Stakeholders View on Commercial Benefits for Energy Neutral Refurbishment of Let Properties

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In Europe, the DIRECTIVE 2010/31/EU requires increasing the number of nearly zero energy buildings. The existing building stock needs to be included in order to achieve the 2020 EU environmental targets. The main barriers of energy neutral refurbishment of existing non-residential buildings appear to be financial rather than technical, next to a number of other extrinsic factors that do not stimulate such an investment. While a business case for new energy neutral buildings is believed to exist, controversial opinions can be found with respect to refurbishment of existing large buildings. Let properties, in particular, have a harder-to-justify business case because of contractual agreements between landlord and tenant: the former is usually accountable for renovation and the latter for energy bills. The present study aims at providing an overview of the barriers and benefits of energy neutral refurbishment according to relevant stakeholders. Through interviews with real estate investors, energy service companies and tenants, the main interests and risks encountered today to undertake deep energy retrofit as well as technical constraints were investigated. Subsequently, a roundtable discussion was organized with the interviewed real-estate investors. During the roundtable, the investment needed to refurbish an existing office building, meeting the zero energy target was presented and different strategies to improve the financial attractiveness of energy retrofitting were discussed. The study has shown that combining different benefits in the renovation is fundamental to convince investors. When the design provides additional benefits, such as increasing the rent, or allocating an energy budget to the tenant, the refurbishment can become feasible. Ultimately, a screening-checklist is proposed for a qualitative estimation of the potentials offered by a given building for a feasible energy neutral refurbishment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference Proceedings of World Sustainable Built Environment Conference 2017 Hong Kong
Subtitle of host publicationTrack 6: Market Transformation & Green Building Management
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2017
EventWorld Sustainable Built Environment Conference - Hong Kong , China
Duration: 5 Jun 20177 Jun 2017


ConferenceWorld Sustainable Built Environment Conference
Abbreviated titleWSBE17
CityHong Kong
Internet address


  • energy neutral
  • deep building renovation
  • stakeholders


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