Learning and Energy-efficient Renovation of Residential Buildings: The user Perspective


  • Anandasivakumar Ekambaram SINTEF, Trondheim, Norway
  • Evgenia Gorantonaki SINTEF, Trondheim, Norway
  • Bjørn S. von der Leyen SINTEF, Trondheim, Norway




User-behaviour, Involvement, Knowledge sharing, Learning, Collaboration


Renovation of residential buildings has gained more attention in recent years. There are several challenges connected to energy efficient renovation of existing buildings. European Commission acknowledges the challenges and emphasizes the need to replicate best practices and learn from lessons. Several research studies have been conducted on the topic of energy-efficient renovation of residential buildings, some of which have highlighted significant aspects that are to be considered in the renovation efforts / projects. One of the aspects is user perspective that encompasses, among other things, user involvement and user behaviour. Knowledge sharing and learning play a significant role in developing and ensuring the user behaviour that is suitable for harvesting the intended benefits of energy-efficient renovation efforts. There can be wonderful energy-efficient solutions that can reduce greenhouse gas emission and promote sustainability. But, if the solutions are not used appropriately by the user, then it will hinder achieving the expected positive effect. As a result, developing and implementing the solutions in the first place will lose its very purpose. This paper looks at the user perspective in energy-efficient renovation of residential buildings and describe the learning-points associated with it. Focusing on these learning-points and the user perspective itself has its implication on wider issues such as policy making and future energy consumption. In addition, this paper summarises basic knowledge on understanding users' behaviour regarding energy and consumption, as well as briefly describes tools and examples of research projects that incorporate the users' perspective in their design. This paper is based on narrative literature study. It touches upon aspects related to the Sustainable Development Goals 11 (Sustainable cities and communities) and 13 (Climate action), at least to a certain extent. This paper is connected to an EU-project called "REZBUILD" (https://rezbuildproject.eu/), which focuses on developing decision and planning support for accomplishing near zero-emission in renovation of residential buildings.