By Mariangiola Fabbri, Senior Project Manager, Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE)
In Europe, buildings are responsible for around 40% of energy consumption. Without a long-term plan to renovate and decarbonise the European building stock, the road to achieve the EU’s climate and energy objectives and the Paris Climate Agreement commitments will be long and winding.
While building performance is constantly improving, only 3% of the EU’s building stock has been built to a standard that can be considered efficient. This means that 97% of the building stock needs upgrading .
Renovating a building can be complex and time consuming. For building owners, together with the difficulty of accessing dedicated financing for renovation, the lack of knowledge about what to do and how to implement renovation measures are the main obstacles to improving the energy performance of their building. That is why, to succeed in such an endeavour, building owners need support.
The iBRoad project is helping to lift these barriers by developing an Individual Building Renovation Roadmap for single-family houses and small multi-family houses. This tool looks at the building as a whole and provides a customised renovation plan over a long-term horizon (15-20 years). At its core, the renovation roadmap is a home-improvement plan, which considers the occupant’s needs and specific situations (e.g. age, financial situation, composition and expected evolution of the household, etc.) and avoids the risk of ‘locking-in’ future renovation solutions due to a lack of foresight.
An individual Building Renovation Roadmap is an evolution of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), as it supports building owners with personalised suggestions on their renovation options. An on-site energy audit, fulfilling specific criteria and established with the owner, results in a ready-to-use, personalised renovation plan for the building owner, presenting all the measures to implement and the order to implement them, together with an explanation of the benefits to be expected after the renovation is completed, including energy savings and comfort improvements.
The plan will be combined with a repository of information (known as a building logbook) on aspects like the energy consumption, energy production, executed maintenance and building plans.
With its innovative approach, iBRoad aims to empower home owners and support them in taking informed decisions concerning renovation, based on their individual needs. By doing this, iBRoad will encourage cost-effective building renovation measures and boost deep renovation to achieve greater energy efficiency.
The project builds upon existing examples in Germany, France and Flanders (Belgium), to identify successful features and tools that can be adapted to different national conditions (such as climate zones and regulatory frameworks).
The concept and tools developed by iBRoad will be tested in Bulgaria, Poland, Portugal and Germany (Germany will only test the logbook). A training programme for auditors will also be provided. The feasibility and replicability of the iBRoad model in other building typologies and EU Member States will be assessed through auditor- and user experience feedback.
iBRoad and the Energy efficient Mortgage Action Plan (EeMAP) Initiative are complementary in scope and expertise. By providing a user-friendly tool to guide building owners through a step-by-step deep renovation (iBRoad) and the financial means to implement it (EeMAP), together they can help to lift two of the main barriers to renovation (complexity and access to finance). The products resulting from these two projects can incentivise home owners to improve the energy performance of their building and to finance it through a dedicated energy efficiency mortgage available on the European market.
By maintaining an open and continuous dialogue between both iBRoad and EeMAP, and providing input to the development of the projects (including, stakeholder engagement, market research and customer surveys), the projects’ key features can be developed in tandem, ensuring that all relevant issues are considered and potential ‘lock-ins’ are avoided.
The iBRoad project is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 framework programme for research and innovation, under grant agreement N. 754045. The project started in 2017 and will run until June 2020. The project has 12 partners from 9 countries.
Twitter: @iBRoad _project
 Only 3% of the EU building stock has an Energy Performance Certificate with an “A” label, which although definitions differ between countries, is broadly considered as a “very efficient” building.