Europe’s energy efficiency challenge in buildings mainly concerns the energy efficient refurbishment and investments in its existing buildings. Yet, only 1,2% of Europe’s existing buildings is renovated every year.
The actual investment gap in the deep renovation sector is due to the fact that high investments are required up-front and they are generally characterized by an excessively high degree of risk, by long payback times and by the general “invisibility of the energy benefit”. It is therefore necessary to develop harmonised, concerted and innovative actions to unlock the needed public and private funds, fill the energy efficiency investment gap and ultimately contribute to re-launch the construction market and create new jobs.
The EU-funded ABRACADABRA project (Assistant Buildings’ addition to Retrofit, Adopt, Cure And Develop the Actual Buildings up to zeRo energy, Activating a market for deep renovation) is based on the prior assumption that substantial increase in the real estate valueof the existing buildings can play a key role in the deep renovation. The project’s ambition aims at:
- the important reduction of the pay back time of the energy retrofit interventions;
- the strengthening of the key investors’ confidence;
- the increasing quality and attractiveness of the existing buildings’ stock and,
- the concrete market acceleration towards the Nearly Zero Energy Buildings target.
Therefore, ABRACADABRA aims at demonstrating to the key stakeholders and financial investors the attractiveness of a new renovation strategy based on volumetric Add-ons and Renewables (AdoRe) intended as one (or a set of) Assistant Building unit(s) – like aside or façade addictions, rooftop extensions or even an entire new building construction – that “adopt” the existing buildings (the Assisted Buildings) to achieve nearly zero energy. The creation of these new Assistant Buildings’ Additions integrated with Renewable Energy Sources aims at reducing the initial investment allocated for the deep renovation of the existing building creating an up-grading synergy between old and new. The ABRA strategy results in the implementation of apunctual densification policy that aims at fostering the investments in deep renovation of the existing built environment throughout Europe. The aim is to provoke a legislative and market earthquake accelerating the revolutiontowards nearly Zero Energy in existing buildings.
The objective of the proposed actions is to drive process innovation in the construction and the real estate sector. The project is coordinated by the University of Bologna (A. Ferrante and her team) and benefits from the participation of other 17 European partners from the academic and the business sector.