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1 February 2022 - 31 January 2026

4. Business strategies & Renovation clusters

Innovative business strategies and clusters will be addressed by way of identifying and harmonizing the governance of all agents integrating the value chain of building renovation, starting new business strategies, developing valuation and strategy tools, fostering an innovation culture among the different stakeholders and mapping potentials for circular economy.

4.1 Sustainability Transitions – cross-sectoral collaboration and system innovations

Radical innovations are central for the urgently needed transition toward deep decarbonisation (Geels et al., 2017). In the building sector, major innovations include reusable, low-carbon construction and insulation materials, innovative approaches to waste reduction, recycling and reuse, or new policy mixes for low-carbon buildings and renovation.

There are two key challenges that will be addressed in this subproject. First, the transition of the building sector, and improvements in renovation, are interrelated with innovations and transitions in adjacent sectors: energy, materials, planning, architecture, waste management and ICT. Therefore, it is key to understand collaboration and innovation dynamics across sectors. Second, incremental developments will not suffice. Instead, we need breakthrough innovations, whose success depends on well-functioning innovation systems and the support of multiple actors.

We study major innovations around alternative materials and materials re-use. Our analysis concentrates on different actors, their strategies and interests, and their role in the transition. In particular, we look at international developments and experiences to identify best practices for successful coordination of actors across sectors and the formation of innovation systems generating breakthrough innovations.

4.2 Renovation clusters based on “one-stop-shop”

Traditional renovation models are characterized by a fragmented value chain in which separate actors complete separate fractions of the works. Moving towards One-Stop-Shop (OSS) models means moving toward a customer centered service model, with a single customer interface and point of contact who takes responsibility, and project manages. This bridges the gap between the fragmented supply chain and demand sides and reduces the need for homeowners to manage various building professionals involved in the renovation process.

The objectives of this subproject are:

  • To develop a solid business model, centered on local One-Stop-Shops
  • To support all-inclusive technological package solutions that ensure energy efficiency and decarbonisation
  • To ensure the scalability and replicability of RENOWAVE technical solutions and business models.

An outcome will be renovation clusters of companies, based on OSS concepts, for decarbonization on district scale for making districts smarter and more sustainable, including citizen and stakeholder involvement, management and governance, and business models.

Such One-Stop-Shops for renovation clusters will expand and exploit the solid business models; include the local/regional/national value chain(s)/networks; and demonstrate, evaluate and ultimately replicate the innovative solutions in different environment and market conditions, considering social, business and policy drivers.

4.3 Potential for new business strategies

The subproject aims at improving real estate owners’ proficiency in developing and managing their assets.

Specifically, this subproject develops a valuation and strategy tool from Pricewaterhouse Coopers AG (PWC) for redevelopment and new construction projects. In this subproject, we further implement the choice of heat generation or technology mix and its impact on the property value in the valuation and strategy tool. Furthermore, we apply the valuation and strategy tool to pilot projects from a broader clientele as a real estate portfolio management service.

With the help of the valuation and strategy tool, the right investment decisions can be made, i.e., real estate values are optimized in the long term, considering economical, ecological, and social sustainability. Consequently, the valuation and strategy tool optimizes the net present values at the project level for the owner. Thus, the entire Swiss building stock value increases in the long term and also in view of the sustainability dimensions. Furthermore, the valuation and strategy tool's target group (private vs. institutional) will be defined and characterized.

4.4 Holistic renovation concepts

This subproject builds upon the basic principle to create an area within the city boundaries, capable of generating more energy than consumed and agile/flexible enough to respond to the variation of the energy market. It should also support minimizing the impact on the connected centralized energy networks by offering options for increasing onsite load-matching and self-consumption, technologies for short- and long-term storages, and providing energy flexibility with smart control.

Energy planners are typically limited to considering a handful of supply solutions for any given site, often resulting in lost opportunities for CO2 and cost savings. Energy master planning (EMP) typically results in an energy concept for a site, specifying the supply and technologies to be used, with a rough dimensioning of each, and foreseen energy linkages between buildings on a site. For existing sites, building envelope retrofits and supply system renovations are not considered in an integrated way, often resulting in suboptimal solutions .

This three-fold problem is addressed as follows:

  • An optimization-based approach is applied in each of the case studies to support the respective EMP process.
  • EMP will be reconceptualized as a continuous, iterative process. With each stage and sub-stage of the site's life cycle, the assumptions, constraints and parameters underlying the EMP will be reconsidered and the energy concept re-optimized.
  • RENOWAVE will tackle the challenges of sub-optimum building renovation by creating a broad, participatory and inclusive collaborative framework using novel tools for stakeholder engagement.
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