The building sector is in a transformation process caused not only by the economic crisis, but also the everchanging population. This caused an avalanche of issues including a rise in housing demand leading to inflated housing prices and skewed housing value. In this economic situation, it is not sensible to invest in new buildings, rather, it is more efficient to invest in the rehabilitation of old buildings.
The current governing framework for buildings addresses technical components and necessary adaptations regarding new buildings, but includes few and generic requirements for existing buildings. Due to the worsening of the energy crisis along with the creation of the European directives of improving energy efficiency, a third factor for building quality must be implemented: consideration of resources when inhabiting new buildings. Beyond implementing a new factor of building evaluation, it must be a requirement to include energy efficiency in the built environment and to redefine its relation to rehabilitation.
The lack of this third factor prompts a discussion of the scale and the scope of actions necessary in order to modify the framework and to define the documents for different agents – rights and responsibilities, business models and actions – organized towards the new building.
The governing framework must also adapt to the changing conditions. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen the scope of objectives, to analyze the state of buildings regarding components that need improvement, and to reevaluate the resources required to put the improvements into action. The new governing framework includes the planning of technical components, the capacity to host activities, and the resources necessary to maintain the capacity of the built environment.
The report aims to give a strategic vision until new building objectives cause the need for alterations or redefinition, as the Catalan Strategy for the Energy Renovation of Buildings caused in this case. This strategic vision creates an understanding of typical activities for each sector, a perception of its differences compared to current ones, a definition of the affecting governing framework, and an understanding of which barriers affect current regulations in this new activity in terms of the applicability of the regulations, alteration of the current conditions, and the interests of the agents.
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