Breakthrough solutions for adaptable envelopes in building refurbishment

BRESAER will design, develop and demonstrate an innovative, cost-effective, adaptable and industrialized envelope system for building refurbishment. This system will include combined active and passive pre-fabricated solutions integrated into a versatile lightweight structural mesh.


The innovative solutions developed by the project include:

  • Structural metallic profiles to achieve a standardized constructive system configurable, easy to assemble and able to support different envelope components. Such components will be fixed to the profiles with a common standardised solution allowing easy and fast installation as well as removal in case of maintenance or replacement.
  • Multifunctional and multilayer insulation panels made of Ultra High Performance Fibre Reinforced Concrete used as rigid shells for building envelope applications. Thanks to an enhanced manufacturing process they will provide insulating capacity, lightness and ease of anchoring. These can be combined with several finishes providing di­fferent functionalities: e.g. integrated PV, thermo-reflective and self-cleaning properties.
  • Combined solar thermal air and PV envelope component for indoor space heating and ventilation, thermal insulation and electricity generation. A PV film can be integrated on the air solar thermal envelop panel whilst preheated air can be used for indoor space heating and dehumidification.
  • Multifunctional lightweight ventilated façade module, with integrated photovoltaic system for electricity generation, and thermo-reflective and self-cleaning coating.
  • Dynamic windows with automated and controlled air-tightness and insulated solar blinds. They complement energy saving and visual comfort strategies: solar blinds can automatically adjust according to the position of the sun and occupant’s comfort.

A cutting-edge Building Energy Management System will be developed to measure and control both the envelope and the building’s energy consumption trough integrated simulation-based control techniques for automated the establishment of optimal operational plans.

The Demo Site

A real demonstration is being performed in a lecture building in the Universidad de Burgos campus in Burgos, Spain. It consists of one building block with a gross area around 550 m2 (single storey). The BRESAER’s expected impact is to reach a near zero energy building (total primary energy consumption below 60 kWh/m2 per year) through the reduction of the energy demand for space heating around 30%, a contribution of solar thermal energy for space conditioning around 15%, and a contribution of RES for electricity generation around 75% of electricity consumption. The estimated payback time is expected to be 7 years.

Additionally, 4 virtual demonstrations will be performed in buildings located in 4 other European countries covering complementary climatic zones, constructed before the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EU) requirements were enforced.

Bresaer’s impacts

Total (primary) energy consumption reduction by a factor 2 to 4 compared to the values registered before the installation of the adaptable envelope
The primary energy consumption reduction will come from the integration of all the components into the BRESAER envelope solution. Through the implementation of the BRESAER system, we expect to record a reduction by at least 60% of the total primary building’s energy consumption and a consumption of less than 60 kWh/m²

Improved indoor environment
The BRESAER system will improve indoor environment quality by increasing thermal, acoustics, lighting comfort and air quality (IAQ).

Demonstration of the replicability potential in a real case-study
The BRESAER solution will be demonstrated in a lecture building in Burgos, Spain. The building is owned by Universidad de Burgos, who is also involved in the project as partner.

Provide solutions with a return on investment below 7 years
The payback generated by the BRESAER system will be based on energy saving simulations taking into account future expectations on market prices as well as the cost of the BRESAER envelope elements. Additionally, envelope refurbishment solutions such as BRESAER improve the quality of the building (comfort, aesthetics) and its life expectancy, as well as property price.

Validation and market uptake of active building elements
Besides being validated in a real building in Spain, the BRESAER system will be tested in 4 additional virtual demo sites. Such virtual demo sites are based on buildings existing in 4 different European climate zones (Romania, Estonia, Norway and Turkey) with different building use. According to our estimates, paybacks of about 7 years are expected in these countries and – by extension – in the rest of Europe.