The H2020 MORE-CONNECT project “Development and advanced prefabrication of innovative, multifunctional building envelope elements for Modular Retrofitting and smart Connections” has been successfully completed. All the project objectives have been completed before the official closing day of the project (end of November 2018), and are ready to be presented during the international SBE19 NL conference Retrofit Europe.
Project initial objectives were:
- to develop cost optimal deep renovation solutions towards nZEB concepts with the possibility of extra customize (cost-effective) features;
- to develop and demonstrate prefabricated multifunctional modular renovation elements in series of one concept, in a mass production process;
- to develop and demonstrate new fully automated production lines for multifunctional modular renovation elements;
- to offer of a one-stop-shop to the end-user to renovate their homes.
Cost optimal deep renovation solutions were evaluated for MORE-CONNECT geo-clusters. Whereas selected favourable concepts were often cost-effective in comparison with related reference cases, it was also observed that the costs of the prefabricated elements are currently higher than those of conventional renovation solutions. However, due to the possibilities for upscaling of the industrialized processes for producing the prefabricated panels, there is a potential that costs can be further brought down to make building renovation concepts with prefabricated elements more cost-effective in the future.
Prefabricated multifunctional modular renovation elements allowed to reach a significant construction time reduction. For example, on-site mounting of modular retrofitting panels took only five days in Latvia, where 200m2 4-apartments building have been renovated, and three weeks in Estonia, where 3306 m2 multi-apartment building has been renovated.
Fully automated production lines, allow to reduce the risk of human failure and to ensure the quality of the final product. Construction failure costs are reduced by 15% to 20% compared to the traditional construction approach.
Automated factory lines are used for mass production of new buildings and not yet adopted for retrofitting of existing buildings stock; main barriers are: poor technical conditions, unpredictable properties of existing building envelope as well as vertical displacement of external walls, lack of knowledge of data and technology compatibility that limits a successful cooperation between involved parties. In the scope of the project, practical recommendations on 3D scanning and BIM model development were proposed for better and more precise data collection on building geometry and technical conditions. “One size” BIM model can be easily generated and efficiently used by all involved parties including energy auditors, designers, manufacturers as well as construction and maintenance companies.
In the framework of the project, two major retrofitting process automation solutions have been elaborated. First one is a production line automation and the second one is on-site retrofitting automation. Automated industrial insulation line, implemented by project industrial partner ZTC LTD, allows to reduce the amount of construction waste and ensure application of thermal insulation with a higher precision controlled by preset algorithm. Another part of MORE-CONNECT approach is the development of on-site use of robots for application of thermal insulation, 3D-printing of concrete plastering or decoration of walls by INVELA LTD. The use of the pre-programmed robot has been demonstrated at the Danish MORE-CONNECT pilot project.
The transition from on-site 3D scanning to final installation of prefabricated modules was documented for each pilot building. Achieved results can be implemented by companies which are going to offer one-stop shop concept; a one-stop shop is a company that offers a multitude of products or services to its customers. Based on project partners collaboration, technical specification for necessary equipment and personnel skills was developed.