Effectiveness of Materials, Technologies, and Renewable Energy in Educational Buildings Through Cluster Analysis of Energy Retrofitting

  • Francesco Asdrubali
  • Laura Calcagnini
  • Luca Evangelisti
  • Claudia Guattari
  • Paola Marrone
Part of the Innovative Renewable Energy book series (INREE)


This paper is part of wider research on a stock of 80 schools and their energetic retrofit projects financed by the EU in the Lazio region in 2016 to reduce CO2 emissions. Because in these procedures the suggested retrofit strategies are often selected on the basis of common best practices (considering average energy savings), but are not supported by proper energy investigations, following the principles of an evidence-based approach, we analysed all the information on the interventions and developed a database to support public administration in future informed financing processes.

All the design choices – including the use of eco-materials, envelope technologies and renewable energy sources – have been studied in relation to context, climate zone, school typology, use, construction quality and costs. Three levels of investigation have been defined to identify significant clusters according to reported data: data analysis, monitoring and field surveys, and observations of technological performance of the interventions. For each cluster, the most representative actual building was identified to allow comparability of different materials and technologies, to control and plan new energy retrofit interventions, thereby reducing inefficiencies. For each representative building, a validating procedure based on dynamic simulation was developed.

In this paper, a picture of the interventions regarding the use of materials and technologies for envelope retrofitting is given.

The first results highlight that the interventions have an effective energy performance overall, but they have many deficiencies in terms of environmental quality of the materials used and nothing has been done to comply with the guidelines of the recent minimum environmental criteria (CAM).

Purpose: The comparison between the expected and actual energy performance of the refurbished schools allows indicators to be singled out to support the development of new calls to allocate public funds according to priority intervention areas, especially in view of the obligations recently established by the CAM and confirmed both in the recent National Energy Strategy and in the Sustainable Development Strategy.

An evidence-based approach and cluster analysis are the methodologies used to select the most representative buildings and homogeneous building classes in terms of constructive and energy characteristics of the building stock.

Research is limited to the regional field, but the methodology can be extended on a national and international scale.

The paper examines a significant number of case studies and develops an evaluation methodology for energetic retrofit interventions, in compliance with the latest environmental and energy standards for building envelope materials.


Eco-materials Technologies Policies Energy efficiency 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Asdrubali
    • 1
  • Laura Calcagnini
    • 2
  • Luca Evangelisti
    • 1
  • Claudia Guattari
    • 1
  • Paola Marrone
    • 2
  1. 1.Roma Tre University, Department of EngineeringRomeItaly
  2. 2.Roma Tre University, Department of ArchitectureRomeItaly

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