Climate Change and Buildings Energy Efficiency – the Key Role of Residents

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Abstract

Eastern Europe today is confronted with an unavoidable problem - the multifamily apartment building stock is deteriorating but apartment owners do not have sufficient access to resources be they organizational, financial, technical or legal. In addition, destructive myths have grown about the Soviet era buildings despite their continued resilience or the ex- GDR experience in the 90s with the same buildings. Further, without resources, decision making in residential apartments is seen as a major obstacle and used as an explanation why renovation has not taken place in Latvia. This is important not only in the context of a potential housing crisis but also because the renovation of the apartment buildings is an effective solution to significantly reduce the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. It has a proven potential to effectively finance the long term renovation of these buildings. This paper summarizes the first findings of a comprehensive and in-depth study of apartment buildings, their owners and the processes relating to renovation, combining social and environmental engineering research methods. It seeks to understand how owners of multi-family buildings in Eastern Europe understand their buildings and then to answer two questions - how to motivate owners to renovate their homes and increase energy efficiency and what business models should be used to implement economically viable and high quality projects.

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CiteScore 2018: 1.67

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