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Slovenian Retrofitting exemplified by organisation of large scope retrofitting of apartment buildings

The business case proposed in Slovenia tends to develop a business model for energy retrofit of existing apartment buildings built before 1980 in order to meet the requirements of EPBD Recast, 20-20-20 by 2020 policy targets and ambitious targets of low carbon society by 2050. 25% of Slovenian flats are placed in apartment buildings, where the scattered ownership (due to the privatisation act in 90-ties 95% of flats in Slovenia are private) represents the major barrier preventing intensive energy renovation. 81% of existing building envelopes should be renovated by 2020 (7% renovation rate) to equally contribute to the national binding targets. Awareness rising of individual owners is supported by activities of the national Energy advisory network ENSVET ( In order to meet the energy and climate targets also the national subsidies are available ( for energy renovation of apartment buildings but the rate of retrofitting remained extremely low. There are a high number of identified barriers such as: scattered ownership - low level of consensus, low social capital, energy performance certificates are not yet common, energy audits in apartment buildings are rare, SMEs do not provide comprehensive renovation offers in technical, financial and organizational sense, ESCOs’ market is not developed, no demo cases of complete energy retrofit of apartment buildings. Apart from existing EPBD based regulation (min. requirements for major renovation) the state is considering also to prescribe obligatory energy renovation of existing buildings by the new energy act (drafts). In this framework there is a need to develop an appropriate business model involving private and public stakeholders in order to increase the energy retrofit of existing apartment buildings.

The proposed case derives from experiences gained during renewal of Posočje region after the earthquake in 1998. As more than 3.000 buildings were damaged in an earthquake the state organized help to reconstruct the area. The system of subsidies for reconstruction was defined in the newly adopted law. Due to large scale of operations it was necessary to set and evaluate priorities. Top on the list was care for residents but also for cultural heritage buildings including the architectonic/urbanistic aspects (view) of settlements. Next, it was important to control the prices, which would boost on open market on such demand. The state prepared and fixed allowable prices for most reconstruction works. A simple program tools and training was prepared for retrofitting companies (mostly SMEs for both design and construction works). The changes were introduced into legislation to foster modern approach (Eurocode 8) for reconstruction (similar can be expected for EE aspects). Due to lack of funding the reconstruction was limited to improve only the earthquake resistance of buildings. For next bigger reconstruction the concept must be changed to include all aspects (also EE, and other...). ZRMK gained experiences in management of Posočje renovation project.

Moreover the proposed case is based also on extensive experiences from related IEE projects: Planning and financing of energy renovation: ClearSupport, LCC REFURB, EffCoBuild, SErENADE/Green procurement: BUY-SMART, GreenLabelsPurchase/Low-energy and sustainable construction: KEEP COOL II, COOLREGION, LCC DATA / Social housing: EI-Education, SHARE, AFTER, Energy neighbourhoods / Sustainable municipalities: Come2Com – Covenant of Mayors / Energy renovation: DATAMINE, TABULA/FP7 OPEN HOUSE – assessment of building sustainability/COST C25 Sustainability of constructions. 

In the above framework ZRMK and SGG, with the technical support of ATB, will develop a Business Case on large scope retrofit of apartment buildings in Slovenia, and for this purpose collaborate with other stakeholders: policy makers, building owners and building management companies, technology providers, SMEs implementing renovation, financing institutions, banks, Eco-fund, ESCOs, national and municipal housing funds, energy consultants, energy advisors, chambers of engineers, architects, social partners in order to draft and initiate a large scope retrofitting projects of apartment buildings. Experienced building management companies as well as public housing funds will be invited to test the proposed business model on their renovation projects in apartment buildings.

The following elements will be investigated in the proposed Slovenian case:

  • Analysis of energy efficiency potential (based on energy performance indicators, LCA and LCC) in existing apartment buildings regarding to 2020 and 2050 targets, using the IEE TABULA national building typology and EPC database.
  • Testing best practice cases and identification of gaps relevant for large scope retrofit project
  • Identification of technical, financial, organisation barriers preventing successful major renovation of apartment buildings
  • Identification of appropriate RES and RUE technologies for retrofit of existing apartment buildings 
  • Development of innovative financial models for retrofit cases (ESCOs, banks, incentives, EU funding) 
  • Drafting the legislative support to large scope retrofitting projects (by consulting the state, municipalities and key stakeholders in order to meet targets of the national energy policy, residential policy, green public procurement policy, RTD policy)
  • Development of SMEs platform, offering integrated and comprehensive solutions for apartment buildings
  • Quality assurance scheme – development of national QA support network, the network may consider technical and financial issues in retrofitting, but also planning and monitoring of impacts (retro-commissioning).
  • Testing the business model on the planned retrofit projects in co-operation with the building management companies

Gross floor area (1000 m2) by year of construction and building type; energy retrofit of apartment buildings by 20202 and 2030 according to Slovenian targets of climate and energy policy.