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26 February 2018

Barcelona Blog #8: Breathing new life into old buildings

Read about how Barcelona has completed refurbishment works in several building complexes, including social housing buildings, student residences, a new library and more! Energy saving solutions have been implemented together with smart monitoring systems to track the new energy performance of the buildings. The solutions being implemented could be replicated across the city and have a considerable impact on the energy performance of Barcelona's buildings. Action area 1: Low-Energy Districts To see all the measures to be implemented, click here. Inaugural ceremony of newly retrofitted public library The refurbishment works on the public library owned by Barcelona Municipality, which are part of the GrowSmarter project, have been completed. The inaugural ceremony of the Library Montserrat Abelló in the district Les Corts was held on 26th January with the attendance of the Mayor and other representatives of the City Council. Located in an old silk factory, the new public library is an example of the refurbishment of an industrial building owned by the Municipality of Barcelona. In this case, three adjacent buildings (an old industrial building most recently used as a warehouse and two office buildings) have been retrofitted to become the new public library of the district, a public facility of more than 3,000 m2. The new library is the first public building in the city of Barcelona with the BREEAM® (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) certificate, a world-leading sustainability assessment method for buildings. In order to achieve this, the Municipality included energy efficiency criteria in the structural refurbishment of the building to reduce its environmental impact. The scope of the energy retrofitting works includes the improvement of the façade, roof, ground floor and glazing insulation to reduce the demand for heating and air conditioning of the building, the installation of radiant floor system for heating and cooling that contributes to the energy savings of the building, and the installation of software for the energy management of the building (BEMS). In addition, the library will cover part of its own electrical demand with a solar photovoltaic installation on the rooftop. To watch a summary video of the inaugural ceremony please click here.
The official speech held by the Administration during the inauguration ceremony. Source: Sergi Ramos/Diputació de Barcelona
General view of the ground floor of the library. Source: IREC
Works on social housing building finished by Barcelona Municipality The refurbishment works in the residential building of Passeig Santa Coloma 55-71, promoted by the public body responsible for social housing in Barcelona Institut Municipal de l’Habitatge i la Rehabilitació - IMHAB , were finished in December 2017. This building is composed of 207 dwellings with a total surface of 14,165m2, which will benefit from the passive refurbishment of the entire building façade. The insulation of the building façade is expected to lead to a reduction of the heating demand of the dwellings. The benefits for the tenants will not only be lower heating and energy bills, but also improved comfort and other qualitative aspects, such as noise and humidity insulation. In order to assess the impact on user comfort, a survey and monitoring campaign was done in February 2017 as a baseline, and a second survey and monitoring campaign will now follow in February 2018, since the insulation works are now finished.
The new appearance of the north façade of the building. Source: IMHAB
One of the 8 renovated building entrances. Source: IMHAB
District heating connection between Melon District and DistrictClima Melon District Melon District Marina is the biggest student residence in Barcelona with more than 500 rooms. Melon District has a privileged location in the city thanks to its situation near the one of the most innovative neighbourhood in Barcelona, named 22@, as well as being just ten minutes walking from the centre of Barcelona.
Before the refurbishment, HVAC installations consisted of electric heaters that satisfied the heat demand and a connection to the nearest district heating and cooling (DH&C), named DistrictClima, for cooling in the summer and for domestic hot water. Collaboration Agreement At the outset of GrowSmarter, two buildings (not in Melon District) were under consideration for connection to the district heating network. However, after energy pre-analyses and a first contact with the communities were done, these buildings were deemed unsuitable for the project. Finally, after a long period of searching, Melon District was identified and its participation in the project was accepted by the property management in July 2016. The agreement was a private-private collaboration between Melon District property and Gas Natural Fenosa (GNF). Before the agreement between the student residence and GNF, Melon District had already planned a refurbishment of its building, though the heating system was not part of its initial refurbishment plans. But thanks to the European subsidy (via GrowSmarter) and the participation of Gas Natural Fenosa as an Energy Services Company (ESCO), the expansion of the initial scope of the refurbishment project was made possible. GrowSmarter measures in Melon District The refurbishment works carried out in the framework of GrowSmarter include connecting the heating installation to the nearest DH&C (DistrictClima) and installing a building energy management system (BEMs). Work on the building started in August 2016 and finished in March 2017. Specifically, the refurbishments in Melon District were based on:
  • Connection to the DH&C: Before the refurbishment, the heating system in Melon District was based on electric heaters to supply the heat demand. After the refurbishment, all the electric heaters were disconnected and heat is instead provided DistrictClima. This connection to the district heating network, shown in the following pictures, allows to Melon District to considerably reduce its primary energy consumption thanks to replacing the use of electricity with the DH&C.
  • Building Energy Management System (BEMS): A new Building Energy Management System (BEMS) was installed in Melon District, which will provide relevant information about the energy consumption of the building. The BEMS allows the property managers to understand the energy impact of the students' habits and reduce consumption through the application of new control strategies. Furthermore, the BEMS will help Gas Natural Fenosa to develop new strategies to better respond to disturbances or stresses in the system. A Home Energy Management System (HEMS) was also installed on one floor (B4) of the Melon building, which monitors the energy use of the four bedrooms and one kitchen on the floor. Thanks to the data gathered here, Gas Natural Fenosa will be able to disaggregate total consumption measured by the BEMs by each room and kitchen in Melon District.
Together, these measures are expected to reduce the primary energy consumption of the building by 38%. Added value All the measures and works carried out in Melon District were part of an Energy Services contract, through which the Energy Services Company (ESCO) guarantees energy savings to Melon District as well as the correct operation of all installations for the stipulated period, in exchange of an annual fee. Moreover, thanks to the Gas Natural Fenosa’s background and its large range of different clients, the project carried out in Melon District will be easily replicable beyond what has been demonstrated in GrowSmarter, multiplying the beneficial impacts of the project. Last but not least, all data obtained by BEMS and HEMS will be fundamental to assessing the energy savings guarantees, thus improving the know-how of Gas Natural Fenosa and allowing Melon District to be more self-sufficient in its energy consumption. Action area 2: Integrated Infrastructures Action area 2: Integrated Infrastructures To see all the measures to be implemented, click here. Smart solution 8: Big data management In Measure 8.2, we have added data access and query functionality beyond what GrowSmarter proposes. Concretely, we can now query and cross data from more than one source, in this case from the GrowSmarter API and from other triple stores containing Barcelona urbanistic data (where data is in RDF/OWL format). This is a first step towards integrating Linked (Open) Data. Discussed in this blog Solution 3: Smart energy-saving tenants Solution 6: Waste heat recovery Solution 8: Big data management
Gonzalo Cabeza Site Manager, Barcelona For the previous blog post, click here
23 February 2018

