Business and Technical Concepts for Deep Energy Retrofit of Public Buildings

Completed (2012 - 2017)


Stringent targets for reductions in energy use in government / public buildings are now becoming more common in many industrialised countries. However, the funding and ‹know-how› (applied knowledge) available for owner-directed energy retrofit projects has not kept pace with new requirements to increase the number of energy retrofits and to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings. In recent years, the Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) has proven to be a very energy and cost efficient tool in some countries. This project aims to increase the acceptance of ESPCs, and to broaden the implementation of deep energy use reduction through refurbishment of existing buildings using ESPCs.

To date ESPCs have been used primarily as instruments for retrofitting heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, lighting systems and controls. Implementation of certain individual measures (for example building envelope insulation and improved air-tightness, or co-generation) results in significant reductions in building heating and cooling loads or minimization of energy waste, but requires significant investments with long paybacks. However, when different technologies are implemented together, or are bundled, they can result in significant energy use reductions, require smaller investments, and consequently have faster paybacks.

Project objectives

  • Provide a framework and selected tools and guidelines to significantly reduce energy use (by more than 50%) and improve indoor environment quality in government and public buildings and building communities undergoing renovation
  • Gather and, in some cases research, develop, and demonstrate innovative and highly effective bundled packages of ECMs for selected building types and climatic conditions
  • Develop and demonstrate innovative, highly resource-efficient business models for retrofitting / refurbishing buildings and community systems using appropriate combinations of public and private funding such as ESPCs and other concepts to be developed together with the building owners
  • Support decision makers in evaluating the efficiency, risks, financial attractiveness, and contractual and tendering options conforming to existing national legal frameworks
  • Engage end users, mainly building owners and other market partners in the proceedings and work of the project

Operating Agents

Rüdiger Lohse
KEA Klimaschutz- und Energieagentur
Baden-Württemberg GmbH
Kaiserstr. 94a
76133 Karlsruhe
Tel: +49 (0)721 984 71 15
Dr Alexander Zhivov
US Army Engineer Research and Development Center Construction Engineering Research Laboratory
2902 Newmark Dr.
Champaign, IL 61826-9005
Tel: +1 217 373 4519


Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, USA