The central issue of sustainable development of the built environment is the long-term management of the building stock. The objective is the conservation of the stock as physical,economical, social and cultural resource. Value conservation through renovation and environmental protection through energetic improvement coincide in general and are interdependent. The energy saving methodologies have reached successful results in the newer parts of the building stock (since 1975). For the older parts of the stock before 1950 ( > 50 % of the whole stock), there is a lack of specific knowledge, planning and management methods and appropriated technologies to realise simultaneously an economic and functional value increase, substantial energy savings and to conserve immaterial cultural and social values. These parts of the stock are often of great cultural and social importance and are constitutive for the identity of European nations and their cultural diversity. In spite of the high diversity they constitute a mass problem, in particular through the ownership and management of single stakeholders (social housing, schools, office buildings). The objective of the proposal is to develop an integrated approach bridging the gap between social, cultural, ecological and economic aspects of renovations and to develop methods based on architectural quality assessment, life cycle assessment (energy, mass and monetary flows), living quality assessment and user acceptance (technologies, behavioral changes). The strategies and methods will support real-estate managers, architects, consultants and monument conservation bodies when defining and carrying out sustainable renovation projects. A specific aim is to bridge disciplinary knowledge gaps (cultural, social and technical) between the stakeholders and link management, planning and use phase information. Based on preliminary research work and the experience of the associated stakeholders, appropriate methods to deal with the renovation of specific parts of the stock will be developed, applied and evaluated. In each country a particular part of the stock will constitute the basis and template for this.

The European character of the project will consist in developing an approach which is energy saving, socially compatible, culturally respectful of the particular parts of the stock instead of reducing cultural differences and social specificity through standardised building-practices. The existing approach generally reduces the complexity of the problem by associating automatically energy saving measures to building-types or elements. This automatism constitutes a considerable risk for the older parts of the stock. Focusing exclusively on energy saving objectives, elements of high craftsmanship and immaterial value are replaced by industrially produced products with lower service life than the originals where as the energy saving goals are often unclear and not verified. In particular the undifferentiated generalisation of exterior insulation will reduce the semantic complexity of historic towns and destroy part of their cultural value. Radical interventions e.g.stripping of the facades will be compared to adjusted changes ‘pimping’ where temporal relocationof users will not be necessary and where energy-savings, environmental performance, social implications and cultural values can be guaranteed over a long period. An important problem for many stakeholders is the necessity to apply the same building standards to new constructions and to historic parts of the stock. The result is that demolition is cheaper than refurbishment and that solid buildings, culturally important ensembles and economically affordable (housing) space is destroyed. The alternative is to develop appropriated diagnosis methods and long-term scenarios composed of real options to reach identical long-term environmental objectives (factor 4 reductions) while conserving cultural and social values.

The users (the society as such) in drawing attention the multilayered values of the existing builtenvironment, in particular understand its historical, identity-creating aspects. Renovation is notjust a replacement of damaged parts of buildings or improved energy performance; a successful, comprehensive renovation will give buildings a new perspective for at least one generation. Public authorities in defining long term development paths (energy consumption, environmentalimpacts, investment and running cost related). The project will provide information and toolsinterrelating theses aspects. For the long-term scenarios the project will deliver templates that canbe adapted to regional stocks and specific building types. Public authorities for the management of the public building stock (exemplary function). This concerns in particular long term economic scenarios taking into account enlarged cost-benefitanalysis (in particular external costs and non-use costs). Planers (architects and engineers) in charge of renovations by providing life cycle oriented andcomprehensive guidelines and tools that integrate specific social and cultural aspects of managingand improving the existing stock. The need for renovation in the coming years is very large andrenovation on a large scale can only be envisioned with users-occupants presents. Private building stockowners by providing tools for long term scenarios combining material andimmaterial values and long-term risk evaluation due to one-sided renovations. Building material and component producers by specifying necessary new technologies for differentbuilding elements of the specific parts of the stock. This concerns new glass and renovationwindows, high performance insulation materials, decentralised air handling and heat recoveringsystems, decentralised control systems, off-site repair techniques etc. Risk assessments of thesesnew technologies and their application to historical buildings.