Rehabilitation, a scaffolding for the economic reconstruction

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Bethlehem RodrigoMadrid Updated: Save Send news by mail electrónicoTu name *

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Spain has a park buildings very old and more than half are older than 40 years. The homes that we inhabit have been designed mainly for the last generation and we live very differently. is they Are houses which are not intended for consumption is sufficiently low enough to allow us to be part of the green economy . Many times they are also not accessible and there are almost a million people that can’t get out to the street without assistance, a situation that may aggravate in the coming years if no improvements are made.

This commitment to rehabilitation is one of the levers that the construction sector is identified as a triggering element of not only its activity, but also of the economy in the aftermath of the health crisis. Recently, some of the main associations of the sector (CNC, (CSCAE), CGATE, ACPEspaña), hand in hand of the vehicle.OO. and UGT, claimed jointly a plan of action to put in motion a “wave of renewal real estate” that meets the needs of rehabilitation and urban renewal and access to housing following the strategic lines that marked the Compact Green (Green Deal) of the European Commission, the Agenda 2030 of the UN and the Urban Agenda in Spain. “The sector has the capacity to be the engine and base for a sustained economic recovery,” said the president of the CNC, Juan Lazcano .

On the same line, Valentine Pich , president of the General Council of Economists of Spain, asks the Government “is an important part of the EU funds to Spain to alleviate the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 is intended for the construction sector, which serves as lever and basis for the growth of other economic sectors and employment in general.” The council considers that the building has to be one of the sectors leading now the recovery, while maintaining investments in strategic projects , “especially those related to rehabilitation of housing –particularly on issues for the energy savings– and related areas of sustainability, climate change and digitalisation, which will result in a greater competitiveness of our country”. The sector is key as is confirmed by the figures. According to remember the recent study “financial Information and non-financial in the construction sector in Spain”, drawn from the chair of Economists Accountants (EC), sum about 1,3 million direct jobs (6.4% of the total wage earners), and represents a 5,63% of GDP.

And it is certain that, in the field of rehabilitation, there is a pending task. According to the data of the Promotion, 2019 rehabilitated 31.000 dwellings, 0.15% , and the forecast for this year was somewhat better, with a 7% growth.

The average age of the existing buildings is 46 years while the average age of the population is 43 . “Our housing stock is very old and poor in terms of energy. The first regulation that was created for the construction of the house is from 1979 and until 2006, we did not have the Technical Building Code was modified and improved in 2013”, explains José Almagro , CEO of Sto Ibérica, a company specialised in the manufacture of materials and construction solutions. “We have taken a long time to have a policy that requires buildings on some specific characteristics and has been slow to understand, for example, the need for good insulation both for cold and heat”, he adds.

More than half of the housing stock is older than 40 years

The building, next to tourism, are two of the major economic engines of the country. “With the critical situation that lives the tourism can not afford to fall two. That is why in one form and another should be to encourage the construction,” says Almagro. In addition, after so many weeks at home, “we found that not all homes are healthy nor do they have comfort and needed support for improving health”, he adds.

Tug-of-construction

“Already in 2008, the rehabilitation pulled the building. And again it is the time of activating policies for rehabilitation. is Is an investment in which the majority of the countries of Europe, we takes advantage of one or two decades . In addition, it is an obligation,” says Sebastian Miller , general secretary of the National Association of Distributors of Ceramics and Construction Materials (Andimac). Remember that 76% of the park buildings are in private hands, you must understand that the improvement of the estate “means a significant savings. In addition, the deterioration due to lack of intervention low pricing”. Also believe that it is important to note that these dwellings represent the largest investment made by the Spanish families “and we must avoid losing it”.

In these moments “in the rehabilitation is the great niche market . Generates more employment than other activity, requires more skill, more training, is an activity that is more stable,” he added.

The rehabilitation also responds to a social need, taking into account the high number of homes without accessibility.

The pandemic has left us to see the deficiencies that exist in the residential model of the country and many are the voices calling for a transition towards a model for the third age more linked to your own home. “What is worrying is that we don’t have a plan. It is important to be rigorous in rehabilitation projects,” warns Miller. Taxation is presented as a key factor, “is the lever to initiate interventions”, or for example the reduction of VAT “adapted to smes”, he adds.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the construction sector has been maintained “and it seems that we have not reached the crisis”, says the secretary-general of Andimac. The projects are ongoing but the question is what is going to happen in the future, when you do not have the capital to invest in new ones. is José Manuel Fernández , deputy general manager of Unión de Créditos Inmobiliarios (UCI) believes that the country does not need more new housing, “the important thing is to use well what you have and go for rehabilitation,” . From this entity have been launched a few months ago for a new product, creditos.com, which is oriented towards interventions of rehabilitation and reforms, and are directed both to individuals and to communities of neighbors. “We see that there is a journey huge because these interventions pose a significant saving for people thanks to the energy efficiency,” says Fernandez. Share the idea of the need to allocate part of the european funds to this sector since all you are support and incentives enable you to educate better and faster to the people. “The funding is a boost,” he added.

Sustainability

there Are many elements to take into account when rehabilitating a house. The structure, the facade or the removal of architectural barriers are some of them. “It is important the material of the facade, if it is waterproof or not, the bridge technician, the crystals…”, points out José Almagro. is Always has been thought that houses should be insulated from the cold “but it is equally important to isolate them from the heat” , she says. When choosing a crystal, “this is not only isolates noise but also the heat, if they are very overexposed to the sun must be taken into account”.

The Platform Edificación Passivhaus (PEP) bet for the rehabilitation and energy efficient as engine of recovery. is In our country, four out of every five buildings are inefficient , that is to say, they do not have adequate levels of thermal insulation, or lack of it, have air leaks uncontrolled, which affect the energy consumption and does not employ generation systems efficient. The PEP hoped to strengthen the new Strategy of Energy-efficient renovation in the Building Sector in Spain 2020, which aims to rehabilitate between 120,000 and 300,000 homes a year. According to Bruno Gutiérrez Cuevas , president of this platform, “the situation of the park building, it is alarming from the point of view of energy. The buildings are tireless plaintiffs of energy that blows through immersive, poorly isolated. It is in our hands the possibility of reducing 90% of this demand.”