The built environment corresponds to the largest industrial sector not only in economic terms, but also in terms of resource flow. Moreover, European citizens spend most of their lives inside buildings, therefore buildings turn out to be at the centre of social and economic activity.
In that light, Europe is involved in several initiatives and strategies aimed to make this sector one of the most competitive and innovative, focusing on the achievement of the environmental and energy targets in line with 2020 Europe Strategy and EU 2050 Roadmap, but also ensuring safety both in ordinary conditions and in presence of exceptional events, such as earthquakes.
While new buildings can be constructed with high performance levels, the older buildings which are predominantly characterized by low energy performance and seismic vulnerability, typically need renovation measures.
This report has the aim to define the research needs for exploiting old buildings potential to deliver energy and CO2-emission savings, as well as societal and economic benefits, so that energy efficient and earthquake resistant buildings can have a pivotal role in a sustainable future.
The analysis of the present situation turns out to be essential in order to define the starting point to assess the current and new technology options, examined in the second part of the report and necessary to obtain eco-efficient and seismic resistant buildings. In addition, the benefits that a renovation project could bring against a demolition and reconstruction programme have been underlined.
Once these inputs have been defined, the requalification needs and the importance to improve renovation strategies, considered as outputs of the analysis, are examined for each of the two above-mentioned parts of this study.
Finally, a critical discussion on the importance of considering research needs for this topic, with a focus on barriers and challenges which a renovation programme has to face, has been carried out.