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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency


New solutions for the deep renovation of residential buildings: the 4RinEU H2020 project.

Credits: Ivan Brodey

Renovating the building stocks is a major challenge for the European Union. Recent policy moves such as the European Green Deal’s Renovation Wave are very illustrative of the critical role buildings can play in achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

Europe needs innovative approaches to renovate buildings in a way that not only dramatically improve energy efficiency but also improve comfort and living conditions, at a cost that makes it affordable for the majority of building owners.

The 4RinEU H2020 project addressed this challenge by developing renovation solutions designed to reduce a property’s energy consumption by at least 60 %. They also improve the building’s indoor environment by reducing damp and making homes easier to heat. After a successful development  phase, the 4RinEU consortium demonstrated these solutions in buildings in Oslo (Norway), Soest (Netherlands), Bellpuig (Spain) and Pinerolo (IT).

The project was completed in June 2021 – the main takeaways are that:

  • It is possible to do low-disruption deep renovation: in Oslo, the tenants could stay in their apartments during the whole deep renovation process.
  • Deep renovation massively improves energy efficiency and increase properties’ values: in Soest, energy demand was reduced by 80% and it is estimated that the value of renovated properties increased by 50%.
  • Faster renovations: in Bellpuig, on-site construction time on-site was reduced by almost 50% compared to standard practices.
  • Buildings’ systems and automation upgrades are impactful: in Pinerolo, the centralised water management system has been enhanced to optimise water-related energy use and indoor environment – this with minimal interventions inside the dwellings.

For anyone who wants to learn more about deep energy renovation, the project has also developed an extensive set of learning material: a comprehensive online course on deep energy efficiency renovation, a booklet about hassle-free and fast renovation, a cookbook of innovative solutions to make your home more efficient and comfortable (available in English, Italian, Spanish and German), and an online game to teach young students the benefits of deep energy renovation.