ICE tool has been developed by the Valencia Institute of Building and has been promoted and funded by the Ministry of Environment, Water, Urbanism and Housing of the Generalitat Valenciana. This tool is being used by the regional government to give grants to retrofit in an objective manner.
The Building conservation report and energy evaluation ICE is a technical inspection whose purpose is to achieve an understanding of the overall maintenance status of the building on its security, functionality and energy efficiency aspects, analysing deficiencies, damages and signs of damages, in order to adopt the necessary measures and priorities for a future retrofit. ICE tool includes a user guide and a set of filling cards to help the inspector to take down the data of the building. Once the initial inspection of the building has been completed by the inspector, and the data has been recorded, the internal calculation engine generates an energy certification and estimates energy savings depending on different retrofit options. This way, the owner can decide which is the most cost-effective solution for his building.
To calculate the energy certification, ICE tool incorporates the calculation engine of the tool CERMA R. It also includes data from the Constructive Solution Catalog for energy retrofit. Both tools have been developed by the Valencia Institute of Building, and in the case of CERMA R in collaboration with the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia UPV and the Spanish Technical Association of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration ATECYR.
Refurbishment guides for inspection and intervention are needed by the current stock of residential buildings for several reasons. Some of these are:
- In Spain, housing construction between the 50s and the 80s underwent an unprecedented growth. A considerable percentage of the total number of buildings were constructed throughout this period, without the support of innovative technical regulations in the field of sustainability. Not to mention the almost complete absence of inspection and maintenance in the lifespan of these buildings, the state of conservation has worsened. This situation in Spain and in other European countries has led to excessive energy consumption and a progressive increase in CO2 emissions.
- The existing technical regulations only focus on new building, so they can not be applied to building refurbishment. The technicians' intervention, dealing with refurbishment, must be contrasted with, not only their personal experience, but also with documents or systems which, with knowledge, contribution and experience, will guide and orient them objectively.
- Homogenize intervention criteria and benchmarking. The absence of this causes that the Assessments and interventions proposed for the same building can be very different which then leads to distrust of public and private developers.
- The need for technical reference to support refurbishment policies carried out by different authorities. The use of a reference procedure enables a continuous improvement, simplifying and making its application more efficient.