An innovative, industrialised approach to retrofitting old homes

5 years ago  By  Iuliana Velniciuc     No comments

Demonstrated in seven pilot projects in Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Germany and the UK, the approach leverages new technology, from 3D imaging to decision-support tools, together with offsite industrial production processes to modernise building renovation.

“The construction and retrofitting sector in Europe is highly traditional, characterised mainly by onsite work, which can be inefficient in terms of costs, material wastage and construction time,” explains Christina Claeson-Jonsson at NCC Construction Sweden. “Onsite work is often dirty, creates a lot of noise, and inconveniences tenants over prolonged periods of time. For workers it can also be an unsafe and unhealthy working environment.”

As scientific coordinator of the E2ReBuild project, Claeson-Jonsson oversaw the development of an innovative approach to retrofitting residential properties that aims to move as much of the construction work as possible from the building location to offsite factories, minimising inconvenience for tenants and improving worker safety.

The E2ReBuild strategy focuses on the entire retrofitting process from planning and design, materials and technology selection to construction and the subsequent operation and use of buildings.

Information about the structure, including original architectural plans and updated 3D scans that show changes over time, is compiled in a building information modelling system, providing all stakeholders with detailed data about the current state of the property and what improvements can be made. Comparable to the technical platforms used in the automotive industry for car and component design, it provides a platform for product development, processes and operation adapted to the specific needs of the construction sector.

A decision-support tool developed during the project, the European Retrofit Advisor, uses systematically characterised data together with input about stakeholders’ goals and desired features to generate a simple but detailed evaluation of retrofit options. This also includes financial aspects and the social and environmental impact of proposed changes. Crucially, the approach is highly scalable and can be applied to any residential building in any European country.

More informations here.

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