More than half of the European buildings were built before 1975 and 10 millions of them are residential multi-storey buildings with distributed ownership. These buildings present common interesting features from the architectural and structural point of view, often having a linear façade with some 3D architectural patterns as well as cavity walls. A large part of this existing stock still needs to be insulated and vertical envelope is the key point to achieve energy efficiency.
Concept and Objectives
EASEE final goal is to improve the energy performance of existing residential building stock. For this purpose, the project will develop a new holistic approach to envelope retrofitting based on a combination of pre-fabricated components to be installed without wet finishing on site, novel insulation approaches for the cavity wall and innovative insulating solutions for the interiors.
EASEE will thus focus on the three main components of the envelope, namely the outer façade, the cavity walls and the interiors. For each of these parts, a range of novel solutions will be developed, to be combined according to the characteristics of the building to be retrofitted as well as to other non-technical parameters as for example cost and maintenance. Retrofitting options will be ranked through a Retrofitting Planner, which will help owners and construction SMEs to select the optimal solutions in terms of expected energy saving, cost and impact on the occupants.
EASEE Strategic Impact
EASEE will have a strong impact in terms of energy and economic savings, boosting the application of sustainable and energy efficient solutions to the construction sector. The benefits deriving from the proposed project will be perceived at different levels:
- at the macro-level, by inducing important savings in terms of energy consumption and emissions, strongly contributing to the achievement of targets stated in the EPBD Recast (Directive 2010/31/EU) and by increasing turnover for the benefit of the almost 3 millions construction SMEs operating in building renovation with a consequent impact on job creation;
- as buying drivers for the apartment owners, as they will have clear economic savings in the energy bills, allowing to return of the initial investments for the new solutions, avoiding at the same time discomforts and burden often associated to retrofitting intervention;
- for the actors involved in the current retrofitting supply chain, as new skills and profiles will be required, thus improving the overall competitiveness of the companies, as well as new business opportunities will be generated based on new products and services associated to façade assessment and renovation.
Overcoming current barriers: EASEE buying drivers
- Overcoming the high upfront cost of new solutions for façade insulation and the lack of quantified economic savings, the EASEE project will provide clear data on the energy savings and on the associated economical savings in the energy bill through the retrofitting planner, that will make realistic estimations of benefits related to the different combinations of retrofitting solutions for the building under consideration, allowing for an easy comparison among the available options.
- Overcoming the lack of data and long time evidences of service life and durability, the main buying driver of the EASEE retrofitting system is the modularity, which allows for fast and targeted intervention in case of problems with single elements
- Overcoming the difficulty in retrieving exhaustive and comprehensive information on new energy efficient solutions, also for non expert people as most of homeowners, the EASEE retrofitting solutions will be described with simple and clear parameters and characteristics (expected savings, initial investment, maintenance costs…) by the retrofitting planner.
- Overcoming the scepticism versus pre-fabricated elements, an important driver of the EASEE approach will be the high level of customization of the proposed solutions, also from the aesthetic point of view, which could modify the general attitude towards modular solutions. Furthermore the many other advantages of the proposed pre-fabricated solutions will be related to the reduced times of the intervention, the minimum impact on the occupants thanks to simplified installation, use of a dry process which reduces dust and wastes during the retrofitting.