Towards sustainable renovation : three research projects

Abstract: The focus of this dissertation is on existing housing areas: in industrialised western countries, in 2005, the number of existing buildings that are taken care of, maintained, repaired, renovated or restructured for other functions is higher than the number of buildings that are (new) built. This is a review dissertation, based on empirical material and further reflections from previous research projects dealing with Swedish housing renovation: private-owned old single-family housing areas and large housing areas from the 1950s, 60s and 70s, mainly owned by housing companies. The concepts of careful renovation, environmentally-friendly renovation and sustainable renovation are analysed as different approaches to housing renovation. The aim is to present an interpretation of sustainable renovation that includes the goals both of careful renovation and of environmentally-friendly renovation as necessary components of sustainable development. This dissertation identifies and analyses the main issues that may be faced during renovation and that have a relevant impact on the environment, the architecture or the inhabitants, and describes the renovation actions that have been used in the studied projects. It concludes with reflections about positive results, incongruities and challenges that may be found in projects of sustainable renovation.