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Specific barriers to massive scale energetic refurbishment for sample markets in Europe
* 1 , 1 , 1 , 2 , 1
1  Chalmers
2  Biopolus / Záhony u. 7. 1031 Budapest, Hungary


International bodies such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or the United Nations agree in seeing the built environment as one of the key sectors to mitigate emissions. Cost abatement curves as generated by McKinsey list a number of technologies in the building sector, which are already cost effective and are together potentially allowing for carbon mitigations of 2,0-3,0 Gtons of CO2eq per annum. Despite being economically attractive as well as desirable from a climate change mitigation viewpoint, almost none of these technologies are massively upscaling. The lack of or wrong policy frameworks are often named as the key barrier. Therefore, a favorable policy framework in combination with economic feasibility should result in massive upscaling of the implementation.

This paper showcases the overestimation of the effect of economic stimulation and policy change on refurbishment rates by analyzing the change in refurbishment rates after the implementation of major policy schemes for different European countries. It therefore follows that in addition to policy frameworks and economic feasibility other barriers are to be taken into account.

Cases in which despite an increase in economic stimulation or a favorable policy change the refurbishment rate was actually going down are analyzed in detail as exemplary case studies. The analysis of these cases is based on expert interviews with key stakeholders in the respective markets.

The identified barriers are clustered and categorized. Common barriers were found to be the lack of information flow between product and technology suppliers and the demand side, the competition of different technologies within systemic building solutions, general uncertainty as a result of the complexity of systemic solutions, production and workforce limits and the stakeholder setup.


Keywords: Innovation barrier, refurbishment, building technologies, upscaling, market diffusion