Stefano P. Corgnati
TEBE Research Group, DENERG,
Politecnico di Torino, Italy,
The biggest challenge Europe has to deal with is the improvement of the existing building stock energy performance.
For this reason, directives and laws, which act in the framework of the existing buildings energy refurbishment, have to face this challenge with specific care related to the energy retrofit solutions.
The existing building stock is different not only in each Member State but also in regions of the same country; moreover, we can find old low efficiency buildings with no historical, but also situations when they have to be preserved.
German apartment block. (Source: “Refurbishment for the energy efficiency of historic buildings in member states in the Baltic Sea Region”)
Different scenarios to face need the development of diversified approaches for the improvement of the energy performance of existing buildings; these approaches must involve technical and economical/financial issues to be effective.
Today new buildings stock REIT (real estate investment trust) is very modest but at the same time a big market is potentially available for energy renovation of buildings: tax reductions and fiscal bonus can highly stimulate this market, as proved by same positive experiences in EU countries.
Polish historical building.
Nevertheless, energy targets must be fixed with care. Energy consumption reduction from 250 kWh/m²y (typical of an existing building) to less than 30 kWh/m²y (towards nZEB), ensuring at the same time cost optimality, is a very ambitious goal in existing buildings. Moreover, it is not always feasible due to technological issues and real estate criticalities.
It is now important to define energy policies aimed at outlining minimum energy performance goals specifically addressed to existing buildings considering different types, design features and architectural value.
If on the one hand we should acknowledge legislative and prescriptive effort, aiming to raise existing building performances awareness, on the other hand we can feel a lack of laws and standards considering existing buildings as a peculiar target.
I truly believe Rehva community should take the lead of these necessities in order to encourage a specific and conscious development of building energy renovation.