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DRIVERS FOR DISTRICT SCALE REFURBISHMENT

Suburban development and improvement of citizens’ wellbeing best happens with the help of district-scale approaches. There are important drivers for district-scale refurbishment, such as the huge backlog of renovation of especially residential buildings. District-scale refurbishment is in line with sustainable, low-carbon and infill strategies of growing cities. District-scale approaches are necessary especially when a rapid transition towards energy-efficiency and utilization of renewable energy takes place. Future buildings will play an active role in the energy system by using, generating and storing energy.

BARRIERS FOR DISTRICT-SCALE REFURBISHMENT

However, the three most important barriers are firstly the presence and possible disagreement of several owners to start district-scale projects, secondly lack of actors to initiate these projects, and thirdly the institutional and legal obstacles related to town planning and building permission practices.

NEED FOR AN ACTIVATOR

A new kind of actor - an activator - is needed for district-scale energy projects. The activator should understand platform-based approaches and methods to empower people; the role should include the organising of participation processes; the activator should organise inquiries and workshops together with potential groups of housing companies and allow the end-users to define requests based on their own life and living situations.

PROCESS MODELS

Different kinds of process models are possible for district scale refurbishment. MODER defined and assessed several: Step-by-step refurbishment, Refurbishment project with several building owners, Alliance refurbishment, Primary project owner, Distributed Design-Build Coordinator, Public/Private-Private Partnership (PPP) Coordinator, Local distributed renewable energy system procurement, Renewable energy production, resource sharing and operation, Enabling financing of large scale refurbishments by smart step-by-step approach, The energy management of buildings.

DISTRICT-SCALE ASSESSMENT TOOLS

Important tasks in district-scale refurbishment include doing deep and realistic analyses of potentials of refurbishment with the help of new tools and communicating information about potential solutions. Technology packages, new design methods and different kinds of tools are needed for district scale analyses such as District Energy Concept Advisor (D-ECA) and APROS District Visualization tool developed by MODER.

NEW ENERGY-SYSTEM DESIGN METHODS

District-scale energy-refurbishment will also need energy-system design methods that enable the determination of an optimal design and operation of energy systems. In multi-modal energy systems, different types of energy are considered in a holistic approach; synergies between different energy forms can be employed and problems in energy transport or storage in one energy form can be optimally solved as showed by MODER.

MARKET INTEREST AND POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS

There is market interest for district-scale refurbishment and for the role of an activator. The role could be taken on by such actors as contractors, project managers, and engineering companies.
Big rental housing owners are potential customers in the implementation of district-scale refurbishment, and they could act as engines.

MUNICIPALITIES AS KEY PARTNERS

The role of the municipality is extremely important: the municipality brings neutrality by providing objective information about benefits and potentials. The municipality should be proactive, far seeing and flexible in town planning and not too demanding in collecting land-use fees. The municipality could act as a local facilitator   supporting collaboration with owners, owner-occupants, contractors and others. In addition, the municipality should support platform-based approach, encourage participation of all, and provide open data. It would also be important, if the municipality could provide a small incentive for forerunner housing companies together with extensive information about benefits of refurbishment. Finally, the rental housing companies owned by the municipality should show strong leadership, demonstrate and invite others to participate.

POTENTIAL DISTRICTS FOR DISTRICT-SCALE REFURBISHMENT

The potential areas are sub-urban districts of 1970’s where the need for refurbishment is the biggest. The potentials are biggest in districts where the value of flats is relatively high. The biggest potential is limited to growing urban areas.

SOURCES OF FUNDING

Sources of funding include land-use development. However, financial services will develop and there will be opportunities for green funding and ESCO-type of approaches for district-scale energy refurbishment.

 

 

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​Horizon 2020 H2020-EeB-2015, EeB-05-2015, INNOVATION ACTION