Introducing “Tartu Renovates” – Renovation As A Service (RaaS)

Aug 14, 2023

At the beginning of July, the City of Tartu launched a consultancy service “Tartu Renovates”, offered in cooperation with Novarc Grupp AS, to make it easier for apartment buildings to plan renovations, obtain funding and save costs. “Tartu Renovates” is a project that enables housing associations to turn to free consultants for professional support in organising renovation. The aim of the project is to raise the awareness of cooperative boards and residents about renovation options, funding sources, and conditions. The service is aimed at similar six to nine-story buildings similar to the ones that are currently being renovated within the oPEN Lab project. “Tartu Renovates” can be seen as a commercialised service of oPEN Lab’s goals – upgrading existing buildings in specific neighbourhoods in Tartu, Pamplona and Genk while engaging citizens.
The service of the consultant is available to housing cooperatives even before the general meeting on the purchase of the renovation. The consultant will first help to assess the technical condition of the building and the need for renovation and will prepare a renovation decision together with the management. Support during the design phase, which requires specialised knowledge, and during the preparation of the construction is essential. The consultant’s assistance can also be used during the construction phase to ensure the desired construction quality.
More than half of Tartu’s apartment buildings were built between 1970 and 2000, and a large proportion of them are in need of extensive renovation right now. Managing the renovation process is a very complex and technical job, which the management of the housing association often does not have the skills or time to do. Unfortunately, the decision to renovate is often left behind because applying for subsidies and complying with various rules is too burdensome for the managers. This is why the role of a free building consultation is so important in reaching a renovation decision and in ensuring quality supervision.
The driving force behind this effort is to simplify the renovation journey, facilitate funding acquisition, and optimise costs for housing associations. Together with the service, housing associations can apply for a design grant. The subsidy is up to EUR 2.2/m2 per m2 of the net floor area of the apartment building, plus up to EUR 4,000 for hiring a technical consultant. This is estimated to cover 20-25 % of the design costs of an average apartment building.
Application is open from 3 July 2023 to 30 September 2025.