Before telling you all about what we do in Drive 0, we will start by defining ‘circular renovation’. Our definition of circular renovation is: “A circular deep renovation, which contributes to a circular built environment’, is based on 100% life cycle renewable energy, and all materials used within the system boundaries are part of infinite technical or biological cycles with lowest quality loss as possible.”
To come to this deep and circular renovation transition, the market for deep renovation of buildings also needs to be transformed. Both in terms of innovative technical solutions, innovative construction processes, combined with process optimization and digitalization (with BIM as a main carrier) and innovative business models. It should involve multiple complementary innovations which all need to be jointly developed and adopted subsequently.
One of the most important lessons learned from the ‘first generation’ of H2020 projects on deep renovation is that this transformation should be consumer/end-user centered. Although the multiple benefits of improved energy efficiency, by a holistic approach are very well exploited, mapped and well known, these are not yet fully integrated in consumer centered business models. This is necessary to achieve higher rates of renovation to decarbonize the building stock in order to meet long-term climate, environmental and energy targets.
Moreover, current deep renovation solutions take merely the operational aspects into account and not the embodied aspects such as embodied energy and embodied CO2. Consumer centered business models can be especially very effective in combination with the identification and exploitation of specific local socio-economic and/or technical drivers as an accelerator to come to efficient deep circular and cost-effective renovation. This can only be successfully realized if it is embraced and adopted by both inhabitants, building owners, managers and investors alike, being the key stakeholders to expedite the deep and circular renovation transition.
Key for this success is a clear view on the total life-cycle performances in practice (i.e. energy, indoor environmental quality, health and well-being, material flows), as well as a solid quality control of the renovation process. After the renovation process end-users should have access to data, presented in an understandable way, on the real total building performance in practice, both on energy, indoor environmental quality, and especially health and well-being in relation to the renovation.
Key in DRIVE 0 is the understanding that energy is used by people (to ensure a level of thermal comfort) rather than by buildings or devices using energy, and that embodied energy is embedded in materials and building components decided during the design process by the consumer. Hence, both the technical solutions as the supporting business models must be people oriented, i.e., connecting with people’s expectations, daily habits and cultural practices of users with the aim to reduce energy use in different environments and for awareness raising in general. This awareness about both the need and the benefits of circular renovation can originate or can be supported by consumers centered business models, supported by the use of ICT and solutions (as developed in projects like enCOMPASS, MOBISTYLE and TripleA-reno).