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Residential Retrofits at district scale

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InnoEnergy, IREC and AIGUASOL, have published the “Residential Retrofits at District Level” report. The study proposes “different business models for large-scale retrofitting of residential building stock in urban areas, including cost-optimal energy efficiency measures, as a means to unblock poor residential retrofitting rates in EU Southern countries”, said Dr. Jaume Salom, leader of the Thermal Energy and Building Performance Group of IREC.

European countries must thoroughly modernize their building stock. The EU directives envision raising the refurbishment rate to around 3%, representing an estimated 110 million buildings across the EU. However, several barriers exist that keep actual retrofitting rates far below envisioned ones, especially in southern countries. Retrofitting at the district level has been found to be an effective way to overcome the obstacles that prevent the retrofitting rate from rising above its current rate of 0.2% - 1.0%.


In all analysed experiences – including the recent project “Renovem els barris” deployed in the municipality of Santa Coloma de Gramenet (Barcelona) – the Public Sector leads the project and end-users are able to take advantage of a greater percentage of grants and soft loans.


This study proposes three business models that function as Public Private Partnerships with the goal of implementing large-scale residential retrofitting. Each model is designed to clearly define the business process, financial fluxes, and each of the different stakeholders and their required skills, with the overarching goal of establishing a robust and easily replicable system that increases residential retrofitting rates across Europe. The three proposed business models are based on the idea of establishing a Public Private Partnership between the city council and several private actors, including financial entities, while also implementing a participative strategy that involves end-users (i.e. district residents) in the project.

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