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Assessment of energy efficient building practices for community self-organised initiatives

 

The adoption of energy-efficient building (EeB) technology in home construction is a major challenge to the systemic acceptance of sustainable development. CSO's often are the forbears of concepts and technology that will later be accepted as societal norms. Collective Self Organized (CSO) housing refers to the processes that are undertaken by a non-professional, self-organized group of individuals who carry out new housing and refurbishment projects as a collective initiative. From conception these CSO's finance, plan, procure and manage projects through completion and into use. The CSO housing process is a strong and growing trend. While these grass roots organizations are often motivated by the possibility of building and living more energy efficient, they are challenged by the daunting task of navigating regulations and market products to create efficient, effective and holistic housing solutions. In order to further empower these highly motivated stakeholders an assessment is required to identify the knowledge transfer gaps between specification, industry and the CSO/ individual home builder.

 

The purpose of this paper is to identify and assess the weakest knowledge transfer links between EeB specifications, products, implementation and reporting across the EU. 15 cases from 5 different countries within the EU have documented CSO and individual homeowner-initiated construction and renovation projects from Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and Norway. An extensive questionnaire was completed by an international consortium to identify what measures are being undertaken and what knowledge gaps exist for CSOs/ individual home builders. These results ascertain what aspects of EeB construction are most comprehensively understood and reported. By better understanding the character of these projects the intention of this paper is to provide an indicative evaluation of the current conditions within this segment of the market. The aim is to identify critical gaps in the successful selection of the most efficient and effective solution.

 

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