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Can a renovation be digital?

What do you think of when you hear renovation? Refurbishment of existing premises? Adaptation of the premises to today's requirements? Annoying sound? Out with the old in with the new?

Only a small part of the building stock is added annually as new construction. The key to achieving real change in offices and creating something that suits a new way of working is therefore dependent on how we handle the remaining majority of the buildings. How about a renovation that does not sound, is not visible, takes minimal time, does not require major material purchases, and provides increased energy efficiency? Does that sound too good to be true? We're talking about digital renovation!

In mid-October 2020, the European Commission presented its Renovation Wave strategy to improve the energy performance of buildings. The construction sector has enormous potential in terms of energy and emissions savings, and for the EU to achieve its goal of a climate-neutral Europe by 2050, this is an important step.

The construction sector accounts for more than a third of EU emissions and about 75% of existing buildings are currently energy efficient. An estimate also shows that 85-95% of today's buildings will remain in 2050. This means that the focus on energy-efficient new construction is not enough, we need massive renovation efforts to achieve our energy and climate goals.

Physical system change costly and resource-intensive
In recent years, major developments have taken place in ventilation and indoor climate, such as increased energy efficiency, improved control and measurement of the indoor climate and modern and more user-friendly interfaces for monitoring systems both on site and via cloud services. A modern control system can, for example, contribute to reduced climate impact and can benefit property owners and those responsible for operations as operating and maintenance costs can be kept down.

There is a large base of installed indoor climate systems that have not been in place for their full life, but which are still starting to become outdated in terms of visualization, control and energy efficiency . Perhaps it has been invested in a solution that was modern only a few years ago, but which is now perceived as outdated and which no longer meets today's requirements. Replacing the entire system can be a costly affair and is also unsustainable from a resource and material perspective. The digital development has simply taken place faster than the estimated lifespan of the physical products .

This is where digital renovation comes in
. With the help of a digital renovation, existing indoor climate systems can be updated to more modern interfaces, with new analysis methods, improved functions and better opportunities for monitoring buildings, without actually replacing the physical products. This makes it possible to create a better indoor climate that also contributes to a more energy-efficient operation and that old systems can be opened up for various new types of digital services.

Of course, upgrading your indoor climate systems is also suitable when an existing building is to be expanded or rebuilt. Complement the existing facility with new indoor climate solutions and make these work together.

75% of EU buildings are energy efficient, of which 85-90% will remain in 2050.

Smart to review needs and use
Regardless of whether a building needs to undergo a physical renovation or not, it may be worthwhile after a while to review its indoor climate solution and look at what the use of the premises looks like today. Maybe they are used differently compared to when the system was installed? Only in recent times in the waves of the pandemic do we see how, for example, office buildings are starting to be used differently where the permanent workplace is becoming more flexible, where parts of an office can be unused occasionally and at other times the same place can be shared by many. At the same time, the demand for a healthy indoor environment is increasing. A digital renovation can be both a cost-effective and fast solution to get a modern, more efficient and needs-adapted indoor climate system that can also both simplify and reduce the time required for those responsible for operations.

A good investment should pay off
Once you have invested in an advanced indoor climate system, it is an advantage that it is often possible to expand and modernize, which is also part of the basic idea of ​​such a system. It should be relatively easy and not have to be too expensive to update with, for example, a more user-friendly interface. Such a system should be backward compatible in order to work with older ventilation and indoor climate products and of course with new ones. It also enables a smoother transition if you want to expand your system in the long term or replace old products with new ones gradually as the needs arise and in this way also be able to increase the service life and spread the costs.

Digital renovations have many benefits in terms of sustainability, energy efficiency and simplified operational management. It provides a system that is "up-to-date" in both user-friendliness and functionality and which can reduce both costs and time. So instead of throwing out the old, take advantage of what you have and invest in new digital!