How is Thermal Renovation Work Decided in Co-Owned Apartment Buildings ? A new Form of Organisation of Living as a Condition of Energy Innovation

Special Report: Energy Uses in Homes: a Bottom-up Perspective on Energy Transition
By Gaëtan Brisepierre

In France, the thermal renovation of co-owned apartment buildings is a major challenge for the energy transition because of their sheer number and complexity. In 2010, a qualitative survey of early cases of thermal renovation highlighted not just a choice from technical and economic criteria but also a shift in the organization, which is a condition of innovation. Distancing the professional manager, a new set of actor relations arises through the emergence of an « energy leader » who promotes the active participation of the co-owners. This feeds in to a collective process of renovation which starts with preliminary steps such as co-management of collective heating and/or the co-production of an energy audit. The voting of renovation work is prepared beforehand by a thorough study of the project set-up. This includes the creation of informal communication circuits and financial ingenuity. Each technical solution involves specific appropriation work according to the constraints of the situation.

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