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Lower energy bills, improved health, and better quality of life were the goals of a project launched by Realdania By & Byg in 2007 with the title “Home Energy - New energy for your home”. The focal point of the project was energy refurbishment of four houses in the Tilst suburb of Aarhus dating from the 1970s. The houses were sold following completion of the project.
A total of 40% of Denmark’s energy consumption is in buildings. Residential properties make up over half of these.
Over the years, various development projects have sought to develop solutions and methods to reduce the total energy consumption of new builds.
However, new builds make up just one percent of all residential properties, and as such, a crucial step is to overhaul existing housing if we are to achieve appreciable results.
A significant proportion of existing housing in Denmark is made up of detached houses, the most common and most popular type of home in Denmark, totalling 1.1 million properties. Of these, half were built in the 1960s and 1970s, and it is precisely these houses that make ideal candidates for energy refurbishment to reduce their energy consumption.
In this context, Denmark has to make its total energy consumption much more efficient, and a Danish climate agreement aims in part at limiting energy consumption, whilst simultaneously replacing energy produced using fossil fuels with renewable energy sources.
Against this backdrop, Realdania By & Byg in 2007 initiated the project “Home Energy”. The project commenced in earnest in September 2008 with the purchase of four houses in Tilst, letting the houses to four trial families for a period of three years, and holding an architecture competition.
Immediately after the families had moved into the properties in November 2008, and before energy refurbishment of the four houses had got underway, Aalborg University began measuring the energy consumption and indoor climate of the buildings. The measurements continued throughout the entire heating season 2008-2009.
The refurbishments were subject to varying budgets and focus areas, and they were carried out between August and December 2009, with subsequent measurements taken in the heating season 2009-2010. The measurements were carried out in order to establish whether the improvements had had the effect promised by the calculations.