REBUS – REnovating BUildings Sustainably

As many multistory buildings and housing complexes are ageing, the need for renovations is urgent. But how do we ensure high-quality and cost-efficient renovations that take the environment and residents' health seriously?

Renovation, the big rebus of the construction industry

Multistory buildings from the 1960s and 70s make out 30% of the overall floor area and many of them face large renovation needs. Very often, buildings from the 1960s and 70s also deal with low comfort and condensation problems. Furthermore, many renovations end in exceeded budgets and overdue deadlines, due to a fragmented value chain and the absence of incitements to collaborate.

These many challenges create a new market for efficient quality renovations with new procedures, new methods and new products, all based on the latest R&D in construction and management.

Challenging business as usual

REBUS is a widely supported partnership seeking to radically change the renovation process and demonstrate fruitful solutions. It is a societal partnership with the vision to improve the building stock and boost business for the partners, as well as the economy of the building industry. The partners focus on solving the multiple challenges in parallel, but intertwining, processes. REBUS runs from 2016 to 2020 and during that time the partners develop cross-disciplinary solutions built on three foundational pillars:

  • Long-term projects and repetition
    REBUS seeks to establish a new tender and cooperation model for long-term strategic partnerships across the construction industry, focusing on the many advantages of transferring knowledge from one project to the next.
  • Total value and indoor climate
    REBUS develops a model to estimate the long-term return of deep renovation to support the decision-making and dialogues between investor, builder and residents. This includes measuring the thermal, visual, atmospheric and acoustic aspects of indoor climate.
  • Product before project
    REBUS develops configurable facade elements that can be tailored to the individual building, where some measures are fixed, but with a great possibility for variation. This opens up for better industrial planning, which eventually means shorter rehousing periods and fewer construction sites.

Demonstration in full-scale

New ways to collaborate and technical solutions will be demonstrated in full scale with social housing buildings as a case. In close collaboration with building owners, REBUS showcases how the overall goals to reduce energy-consumption with 50%, use of resources with 30% and increase productivity with 20% are reached. Based on development within this segment of the renovation market, REBUS will deliver tested and documented solutions that can be applied in other building types and exported to other markets.

COWI, Danish Technological Insitute, Frederikshavn Housing Association, Henning Larsen, Himmerland Housing Association, NCC Denmark, Saint-Gobain, Technical University of Denmark, Aalborg University/SBi.

The budget is app. DKK 81 million. Hereof The Innovation Fund Denmark invested DKK 35 million, Realdania DKK 8 million and The Landowners Investment Foundation DKK 6 million. The remaining DKK 32 millions are invested by the partners themselves.


  • 30% of the total floor area
    Buildings from the 60’s and 70’s make up 30% of the total floor area in Denmark
  • 40% of the total staff
    Approximately 60,000 of the 150,000 employees employed within the Danish building industry are working within the renovation market (Danish Construction Association, 2016).
  • 21 billion EUR (est.) maintenance from 2006-2026
    (Landsbyggefonden, 2016)
  • Housing accounts for 85% of the renovation market
  • Structural equality = Export possibilities
    Export opportunities for structural equality with the international building stock
  • 1 out of 5 lives in a social housing complex
    (BL – Social Housing in Denmark)
  • Potential for a holistic improvement
    Major benefits for society are reduction in energy consumption and resources, health improvements due to improved indoor environment and comfort, improved functionality, and an overall improved quality of our buildings.

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Danish Technological Institute
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