To stand any chance of delivering the EU’s energy reduction targets in buildings, the existing building stock must be made significantly more energy efficient. An EC-funded project to create effective and affordable retrofit kits has now begun testing its designs in three model buildings across Europe.
The kits, created by the iNSPiRe project, consist of façades and roof kits with integrated heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and energy-collecting devices designed to be easily and cost-effectively installed without having to evacuate the buildings, both commercial and residential, of their owners. Each of the kits has been designed with the aim of reducing the primary energy consumption of buildings to lower than 50 kWh/m2/year – an 80 per cent reduction of the current average.
The first in Ludwigsburg is an example of 1970’s social housing and is made up of four flats on four stories, where iNSPiRe is fitting a wooden façade and roof kit as well as a heating system. In Madrid, a multiple occupancy residential building of eight flats over four stories has had energy boxes fitted as well as new envelope solutions and solar collectors. Meanwhile, iNSPiRe’s office building solutions are being tested at a site in Verona. The building is being renovated with metal-glass façade modules that combine solar collectors and sorption chillers, as well as ceiling panels that cater for heating, cooling and ventilation.
Monitoring is now taking place to assess the full impact in terms of the energy and cost savings they will create.
In its latest Science and Policy Report, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) stated that developing and implementing energy-efficient renovation kits at the heart of its message, citing it as the only feasible way to reach and then surpass the EC’s 20-20-20 energy targets (20 per cent renewable energy and a 20 per cent improvement in energy efficiency by the year 2020).
iNSPiRe is a four-year long, EC-funded project comprising 24 partners across nine work packages from the combined fields of research and development, industry, small business and not-for-profit organizations. The objective of iNSPiRe is to tackle the problem of high-energy consumption by producing systemic renovation packages that can be applied to residential and tertiary buildings.