Planned staged deep renovations as the main driver for a decarbonised European building stock

Proc. eceee Summer Study 2019, p 1279

Authors: Sara Fritz, Martin Pehnt, Peter Mellwig, Jonathan Volt

The 2018 revision of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) sets a clear direction for the full decarbonisation of the European building stock by 2050, and calls for policies and actions to stimulate cost-effective deep renovation of buildings. While one-step renovations have the advantage of integral planning and construction work without component connections and lock-in problems, staged renovations allow for less disruptive and more cost-efficient renovation measures by aligning them with given ‘trigger points’. These are occasions either prompted by practical opportunities (e.g. need for repairs or building an extension), personal circumstances (e.g. a new-born in the family, retiring or children moving out), or change of ownership.


Staged renovations are by far the most common across Europe (e.g. 85% of renovations in Germany). This paper analyses how well-planned staged renovations can lead to a highly efficient building based on model calculations for typical German residential building. The model calculation shows that while the one-step renovation leads to 20 % higher energy savings over time for a 1990s multi-family building, the total cost is around 6 % lower in the stepwise renovation due to coupling the renovation measures to the maintenance and repair work required.


The paper concludes that one-step and staged renovations are not in competition with each other, but are both suitable solutions depending on the specific situation. It is crucial, however, that appropriate (national) renovation strategies ensure that staged renovations are deep. For this purpose, the paper draws on material compiled in the European Horizon2020 funded iBRoad project, which focuses on the development, testing and implementation of the building renovation passport (BRP). The BRP has been presented on the 2011 eceee summer study and since then been developed, implemented in several countries and referenced by the revised EPBD. The paper will describe the implementation options and experience gained so far.



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