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1000 Houses per Day Renovation Challenge

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Becoming climate neutral presents a significant challenge: eliminating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing homes and buildings. In Europe, the average renovation rate is a mere 0.2%. At this rate, it would take well beyond 2050 to upgrade all relevant homes and buildings. Focusing on residential dwellings, how can the five cities accelerate the renovation of the existing housing stock? 


With an average renovation rate of 0,2% in Europe it would take far beyond 2050 to update all relevant homes and buildings. 

Background of the Challenge

Renovating homes, both for private and institutional house owners, is plagued by long turnaround times and high costs. The key issues with renovation are as follows: 

  • Throughput Time: From assessing what needs to be done in each house to planning and executing renovations, the entire process takes a considerable amount of time. 
  • Costs: Renovating homes is expensive due to various challenges. These include overhead costs per project, the lack of standards and conceptual solutions, uncontrolled processes, high transaction costs, and rising labor costs. The process lacks data-driven efficiency, and existing partial solutions often result in high overall costs and suboptimal outcomes, especially in insulation solutions. 
  • Short-Term Mindset: Renovation is an investment that reduces monthly energy bills over an extended period. Securing funding and changing the mindset from upfront investment to monthly charges can be challenging. 
  • Specific Challenges: Each city faces unique challenges. For instance, Bologna's city center comprises of historical and listed buildings with strict aesthetic rules. Leuven has identified a specific neighborhood, Ter Elst, for testing solutions, with 240 houses of various types that are also listed and protected as immovable heritage. Leuven works with the AGSL stadsontwikkeling, which owns 200 residential entities and is renovating 100 of them by 2030 under the 'collective renovation program large building owners.' 
  • Efficient and large-scale house renovation requires an industrialized solution. It should offer conceptually renovated house solutions, balancing integral optimization with partial solutions.  

The Open Innovation Challenges are closed.

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photo 1 crediti Margherita Caprilli 
photo 2 credit: Margherita Caprilli 
photo 3 credit: Daan Van Tassel 
photo 4 credit: Margherita Caprilli 

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