The research project Zenn, Nearly Zero Energy Neighbourhoods, aims to reduce energy use in existing buildings and neighbourhoods. Two residential areas in Malmö are participating in the project and in conjunction with the renovation of the areas a number of specific measures will be implemented.
The large-scale implementation of energy-efficient refurbishment measures is hindered by a number of different issues. Complex contracts, long-term investment strategies and the fact that the buildings with the worst energy performances often house low-income tenants are some of the most important factors contributing to the sluggishness of the transition to nearly zero-energy buildings. The analysis of these hurdles clearly demonstrates the need for a holistic approach in the renovation process. Apartment buildings housing medium to low-income groups are the focus of demonstration cases taken up by the project.
The three main challenges in connection with the near-zero renovation of existing buildings faced by the ZenN project are: 1) Technical challenges, 2) Financial challenges and 3) Property structure challenges.
The project's goals are to: 1) demonstrate the feasibility of innovative low energy renovation processes for buildings at the neighbourhood scale, 2) identify, optimize and disseminate the most promising management and funding methods to facilitate large-scale implementation, 3) develop, improve and launch ambitious replication plans at several scales (local, regional etc.).
IVL leads the work package for the communication of results and is largely responsible for the research funding for the demonstration case in Malmö. IVL will study the obstacles that hinder large-scale renovation, analyse near-zero energy renovation options including the selection of measures optimal from an energy perspective, and evaluate and validate the results from the actual demonstration case in Malmö.