More and Deeper Renovation

Buildings represent around a third of the total global energy use and the energy-related CO2 emissions, existing buildings account for a major part of this consumption, especially in developed countries. Therefore a critical pathway to reach policy targets for energy efficiency in the existing building stock is through Deep Energy Renovations.

A state-of-the-art energy renovation can reduce the energy consumption of a building by as much as 75%. In comparison, a standard renovation or refurbishment will harvest savings of 20% – 30%, sometimes even less. Even though efficient building technology is readily available, there is low demand for deep renovations and they are not currently standard practice. Energy efficiency policies and supporting programs play a crucial role in driving energy efficiency improvements in existing buildings.

This Lab aims to develop new and innovative strategies and resources to help achieve a massive market uptake of deep renovations. The initial areas of focus for the lab are 1) establish the definition of DR (deep renovation/ refurbishment/ retrofit/ reduction), 2) develop a set of criteria to define what a DR project is, 3) apply the criteria to compare best practice projects, and 4) make all results widely known and available. We need global experts to help us develop an agree-upon standard set of criteria for deep renovations and to provide references to exemplary DR projects.  GBPN will work on comparing successful deep renovation projects and policy packages, based on the criteria agreed.

In order to make deep renovation projects more cost-effective, GBPN invites experts in energy efficiency in buildings to join our discussions on the Lab.   We will focus on specific areas that we can support in making deep renovation economically attractive, such as costs, financial instruments and how to overcome barriers. The Lab will make a substantial contribution to accelerating the dissemination of the best deep renovation policies and will collect information on new business opportunities to help to achieve energy efficiency and CO2 policy targets in existing buildings.


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Deep Reduction or Deep Energy Reduction is a term used in US for a deep renovation or a deep refurbishment, which aims at 75 % or more reduction in energy use compared to before the improvement. E.g. the 1000 homes challenge. [Source: GBPN, 2012]

Deep Refurbishment or Deep Energy Refurbishment means to bring something back from a state of reduced efficiency to a better state with ‘deep’ indicating a very substantial improvement of the energy use. [Source: GBPN, 2012]

Deep Renovation or Deep Energy Renovation is a term for a building renovation that captures the full economic energy efficiency potential of improvements. This typically includes a focus on the building shell of existing buildings in order to achieve very high-energy performance. The renovated building consumes 75% less primary energy compared to the status of the existing building before the renovation. The energy consumption after renovation for heating, cooling, ventilation, hot water and lighting, is less than 60 kWh/m2/yr. (Definition often used in Europe) [Source: GBPN, 2012]

Deep retrofit or Deep Energy Retrofit implies replacing existing systems in a building with similar ones that are of higher quality and performance, which leads to a better energy performance of an existing building. The primary energy consumption includes energy used for heating, cooling, ventilation, hot water, lighting, installed equipment and appliances. After the deep retrofit the buildings consume 50% less primary energy compared to the status of theexisting building/s the retrofit (Definition mainly used in US). [Source: GBPN, 2012]