Kathleen Zoonnekindt (Savills), responsible for the socio-economic analysis in the European project DREEAM, successfully completed 18 interviews with ATER Treviso tenants (Treviso, Italy) as part of preparation for deep renovation of two tower buildings starting at the end of 2017. The interviews took place from 15th to 17th of February and were carried out with support of Sabina Manente and local site managers from ATER Treviso. Tenant engagement before and after renovation is a key aspect of the deep renovations that will be performed in the DREEAM project at three pilot sites across Europe (Treviso in Italy, Padiham in the UK and Landskrona in Sweden).
The following interview was featured in the March edition of the European Housing Network (EURHONET) newsletter.
Why is it important to include tenants in before and after deep renovation projects?
According to Kathleen Zoonnekindt, who has experience as leader of sociological studies & users’ experience in European energy projects, the engagement of tenants in renovation programs is essential for two main reasons. First, the understanding of life conditions before renovations from the user’s perspective is an important completion of the technical analysis. Insights on thermal comfort (humidity, air leaks, T° which often differ between dwellings, floors, orientations), on life habits in the buildings and social cohesion cannot be captured in a technical audit. These insights are important to a well-designed renovation concept that will improve the socio-ecological sustainability of the renovated buildings and the life quality of tenants. Secondly, understanding users’ behavior allows to plan for preventative actions against social misuses after renovation. The latter can lead to a decrease of the initially planned energy efficiency gains, or even to consumption’s increase (e.g. by wrong use or resistance/hijacking of new equipment & rebound effect).
What is the tenant engagement in DREEAM about?
As part of the DREEAM project, tenant engagement program led by Kathleen Zoonnekindt is carried out both before and after renovation. The engagement before renovation consists of interviews and users’ experience observations with numerous households (of various age, background, family structure) that are located at different parts of the building(s). Tenants are interviewed in detail about their thermal comfort, energy habits, uses of equipment, expectations for renovations & local life culture. The results of the interviews are summarized for the building owners in the form of a visual social mapping to support decision making. They are also used to build a tenant training program after the renovation that will focus on energy efficient behavior and the use of newly installed equipment.
How did the interviews in Treviso go?
As stated by Kathleen, “the interviews in Treviso could not have gone better”. This has largely to do with the excellent support provided by Sabina Manente and the ATER team, as well as the commitment of the tenants who were very open, collaborative and descriptive in their answers.
What is DREEAM project?
DREEAM is a 4-year European project (2015-2019) that provides a number of services related to deep renovation (investment planning, renovation design, and energy consumption analysis and tenant engagement). Within the project, altogether round of 250 dwellings will be renovated to an nZEB standard at project pilot sites. EURHONET is a member of the DREEAM project and assures that knowledge and experience gathered within DREEAM can be shared with housing companies across Europe.