Weighting Citizens’ Priorities for Deep Energy Retrofit: a Multiple Benefits Approach
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Currently, within each urban-regeneration project, an ambitious improvement in the energy performance of existing buildings is foreseen. Consequently, refurbishing the building stock should be approached as a piece of a wider, complex project. This means no longer treating it as a mere technical problem, to be solved simply by upgrading energy systems, introducing renewable sources, or enhancing energy efficiency by adopting the latest technologies. The technological innovation in buildings should be considered not as the final goal, but as a way to improve citizens’ quality of life and to meet their expectations. Why are energy-efficient buildings attractive for citizens? What are the motivations driving the choice in deciding to undertake such refurbishment works? Are the economic benefits the most relevant argument underpinning their decisions? Recent studies in this field suggest the relevance of other co-benefits, mainly dealing with the health and well-being of building occupants, environmental consciousness, the pleasure of enjoying spatial quality, and the higher evaluation by the real-estate market of energy- efficient dwellings. A deep understanding of customers’ awareness and preferences is, therefore, necessary for the decision-making process, to avoid project failures or underperformance. Starting from these considerations, this paper tackles the issues of motivations of choice in asking for energy-refurbished buildings by adopting a multi-criteria approach. We implement a decision tree following the analytic hierarchy process methodology (AHP), assuming the unitary relevance of a high-quality energy refurbishment as an expression of multiple benefits. Through learning from pre
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