Cologne Blog #8: Exchanging with tenants and sharing Cologne's experiences

With construction nearly completed in Stegerwaldsiedlung, we held an informational event with tenants in the newly renovated buildings and area. We've also been actively participating in a number of international events, sharing the experiences of the GrowSmarter project in Cologne with interested parties from all around Europe and the world.

GrowSmarter dissemination

Informational event for the Stegerwaldsiedlung tenants

As the construction work in the project site area Stegerwaldsiedlung is almost complete, the project management and partners believed that it was time to hold an informational event for the neighbourhood tenants to inform about the process and foster acceptance. As the tenants stayed in their apartments during construction time, burdens such as long road closures, lack of parking spaces, construction noise, etc. had to be endured.

The City of Cologne together with the project partners invited the Stegerwaldsiedlung tenants to an informational event on November 7th, 2017. The invitations were distributed to all households in the project area and were available in all social insti-tutions.

Poster announcing event

Informational event for the tenants. Photo: Uta Konopka

The aim of the informational event was to inform the tenants about the measures and the current state of the implementation, and to report on the perspectives that arise for the entire district of Mülheim. The event was supported by an external moderator and facilitated by the Community Reporter group (a group was founded to teach professional video shooting and then accompany projects they choose in Co-logne). More than 100 tenants attended the event.

