Partners of the European project AFTER [Cost Optimum and Standard Solutions for Management and Maintenance of the Social Housing Stock] have met in Ljubljana on the 22th and 23th of November. The meeting objective aimed at discussing at the same time the main advances realized since the AFTER kick-off meeting on May 2011 in Paris.
All the stakeholders discussed, through debates and workshops, the implementation of the AFTER main targets: collecting and assessing innovative energy saving measures experienced the last five years across the European social housing stock.
Discussion concerned both the common scientific methodology of the project and its prospective use by participating and non-participating social housing organizations.
A few months after the kick-off meeting, we can start compiling our first observations.
The Ljubljana meeting helped to underline the interesting diversity of energy saving measures collected among participating social housing organizations.
A proliferation of innovations which highlights varied tools, strategies and types of investments.
This diversity will bring AFTER members to create common working and evaluation frameworks in order to treat this plurality of experiences and intentions that all would participate to the energy performance of the housing stock.
The AFTER members’ Slovenian workshop confirmed the potential of operating management and running maintenance for the global energy efficiency in social housing buildings.
This relevancy is twofold.
First, it means to act on an important scale of the housing stock. If recent low-energy buildings and refurbishments particularly concern on 1 to 2 % of the annual housing stock, management and maintenance concern all the buildings. To focus on these operating tools means to assert that energy efficiency wouldn’t only depend on exceptional measures regarding the smallest part of the housing stock. Instead she has to invest the overall stock by an important diversity of means. And to involve all the social housing stakeholders: housing companies, tenants, heating suppliers, etc.
The role of management and maintenance is also to give simple solutions in response to the collective expectations in energy savings.
Communication about green buildings doesn’t have to hide more standard measures which could improve with simple gestures the companies and tenants’ energy strategies. The AFTER project doesn’t only focus on low-cost solutions. It affirms that a sustainable development of the social housing stock will emerge from simple innovations and easy gains. According to this approach, AFTER aims to reduce energy consumptions from 3 to 7,5 % in the short-term.
AFTER workshop in Ljubljana mad it possible to discuss the project methodology and to better define its research process. All the partners will shortly meet in Darmstadt on March 2012.