Guidelines for energy-efficient renovation of shopping centres

Share this Post:

Guidelines on how to approach the energy-efficient renovation of shopping centres: the “how-to” guide on renovating shopping centres


A shopping centre is a building, or a complex of buildings, designed and built to contain many interconnected activities in different areas. Shopping centres have special peculiarities as they vary in their functions, typologies, forms and size. Within the retail sector, they are of particular interest because of their structural complexity and multi-stakeholders’ decisional process, their high energy savings and carbon emissions reduction potential, as well as their importance and influence in shopping tendencies and lifestyle.


In order to efficiently exploit a shopping centre energy potential, every retrofitting should involve a careful analysis of the building peculiarities in all fields, from the economic features to the socio-cultural ones. The use of building energy simulations can help evaluate the balance between gains and losses and energy uses and test design options and solution-sets.


The CommONEnergy guidelines are a step-by-step handbook for the renovation of shopping centres, resulting from the four years of research of the project. Starting from an analysis of shopping centres’ features and drivers for their renovation, CommONEnergy guidelines go through process, modelling and tools developed by the project, focusing in particular on the several technology measures enabling the aggregation in cost-effective solution-sets, like greenery integration, multifunctional coating, demand-response approach for refrigeration, and more. The tools described by the guidelines include the Economic Assessment Tool and the Integrated Design Process Library.


These guidelines were conceived to be a source of inspiration for facility managers, architects, owners, investors and designers and to provide steps to follow from the early stages of renovation, with technology solutions and effective methodological approaches. They can be key to launching a domino effect for the energy transition of shopping centres and similar buildings in the EU, such as airports or train stations.