The URBAN RECREATION (Energy efficient retrofit for carbon zero and socio-oriented urban environments) project explored the possibility of retrofitting zero energy and nearly zero emissions in existing real urban environments (RUE). Researchers also studied innovative architectural solutions for achieving nearly zero energy in existing built environments. The project began by investigating nearly zero energy research and practice in the Athens Metropolitan Area (AMA). This included a description of Mediterranean climate and cooling demands related to the heat island phenomenon. A review was also conducted of the current policy background related to nearly zero energy buildings (nZEBs) with regard to recent European Directives. In addition, three case studies of real urban environments, RUE’s within the AMA, were identified and analysed. Energy simulations were conducted for the case studies to determine energy demand, which revealed the low energy performance of existing buildings. As a result, alternative retrofitting scenarios were proposed and validated to verify the energy saving potential of selected techniques at the building scale. Researchers also identified and sought solutions to barriers that prevented the adoption of measures and actions for reaching the target of nearly zero urban settings. A participative process for involving the inhabitants was developed and questionnaires completed in order to understand the major requirements of urban dwellers in the Athens municipality of Peristeri. URBAN RECREATION has thus contributed to the debate concerning renovation in existing buildings and demonstrated the potential achievements energy retrofits in the urban environment.
Zero energy, zero emissions, URBAN RECREATION ,retrofit, real urban environment, Athens Metropolitan Area, Peristeri