Due to barriers that exist when considering the sustainability of the built environment, optimising energy efficiency in buildings is often a management issue and not one of design. In many cases, it is the organisation responsible for the building that makes the decision with respect to where best to invest their limited resources.

For this reason, decision support tools, providing information with respect to a buildings energy consumption and methods for implementation and incentivisation of the solutions, benefiting all stakeholders involved are required.

UMBRELLA will address this issue through the development of an innovative, web-based decision-support application, which provides common independent evaluation tools built around new and adaptable business models. The interface will use guided navigation to ascertain key information from users such as: key stakeholders; building location; building type; new or retrofit build; owner objectives and preferences e.g. energy efficiency, carbon and budget requirements etc.
Based on this information, one or more appropriate business models will be suggested and will include recommendations for:

  • > contract type;
  • > organisational model;
  • > financial model;
  • > governing policy;
  • > how to split incentives among the stakeholders;

How to engage all members of the design team from the beginning and throughout the building life
Business models, specific to the project and stakeholders will then be provided through the online dynamic web portal, which will allow users to explore and optimise different business models and the relating implications and recommendations for interventions to their specified building. This can be applied to any building at any stage of design or use.

The UMBRELLA project will target 2% of the EU building stock within 5 years of commercialisation of project deliverables. This will result in an increase in the market share of energy efficient solutions of 15% within 5 years, resulting in reductions of 3.096Mtoe per year. The UMBRELLA deliverables will be demonstrated in 4 regional flagship projects located in the UK, Italy, Spain and Poland.

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