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Bringing Retrofit Innovation to Application - BRITA in PuBs

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The BRITA in PuBs project from 2004 to 2008 aimed at rasing awareness on energy conservation and increasing the market penetration of innovative and effective retrofit solutions with moderate additional costs. To demonstrate such solutions 8 exemplary retrofits of public buildings in four participating European regions (North, Central, South, East) have been designed, realised and monitored. Research work dealt with socio-economic analyses such as real project planning needs and financing strategies, retrofit design guidance, development of an internet tool with case studies and retrofit measures presentations as well as benchmarking of consumption and the quality control for a good long-term performance of the building. The training and dissemination work included blackboard information sheets on how to use a building most energy efficient, training of facility managers and architectural students, two symposia, an E-learning module for students, newsletters and a comprehensive website with all project results.
The Ecobuildings project BRITA in PuBs was started in May 2004 to increase the market penetration of innovative and effective retrofit solutions in order to improve energy efficiency and implement renewables with moderate additional costs. As main topic the exemplary retrofit of 8 demonstration public buildings in the four participating European regions (North, Central, South, East) was realised. By choosing public buildings of different types such as colleges, cultural centres, nursing homes, university buildings and churches etc. for implementing the measures, groups of differing age and social origin could be reached. Public buildings can be used as engines to heighten awareness and sensitise society on energy conservation. The technology applications include measures at the building envelope like improved insulation and high-efficient windows, advanced ventilation concepts like hybrid systems, integrated supply technologies like combined heat and power units, energy-efficient lighting and integrated solar application.
Research work packages dealt with socio-economic research such as the identification of real project planning needs and financing strategies, retrofit design guidelines, an internet-based knowledge tool on retrofit measures and case studies including a benchmark tool to compare the energy use of public buildings to the national average and a quality control tool-box to secure good long-term performance of the building and the systems.
The third main pillar of the BRITA in PuBs project was dissemination. This was divided into two parts, the training of users, facility managers and architectural students, and a section on publishing the research and demonstration work to different target groups.
All results and deliverables are available on the project website: including:
- Retrofit Design Guidelines
- Financing Strategies
- Real Project Planning Needs
- Evaluation Report of the 8 Demonstration Buildings
- BRITA in PuBs Information Tool (case studies, retrofit measures, performance rating)
- Quality Control Toolbox
Training material:
- Blackboard Information Sheets
- Facility Managers Training
- Architectural Students Lectures
- E-learning Module
General project information:
- Final project activity report
- Glossy brochure BRITA in PuBs
- Glossy brochure Ecobuildings
- Posters
- Newsletter
- Documentation of the 2 symposia

Acronym of the case


Author(s) information


Hans and Heike Erhorn


Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics, Stuttgart, Germany


Lessons learnt

The main goals of the demonstration project were: - the reduction of the primary energy demand for heating, ventilation, cooling, domestic hot water and lighting by factor 2 - improvement of the user satisfaction by factor 2 These aims could be realised based on the monitoring results and the user questionnaire evaluation as documented in the demonstration building report. For the 8 public building renovations all over Europe it could be proven that energy savings of 50 % can be realised with at the same time moderate additional costs. A life cycle assessment showed further more energy and environmental payback times from 0.3 to 2 years. This means that in a relatively small time period the global energy and environmental investments are fully repaid by the obtained benefits. The close cooperation with one of the main target groups, decision makers at public administrations, made a detailed analysis of their needs concerning energy efficient retrofits possible. Existing barriers were analysed and solutions like financing strategies, necessary information, tools to support them at different project stages were collected and developed plus adapted to the needs of the target group. It is important not only to give information, but also to be aware what exactly is needed by whom and at which stage of the process. The European-wide exchange gave insights in the planning and realisation processes of other regions and showed many similarities but also differences in problems and solutions. The project had also impact on the policy sector. It proved that energy efficient retrofits of public buildings beyond national requirements are feasible. The two symposia, but also presentation at national and international city networks disseminated this project results to national and local policy makers. The bank of the Federal Republic of Germany (KfW) has developed a financial funding programme for the retrofit of public buildings based also on the results of the BRITA in PuBs project. There has been a cooperation with the industry sector mainly for the retrofit design guidelines, but also with the application of two new developments, a new glass solar collector and a revolving window at one of the demonstration buildings. There was no in depth research, but the participants concentrated on presenting nationally available research knowledge in guidelines and tools in an attractive and understandable way in order to inform architects, engineers, decision makers and facility managers. The resulting guides and tools have been downloaded for many times at the project website.

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Start date - End date

Luni, 5 Ianuarie, 2004 to Miercuri, 30 Aprilie, 2008

Source of funding

Funding description

EU 6th Framework Programme