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Drivers of the energy transition: Why do property owners decide to renovate?

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Deep energy renovations are a big step for small multi-apartment buildings, especially if advanced technological solutions are considered. In order to understand what are the drivers that motivate property owners to carry out these projects, we decided to pay a visit to Hardi Kolli, a co-owner from the Apartment Owners Association “Rannaliiva”, in Võru (Estonia). Rannaliiva building is one of the three EU funded RenoZEB project sites where its co-owners decided to carry out deep energy renovation works. We asked Hardi to share with us his experience.

HARDI, CAN YOU TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO AND WHAT RANNALIIVA IS AND DOES?

Sure! Rannaliiva is a non-profit apartment association established by apartment owners in 1999 for the purpose of sharing the management of their legal shares within the building, plotting of land and representation of their interests. The building has 15 apartments and each apartment owner is a member of this association.  I am really attached to Rannaliiva as I have lived in here since 2007. When we were approached to become a demo-building within an EU IA project I became the representative of our Association. At Rannaliiva, my tasks range from guaranteeing a fruitful communication flow between apartment owners, project partners, technical designer, construction company etc. and I also assist the organisation and management of various daily tasks relevant to the renovation process.

 

WHAT ARE RANNALIIVA ASSOCIATION’S MAIN OBJECTIVES?

Our building was built in the late eighties and at that time construction quality was just bad! Like every property owner in Estonia, us co-owners at Rannaliiva knew that sooner or later we would have had to carry out renovation works to increase our building’s lifespan, and of course the quality of its indoor environment. Energy savings, along with comfort, its improved aesthetics and its expected increase in property value also played an important role in our decision to renovate. Despite the construction works getting more and more expensive every year we came to the conclusion that, after almost 30 years, it was a good idea and about time to renovate!

 

WHAT ABOUT THE MAIN CONCERNS AND EXPECTATIONS OF ITS PROPERTY OWNERS?

People main concerns are related to renovation cost! Being a property owner myself, I would say that we sensed preoccupation at Rannaliiva at the beginning.  However, as we are currently waiting to know the costs, we will soon be able to calculate how much they will actually affect our monthly expenses. Additional to costs, I think that owners have often questions on the functioning of plug&play wall panels, which will be installed in our building. Also, the disruptiveness of these works has to be taken into consideration. I remember that when we started introducing the idea of undergoing a refurbishment, the elders were not so excited about it, as they were perceiving it as quite invasive. In any case, whatever the preoccupation may be, the situation is calm and people are looking forward to the start of the works!

 

Read the full interview here.