The research has received funding from the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [314363].

Examining the influence of renovation options on architectural values and cultural heritage

The first results from ZenNs WP4 on non-technical drivers present a taxonomy, i.e. groupings of near-zero energy renovation options that impact the technical and the non-technical drivers. Furthermore, their influence on architectural and cultural heritage was studied, focusing on the effects on spatial quality focusing in the Grenoble demonstration case and finding that spatial quality is mainly positively affected by the dwelling renovation.

The taxonomy of near zero renovation options develops groupings that impact the technical and non-technical drivers. These groupings account for overlapping issues which can be both technical and non-technical which impact the drivers. The rational for examining the drivers in this way comes from work done on ZenN Deliverable 1.1, “Common barriers and challenges in current nZEB practice in Europe”, which found that there are overlapping technical and non-technical drivers which impact on the progress of a ZEB renovation rather than viewing these drivers as singular entities. The characteristics relevant to the taxonomy of near zero energy renovation options start to emerge in ZenN 1.1. The deliverable 1.2 contributed with a common technical definition for nZEB renovation, which was integrated into 4.1 in order to ensure consistency regarding the term technical between the two reports.

The non-technical is one branch of the grouping and is broken down to stakeholder awareness and behavior, economic and ownership structures, legislation, policy and governance, architectural value and cultural heritage. There are further groupings drawn from the individual non-technical drivers in the following way:

Stakeholder awareness and behaviour
o             Culture of energy awareness
o             User centric development been initiated
Economic and ownership structures
o             Business models and incentives
o             Socio-economic benefits for various stakeholders
Legislation, policy and governance
o             Political goals with local climate and resource
o             Leadership and decision-making structures
Architectural values and cultural heritage
o             Impact of architecture and cultural values
o             Restrictions which limit choice of market solutions
o             Regulations for historic buildings 

Figure 1 Conceptual model with taxonomy
of near-zero energy renovation on
architectural value and cultural heritage

The driver architectural value and
cultural heritage is emphasised in
this report as the other non-technical
drivers will be examined in the
upcoming deliverables of work package
4. The taxonomy of near-zero energy
renovation influence on architectural
values and cultural heritage is
developed into a conceptual model,
visualising the key concepts which
make up the groupings for the taxonomy

of near-zero renovation influence on architectural values and cultural heritage. It can be used in examining taxonomy of near-zero energy renovation influence on architectural value and cultural heritage.

The Grenoble case study illustrates architectural value and cultural heritage as an integral part of its design characteristics inherited from its original construction and continued in its renovation. In addition, spatial quality assessment is used to understand the positive and negative effects of renovation. Spatial quality is defined here as the excellence of the space in terms of views, privacy, lighting, spatiality, transition between public and private domains, and perceived, built, and human densities.

The Grenoble case was chosen as a test case for the spatial quality evaluation methodology, as this demonstrator represents the most substantial physical changes in building mass among the ZenN demonstrators. The dwelling renovation significantly changed a large range of building characteristics such as external and internal walls, facade composition, built area and plans. A detailed assessment of the physical changes in spatial quality as a result of the dwelling renovation was carried out.

The results of the spatial quality assessment (Acre & Wyckmans, Forthcoming) of the MS-1 building in Grenoble indicate that spatial quality is mainly positively affected by the dwelling renovation. Particularly views from the dwellings to the outside as well as internal spatiality are expected to be improved after the renovation. However, there are some points of alert in the results. The renovation of the building component of floors scores low in the assessment indicating a negative effect of the renovation on spatial quality related to some aspects of internal spatiality. This is because the ceiling height of 2.50 m will be lowered to 2.35 m after the renovation.

In the next steps, the potential for adaptation to climate change will be integrated into the taxonomy for both technical and non-technical drivers and be presented in the later deliverable presenting an holistic design kit for nZEB renovation.

For more information, contact Carmel Lindkvist, NTNU, or Fernanda Acre, NRNU,

Further reading and references:
Acre, F & Wyckmans, A. (2015). “Dwelling Renovation and Spatial Quality: The Impact of the Dwelling Renovation on Spatial Quality Determinants.” Forthcoming.

Updated: 2014-12-01


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