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Low Energy Apartment Futures (LEAF )

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LEAF (formerly LER-MUH) aims to overcome the current limitations surrounding EPCs and multi-ownership in multi-occupancy housing. Technical and Engagement Toolkits are being developed to help property and building managers to retrofit these buildings. The LEAF project is working with 24 case study buildings to pilot the toolkits. Lessons from the case studies will also inform policy recommendations.Key steps:
  • Production of a Technical Toolkit – a bespoke software tool that provides information to property owners on improvement measures. This includes guidance on EPCs, user behaviour, costs and subsidies and potential savings from communal areas. For the UK and France, it includes a tool to assimilate single apartment EPCs into a whole building EPC.
  • Development of an Engagement Toolkit for retrofitting multi-occupancy buildings, containing guidance and resources for building managers. This includes sections on engaging residents, decision-making and evaluation.
  • 24 case study buildings to pilot the software tool and engagement toolkit, taking retrofit projects through to an agreed action plan.
  • Policy recommendations to local, regional and national policy-makers.

Results

  1. Communal retrofit action plans developed for 24 urban, domestic multi-occupancy buildings across six partner countries, consisting of 240 individual dwellings. EPCs carried out on each dwelling and communal building, and appropriate energy-saving measures and renewable energy installations identified.
  2. The Technical Toolkit: an EPC-based software tool for multi-occupancy housing to support building and property managers. This includes guidance on EPCs, user behaviour, costs and subsidies and potential savings from communal areas. For the UK and France, it includes a tool to assimilate single apartment EPCs into a whole building EPC.
  3. The Engagement Toolkit: a guide for property or building managers to retrofit multi-occupancy buildings. It contains guidance on engaging residents, decision-making and evaluation.
  4. Recommendations for local, regional, national and EU policy to support the retrofitting of multi-occupancy housing. Partners will work with local municipalities to help facilitate changes in policy.
  5. On average, apartments in the LEAF project aim to save 0.55 tCO2/year from reducing energy consumption by 2,300 kWh and generating 280kWh from renewable energy technologies. This applies to a minimum of 240 apartments.
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Lessons learned

  1. Engaging owners and residents in a multi-occupancy building can be very challenging and time intensive. This is worsened where no formal management arrangement exists or there are changes in the property managers or property management staff. It can also be challenging where residents have different priorities – for example, where there is a high or low turnover of owners. Even where successful, decision-making can take a long time.
  2. Securing finance is critical but can be difficult to obtain and can prevent projects proceeding but Government or local subsidies vary across the EU. The perception of acceptable capital costs and payback periods can also vary. Making subsidies available for only a given period (e.g. one year) can encourage owners to take them up. However, funding regimes which are regularly changing and unpredictable hamper project planning and can lead to projects being cancelled.
  3. EPCs provide a starting point for retrofit but alone will not drive them. The EPC system in each country has limitations including inaccuracies of software, limited recommendations and they can be difficult for owners to understand. In the UK, EPCs are not whole-property for blocks of apartments, compounding the problem.
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Partners and coordinator

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Contact

Changeworks Resources For Life
Newhaven Road 36
Edinburgh
EH6 5PY
United Kingdom
Contact point: 
Name: 
Tessa Clark
Tel: 
+44 131 538 7954

Budget

In brief

Duration:
25/03/2013 to 24/03/2016
Contract number: 
IEE/12/658

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