One of the goals of CommONEnergy is to define drivers for retrofitting, as the basis to develop energy retrofitting concepts. In order to define those drivers, shopping centres need to be analysed not only as buildings for retail activity but also as places for social interaction with typical functional patterns. Understanding these functional patterns allows identifying relevant performance indicators, which are key when retrofitting a shopping centre.
This report analyses the typical functional patterns and socio-cultural influences within European shopping centres. To do so, a clear overview of the stakeholders and of the way shopping centres function today was needed. The report starts with the aspects which may influence deep retrofitting and design processes. It then analyses the behaviour and expectations of four main stakeholder groups: owners and managers, tenants, customers and the community. These groups have different but interconnecting roles:
- Customers have convenience, comparison and entertainment needs. They are a linchpin within the European economy. Encouraging them to spend time in shopping centres to support the economy is a priority.
- Tenants see the benefit of using the same infrastructure to provide a variety of services and products.
- Owners & managers aim to continually improve their shopping centre’s attractiveness.
- The community influences the planning and development of shopping centres, therefore it may contribute to defining the type of shopping centre.
The report also provides an overview of the daily retail activities and typical shopping centre types. The typical functional patterns reveal that a shopping centre’s priority is fulfilling the customer’s needs. An effective sustainable retrofitting must therefore take into account the need to provide attractive solutions for customers by considering the maximisation of profits for management and tenants and the needs of the surrounding community. Different types of retail activities have to be considered as they influence typical functional patterns as well as retrofitting and design processes in different categories of shopping centres.
When retrofitting a shopping centre, the building’s architectural and aesthetic qualities also need to be considered. Four main themes are analysed in the report:
- Universal design;
- Concept and layout;
- Functionality and flexibility;
- Future design.
Shopping centres support a wide number of services and activities but they also need to constantly adapt to our ever-changing society. They need to be flexible from a technical point of view as well as ready to adjust to increasingly demanding customer needs. Therefore, an integrated design process is recommended, which means developing a flexible architecture contributing to energy efficiency.
Another aspect to consider is that sustainable shopping centres are not only energy efficient: they are also environments accessible to all sides of society, irrespective of buying power, social class or disability. Therefore, retrofitting means considering more than one system at the same time: aesthetic design should go hand in hand with technology, flexibility and accessibility.
Finally, the report analyses the socio-cultural aspects within shopping centres by using the OPEN HOUSE sustainability assessment tool. The OPEN HOUSE project is a common European methodology, which was created to assess the sustainability of new buildings based on existing building certification schemes. The tool was used to analyse the needs of shopping centres. The report provides a list of relevant indicators needed when planning a retrofitting. Based on these indicators, it is recommended to adopt an integral planning approach, taking into account the complexity of shopping centres and the involved stakeholders with their needs and expectations. The goal is to encourage collaboration between technical experts and decision makers: landlords, tenants and municipal authorities. Involving customers and the local community in the planning process while meeting their requirements may lead to high energy savings. The report concludes that shopping centres are essentially about achieving customer satisfaction. An effective sustainable retrofitting must provide attractive solutions for customers, by considering other influencing stakeholders as well. The way we shop is linked to our lifestyles and both these aspects are prone to constant changes, influenced by demographic changes, economic, consumer, technological and political forces.
This is why, to ensure long-term sustainability, shopping centres need to constantly adapt to both technical and social changes.
NB: This report is still subject to the European Commission’s approval, it is thus not printable.
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