Energy efficiency renovation in a housing company: process, decision making and actors

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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MSc Degree Programme in Creative Sustainability
Creative Sustainability -maisteriohjelma
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The aim of this research was to find solutions for mitigating climate change and reducing energy consumption through energy efficiency in housing company renovations. Increasing energy efficiency of the existing housing stock through renovations was identified as one of the most effective ways to reduce building energy consumption and related CO2 emissions. Housing companies were chosen as a focus group because they comprise a large share of the Finnish housing stock and are also interesting from management and organisational perspective. Research includes literature review and case study analysis of a façade renovation project of housing company X. Four perspectives to energy efficiency renovations in housing companies were identified: renovation process, decision making, role of different actors and energy efficiency gap. First, large renovations are long processes involving many different phases, and forming a clear picture of this process was deemed necessary for understanding housing company renovations. Second, renovations will not be implemented if housing companies do not decide so, which makes decision making an important aspect. Third, renovation process involves large amount of different actors, who all play some role in determining the end result of the renovation. And fourth, the concept of energy efficiency gap was chosen as a basis for examining the role of energy efficiency in housing company renovations. The research results indicate that first of all energy efficiency is improved in housing companies together with other renovations, not as separate measures. Second, renovation projects of housing companies tend to follow a certain structure, which can be divided into different phases. In the pre-renovation phase the housing company is deciding about renovations, and in the renovation phase building professionals are implementing the renovation that the housing company has decided to implement. Also reasons for the energy efficiency gap can be divided accordingly: Energy efficiency is not improved because housing companies are not deciding to renovate at all or because professionals fail to design and implement energy efficiency solutions. Thus, to promote energy efficiency in housing company renovations, attention should be paid both on encouraging housing companies to renovate and educating building professionals. In housing company renovation decisions the determining factors are the characteristics of renovation alternatives - especially costs - and housing company decision making process. The high threshold for renovating resulting from the high initial cost could be alleviated by developing financing alternatives and the subsidy system. Housing company decision making could be enhanced by providing information and developing shareholder involvement. In addition, regulations can influence the renovation project in all of its phases.
energy efficiency, housing company, renovation
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