Innovation always deals with resistance. Doing what you know well, applying already proven techniques or just adding few extra details to existing solutions is intellectually comfortable. Things are getting more complicated when you must embark on a rough journey with a “rocky-road” leading to an innovative approach. E=0 is no different.
The Luxembourgish refurbishment project-pilot is by far not an easy task. The size of the building (4 floors) combined with numerous related challenges tend to amplify issues that would have otherwise been easier to address.
For instance the insulation panels: when developing a solution for a façade that is high, the weight factor for efficient panels is a major problem. The simple fact of “clipping” a façade into a 4-story high building is way more difficult than it is on a smaller structure.
Recently, the Kiem building had to face a similar challenge: the location of the electric/ventilation box. Architects along with the Neobuild team previously agreed upon locating these boxes on balconies (designed for easier maintenance thanks to an outdoor access). The City of Luxembourg did not accept this solution, arguing that every component of the refurbishment should stay within the volume of the (previously not refurbished) building.
The technical task force of the project (Neobuild, Fonds du Logement, Coeba Architecture, Felgen, Tecna…) came up with a solution: putting the technical boxes right under the roof, providing the best cost / efficiency ratio within such a short time frame. This could be done at no extra cost with a simple installation. Moreover, the boxes will still be accessible for future maintenance purposes, a main concern of the project.
Team work was crucial in this case since many options were examined before deciding to locate the boxes on top of the building. That type of solution can now be shared with Partners and also provide a valuable experience for future refurbishments. It also clearly underlines that E=0 is a common effort both at national and international levels.