The upgradation of the energy efficiency of our building stock is recognized to be a priority concern as well as an opportunity for reducing our society’s overall consumption. The upgradation measures to be applied to a given building are usually assessed only on the basis of the initial investment and the target energy performance. The environmental impact of producing the building materials used in energy retrofit projects, as well as scrapping them at the end of their life cycle, are mostly neglected in such assessments, but are particularly significant concerns. One need only consider that European buildings and construction account for 50% of all extracted materials, 30% of water consumption and 33% of all waste materials.
The OPTIONS project aims to support the specification of upgradation projects, by identifying, depending on the type of building and recurring problems, integrated solutions which optimize a variety of the building’s sustainability factors. Thanks to our collaboration with VIVIUS, with its network of companies oriented towards eco-sustainable construction, we have been able to identify solutions and sustainability indicators for assessment. Using multi-objective optimization algorithms, optimized standard solutions are defined for the initial scenario which make best use of the variety of possible grants. Since the optimization process makes use of a computerized database to automatically assess the indicators, this opens the way to the digitalization of the certification and grant application process. Standardized solutions enable the user to immediately assess the benefits of a sustainable solution over a conventional one, creating greater awareness among clients and professionals of the importance of sustainability in the construction industry.