According to Eurostat data (2014), the building sector is responsible for approximately 38% of the energy consumption in the European Union. Residential buildings alone, account for 24.8% of the total energy consumption. Furthermore, buildings are also the largest contributor to CO2 emissions due to the burning of fossil fuels. Because of outdated and inefficient envelope elements and systems, existing buildings use much more energy, compared to new buildings. Furthermore, given that existing buildings account for large share of the total building stock, reducing their energy demand and CO2 emissions is of crucial importance to reach upcoming EU 2020, 2030 and 2050 targets.
Refurbishment of existing residential buildings to the relatively new nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB) standards is challenging due to number of factors as: the great diversity of building typologies, mechanical systems, technical state of the building, occupancy patterns, economy etc. All those challenges are reflected by the slow refurbishment rates, which according to the EU need to increase by a factor of two to three times of the current rate.
The aim of this PhD project is to develop a method, which supports the renovation process of multi-story residential buildings. The method will provide the possibility for evaluating and choosing the most economically conscious refurbishment actions in combination with cost-optimal solution(s) for production of renewable energy. The expected outcome of the PhD project is a ready for use methodology aimed at designers, professionals in the refurbishment field, professional building owners and administrators.