Informational event for the tenants. Photo: Uta Konopka

The project management welcomed the attendees, explained the project goals, pre-sented the status of the implementation and pointed out the perspective until the end of the project and beyond. Most importantly, the team explained the benefits of the project for the tenants. Two City of Cologne employees (City Strategic Planning and Urban Development) reported on how the district of Mülheim will develop in the areas of local supply, mobility and construction. The tenants were invited to ask questions and express their wishes. Many questions asked were related to the status of the construction site, new heating system, the parking situation and how high future rents will be.

As a result of this meeting, the City together with the partners will send a letter summarising the event’s results. DEWOG already sent a detailed letter explaining the new heating system and the energy cost saving potential. At the end of the event, the tenants had the opportunity to get to know each other personally. The Community Reporters produced a video showing the event and subsequent interviews with some of the participants. You can view the video here (in German):

The next tenant informational event is planned for May 2018.

Study visit at the World Climate Conference COP 23

The World Climate Change Conference took place in Bonn from November 6 to 17. For more information please visit the official website.

COP23 provided an extensive framework program surrounding the main programme for the conference participants. The aim of this programme was to show the participants as many projects as possible in the field of local climate protection activities. Within this context, the GrowSmarter project partners offered a study visit to the Stegerwaldsiedlung. The The study visit, which took place on 13 November, was announced in a press release as well as in the COP23 event programme, which all attendees received.

Informational event for the tenants. Photo> Uta Konopka

The GrowSmarter team conducted the study visit at the Stegerwaldsiedlung in both German and English. 26 people participated in the study visit. The project management team explained the overarching GrowSmarter goals and the efforts in all three lighthouse cities. The local work-package leaders presented Cologne’s measures in energy, mobility and integrated infrastructure. During the neighbourhood tour, the participants were able to see the implementation of the measures first hand.

Study visit COP 23. Photo: Uta Konopka

The solutions related to energy retrofitting, energy management with the control of neighbourhood management and the mobility stations were of particular interest. Many questions came up, including which measures were particularly effective, the prospects for transferring the measures to other cities and how residents are in-volved. Participants were keen to continue the dialogue and to be kept informed about the project.

GrowSmarter at THERMOS conference in Brussels

This event took place at the Permanent Representation of Romania in Brussels on January 25th, 2018. It addressed the question of making integrated heating and cooling systems part of the backbone of Smart Cities and Communities, including concepts on local, open and affordable energy transition by providing state-of-the-art planning tools, solutions and insights.

Cologne was invited to speak on a panel, providing the city’s perspective on thermal optimisation and refurbishment in the framework of CELSIUS and GrowSmarter.

THERMOS conference. Photo: Julia Egenolf

THERMOS conference. Photo: ICLEI

GrowSmarter at the SmartCity Replication Workshop in Brussels

The SCC replication workshop titled ”Learning from the successful” took place in Brussels on January 26th, 2018 and focused on the question of how Lighthouse city Smart Solutions can be replicated in Follower Cities. How can stumbling blocks be overcome in order to achieve replication possibilities of Horizon 2020 projects and their solutions for Follower Cities? Three workshops, each held twice, were divided into 4-5 roundtables for the topics of energy, integrated infrastructure and mobility. The event saw more than 100 participants in the moderated workshops. Cologne moderated the mobility roundtable, and car-sharer provider Cambio gave information on setting up mobility stations, as has been done in Cologne. Cologne’s energy provider, RheinEnergie, participated in the roundtable on virtual power plants/energy management systems, including storage. Each roundtable discussion was facilitated by a moderator who introduced presenters from industrial and city partners. The sessions started with a presentation touching on the planning, implementation, technical evaluation, business model and the replication possibilities of specific solutions. The participants then had 40 minutes to discuss barriers and possibilities to replicate.

