Deep Retrofitting

Our Ambition

Main Goal: To launch by 2020, 100 Deep Retrofitting Sites (DRS) throughout EU and neighbouring countries, with at least 1 site per EU Member State. Of this figure, 50% of the sites should be in cities with <100,000 inhabitants.  


Building stock is responsible for around 40% of the energy consumption and 40% of the CO2 emissions in a city.  This Deep Retrofitting (DR) initiative aims to accelerate what is therefore one of the most strategic actions to reach the energy saving objectives set at EU level.  It seeks to play a key role to boost the potential for energy saving in Europe by significantly improving existing building stock.  A Deep Retrofit Site (DRS) is composed of one or more buildings that will undergo transformation, permitting either the reduction to a third of their energy consumption/CO2 emissions, or to bring them to passive level (<50KWh.m²/year). These buildings should be of different purposes (social/private housing, offices, commercial spaces) in order to test and illustrate a variety of solutions.

DR particularly focuses on take-up of bioclimatic architecture, advanced materials, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) with on-site renewable energy production. Aim of this Initiative is to improve the quality of life promoting, through the retrofitting of the buildings, citizen-oriented and sustainable solutions. 

In many ways, DR is a pragmatic step towards our associated Positive Energy Block (PEB) goal. This initiative was formalised recently to help engage and involve more cities in energy saving actions. Presentations of retrofitting projects in Reggio Emilia (Italy) and Groningen (Netherlands) were made during the November 2016 Action Cluster meeting, and two sites were also visited during the field trip to Lyon Confluence in March 2017.

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A field day in Tampere September 21st, 2017. You may reach out to us on

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Status and Forward Plans

We will increase engagement of potential stakeholders, over upcoming months, by revisiting the commitments received at an earlier stage of the EIP. Ideally, DR initiatives will be led by representatives from cities (supported by representatives from the construction sector), with DRS being rolled-out on preferably central locations in cities.  Stakeholders with various backgrounds (companies, cities, consultancies, associations, research organisations) will participate in the EIP initiative. An integrated approach towards DRS will be taken: focusing on mixed-usage buildings (new built and retrofitted) with a strong emphasis on ICT solutions and involvement of both private and public sector stakeholders. Financing may come from public and private investment by banks, industry, national funding schemes or EU schemes such as EIB, ERDF, Horizon 2020 (ensuring a due link with regional Smart Specialisation Strategies). Strong emphasis is put on sustainable business models and innovative financing like Energy Performance Contracting (EPC), renovation in occupied sites, the wooden attic concept, densification of surfaces, mutualisation of services between buildings.

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