U-value contour for the four types of SmartWall system in COMSOL software
Off-site prefabricated hybrid façade systems

A holistic assessment






deep renovation, prefabricated façade, structural performance, thermal performance, fire performance


The residential sector is responsible for the largest share of global energy consumption, while the existing building stock in Europe is relatively old. This issue, in combination with the low rate of new constructions, highlights the necessity for deep renovation of existing buildings to reach NZEB standards. At the same time, in the last decades, off-site prefabricated solutions have gained popularity in the building market, allowing the reliable and effective integration of diverse components and reducing the total renovation cost and occupants’ disturbance. The current study describes three all-in-one “Plug & Play” prefab renovation solutions and their assessment in terms of thermal, static, acoustic, and fire performance. The assessing performance is selected depending on their incorporated element as well as the national regulations of the country where the renovation solution is going to be installed. The assessment aims to ensure their characteristics’ satisfaction with the European and national requirements. In parallel, the assessment identifies the accurate behaviour of prefab façade systems both in passive and active mode and improves/optimises any possible design drawbacks.

How to Cite

Atsonios, I., Katsigiannis, E., Koklas, A., Kolaitis, D., Founti, M., Mouzakis, C., Tsoutis, C., Adamovský, D., Colom, J., Philippen, D., & Diego, A. (2023). Off-site prefabricated hybrid façade systems: A holistic assessment. Journal of Facade Design and Engineering, 11(2), 097–122. https://doi.org/10.47982/jfde.2023.2.A1




Adamovský, D., Vcelak, J., Mlejnek, P., Colon, J., Prochazkova, Z., Tsoutis, C., . . . & Founti, M. (2022). Technology concepts for rapid renovation using adaptable lightweight façade systems. CLIMA 2022 Conference. doi:https://doi.org/10.34641/clima.2022.42

AMS coatings and advanced materials. (2023, February). Retrieved from https://amsolutions.gr/materials/

BPIE, On the way to a Climate-Neutral Europe: Contributions from the building sector to a strengthened 2030 climate target. (2022). Retrieved from https://www.bpie.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/On-the-way-to-a-climate-neutral-Europe-_Final.pdf

CTE DB-SE. (n.d.). Código Técnico de la Edificación – Documento Básico de Seguridad Estructural (Building Technical Code – Basic Document of Structural Safety).

CTE DB-SI . (n.d.). Código Técnico de la Edificación – Documento Básico de Seguridad en caso de incendio (Building Technical Code – Basic Document of Safety in case of fire).

Denvelops. (2022, January 13). Denvelops Smart system. Retrieved from https://www.denvelops.com/new-construction-system/

D’oca, S., Ferrer, C., Pernetti, R., Gralka, A., Sebastian, R., & Velp, P. (2018). Technical, financial, and social barriers and challenges in deep building renovation: Integration of lessons learned from the H2020 cluster projects. Buildings, 8(12). DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8120174

Du, H., Huang, P., & Jones, P. (2019). Modular façade retrofit with renewable energy technologies: The definition and current status in Europe. Energy and Buildings, 205. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2019.109543 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2019.109543

EN 13501-1: 2019. (n.d.). Fire classification of construction products and building elements – Part 1: Classification using data from reaction to fire tests.

EN 13823:2020+A1:2022. (n.d.). Reaction to fire tests for building products - Building products excluding floorings exposed to the thermal attack by a single burning item.

Eurocode 1. (n.d.). Action on structures – Part 1-1: General actions – Densities, self-weight, imposed loads for buildings.

Eurocode 1. (n.d.). Actions on structures - Part 1-4: General actions - Wind loads.

Eurocode 8. (n.d.). Actions of structures for earthquake resistance - Part 1: General rules, seismic actions and rules for buildings.

European Commission. (2014). Mapping Europe’s earthquake risk. Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/research-and-innovation/en/horizon-magazine/mapping-europes-earthquake-risk.

European Commission. (2020, February 17). In focus: Energy efficiency in buildings. Retrieved from https://commission.europa.eu/news/focus-energy-efficiency-buildings-2020-02-17_en.

Filippidou, F., Nieboer, N., & Visscher, H. (2017). Are we moving fast enough? The energy renovation rate of the Dutch non-profit housing using the national energy labelling database. Energy Policy, 109, pp. 488 - 498. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.e DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2017.07.025

ISO 10211. (2017). Thermal bridges in building construction — Heat flows and surface temperatures — Detailed calculations.

Kamali, M., & Hewage, K. (2016). Life cycle performance of modular buildings: A critical review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 62 (Supplement C), pp. 1171 - 1183. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2016.05.031

Katsigiannis, E., Gerogiannis, P. A., Atsonios, I., Bonou, A., Mandilaras, I., Georgi, A., . . . Founti, M. (2022). Energy assessment of a residential building renovated with a novel prefabricated envelope integrating HVAC components. 1078. doi:10.1088/1755-1315/1078/1/012130 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1755-1315/1078/1/012130

Kisilewicz, T., Fedorczak-Cisak, M., & Barkanyi, T. (2019). Active thermal insulation as an element limiting heat loss through external walls. Energy and Building(205). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2019.109541

Maduta, C., Melica, G., D’Agostino, D., & Bertoldi, P. (2022). Towards a decarbonised building stock by 2050: The meaning and the role of zero emission buildings (ZEBs) in Europe. Energy Strategy Reviews(44). doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esr.202 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esr.2022.101009

Masera, G., Iannaccone, G., & Salvalai, G. (2014). Retrofitting the Existing Envelope of Residential Buildings: Innovative Technologies, Performance Assessment and Design Methods. Advanced Building Skins - 9th Energy Forum.

MORE-CONNECT, EU-funded project, https://www.more-connect.eu/more-connect/. (n.d.).

Naji, S., Çelik, O., Alengaram, U. J., Jumaat, M., & Shamshirband, S. (2017). Structure, energy and cost efficiency evaluation of three different lightweight construction systems used in low-rise residential buildings. Energy and Buildings, 84 (Supplement C), pp. 727 - 739. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2014.08.009

NSCE-02. (n.d.). Norma de Construcción Sismorresistente (Seismic Resistance Construction Standard).

Oorschot, J. v., Maggio, M. S., Veld, P. O., & Tisov, A. (2022). Boosting the Renovation Wave with Modular Industrialized Renovation Kits: mapping challenges, barriers and solution strategies. Architects’ Council of Europe.

Panoutsopoulou, L., Meimaroglou, N., & Mouzakis, C. (2023). Shaking table tests on single-bay timber-framed wall specimens with fired brick and adobe block infills and mortise-tenon joints,. Journal of Building Engineering,(76). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jobe.2023.107380

Pihelo, P., Kalamees, T., & Kuusk, K. (2017). nZEB Renovation of Multi-Storey Building with Prefabricated Modular Panels. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 251(1). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1757-899X/251/1/012056

PLURAL EU project. (2020-2024). https://www.plural-renovation.eu/.

Torres, J., Garay-Martinez, R., Oregi, X., Torrens-Galdiz, J., Uriarte-Arrien, A., Pracucci, A., . . . Arroyo, N. (2021). Plug and Play Modular Façade Construction System for Renovation for Residential Buildings. Buildings, 11(419), pp. 1-21. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11090419 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11090419

Zavřel, V., Zelenský, P., Macia, J., Mylonas, A., & Pascual, J. (2022). Simulation aided development of a façade-integrated air handling unit with a thermoelectric heat exchanger. Clima 2022, REHVA 14th HVAC World Congress.