At the end of the workshops, the moderators summarised the key success factors and how to overcome the main obstacles.

SCC replication workshop. Photo: Julia Egenolf

Action Area 1: Low-Energy Districts

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here

The first construction phase has been completed and the evaluation began in January 2018, as planned. The remaining construction phases are scheduled to be completed by March 2018, after which their evaluation phase will also begin.

Both RheinEnergie AG and AGT international will send informational letters to all Stegerwaldsiedlung tenants until March and inform them about the possibility to have the Smart Home system installed for free. This will be done in up to 50 homes. If there are more interested tenants than expected, RheinEnergie will have to assign them by lot.

RheinEnergie AG was able to find a manufacturer who was prepared to equip its smart home system with an interface that enables AGT to collect and measure the required data (WP3). The system will be presented and demonstrated to the tenants in a workshop, where they can learn how to operate it in person and understand the advantages of the system. We intend to cover the first experiences with the system our the next blog update.

Action area 2: Integrated Infrastructures

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here

RheinEnergie was able to install three electric charging stations on existing street lighting poles. An existing WiFi grid connection hotspot is already in place at these locations.

Photo: RheinEnergie AG

The community driven project ”OpenAir Cologne” has made progress; in the past months, the website has been editorially revised and the project was presented at several different events.

OpenAir Cologne is a joint project of the Oklab Cologne, the City of Cologne, the TH (University of applied Sciences), the University of Cologne and the For-schungszentrum Jülich (research center). The project focuses on generating data, especially measurements of fine particulate matter, through environmental sensors. This project is the outcome of an idea from citizens, supported by science based institutions and initiated by the City of Cologne.

Data fine dust collected from environmental sensors. Photo: City of Cologne

The overall idea came about via “Citizen Science”, in which citizens and their ideas and perspectives are actively involved in governmental tasks. The objective is to connect citizens with their local public administration and to accelerate cooperation between the government and the inhabitants in the areas of Open Data, participation and citizen information. The greater purpose in this context is to enable an actual collaboration between citizens and the government.

The project is being implemented by collecting sensor data from volunteers and processing them for the community as Open Data, as well as to open them for discussion and to review their informational value. The goal is that the sensors will allow coverage of a large area in order to generate as much reliable information as possible. To support the project, the city offers different types of workshops, from soldering to understanding weather forecasts.

Given the current situation, OpenAir Cologne was able to set up 50 environmental sensors in the urban area of Cologne. Most importantly, it was possible to raise awareness and interest for the environment and to disseminate environmental topics amongst the public.

Model OpenAir Node Sensor Copyright City of Cologne

Action area 3: Sustainable Urban Mobility

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here

All ten planned mobility stations are now in place, in various sizes and with various combinations of partners. Three mobility stations will be equipped with e-bikes this month and next. Photos of the individual stations can also be found in our previous blog post.

Overview of Mobility Stations and partners involved

After overcoming some legal stumbling blocks for ampido locations in public spaces, the team has now been able to integrate this partner with the inclusion of some spe-cial clauses in the law. Ampido is equipping the Mobility Stations with parking spac-es that can be booked in advance. This system has so far only worked on private land and is now possible on public lands for the duration of the project or until city ordinances change. Ampido is represented at the Mobility Stations found in the map above. Some of the stations have already been shown in previous blogs. These photos show only ampido’s spaces, as they are the most recent additions.

Wiener Platz, right in the center of Mülheim at the “Stadthalle”, 5 parking spaces:

Jan-Wellem-Str, Copyright Ampido

Bergischer Ring, directly opposite the district town hall Mülheim, 2 parking spaces:

Bergischer Ring, Copyright Ampido

Bahnhof Mülheim, Montanusstrasse, close to the Mülheim train station, 2 parking spaces:

Montanusstrasse, Copyright Ampido

Mobilitystation Stegerwald neighborhood, 2 parking spaces:

Stegerwald neighborhood, Copyright Ampido

The mobility card: “MultiTicket”

The mobility partners in the project are convinced that better utilisation of Mobility Stations depends on their attractiveness. cambio CarSharing and KVB have there-fore developed a combined mobility card: the “MultiTicket”. With the MultiTicket all means of transport (bus, tram, car- and bike-sharing) can be used. It is a further de-velopment of the existing "JobTicket", a monthly ticket paid for by companies for their employees. All JobTicket users are now able to register with cambio in order to use their car-sharing cars. The cars themselves can be opened with the MultiTicket - no further card is needed. In addition to public transport, all MultiTicket users get a dis-count of 10% for car-sharing.

