Shopping centres are a very peculiar kind of buildings due to the specific final energy uses (mainly related to lighting, ventilation, cooling and refrigeration in presence of food supermarkets) and the complexity of the overall system. The need to ensure a certain sales volume, and the state of constant transformation (addressed by marketing reasons) drive the energy retrofitting actions. Principles of lean thinking can be very helpful for managing retrofitting actions in a shopping centre, identifying the customer satisfaction and experience as the goal pulling the constant change, and seeking for improvement (towards perfection).
In order to efficiently exploit a shopping centre energy potential, every retrofitting should involve a careful analysis of the building peculiarities in all fields, from the economic features until the socio-cultural ones. The use of building energy simulations can help evaluate the balance between gains and losses and the energy uses and test design options and solution-sets.
Indeed, the facility management is often challenging, requiring a continuous adjustment/improvement process, coupling a complex operational organization of very different working and selling areas with the enhancement of energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality, marketing demand to improve the customers’ experience and the reduction of environmental and social impact both in case of a simple supermarket and a big centre.
Besides technologies and methodologies, the project developed policy recommendations grouped under four main themes:
• Engaging stakeholders
• Communicating the benefits of retrofitting
• Promoting energy efficient technology packages, and
• Supporting the energy transition.
Future developments in the field of shopping centres retrofitting require considering energy efficiency and architectural qualities at the same time. buildings should be adaptable and spaces flexible both in terms of usage and energy uses. Functionality and technology, however, should not be allowed to dominate at the cost of aesthetic and architectural quality.