How to motivate homeowners to invest in sustainable renovation?

Nicolas Galiotto, Per Heiselberg, Mary-Ann Knudstrup

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review


In order to meet the energy use and greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, buildings are required to be built and renovated respecting stricter requirements. While increasingly more new buildings are constructed in a sustainable manner, most of the challenges are still to be overcome in the renovation sector. Numerous attempts for breaking barriers to sustainable renovation have been made and the impact on the environment including global energy use in buildings is the criterion which has been the main focus in the systems and tools of the last decade, yet without a major accomplishment. In order to increase our chances of success, it is crucial to support and convince building owners to invest in sustainable renovation. In the case of homes, owners are willing to renovate for many other motives than impact on the environment, energy performance and cost savings. It seems therefore important to integrate, aside the societal needs, the individual values which might motivate these decision-makers to undertake such a sustainable renovation.

A critical review of decision-aid methods and tools, which are susceptible to be integrated in a process of home renovation, is presented in this paper. Methods have been primarily classified on the basis on whether or not they allow incorporating truthfully decision-makers’ individual values while still improving the process effectiveness. Reviewed tools have been classified as building analysis, optimization and decision making tools, and discussed in direct connection with the reviewed decision-aid methods to home renovation. Decision-aid models expressed by a single synthesizing criterion, including green building rating methods, are therefore paralleled to decision-aid based on preference or human behaviour models. Concepts such as constructivist, interactive and iterative process, quantitative attributes and values based on qualitative judgments, simplicity and accuracy of the methods, time use and modularity are furthermore discussed.

It is concluded that multi-criteria decision making approaches using interactive and constructivist methods are the most relevant methods to integrate in a home renovation process dealing with homeowners as decision-makers. While some of the reviewed tools are very useful for building experts at very specific stages, they still lack of integration between the different stages of a fully supported renovation process and of support for non-expert decision-makers. A better integration may help building renovation experts to actually save time in their everyday work, while still target high performance renovated buildings, and use this time to interact and support more adequately the homeowners who want to renovate.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of World Sustainable Building Conference in Barcelona, Spain
Number of pages7
Publication date2014
ISBN (Print)978-84-697-1815-5
ISBN (Electronic)978-84-697-1815-5
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventWorld Sustainable Building Conference - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 28 Oct 201430 Oct 2014


ConferenceWorld Sustainable Building Conference


  • Sustainable home renovation
  • Multi-criteria decision making
  • Decision-aid
  • Homeowners’ individual values


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