Restoring built environment

The ultimate goal of energy efficient construction is environmental protection through a systematic reconstruction of existing buildings and adding adequate thermal insulation to new ones. Comprehensive programmes also improve the aesthetics of the living space.

Retrofitting homes and using proper construction practices and technologies considerably improves the indoor thermal, moisture and noise isolation. This does not just provide higher levels of living comfort for the homeowners and landlords, but also implies longer cycles of property repair.

Professional thermal insulation of the building envelope and other energy efficiency retrofits make the buildings more resistant to the outdoor climate conditions including extreme weather events. Lower rates of wear and tear mean longer cycles of refurbishment and repair.

More effective heating and ventilation methods secure even indoor temperatures and reduced exposure to the fluctuation of the outdoor conditions. Thermal insulation (in case it is coupled with proper ventilation) suppresses excessive humidity and prevents dampness, rusting and formation of mould that would otherwise cause faster deterioration of the housing stock. In the winter, internal walls remain warm and the cold radiation effect is eliminated. In the summer, the thermal insulation prevents walls from becoming heated and thus has a cooling effect. Distributive electricity networks also experience a smaller load intensity due to improved energy efficiency in housing and their lifespan is thus extended.

In addition to that energy efficient interventions can (and should) be implemented hand in hand with interventions aiming to strengthen the structural stability of the buildings: e.g. joints should be repaired before being insulated. Furthermore energy efficient intervention is able to solve structural deficiencies at the same time.

These comprehensive building reconstruction programmes also improve the aesthetics of buildings. Combined with other technical improvements, retrofitting projects can also enhance the noise isolation of buildings, which is one of the determining parameters relevant to the real estate value of the housing stock.

All of these factors, taken together, have a significantly beneficial impact on the property values in the whole neighbourhood or residential area. Leading real estate associations such as the Appraisal Institute or the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors have started seriously considering energy efficiency standards in their methodologies to evaluate the value of a real estate since the early 1980s. With the introduction of mandatory energy certifications and raised awareness, the influence of energy efficiency and green standards on the appraisal process has notably increased.

In addition to that the renovation of residential buildings in a certain neighbourhood contribute to its social sustainability by preventing its physical and social decline that is why renovation (and amongst them energy efficient interventions) is considered as a major tool for urban regeneration.

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