Renovation (construction)

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Refurbished and unrenovated semi-detached house

In the building industry, renovation is understood as the structural and technical restoration or modernization of one or more floors or an entire structure or several structures in order to remove damage and / or to increase the standard of living . First and foremost, it is about maintaining the value of the building fabric. This affects both the facade and the core.

Refurbishment goes beyond maintenance and repair . It can involve significant interventions in the building fabric such as a. Core renovation while retaining the facades and mostly includes modernization. One sub-area is energetic renovation . For disabled-friendly living and working, barrier-free construction can also be the goal of partial modernization.

The restoration of the basic substance of architectural monuments comes into question, for example, if the preservation of the building is at risk. In accordance with the preservation of historical monuments , the lower monument authority must define the boundary between substance-preserving renovation and reversible restoration for these far-reaching interventions in the monument .

The aim of a renovation is to restore a stable, fit for purpose and usable condition. The condition of the building structure depends largely on the quality of the building material, the quality of execution and external natural and human influencing factors and can be determined using suitable methods. In order to determine existing deficiencies, a preliminary examination ( expert opinion ) is often made, which names the causes of the damage, describes the damage pattern and suggests remedial measures .

Building renovation

Refurbishment of a residential complex
Refurbishment of a building with security measures (2008)

Under building renovation or building refurbishment means the thorough repair or replacement of components, building sections or the entire building. Older buildings that were built before 1945, for example, are also referred to as renovation of old buildings . Overall, the renovation comprises four different subject areas:

  • maintenance due to obsolescence, wear and tear and environmental damage,
  • the implementation of structural engineering measures to adapt to new regulations and laws (such as in Germany e.g. EnEV, EEWärmeG),
  • the renovation due to insufficient maintenance in the past and resulting in high operating costs, as well
  • the conversion or modernization due to changed usage requirements.

Typical renovation measures on the building are:

  • Roof renovation on pitched and flat roofs usually refers not only to the replacement of the roof skin and, if necessary, the entire roof structure , but also the installation of thermal insulation in the pitched roof surfaces, as well as the expansion of the attic space into an attic apartment . For the roof covering, especially in the field of monument preservation, more and more historical roof tiles , such as the monk-nun cover , are used. In some cases there are still roof tile manufacturers who reproduce antique roof tiles true to the original using samples. In some brickworks there are hand-molding departments that can reproduce bricks and roof tiles according to (historical) specifications.
  • Ceiling beam renovation usually refers to the renewal of the wooden beam ceiling by reinforcing or replacing components.
  • Energetic renovation or thermal renovation usually refers to the upgrading of the thermal envelope of a building in order to minimize the heating energy requirement and the heating technology in accordance with criteria of the energy standards .
  • Facade renovation , repairing the facade , nowadays often also includes its energetic renovation
  • Cellar neck renovation usually refers to the renewal of the vertical structural sealing below the top of the site and / or the horizontal sealing against pressing or non- pressing (backwater) water.
  • Window renovation refers to the replacement of old windows with new windows, also under the aspect of thermal renovation (in exceptional cases it means a carpenter-like overhaul of a window and / or equipping a window with better insulated glass panes)
  • Masonry renovation usually refers to the upgrading ( reinforcement ) or the replacement of damaged masonry parts or parts of masonry with impaired load-bearing capacity or exposed masonry surfaces . (if infested with dry rot )
  • Concrete renovation usually refers to the repair of damaged concrete components or concrete parts with a limited load-bearing capacity.
  • Asbestos removal usually refers to the removal of dangerous asbestos building materials or replacing them with less harmful building materials with similar fire protection properties.
  • Status of the building renovation in 2017: The renovation rate was only 0.7 percent per year. Environmentalists want more commitment, but this cannot be at the expense of those who have to compensate for it with higher rents. A renovation rate of two percent per year would be ideal. (Interview with Maria Krautzberger , President of the Federal Environment Agency. In: Haus & Grund. 3/2018, p. 8 f.)

Renovation costs

Refurbishment can make economic and ecological sense: on the one hand, because the alternative (demolition and new construction) is often more expensive or time-consuming; on the other hand, because resources are conserved.

The average total construction costs for an apartment size of 80 m² in 1989 were:

  • New building 4,780 DM / m²
  • Renewal DM 2,070 / m².

The rent increases that are often made after the renovation are partially offset by lower ancillary costs (e.g. for building heating and water supply). In each individual case, this depends on the extent to which the supply technology has also been modernized accordingly.

Special forms of renovation

Urban redevelopment and renewal

Urban redevelopment and urban renewal go beyond the redevelopment of individual buildings and aim to eliminate urban development deficiencies and, not infrequently, social grievances in urban areas, or are part of traffic and urban planning .

A redevelopment area can be formally established by the municipality if the deficiencies of a district described in the building code have been identified. In some cases, private builders can also benefit from this through subsidy programs.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. U. Schönfelder: Determination of the condition of real estate using the ERAB method - Basics for maintenance strategies. Werner Verlag, Dortmund 2012, ISBN 978-3-8041-5253-3 .
  2. Summary of the advantages of renovation - old building rethought, accessed on September 11, 2018
  3. H.-W. Hämer: Careful urban renewal. P. 68.


  • Jürgen Pöschk (Ed.): Energy Efficiency in Buildings - Yearbook 2008 . VME Energieverlag, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-936062-04-5 .
  • RP Gieler, A. Dimmig-Osburg: Plastics for building protection and concrete repair . Birkhauser Verlag, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-7643-6345-2 .

Web links

Commons : Redevelopment (construction)  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files