With its financial, technical and legal aspects, renovation is a real challenge for any homeowner who wants to get started. As long as it is carried out correctly, this investment is synonymous with increasing the value of the property, improving comfort and reducing energy consumption. How to make the right choices when considering work on your building? Is it better to carry out a global or phased renovation? What are the priority actions? CI Durabilité’s architects and technicians will guide you in setting up an energy renovation strategy. And if possible, an elevation project will also be studied.
As we think about post-health crisis changes, sustainability is more than ever in the spotlight. Reorienting certain sectors to make them less polluting is a given. In addition, the most vulnerable patients suffering from Covid-19 are those with weakened respiratory systems, especially due to air pollution. These threats are in addition to the consequences of climate change.
A primary goal of environmental policy is therefore to reduce CO2 emissions. To this end, the Federal Council formulated the Energy Strategy 2050, which the people approved by a large majority in May 2017. Thus, promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency are central to the adopted package of measures. The Canton of Geneva has also set itself specific targets, aiming, for example, to halve its per capita fossil fuel thermal consumption by 2035.
Buildings are the first to be affected. In Geneva, they account for 50% of total energy consumption. Yet the Canton has one of the lowest renovation rates in Switzerland. Thus, buildings from the 1950s-60s-70s, which are real energy sinks, are in urgent need of renovation. Owners have everything to gain by taking the necessary measures to limit energy losses. By identifying the weaknesses of the building and undertaking the necessary work, they increase the value of their property and make long-term savings. Comptoir Immobilier holds the USPI Geneva Green Label. Its trained and experienced technicians inform owners about the possibilities of energy optimization.
The CI Sustainability department of Comptoir Immobilier is dedicated to the management of major enhancement work, transformation and heavy maintenance of the buildings in its real estate portfolio under management. All types of buildings are concerned: administrative, commercial and residential. The team offers expertise, support, planning and execution services. In addition, the entity has the necessary skills (MPQ architect accreditation and registration in the A Register) to intervene on the building structure. Therefore, It can pilot operations of transformation-elevation of buildings.
On the basis of a CECB® audit that determines the building’s energy class and the Heat Expenditure Index (HEI), CI Durability provides the owner with a detailed expertise. This report lists the technical characteristics of the building, identifies measures, evaluates the cost of the work and the savings generated. The document – clear and easy to understand – includes costed renovation scenarios. A planning is then proposed, with an order of priorities.
The expertise also shows the expenses involved in upgrading, as well as the interactions between the various initiatives. For example, when renovating facades, it is often useful to intervene jointly in windows and balconies. Finally, an estimated calculation (which will be specified later) makes it possible to identify the energy saving measures that are eligible for subsidies and/or tax deductions. With the results of this analysis, we advise the owner to make the best decisions.
An elevation can be considered if it corresponds to the indications given by the land information system in Geneva (SITG) and specified by the competent cantonal authorities. The potential (value, yield, etc.) of the project is then identified. Calculations in connection with the Law on demolitions, transformations and renovations of dwellings (LDTR) are then made by the specialists of the board.
Many stages follow the expertise: preliminary design and project, filing of the application for authorization, execution of the work, acceptance, delivery and monitoring of guarantees. The accompaniment for obtaining federal and cantonal subsidies is also provided by CI Durability.
Many measures have a positive energy impact on the building. These include the envelope (facade, roof, windows), technical equipment related to heating and hot water production (thermal and photovoltaic solar installations, heat pumps, connection to a heating network, for example). In addition, there is the ventilation and air conditioning infrastructure. Finally, the lighting of common buildings and electrical appliances can be replaced to be less energy consuming.
Intervening on buildings with a heritage character is tricky and requires specific skills. Wherever possible, windows should be retained and restored. In the case of replacement, the work is carried out with respect to the original materials and architecture. With its experience in the field, the CI Durabilité team regularly collaborates with the Service des Monuments et Sites (SMS) of Geneva to carry out projects that combine energy performance and preservation of the built heritage.
In most cases, renovations are completed while keeping tenants in their homes. The CI Sustainability department manages the social aspects of the site. The management company is directly responsible for relations with the residents, including the taking of grievances. Prior and ongoing information during the works, as well as coordination, are essential to the smooth running of the energy renovation.