Could Social Housing Be the First to Decarbonize?
According to European Commission estimates, almost 75% of Europe’s building stock is currently energy inefficient, and the renovation rate ranges from just 0.4 to 1.2%, depending on the country. Yet minimizing energy consumption on buildings – and indeed, developing nearly-zero energy buildings (nZEBs) and positive-energy (or ‘smart’) buildings that can interact with the grid – is central to Europe’s climate and energy policy, and essential for meeting ambitious targets for 2030 and beyond.
Deep renovation of Europe’s building stock is necessary to reach ambitious climate change targets. But the reality is that “business models and solutions are not entirely there yet, in terms of cost and quality,” says Sébastien Garnier, innovation and project manager at Housing Europe, a representative network of social and public housing organizations. Housing Europe, along with 15 other partners gathered together in the Horizon 2020-funded HEART project consortium, is aiming to develop a new holistic approach to deep renovation using cloud-based decision support systems. Sounds hi-tech, but Garnier says: “in the end, it’s all about the people.”