Projects  >  Energy  >  Shelter


Promote and facilitate the use of new models of cooperation, inspired by integrated design, for the energy renovation of social housing

EBC was a partner on Shelter, a project funded by the European Commission under the Intelligent Energy Europe programme that ran from June 2010 to June 2013. The aim of the project was to promote and facilitate the use of new models of cooperation, inspired by integrated design, for the energy renovation of social housing, in order to contribute to the EU 20% energy saving target by 2020.


Given that buildings account for 40% of the CO2 emissions in the European Union and that social real estate alone accounts for roughly 21.9 million dwellings, this housing stock offers a high potential for energy savings. Energy renovation innovations within social housing will also have obvious benefits for tenants, and will help to alleviate energy poverty and social exclusion.

The project came within the context of the ‘Europe 2020’ goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and primary energy use by 20% by 2020. The project also came within the framework of the Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings.

In order to ensure the best results in coordinating professionals’ energy renovation activities, Shelter relied upon an interdisciplinary and integrated design approach, involving builders (EBC), architects (ACE), 6 national social housing organisations – from France, Italy, UK, Bulgaria and Belgium – the European association of social housing organisations (CECODHAS) and a research centre (TU Delft). 

EBC in the project

EBC supported the consortium in understanding the impact of professionals’ coordination on the quality of energy renovation works, by helping to analyse the experiences of past energy renovations of the participating social housings units.

EBC also facilitated the implementation of the coordination models on the ground. Finally, EBC disseminated the findings of Shelter to its member associations, and thus promoted the spreading of best practices in the energy renovation of social housing across Europe.

Project results

A complete analysis of the current energy renovation process in the participating Social Housing Organisations from Italy, Belgium, UK, Bulgaria and France is available.

The reports give an insight of main barriers and opportunities in the following fields:

   •  The place of energy policies within the organization strategic plan

   •  The work organisation

   •  Design decisions

   •  Tendering and contracting procedures

   •  Assuring the required knowledge on energy issues

   •  The influence on tenants’ behaviour