European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Building energy renovation through timber prefabricated modules

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - BERTIM (Building energy renovation through timber prefabricated modules)

Reporting period: 2018-06-01 to 2019-05-31

The environmental impact of the European building stock is widely acknowledged. 40% of the overall energy consumption and 1/3 of CO2 emissions in Europe are related to building sector and more than 50% of all materials extracted from earth are transformed into construction materials. So, to meet the objectives of the Kyoto Protocol, it is necessary to concentrate on improving the energy-inefficient building stock increasing the current anual retrofitting rate of 1-2% (EPBD Recast Directive) up to 2,9% (BPIE). In addition, the EU in the Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy Action Plan relies on the safeguarding and reuse of existing buildings and structures as key factor for the resource efficiency as well as the promotion of a stronger use of renewable resources like timber.

The use of prefabricated systems for the energy efficient building renovation allows the reduction of on-site works, minimizing the consumption of raw materials and increasing the energy and resource efficiency in the construction sector. In this context, timber and timber based building materials gain added importance due to their low primary energy demand from cradle to grave and carbon-footprints. In addition, a digital work flow of the information from design to manufacturing which is currently very manual, inaccurate and tedious will increase the efficiency of the renovation process, reducing the time and cost .

In this context, the approach of BERTIM to address these challenges is: to develop a timber based on prefabricated system for building deep energy efficient renovation, and integrated it in a holistic renovation process based on customized mass manufacturing methodologies supported by building information models (BIM). For this purpose, BERTIM is developing a prefabricated solution in timber, which provides the opportunity to renovate improving energy performance, air quality, aesthetics, comfort, and property value at the same time, while ensuring low intrusiveness during renovation works, as well as a friendly computer based tool (RenoBIM). The tool is based in a digital data flow in BIM, which enables reduction of renovation operation time and make more efficient the renovation process, through the customization of the mass production, from data gathering, designing, manufacturing and installation. Project developments will be validated in 3 complementary case studies of renovation in buildings across Europe.
The main results of the project are two:

1. The design and validation of timber prefabricated modules ready to renovate buildings and reduce their energy consumption by a factor of two.
The developed activities have been:
• Design of prefabricated 2 D modules with and without installations for each of the three timber manufacturers. New products for their catalogue have been designed
• Define a building data gathering methodology based in digital tools that assures a high accuracy (<7mm) of the building envelop survey and allows prefabrication as a renovation system
• Develop modules’ installation methodology that assures the installation times are reduced in 30% comparing to the traditional renovation system. Different solutions have been tested.
• Validate the feasibility of the proposed innovations by means of real demonstrators, where the accuracy of the data gathering method, the reduction on installation times and the energy efficiency of the results are validated.

2. RenoBIM tool. A digital tool based on BIM format that allows a feasibility check to know if BERTIM solution is suitable for a building renovation and provides information about the energy consumption reduction, the cost and the ROI of the renovation project. This is relevant information for the client for decision making.
Moreover, it has a configurator that allows a first approach to the design of the BERTIM modules on top of the digital BIM model of the building. Easy to use, allows a first pre-desing of the renovation that can afterwards be exported to a CAD/CAM software for a detailed design by an expert.
The activities have been:
• Architecture and requirements of the digital tool to meet the requirements of the timber manufacturers
• Development of the software. Interoperability with Energy+ and CAD/CAM softwares’
• Validation in industrial setting and in the real demonstrators in Spain and France.

To support the exploitation of the results many dissemination activities have been carried out. Moreover the business models have been designed and the exploitation route defined.
BERTIM proposes an innovative Holistic building renovation process that integrates digitalization of the building renovation process with prefabricated modules. An automated renovation process in being implemented, based on the utilization of energy efficient prefabricated modules in timber and recyclable materials, with high standardization and the integration of HVAC distribution system what is an innovative way to renovate building installations through the façade.

The use of BIM for information exchange among the stakeholders is proposed, in order to reduce the current time-consuming processes. Also, the computer-based tool (RenoBIM) in BIM developed in BERTIM is helping to implement the holistic renovation process methodology from design to manufacturing, which allows a digital data flow among the involved stakeholders. The tool will allow the interoperability among sectorial software used by many stakeholders reducing renovation operation.

By achieving BERTIM project objectives, relevant improvements to economy, environment and society are expected. First of all, the involved timber manufacturers were only in the new buildings renovation business. Thanks to BERTIM they have developed a new product to go to market for the energy efficient building renovation.
Even if the energy efficiency in the construction sector is a priority the market is not moving because new cost-effective solutions are required. BERTIM provides an efficient solution that can foster the building energy efficient renovation. BERTIM solutions assures a reduction of 50% of the energy consumption of the building, the CO2 emissions, improvement of the quality of life of the citizens living in cities, reaching comfort and indoor comfort conditions to the occupant requirements.

BERTIM has introduced the digital tools and the BIM in the three manufacturers allowing to increase their competitiveness and efficiency in the processes. They have seen the need of introducing these tools and some training is already previewed so far in EGOIN to the technical staff, increasing the skills of the workers. The three timber manufacturers are growing in number of people. The diversification of the activity requires to introduce new people. In the case of POBI, not only they have entered in renovation business but also the 3D modules manufacturing.

BERTIM Holistic renovation process is replicable in any other construction sector devoted or willing to enter in the prefabrication. Construction should innovate, digitalize processes and gain in competitiveness for the well-being of the citizens and the environment. BERTIM helps in this objective.
Image of the RenoBIM Decision Support tool
Point cloud of the demo buildign in France with laser scanner
Picture of demo buildign in France during renovation
Picture of the BERTIM modules' (standard and installation modules) validation
Image of the Configurator of RenoBIM tool designing BERTIM modules
Picture of the demo buildign in Sweden during renovation
Conceptual scheme of Matching kit system
Picture of the validation of Matching kit
Picture of the demo buildign in France renovated
Conceptual scheme of BERTIM installation modules
BERTIM installation modules with acces for maintenance open
Diagram showing the BERTIM Holistic buildign energy renovation process