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By : Erwin Mlecnik

More significant reductions in residential primary energy consumption and in space heating in particular, can contribute to achieving climate change and energy efficiency objectives. Project information from demonstration projects is now becoming available for highly energy-efficient renovation concepts. The goal of this research is to understand how owner-occupants can be persuaded to apply far-reaching energysaving renovations of single-family houses. To this end, the research examines drivers and barriers of owners to adopt highly energy-efficient renovation concepts. Theory on decision processes in innovation diffusion is used, in order to examine the adoption of integrated concepts to achieve high energy performance. Belgian case studies (different building typologies) were examined. Adoption drivers and barriers perceived by owner-occupants are analysed. This leads to improved understanding of characteristics that can persuade future adopters. Possible measures are discussed to overcome barriers in the introduction phase of innovation diffusion, and are illustrated more in detail with a case study. The research shows that especially expectations of improved comfort provide an opportunity for the market entry of integrated concepts. Owners, architects and contractors could benefit from increased attractiveness, competitiveness, affordability and availability of highly energy-efficient renovations. Holistic approaches (stronger coordination and clustered renovation concepts), higher skill competence (education) and improved communication (actor networks, significant economic incentives) are recommended.
Keywords : Renovation, Energy Efficiency, Adoption, Innovation Diffusion, Demonstration Projects.

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