The best solution for renovation in terms of climate and economy

Terttu Vainio, Eero Nippala

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


EU aims to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. Besides energy consumption reduction, also greenhouse gas emissions have to be cut starting from the production of materials and construction work through the use phase to the end of the use of the building. Existing buildings are estimated to provide a high potential for reducing global warming. This paper focuses on research question, how reasonable are energy efficiency improvements of existing buildings, as the materials used in the process produce CO 2 emissions and increase costs compared with conventional maintenance. This issue is a part of the Sustainable Development Goal 13 Climate Action, which integrates climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning and a part of Goal 11 Sustainable cities and communities, which tries to increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion resource efficiency mitigation and adaption to climate change. The carbon footprint of an existing renovated building constitutes mainly from energy consumption emissions. In life cycle costs, the deciding factor is investment. If the building was heated by zero-emission ground source heat, structural renovations would not be worth doing. On the other hand, structural improvement of energy efficiency is recommendable if a building is connected to district heating (DH). Strong reasons, either endogenous or exogenous, must exist for replacing an existing building with a new one. They cannot be justified with the carbon footprint or life cycle costs. These results apply to countries, where the energy efficiency of existing buildings is reasonably good.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSDGs in Construction Economics and Organization - The 11th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organisation CREON
Subtitle of host publicationThe 11th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organisation (CREON), May 18-20, 2022
EditorsGöran Lindahl, Stefan Christoffer Gottlieb
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-25498-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-25497-0, 978-3-031-25500-7
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
Event11th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization, CREON 2022: SDGs in Construction Economics and Organisation - Danish Building Research Institute, Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 18 May 202219 May 2022

Publication series

SeriesSpringer Proceedings in Business and Economics


Conference11th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization, CREON 2022
Internet address


  • Deep renovation
  • Life-cycle cost
  • Energy efficiency
  • Rebuilding
  • Carbon footprint
  • Life cycle cost


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