Page 23 - European Energy Innovation - Spring 2015 publication
P. 23
Spring 2015 European Energy Innovation 23


Being at the forefront of innovative solutions

The future of energy retrofitting in Europe

By Cosmina Marian, Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE)

E  nergy retrofitting is between benefits and costs - that can in time address all
perhaps the most most energy retrofits need a the challenges associated
challenging aspect to large up-front investment that with renovation. For instance,
consider when upgrading requires a number of years to researchers have developed new
the building stock so that it pay for itself; insulation materials to transform
achieves the ambitious European buildings constructed before
goals set to cut CO2 emissions. • choosing the best solution 1975 into energy efficient units,
Making the case of the worthiness to finance such renovation materials applicable to façades,
to refurbish buildings so that they works – either government wall cavities and interiors. Novel
consume less energy can prove incentives, tax breaks, public- solutions for these insulation
to be quite easy. But actually private financing or through products have been developed
implementing these strategies an “integrated approach” that within the EU-funded project
can end up being difficult. Facts plays on policy and financing EASEE1 which adopts a holistic
and figures showing we can incentives with technological and innovative approach to
become less dependent on advances; retrofitting. The insulation
imported energy or achieve materials bring together a novel
important CO2 reductions if we • aesthetic challenges related to design and assessment strategies,
choose the path to ambitious façade modifications; with scaffolding-free installation
retrofitting are hard to deny. approaches to minimise the
At the same time, Europe is • and finally the human factor – impact on occupants while
faced with a considerable namely convincing tenants and reducing energy demand and
implementation gap between owners of such investments ‘ enhancing the façade’s original
existing policies and what is being worthiness. appearance. The EASEE results
done in practice on the ground. for external wall insulation are
Thus, the implementation gap can distinguishable from anything
Around half of Europe’s buildings be reduced by making retrofitting else currently on the market due
were built before 1975, in an an attractive investment, to the simplified dry-construction
era when energy efficiency, highlighting the economic, social processes and the high level of
CO2 emissions and energy and environmental benefits; customisation.
consumption were not a priority. diminishing the disturbance level
Now a strong need arises to caused by the works; improving These kinds of endeavours have
transform the most energy the speed of delivery and to have a lasting effect and leave
demanding buildings into energy guaranteeing the quality of the their mark on the market and the
efficient ones. There are multiple results. whole value chain. The overall
challenges such as: aim is to have products and
There is a niche market to approaches that can incentivise
• striking the right balance develop innovative technologies the application of sustainable

Aerogel wallpaper installation Aerogel laminated boards Panels casted by
prototypes installation Magnetti for the
test facade

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