New papers published

We are proud to announce the publication of five new papers about the HAPPEN project and our key results in our pilot sites:

>> Two papers have been published on the MDPI Applied Sciences journal Special Issue “Retrofitting Buildings and Energy Efficiency”:

🔸 Indoor Environmental Quality Evaluation Strategy as an Upgrade (Renovation) Measure in a Historic Building Located in the Mediterranean Zone (Athens, Greece)


The assessment of indoor environmental quality in historic buildings converted to museums is a significant tool in deep energy renovation processes, as it provides insights for the microclimatic conditions in the interiors of the building where vast numbers of visitors walk every year and where artifacts that are vulnerable to pollution are exhibited. In this work, aiming to contribute to the development of an energy retrofitting protocol applied in the Mediterranean region (HAPPEN MedZeb protocol) for museums hosted in historic buildings by providing useful data, an experimental campaign to evaluate the indoor environmental quality of a museum housed in a historic building located in Athens took place from February 2019 to April 2021 and was divided into two periods. The findings revealed high concentrations of volatile organic compounds as well as poor thermal comfort levels since the sensors recorded low acceptable percentages of T values within the limits from 7 to 33% for the entire experimental period. Based on the findings, recommendations for retrofitting interventions are made.

🔸 Holistic Impact and Environmental Efficiency of Retrofitting Interventions on Buildings in the Mediterranean Area: A Directional Distance Function Approach


The study focuses on the application of a nonparametric methodology for evaluating the sustainability of retrofitting interventions to be applied on different typologies of buildings and different climate zones of the Mediterranean area. The paper starts from the analysis of data collected through the HAPPEN project, that is a H2020 European project which proposes a holistic approach for a deep and sustainable renovation of the Mediterranean residential Building stock. Even if the European Commission allocated considerable funds for retrofitting interventions, the choice of the optimal solution is not always that easy because several variables have to be considered. The present manuscript proposes a methodology to compare different retrofitting solutions combining Life-Cycle Cost (i.e., LCC) estimations with the nonparametric Directional Distance Function approach (i.e., DDF). In detail, the literature suggests that the DDF can be effectively used for comparing different observations through efficiency scores. The main result of the paper is the definition of a hybrid methodology that, starting from estimates of LCC and applying a DDF technique, represents a simple method for evaluating the best retrofitting intervention. Results are represented by two scores where the former represents a holistic efficiency measure, while the latter shows an environmental efficiency score.

>> Two papers have been published on the Chemical Engineering Transactions journal Vol 88 (2021)

🔸 The MedZEB Protocol: a Powerful Tool for Fostering Deep Renovation in the Mediterranean Area


The market uptake of deep energy retrofitting represents a significant challenge in the EU Mediterranean countries, due to specific bottlenecks which lead to a low level of trust. In order to meet these challenges, the H2020 HAPPEN Project has developed the MedZEB Protocol, a tool conceived for enhancing the quality management of the overall renovation process, and tailored for the residential sector of the Mediterranean Area. The Protocol is based on a holistic approach aimed at maximizing the added value generated by retrofitting interventions, as well as on standardized procedures which allow fostering a deeper integration among the actors involved, relying on higher technical expertise and enhancing the market transparency. The paper describes the main features of the MedZEB Protocol, its architecture, the indicators and the actors/procedures involved in each phase. The results of a feasibility analysis are also presented, which show the sustainability of the Protocol adoption, thus highlighting its potential role as a reference framework for fostering deep energy retrofitting in the Mediterranean area.

🔸 A Digital Environment for Empowering the Main Actors of the Deep Energy Retrofitting Value Chain


The H2020 HAPPEN project has defined a new approach to tackle significant unsolved bottlenecks affecting the energy renovation markets of the residential built stock in the Mediterranean area: the MedZEB approach (Mediterranean way to nearly Zero Energy Building), which backbone is the HAPPEN ICT Platform. The paper describes firstly the MedZEB concept as a holistic, flexible and cost-optimal approach especially tailored for the Med area. It then presents the HAPPEN Platform in terms of general architecture, workflows, resources and tools aimed at fostering the spread of the MedZEB approach by integrating technical, financial, environmental and operational aspects. A critical assessment on the state-of-the-art highlights the novelty of the HAPPEN Platform as a comprehensive and effective framework for empowering the evolution of the Med renovation markets, as means for fostering the progressive uptake of deep energy retrofitting in the Med area.

>> One paper on the ETEK Journal from the Scientific and Technical Chamber of Cyprus

🔸 The MedZEB approach of the European HAPPEN Project (in Greek)

This paper describes the HAPPEN Project, the MedZEB approach and how it has been applied in the Cyprus pilot sites. By our partner Cyprus Energy Agency