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Development and advanced prefabrication of innovative, multifunctional building envelope elements for MOdular REtrofitting and CONNECTions

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - MORE-CONNECT (Development and advanced prefabrication of innovative, multifunctional building envelope elements for MOdular REtrofitting and CONNECTions)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2019-05-31

The challenge is to overcome current barriers to come to large scale deep renovation by applying prefabricated multifunctional renovation elements. These elements have the potential to reduce costs, reduce the renovation time and disturbance for occupants, enhancing quality and performances. MORE-CONNECT has a combination of product innovation, process innovation and innovative market approach, in a process of cost and quality optimization. The overall objectives are:
1. The development of cost optimal deep renovation solutions towards nZEB concepts with the possibility of extra customize (cost-effective) features
2. The development and demonstration of prefabricated multifunctional modular renovation elements in series of 1 concepts, in a mass production process
3. The development and demonstration of new fully automated production lines for multifunctional modular renovation elements
4. The offering of a one-stop-shop to the end-user to renovate their homes
Concept development and system integration:
A matrix was developed, classifying building types and common features in each geo-cluster, providing the specifications for the development of prefab elements. The material impacts of prefab elements was described, i.e. the insulation package and embodied energy impact, decreasing the operational energy savings were studied. This resulted in a combined tool for decision making for optimization of operational energy use, embedded energy use, renewable production and costs. A platform for retrofit concepts was developed, giving easy insight in modelling a concept, the available freedom in choices of facade elements, and act as a basis for descriptions of real market retrofit concepts. Also a techno-economic assessment methodology for life cycle assessments was developed. The methodology is based on the comprehensive evaluation of all energy, GHG-emissions and cost impacts; it also includes embodied energy use and related GHG-emissions for the materials used for the solutions MORE-CONNECT provided. An inventory and collection of requirements on short-term and long-term monitoring systems were performed.
Production and process innovation:
Geomatics were used to obtain a clearer building knowledge and more precise model to avoid design errors and costs increase during the construction process thanks to its higher precision. Geomatics could also be used in connection with BIM, but a significant amount of time is still needed for the processing of the data and translation of the information from a point cloud to simple a BIM model. A detailed SotA was developed for the application of BIM for building renovation and tools for energy analysis. To make deep renovation user-friendly and attractive for end-users, tools and platforms were implemented to support the decision making on renovation concepts and for modeling building and performance characteristics. Home owners can model different scenarios, choose the solutions that suit them better and understand which is the needed investment and the potential energy saving connected with their choice. The same tool can also be used by concept developers and suppliers to show their clients the consequences in terms of, for example, investment costs versus savings and added qualities. Their help could be very important for end-users to increase their awareness about energy use and potential improved energy efficiency of buildings. Also production lines were improved, especially in reduction of the production costs or in reduction of the need of manual work. Various areas of improvements were involved, such as processes related to the mass production, marketing and sales processes, logistics.
Demonstration and pilots:
All the technologies and the concepts were implemented, demonstrated and tested in five real settings located in each project-partner country, involving mostly multifamily building, except for the Latvian case, which consists of a typical brick multi-apartment building. Also, two new single-family buildings were used for in deep testing in the Netherlands and one mockup building in the Czech Republic. The pilots have involved precise dwelling types, characterized by a simple and repetitive structure, such as row houses and apartment block. Renovation occurred in different ways for each country, but a common approach may be identified, as following explained. The renovation process started with the analysis of the selected building, assessing the current inside comfort conditions and energy consumptions, and investigating the quality of structures, doors and windows. To get accurate information about the external envelope, 3D laser scanning of the building were conducted. After, the renovation needs are evaluated, the design phase begins. The strategy consists of a demolition of the existing walls and replacing them with prefabricated wall elements, as happened in the Dutch case, or when it’s possible, to attach the insulation element onto the existing walls. The prefab modules are provided with structural wooden frame, thermal insulation, new high-performance windows, and integrated technologies. Renovation also included the roof, with options to integrate ST or PV systems. The advantage of this strategy is that installation of prefab elements took a few working days and little disturbance for tenants. When existing walls were removed, installation took place from the inside, therefore no scaffolding or manual labor is needed, apart from fixation to the existing concrete walls. All the operations are performed by specialized dedicated teams who are familiar with the product and with processes. In order to reach a very low level of energy use, installations renovation is also required: most of the times, renovated buildings are provided by mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, heat pump for hot water use and for heating, and PV panels for electricity generation.
Market and replication:
A pre-selection of the favorable concepts was made as a base of what will be offered to end-users. A business plan has been elaborated, according to the final concepts. The project also provided the development of a One-Stop-Shop concept, bringing together producers and end-users.
Several prefab façade elements were developed with integration of several technical components (EE, LV, NL, PT, CZ) as well as prefab roof elements with integrated PV (DK). Prefab installation platforms (engines were developed in NL and EE. For ultra fast mounting several smart Plug&Play connectors (mechanical, hydraulic, air, thermal, electric and ICT) were developed. Also advanced robotics were developed for façade insulation (DK). A new combined methodology and tool were devised to determine cost optimal configurations, related to energy use and embodied energy. A morphologica design method was developed to support the design in retrofitting processes. This method is now used in TripleA-reno and DRIVE 0.
Successful demonstrations took place in EE, LV, DK and the NL with in total 25252 m2 with a total energy saving of 1,96 GWh. A cost reduction was achieved from euro 1200 to 850 per m2 deep renovated area with a further reduction to 450 per m2 foreseen after project duration. The average renovation time decreased from 5 – 10 days/unit to 1 – 2 days/unit.
Pilot Denmark - Gable walls insulated by robotics including milling of the projects’ name
The completed Czech Real Life Learning Lab
WP4 MORE-CONNECT automated BIM controlled production line WEBO
WP5_NZE renovated dwelling Heerlen NL, prefab engine and integrated facade elements
Pilot Building Estonia during renovation
WP3 MORE-CONNECT morphological design approach
Deep-renovation approach Dutch demonstration project
Project funding
Pilot Denmark - placement of PV panels and the final view of the renovated façade with solar roof
WP2_principldesign smart connector unit electric CVUT
Pilot building Latvia during renovation
WP2_smart connectors air_prefab elements TUT Estonia
Pilot Latvia after the renovation in winter 2018
Pilot building the Netherlands - Installation of pre-fabricated wall elements
Pilot building Estonia after the renovation in autumn 2017