes the installation of Intelligent Energy Management Systems for monitoring and managing the energy performance and indoor environmental conditions. An Intelligent Energy Management System (IEMS) that works as a supervisory controller has been developed within ReCO2ST. The IEMS optimizes trade-off between indoor air quality (IAQ), energy and comfort, adapting to climate conditions and user preferences.
Renovation Wave Key Principle 7 – Respect for aesthetics and architectural quality: The demonstrator building in Vevey speaks for this principle. A 1932 apartment building has been renovated with the ReCO2ST approach fully respecting its architectural identity while also enriching it inside and out to accommodate the selected renovation solutions. The ReCO2ST approach, is structured to assist the making process, but also flexible to allow the permissible interventions leading in a cost-optimal, NZEB, healthy renovation that respects the local environmental, social and cultural contact of the buildings and their surroundings.