Unveiling the Process of Sustainable Renovation
Journal article, 2012

Renovation processes are complex and there is a risk of underestimating architectural, cultural, and social values in favor of exterior and interior upgrading, energy efficiency and financing. A synthesized, systematic process is needed for making decisions about renovation measures. The aim of this paper is to survey decision-making procedures aimed for sustainable renovation. We inventory existing tools and methodologies based on (a) a literature review and (b) results from a workshop with participants from the Swedish buildings sector, academia, and other stakeholders. Our results show that there are many tools available but few seem to have reached acceptance in renovation. None of the more established methods and tools addresses a complexity that balances material and immaterial values and they are often too specific. There is a need for simplified tools, especially for evaluating more intangible, experienced values. Instead of one comprehensive tool preferably a methodology for renovation should be developed with references to different tools. In the building sector, renovation should be considered a service-minded process rather than a merely technical one as often is the case in new construction. There is a need to clarify the process and the meaning of the terms, and that need is even more urgent when it comes to the values that are more difficult to define.

tools and methodologies

building assessment

sustainable renovation

decision-making support


Liane Thuvander

Chalmers, Architecture, Architectural theory and methods

Paula Femenias

Chalmers, Architecture, Building Design

Kristina Norling Mjörnell

SP Sveriges Tekniska Forskningsinstitut AB

Pär Meiling

Research - Architectural Theory and Method


20711050 (eISSN)

Vol. 4 6 1188-1213

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)


Subject Categories

Civil Engineering

Cultural Studies

Building Technologies



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