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Deep renovation: New approaches to transform the renovation market

Renovating Europe’s building stock offers great potential for meeting its climate commitments. The most challenging aspects are how to increase the rate, quality and effectiveness of building renovation. This CORDIS Results Pack highlights the work of 13 EU-funded projects helping to accelerate energy-efficient upgrades to Europe’s housing stock.

Climate Change and Environment icon Climate Change and Environment
Energy icon Energy

Buildings contribute 40 % of the EU’s final energy demand, and offer a large untapped potential for energy savings. Therefore buildings have an important role to play in achieving the sustainability goals set out in the European Green Deal, a set of proposals to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 % by 2030. A major challenge lies in the current rate of renovation, which is only 1.2 % per year. Effective solutions need to be widely demonstrated and replicated in order to help increase the renovation rate to 2-3 % per year. In order to meet this challenge, it is necessary to reduce renovation costs as well as the time spent on-site, which in turn minimises disturbance of occupants. Research funded through the Horizon programme can help deliver this change. This Pack showcases consumer-friendlier, cheaper, faster, more reliable services, technologies and approaches which will speed up deep renovations to improve the energy performance of the building stock. The work carried out across these projects also demonstrates the advantages of deep energy renovation, and highlights good practice that helps to overcome specific barriers in order to target groups involved in contracting, planning, financing and implementing deep renovations of buildings. In some cases, technological solutions can help achieve this ambition. However, there are also a range of non-technological barriers that need to be overcome, for example through financial innovations and improved regulatory frameworks. The selected projects are helping to address market barriers in the value chain. They demonstrate innovative customer-centred processes leading to more cost-effective, higher quality, holistic and faster renovation of buildings. These will help deliver an ever greater number of energy-efficient homes that are more sustainable, more affordable and more comfortable. The projects tackled a range of challenges of deep renovation. Building renovations delivered by HIROSS4all and mySMARTLife helped improve the quality of life for vulnerable communities, while Drive 0 championed local solutions, promoting a circular economy. Superhomes2030 and HousEEnvest offered one-stop shops and funding mechanisms to help homeowners carry out renovations in Ireland and Spain respectively, and HEART successfully demonstrated a toolkit for retrofitting older buildings. POWERSKINPLUS, outPHit and Surefit developed prefabricated technologies to reduce energy consumption, while the COOL DH project demonstrated how entire neighbourhoods can benefit from using recycled low-temperature heat. Meanwhile, SmartEnCity delivered more energy-efficient homes, eco-friendly transport and more. StepUP showed how the decarbonisation of existing buildings can be a reliable, attractive investment, while a private retrofitting model developed by SHEERenov delivered more energy-efficient homes in Bulgaria.