The MultiTicket, which became available in October 2017, offers virtual consolidation by bringing the various modes of transport to one place, which the Mobility Sta-tion does physically.

Multiticket

The introduction of the MultiTicket has not yet been promoted with a major press and advertising campaign. Still, the offer was very well received - almost 500 people have registered already, almost one third of the overall new cambio customers since October 2017. The use of the new Mobility Stations in the Mülheim project area has also increased. In the near future, further advertisement of the MultiTicket is planned in order to gain more customers and to make the Mobility Stations even more successful.

An example of the cambio CarSharing flyer advertisement can be seen below:

Advertising flyer page 1

Advertising flyer page 2

Discussed in this blog

Solution 1: Efficient and smart climate shell refurbishment

Solution 3: Smart energy-saving tenants

Solution 4: Smart local electricity management

Solution 11: Alternative fuel-driven vehicles

Solution 12: Smart mobility solutions

Barbara Moehlendick

Site Manager, Cologne

For the previous blog post, click here

12 October 2017

Cologne blog #7: The Day of Good Life

With the first phase of construction completed in the Stegerwaldsiedlung, all that remains to do is to connect the Siedlungsmanagement software. In the world of data, we are also working with a broad range of Cologne's open data to integrate into the urban cockpit. Lastly, our mobility stations - featuring carsharing and electric vehicle charging - are operational. Read on for more details and pictures!



GrowSmarter on the “Tag des guten Lebens/ Day of Good Life”

The “Day of Good Life” is a family and neighbourhood festival for the entire district of Deutz, just south of our project area Mülheim. To show how a district can evolve, thirty streets in Deutz and the Deutzer Bridge across the river Rhine were closed to traffic. On Sunday, 18 June approximately 150,000 visitors came to the Day of Good Life event, a visitor record. All activities had the aim of testing a joint venture on how life in Deutz could be made sustainable and future-oriented over the coming decades. At the GrowSmarter booth, visitors were particularly interested in alternative mobility solutions. The industry partner Cambio CarSharing offered free registration, an attractive that offer was taken advantage of by 37 people.



The “Day of Good Life” event in Deutz


Universities

Students and instructors from three foreign universities would soon like to visit Cologne for a knowledge exchange. The representatives from the University of Barcelona know the GrowSmarter activities in their own city and would like to see how Cologne is implementing their measures. Students at the University of Basel are very interested in learning more about the development of open data platforms.


Exchange of experts with a delegation from China
Study Visit on July 6, 2017

The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the Republic of China have reached an agreement on environmental cooperation. China is interested in implementing the objectives of the Paris Climate Protection Agreement. The representatives of the provinces and municipalities are important players in this process of change. The “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit” (GIZ) (Association for International Cooperation) organises regular exchange programs with the support of the German Ministry of the Environment. The aim of the program is the acquisition of new knowledge and the exchange with experts, as well as the deepening of old contacts and the establishment of new contacts for the purpose of the cooperation between North Rhine-Westfalia and China. The focus of the trade exchange and the partner province representatives from Sichuan, Shanxi and Jiangsu was “Emission Control, Air Pollution and Renewable Energies". The representatives were keen on understanding more about GrowSmarter energy measures with the aim to examine which of the measures could be implemented and replicated in China. The delegation was made up of company officials and municipal representatives as well as the regional NRW government guests.



