The renovation of existing buildings is one of the priorities of western countries and needs to be promoted to increase the current low renovation rate, estimated to be of 0.6% per year in the European and Swiss contexts. In parallel, the implementation of building‐integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) elements during the renovation process can provide a crucial response to achieve the 2050 targets in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy savings. In this context, architects, designers and engineers have a key role in achieving these objectives, mainly because they are responsible for the design decisions during the development of the projects, especially during the early‐design phase when the most influential decisions are taken. Through a real‐case study built in 1968, this research shows how certain design‐decisions in renovation processes can affect or compromise the final performance of the building from a global life‐cycle and multi‐criteria approach. Life‐Cycle Analysis (LCA) and Cost (LCC) results show the importance of not losing the opportunity to go beyond current practices when a building needs to be renovated and highlight the necessity to take into consideration BIPV strategies to guarantee both economic and environmental targets.