The construction and renovation of the building envelope represents a significant fraction of a project’s life-cycle costs. It also has a determinant effect on the potential reduction in energy use, as well as on the improvement of the building’s indoor comfort. Nevertheless, the challenge of a low rate and depth in building energy renovations cannot be solved through technological innovation alone. Instead, the Façade Leasing research project proposes a systemic shift in economic and business incentives, towards the creation of a performance-based contracting model for integrated facades.

Façade Leasing
Façade Leasing explores an integral, cross-disciplinary model promoting accelerated strategic investment in energy-efficient building envelopes. A focus on performance delivery, rather than product sales, would in turn impulse ongoing innovation in products and management processes. It would also provide the foundations for Circular Economy strategies for the reuse and remanufacturing of building components, leading to a potential reduction in primary raw material consumption across the façade industry.

This study starts by describing the “Façade Leasing pilot project” developed and built at the TU Delft campus by a consortium of academic and industry partners. It then outlines the main drivers and barriers to the commercial application of the Façade-as-a-Service concept in the Dutch public, non-residential real estate sector, from the perspective of four key stakeholder groups: Demand drive, or the decision-making process of real estate developers, owners, and managers; Supplier readiness, or the necessary reorganization of products and processes along the supply-chain; Finance, or the distribution of financial resources bridging the gap between initial investment cost and long-term service fees; and Governance, or the necessary regulatory innovation required to separate ownership of building and façade.

The research shows that, while further research and validation work is needed to test these principles in a controlled, case-study setting, the potential for façade-as-a-service delivery is within reach under the current legal and economic environment.

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Authors:.Juan F. Azcarate-Aguerre, T. Klein, A.C. den Heijer, R. Vrijhoef, H.D. Ploeger & M. Prins