Welcome and presentation in the Stegerwald settlement office


The project was presented to the visitors in the Stegerwald neighbourhood office. The project`s integrated approach was new to the visitors. This aspect was of paramount importance to representatives of municipalities in order to achieve sustainable city planning. RheinEnergie presented its energy management measures.



Presentation of Demonstration Buildings before and after refurbishment


During the tour of the settlement, the participants visited the facilities and were able to ask technical questions.


Particularly interesting for the engineers was the new “Siedlungsmanagement” software (virtual power plant). The approach of saving as much energy as possible in a building as well as implementing intelligent control for a larger number of buildings will be examined by some representatives for their projects in China. There was mutual interest in pursuing this knowledge exchange in the future.


SmartCity conference in Esch-sur-Alzette

In mid-September, Cologne had the chance to present GrowSmarter at the SmartCity conference in its twin city, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxemburg. Esch-sur-Alzette is planning to develop models for the cross-border region with Belgium and France.

The Cologne process of choosing the data platform and urban cockpit was of particular interest for Esch-sur-Alzette. The city is planning to implement a uniform digitalisation strategy for the entire region. Everyone was convinced that a smart city can only be realised with an integrated approach.





Action area 1: Low-Energy Districts

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here


The first construction phase In the Stegerwaldsiedlung section is completed with the exception of final connection work to the Siedlungsmanagement. Phases 2 and 3 have started construction as well. This City of Cologne website shows an interactive map (in German) of the current planned and/or implemented scope of work on each of the buildings.



First (foreground) and second (background) phase of construction at the Stegerwaldsiedlung


The heat pumps have been connected by the RheinEnergie. The first battery storage sets are also installed.



Air heat pumps at the Stegerwaldsiedlung


The RheinEnergie is planning to conduct an informational event for the tenants in November and December to further present and explain the RheinEnergie products Mieterstrom and SmartHome. Tenants who agree to install the SmartMeter equipment will also receive Smart Home.


Action area 2: Integrated Infrastructures

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.


We have made great progress in this area convincing partners that sharing their data for GrowSmarter will be beneficial for all.


In August of 2016 we reported about the Cologne open data platform (www.offenedaten-koeln.de). This was in place before GrowSmarter, but it offers a comprehensive database, which can be used for the project.


Some very interesting records of the KVB could be included in the open data platform (www.offenedaten-koeln.de/dataset/og_group_ref/37972). It becomes evident that data from our partner KVB is not only a benefit for GrowSmarter but the entire open data community.


For example, errors or failures in the escalators and lifts at the railway stations can be called up in real time. With these data, it is possible to individually define an accessible, personalised route before starting a journey. The data can also be used to ensure that the departure from a platform is possible without complications during the journey. The use of railway is therefore more attractive for people with limited mobility or mothers with baby carriages, for example. We have thus taken another step towards stimulating the population in rethinking their choice of transport.


For the individual data sets we distinguish between dynamic and static data; this is dynamic data:

http://www.offenedaten-koeln.de/dataset/og_group_ref/1613


Our partner [ui!] - the urban institute is now working on integrating multiple data streams into the urban cockpit.



Cambio CarSharing and KVB Bike


Action area 3: Sustainable Urban Mobility

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.


Almost all mobility stations are now fully operational. The mobility stations are easily accessible by foot, bus and/or train. The first experiences show that the stations are accepted among transport users.


With the exception of one station, the RheinEnergie charging stations are implemented. All charging stations have two charging points. All stations also include a Cambio CarSharing station. The industrial partner KVB was able to find a suitable partner for the E-bikes procurement, and by the end of the year 10 e-bikes are planned to be implemented. They will be installed at the sites Charles de Gaulle Platz, Mülheim train station and the Stegerwaldsiedlung. Ampido is represented at two of the three main mobility stations so far.

The current situation at each of the stations is presented below:


Charles-de-Gaulle Platz

The Charles-de-Gaulle Platz provides 5 spaces for CarSharing cars (3 conventional cars, 2 e-cars), 12 bikes (7 conventional, 5 e-bikes), 4 Ampido parking spaces and 4 charging stations. This location also provides a public charging station with two charging points for the general public.



