INFINITESustainable industrialized envelope solutions for building renovation
About the project
In a nutshell, INFINITE aims to shape how we design and perform retrofitting of buildings in the future: modular, pre-fabricated and sustainable, with support of digital tools. The main goals of the project are:
- To design all-in-one industrialized envelope solutions under a catalogue vision, lowering costs and improving flexibility and life cycle sustainability performance.
- To develop a decision-support digital environment; this will serve to ease the management of industrialized renovation processes over the whole value chain and for all stakeholders involved, from residents to building owners and AEC industry.
- To engage stakeholders in the value chain of renovation process to increase the acceptance of novel industrialized solutions.
Figure 1: INFINITE retrofit concept
Three real demo building cases will be set up in Italy, France and Slovenia (+6 other virtual demo cases all over the EU).
Figure 2: Location of INFINITE real and virtual building demos
To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep global warming below 1.5°C above pre-industrial situations, emissions from the building stock worldwide will have to be reduced by 80%-90% in comparison to 2010 . To meet this target, existing buildings in developed countries should be retrofitted at a minimum annual rate of 5% . Within the European Union, a high renovation rate for buildings is expected over the upcoming decades, with a high focus on deep energy renovations. Beside lowering the energy consumption in building operation, it also appears important to focus on many other aspects, such as using non-toxic materials for the building shell, improving health and safety conditions of workers in the construction industry and increasing residents´ wellbeing. Furthermore, building retrofitting is crucial to reduce energy poverty and achieve social inclusion.
An industrialized retrofitting approach, which at the same time includes benefits of digitalization, is assumed to have a great potential for performing the upcoming renovations more efficiently. The developed solutions should be suitable for mass production, decrease retrofit time and costs, and improve the sustainability performance considering the complete life cycle.
 IPCC (2018) What the IPCC special report on global warming of 1.5°C means for cities urban policy makers DOI: https://doi.org/10.24943/SCPM.2018
GreenDelta in the project
GreenDelta will support technological partners in the design of several building kits by performing LCA and LCC for different material, connection and kit options.
The idea is to make sustainability a design parameter in addition to technical requirements. The development of the industrialized solutions will also incorporate a Design for Assembling and Disassembling perspective and its implication on environmental and cost impacts. Furthermore, the sustainability performance of the INFINITE industrialized approach will be analyzed at the building level by comparing life cycle impacts between industrialized vs traditional retrofitting for selected demo cases.
Social impacts over the life cycle of building renovation will be investigated by combining different approaches, including S-LCA and resident surveys. The goal is to develop a standard approach for evaluating and monitoring social impacts for different stakeholders (workers, residents, local communities…) involved in building retrofitting. The methodology will be validated with the case studies.
Finally, GreenDelta will contribute to the creation of a digital environment to support retrofit decision-making. Specifically, an LCA/LCC plug-in integrated in a BIM-Platform will be developed. The plugin and related LCA/LCC outcomes will be accessible to different stakeholders in different ways, hence depending on their expertise and role in the renovation process. The plugin will support the design process in different stages, from preliminary design to advanced phases, and be able to “propose options” by combining technical requirements and sustainability information.
Links and resources
Project duration: 2020-2025.
Project funded in Horizon 2020 under the Grant agreement 958397.