The Housing Retrofit Market in Italy: Constraints and Barriers to Development
The construction sector holds great importance for the reduction of energy consumption and for the achievement of goals related to environmental sustainability as stated by European policies. The national energy plan assigns to this sector an important role in curtailing energy consumption. The objectives of the Italian Plan for Energy Efficiency (PAEE) have been surpassed with interventions by owner-occupiers that generate high savings at the same cost, as in the case of the replacement of traditional boilers with condensing boilers and replacement. Many window replacements have been made, with relatively low energy savings but with a quite high amelioration of building maintenance levels. These interventions have been pushed mainly by a favourable policy of tax relief. More difficult is the further achievement of savings through interventions that are more complex and expensive, to be carried out on aged building stock and with a high rate of owner-occupiers. Innovation related to eco-construction is driven by legislation with strict criteria in terms of energy performance. The sector has thus connected a traditional approach to innovation. At the same time the industry has seen the emergence of actors that link supply and demand [designers of system components and building materials, energy service companies (ESCO)]. This chapter examines case studies focusing on the critical issues that have hindered the success of the building retrofit market. The role of construction companies, especially craftsmen, and designers is highlighted and identified as being central in the development of building retrofitting in Italy in terms of both their technical expertise and their closeness to customers.
KeywordsRetrofit Non technical barriers
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