1. Information, Co-operation & Support
Besides financial and legal issues, the complexity and the associated lack of information and support for building owners and other stakeholders is a big barrier for building retrofit.
Therefore, RENOWAVE addresses Information and support for local politicians, administrations and building owners through a local policy analysis and development of information and facilitation programs at local (municipality) level. As a complement, integrated support tools for the assessment and the implementation of coherent and successful retrofit strategies will be developed, tested and assessed.
1.1 Participative policy analysis
Due to property rights, legislation and often a lack of financial resources, the scope for municipalities to act on building retrofit of private properties is limited. Nevertheless, there are various ways in which municipalities can promote energy-efficient renovation of private properties.
The aim of this subproject is therefore primarily to motivate municipalities to actively address the issue and to show what options they have for action and how they can proceed.
- The first step is therefore to determine what motivates municipalities to become active in this field.
- Secondly, the options for action available to the municipalities will be investigated.
- Thirdly, it will be determined how participatory methods can be used to create new support offers together with the building owners and other stakeholders.
The information gained will be used to create a “best-practice handbook”, that should help other municipalities and the cantons to increase the renovation rate and reduce energy consumption.
1.2 Local incentive programs
Building owners face abundant information concerning energy renovation of buildings from state agencies. However, this information is limited to generalities and does not necessarily respond to owners individual queries.
This subproject will propose a tool kit to municipalities to build proactive information campaigns and incentive programs in the form of one-stop-shops for residential buildings owners to encourage energy renovation.
Municipalities represent the first level of contact between owners and the administration and are the public entities that have the most detailed (albeit incomplete) knowledge of the characteristics of the building stock on their territory and of the owners. Moving to a stage of proactive dialogue and co-operation will build a bridge between general awareness and concrete situations, contribute to removing barriers to renovation and triggering projects.
With building owners better informed and supported, they should be more inclined to launch an actual project, on a clear basis, in agreement with the authority that will advise in the first instance on the project and on possible subsidies.
1.3 Support and coaching tools for refurbishment strategies
Once the building owner decides to renovate, it is essential to keep the momentum and to help tackling the obstacles, give support to the stakeholders, in particular tenants, during and after the works.
A retrofit project can range from the replacement of existing elements with more efficient ones to a complete renovation of the entire building’s envelope and technical installations. Timing of the intervention is also important (single operation or spread over years). Finally, the question of the occupants of the building is essential: if a building site is not emptied of its inhabitants, and according to the extent of the necessary works, the rehousing of the occupants is very complex to manage, just as their accompaniment in the post works phase.
During the technical studies and construction phase, the professional team (architects and engineers) are responsible for proposing the best technical and architectural solutions to the owner to achieve the desired goal. However, they are generally not responsible for answering more general but essential questions and to handle the relationship with the building's users: What to do? Where to start? In which timing? With which objectives? How to handle the users’ issue?
The objective of the subproject is to develop coaching and support tools to assist the owners to answer these questions in the most efficient manner. These tools shall include instruments for steering and decision-making upstream of the works, but also coaching and support tools for managing the construction and post-construction phases with the users and other stakeholders.
1.4 Life cycle sustainability & Resilience assessment of solutions
This subproject aims at developing a comprehensive Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment-Framework (LCSA-F) to support an informed and holistic decision making for the decarbonization of the Swiss building stock. It will integrate five methodologies: Environmental Life Cycle Assessment (ELCA), Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA), Life Cycle Costing (LCC), Resilience Assessment (RA) and a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) in a novel combination, with high significance to sustainable solutions and in alignment with the modernization of the Swiss building stock.
The five methodological approaches and their application for sustainable building refurbishment will be partly further developed, set up in a novel comprehensive framework and provide thereby valuable knowledge to the research community and implementation partners in this field. Furthermore, the LCSA-F will be developed to be flexible, practicable and intelligible to meet the needs of the stakeholders in the building sector.