[Report] The GBPN Defines the Concept of Deep Renovation

29-03-2013 | Global全球South-East AsiaSouth-East Asia

The GBPN promotes a “deep” renovation of the existing building stock to help the building sector achieve significant global energy savings and plays its role in mitigating climate change. However, what does “deep” renovation mean? Do experts around the world use the same definition? This recent report “What is a Deep Renovation” seeks to harmonise and clarify a definition for deep renovation to help building a global knowledge dialogue and facilitate best practice sharing than can support better policy-making.

The acronym “DR” can mean a deep renovation, a deep retrofit, a deep refurbishment, and to a lesser extent, a deep reduction. And these expressions mean different things to different analysts. A standard renovation or refurbishment will often achieve energy savings ranging between 20% and 30% and sometimes less. However, as the GBPN research shows with a “deep” renovation, it is possible to reduce a building’s energy use by more than 75%. Thus, there is a need to find a common understanding and developing as much as consensus as possible. 

For this purpose, the GBPN gathered top global experts in the field of building renovation to reflect upon a common definition of DR through two webinars, a questionnaire and a review process. 
Initially, the project collected current global and local definitions and conditions of a “deep” renovation (DR). These elements were then presented to thirty international experts in a webinar, during which participants tried to formulate a definition of a DR. These opinions and findings were later integrated into a questionnaire that was sent to the same group of experts, targeting a new level of harmonization and clarification. 

What is a Deep Renovation?

Evidently, the reaction of the panel of expert underlined the absence of a common and pre-existing definition of DR. The definition of DR varies between regions. 
According to this report, there is a clear and geographic distinction between the terms “deep renovation” and “deep retrofit”: European experts tend to use the expression renovation while American experts call them retrofits. 
The report also shows that in Europe, “deep” renovation implies a minimum of 75% energy savings, whereas in the U.S. DR means improvements of 30%-50%. India and China, at this point, have no common definitions. 
As outcome of the research, the GBPN and the experts that participated in the project are setting some commonly agreed definitions of deep renovation and retrofit. 
The GBPN calls for further collaboration from different global and regional actors involved in deep renovation and is inviting them to participate in its knowledge platform through the “Laboratory" on “More and Deeper Renovation” to share knowledge and contribute their ideas. The GBPN is also working at the moment on further research on DR to develop criteria for selecting best practices for individual projects or groups of buildings that support the upscale of deep renovations globally.
What is a Deep Ronovation
Technical Report, GBPN, March 2013. 

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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]