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Renovating the Existing Buildings Environment through the Combination of Circular economy and the Add-ons’ strategy

Project description

Circular models for building renovation

The building renovation sector is challenged by an investment gap due to the high degree of investment risk and long payback times. Since models based on the linear economy principle are not suitable to meet the energy emergency of existing buildings, circular economy models emerge as an adequate alternative. The EU-funded REBECCA project intends to prove the potentiality of circular and innovative actions to unlock public and private funds, meet energy efficiency investment requirements, and contribute to a relaunch of the renovation and construction sector. The project will focus on the residential building stock by developing renovation strategies leading to significant architectural and energy transformations that will increase the real estate residual value of the buildings.


The actual investment gap in the renovation sector is due to the fact that high investments are required up-front, generally characterised by a high degree of risk and long payback times. Sustainable approaches based upon linear economy principle are inadequate to effectively answer to the energy emergency of the existing buildings: a shift towards circular models is urgent.
REBECCA aims at demonstrating the attractiveness of circular, concerted and innovative actions capable of unlocking public and private funds, fill the energy efficiency investment gap and ultimately contribute to re-launch the construction and renovation market. To do so, the research looks at the residential building stock and develops renovation strategies and techniques based upon Circular models for Renovation (CiR) and Circular Add-ons (CiA), intended as one (or a set of) volumetric additions – like aside or façade addictions, rooftop extensions or even an entire new building construction - that increase the real estate residual value of the existing buildings thanks to significant energy and architectural transformations. Through a case-study based approach, REBECCA will prove that building renovations can be achieved at zero cost (through self-financing real estate models), zero waste (with virtuous circular waste/material management paths) and zero energy (by reducing the energy consumptions and integrating renewable energy sources).
In synthesis, REBECCA is proposing to introduce a new paradigm of circularity in the building renovation practice, which looks at reducing the pay-back time of the interventions, strengthening the key investors’ confidence, increasing quality and attractiveness of the existing buildings’ stock and, finally, reaching a concrete market acceleration towards the target of carbon zero footprint for the European built environment.


Net EU contribution
€ 262 209,60
Arcisstrasse 21
80333 Muenchen

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Bayern Oberbayern München, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 262 209,60