Charles-de-Gaulle Platz carsharing, charging stations, parking sharing and bikes


In 2015, the conversation between the City of Cologne and the state legislation regarding unified coordinated signage for the mobility stations thorughout the state started to take shape. This development is unique and has influenced the region’s cities and communities in using the same language of signage in their development of mobility stations.



Charles-de-Gaulle Platz mobility station signage


Train station Bahnhof Mülheim

Fully equipped, this station has 5 carsharing spaces (3 conventional, 2 e-cars), 2 charging stations, 15 Bikes (10 conventional, 5 e-bikes).


Bahnhof Mülheim carsharing and charging stations


Regentenstrasse

At this station 4 carsharing spaces (2 conventional cars, 2 e-cars) and 1 charging station are in operation.



Regentenstrasse CarSharing and charging station


Stegerwaldsiedlung

At the Stegerwaldsiedlung mobility station, where all GrowSmarter energy measures are implemented, 4 carsharing spaces (2 conventional cars, 2 e-cars) and 2 charging stations are already in place. Two Ampido parking spaces and 8 bikes (4 conventional, 4 e-bikes) will be located here by the end of 2017.



Stegerwaldsiedlung carsharing and charging station


von-Sparr-Strasse

At this location residents can use 4 carsharing cars (2 conventional cars, 2 e-cars) and 1 charging station.



Von-Sparr-Str. carsharing and charging station


Höhenhaus, Am Emberg

Six spaces for carsharing cars (4 conventional cars, 2 e-cars) are located at this site. Whether a charging station can be installed is currently under investigation.



Höhenhaus, Am Emberg carsharing spaces


The industrial partners KVB and Cambio are expecting a much greater use of the mobility stations after the introduction of the mobility card.


Users of public transport must have the possibility to use bus, tram (lightrail), bicycles and passenger cars with one ticket. Cambio and KVB are currently developing a so called “Mobiltätskarte (Mobilticket)”, an enhancement of the already existing subscription ticket. With this “Mobiltätskarte” travellers will be able to use bus, trams, bicycles and carsharing cars with their normal ticket.



e-Ticket as demonstration object on a Cambio carsharing car



Discussed in this blog

Solution 1: Efficient and smart climate shell refurbishment

Solution 3: Smart energy-saving tenants

Solution 4: Smart local electricity management

Solution 11: Alternative fuel-driven vehicles

Solution 12: Smart mobility solutions


Barbara Moehlendick

Site Manager, Cologne


For the previous blog post, click here

31 October 2016

Cologne blog #4: citizen involvement and integrated infrastructure

I am happy to share with you that Cologne has been recognized with an award for its participation in GrowSmarter by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy! Projects all over Germany related to intelligent networks were reviewed, and Cologne won in the category “cross-sectoral”. More information can be found in this article (in German)






Action area 1: Low energy districts

Citizen involvement: the Stegerwald Settlement

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.


At the Stegerwald Settlement in Cologne, the first construction phase is underway and the second phase of construction started in May 2016. The planning and tendering process for the different local energy productions is mainly completed.


With photovoltaic modules installed on the roofs of the first four buildings, our progress is becoming more and more visible!


Smart Solution 1 Energy efficient refurbishment of the building



© RheinEnergie


As you can see on the map the scaffolding is now progressing and the construction of the next buildings is coming closer.


(Insulating of buildings, installing triple glazed windows) © RheinEnergie


DEWOG has started the refurbishment and is currently insulating the buildings, basement ceiling, and roofs as well as installing triple glazed windows in some of the buildings. The façades will be reinforced with an additional 10cm of insulation on the gable side, adding to the existing 6cm insulation. Houses which are not yet insulated are being provided with 16cm of insulation. Also the buildings in the Deutz-Mülheimer Street (which are in the second construction phase) will be insulated with 16cm after dismantling the existing 6cm. The insulation keeps the temperature of the buildings more consistent, whether during warm or cold temperatures. By doing so, we can significantly reduce the primary energy consumption for heating and cooling.


