What’s the big deal with renovations?

An expanding market means big opportunities

The renovation market is already massive and it’s growing steadily. In the EU, 75% of existing buildings are expected to still be in use after 2050. The vast majority of these buildings need renovation soon, if not immediately. But who’s taking notice, exactly, and what are they doing? Everyone from government to private industry to non-profit organizations are finding innovative ways to address the renovation market. The EU, for example, has launched BIM-SPEED, a collaborative effort to aggregate technological tools around BIM, share knowledge, and create more energy efficient renovations across the continent for years to come.

In Germany, energy agency dena is working to adopt a program called Energiesprong. Developed in the Netherlands, Energiesprong is a refurbishment standard that emphasizes NetZero energy consumption and construction of buildings with modular and prefabricated components. The trend toward prefabrication and modular construction is catching on around the world. Such methods reduce construction costs and change design and delivery, which is causing architects, contractors, and developers to shift their business models and adapt. BIM plays a major role in streamlining renovation processes.

Thus far, Energiesprong has either been implemented or is being used in the planning of 22,500 renovation projects, most of which are homes. Notably, the model encourages renovations that don’t affect tenants too negatively. Renovations are rapid, so disruptions are limited in occupied buildings. Not only does Energiesprong address climate-related issues, but it also tackles other major needs related to urbanization like affordable, satisfactory housing.

Affordability is central to the Energiesprong approach. It starts with costs saved through prefabrication, but it doesn’t stop there. The NetZero goal for each structure means major long-term energy cost savings for residents. Buildings produce all the energy residents need, and costs saved go into refinancing, limiting additional costs for residents. Energiesprong does what some other building programs and standards haven’t yet figured out—it reduces upfront costs, maintenance costs, and life-cycle costs.

Common ground and collaboration

Just like the EU and dena, METABUILD realizes that the biggest advantages in modernizing buildings have to do with sustainability and affordability. Our tool is already being used to optimize existing buildings, and in the coming years, we’ll contribute to numerous renovations, collaborating across sectors to help builders, architects, and developers determine the most economical options for the design, layout, and systems upgrades in existing building projects. We’re also constantly assessing data and research to improve our algorithm, which will make it even more intelligent for all the renovation work hitting the market in coming years.

The METABUILD team recently participated in Energiesprong Innovation Day, hosted by dena. The event focused on clarifying building envelope and engineering aspects of the Energiesprong concept, giving participants tools and understanding they need to go forth to create better renovations.

The biggest takeaway from events like Innovation Day? It’s more important than ever to building a network of professionals dedicated to improving their work through sustainable renovation practices. Collaboration across sectors – designers, technologist, manufacturers, developers, builders – is crucial for the future of the building and construction industries. And not only that, it’s imperative so we can provide most thoughtful, innovation solutions to support the shifting needs of the people we serve.