Installation of a ventilation system in lived-in apartments

In the framework of SINFONIA more than 300 apartments were refurbished to a very low energy standard. Due to the thermal insulation of the building envelope the installation of a ventilation system is highly recommendable. These ventilation systems are seen very critical by the tenants and are often rejected. In the following we will present innovative measures of persuading tenants about the advantages of ventilation systems.

In the framework of SINFONIA a series of residential buildings was refurbished, including refurbishment measures inside inhabited apartments. Housing associations in Innsbruck need tenants` legal approval for the installation of a ventilation system in their flats. Since tenants have a very critical perception of the required ventilation system, the involved housing associations had to find new ways to persuade their tenants of its advantages.

 

Components of the ventilation system in an apartment in Reichenauerstr. 94a:
ventilation-system-in-lived-in-apartments ventilation-system-in-lived-in-apartments3 ventilation-system-in-lived-in-apartments2

 

The involved housing associations have lots of experience in the refurbishments of their building stock. But when refurbishments belong to their daily routine, activities that require regular access to the flats, e.g. by installation of a ventilation system, and hence, lead to strong interference with the tenants, are rare. Refurbishment measures in SINFONIA required innovative persuasive measures. In order to meet this challenge the usual information event held by the housing associations prior to refurbishment activities has been expanded by the following activities:

  • personal face-to-face dialogues with tenants in their flats;
  • interactive information workshops;
  • the possibility to visit a demo apartment in the respective building;
  • the distribution of an information brochure with specific details on the advantages of ventilation systems.

By the possibility of visiting an already refurbished apartment tenants were able to get a picture about the used ventilation system themselves, which led to a significant reduction of prejudices concerning e. g. size or noise of the installation, and consequently, an increase of approval to their implementation.

Conclusion:
Tenants do not welcome refurbishment plans of their apartments with open arms. A great persuasive effort has to be taken, especially to convince tenants of the advantages of a ventilation system.

Lessons learnt:

Tenants do not only need a transparent flow of information and an environment of trust. Beyond that, they need to EXPERIENCE themselves what the technological innovations are that shall be installed in their flats.

To give the possibility to visit a demo apartment where tenants can see technological changes in practice is very beneficial to the acceptance of refurbishment measures.

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