To illustrate how the energy performance of existing buildings can be upgraded, the European Aluminium Association compiled the following case study.
The Torenflat (high-rise apartment block) contains 484 apartments on central corridors on 19 residential levels. One of the important objectives of this huge renovation operation, which was carried out entirely whilst people were living in the building, was to eliminate all the thermal bridges of the complex. This was achieved in 2008 by enclosing the entire building in a ‘warm jacket’, a light thermal skin comprised of fully prefabricated aluminium façade units that could be fixed onto the existing structure. Each apartment was given a new skin in one working day. By enclosing the building in this way, the thermal performance of the building was dramatically improved: the energy performance of the building has been improved by three categories according to the Dutch building energy labeling system. This project combined minimal investment with maximum social, economic and environmental benefits, and won the European Aluminium in Renovation Award 2009 in the residential category. An independent expert was involved in order to secure the scientific validity and technical quality of the above calculations.