The old self-contained central heating has been replaced with central heating in two buildings. The two other buildings in the first construction phase will be completed soon. The installation of new energy efficient elevators is also underway. Furthermore, the stairway lighting in all renovated buildings will be replaced with efficient LED lighting.



(Preparation of the elevator shaft) © RheinEnergie


DEWOG will install modern, electrically powered heat pumps with high efficiency which will be powered by the PV-modules of RheinEnergie. Soon RheinEnergie will also add electric storage. The combination of these components will reduce the consumption of primary energy in the Stegerwald Settlement significantly.


© RheinEnergie


Until the modern heating components are finished, the tenants of the settlement must be provided with temporary heating stations. To this end, RheinEnergie has deployed three heating stations (two rented and one mobile RheinEnergie heating station) presently in use. We expect to complete the installation of the new heating components in October, just in time for the winter.


© RheinEnergie


Smart Solutions 3 and 5: Smart Home System and Smart Meter analysis and actuators

With the SmartHome application of RheinEnergie in combination with SmartMeter of AGT International, the tenants are able to track the current energy consumption of connected devices. As a result tenants are able to recognize devices which consume large amounts of energy and should get a better general overview about their consumption of electricity. This could motivate them to replace their electrical equipment, or parts thereof, with energy-saving devices.


AGT International and RheinEnergie are currently working on a joint venture to combine both systems into one. Since the Federal Government is currently deciding about the necessary IT-security (potentially to conclude by the end of 2016), the rollout of smart meters may begin mid-2017.


The SmartHome system was shown and explained to the tenants at an event in the Stegerwald Settlement in November 2015. Another event is planned for November 2016, where SmartHome will be presented to the tenants again.


In order to display the functions of the system, DEWOG in cooperation with RheinEnergie and AGT International is installing the Smart Energy Solution (hardware and software) in the Stegerwald Café.


© RheinEnergie


Smart Solution 4: Virtual power plant – “Siedlungsmanagement”

Virtual power plants for holistic settlement management have so far only been carried out as research projects. The RheinEnergie „Siedlungsmanagement” software leads to an autonomous self-sustaining development for communities. This would partially replace the supra-regional grid expansion as well as the construction of new conventional power plants. In addition, it provides the residents with the opportunity to influence their own energy consumption. The “Siedlungsmanagement” is a tool that is designed to be replicated in other city or town.


Based on the data provided by smart meters and smart home appliances, RheinEnergie is better able to offer attractive tariffs (“Mieterstrom”) and useful services to the tenants.


The holistic interaction of all components, such as power generation, storage, SmartHome, Smart Meter and consumption, will lead to a change in energy awareness as well as a social sense of community within the settlement.


© RheinEnergie


Smart Solution 11: Developing charging infrastructure

The City of Cologne, together with 12 partners, is working on a project called "colognE-mobil". This is one of the largest field tests as part of a program called “model regions for electro-mobility” launched by the German government. The charging infrastructure for GrowSmarter will be implemented together with the e-mobility.


The city government has now approved the mobility-stations, so RheinEnergie is able to start installing the charging infrastructure. That hasn’t been an easy task!


Lots of planning was required, including coordination with all affected city departments, transportation agencies, as well as with North Rhine-Westphalian legislation. RheinEnergie will install approximately 15 charging stations in the project area Mülheim.


© RheinEnergie


To promote the GrowSmarter project, we use opportunities like street festivals that are very popular in the summer months. One such festival, with a rich history of tradition, took place in Deutz, neighbourhood neighbouring district to the Stegerwald settlement and the location of one of the mobility stations at the Charles-de-Gaulle Square. With our partners KVB and cambio CarSharing we informed citizens about the trend-setting solutions in traffic, energy, and communication technology that we are launching within GrowSmarter. While discussing how to steer traffic flows and fulfil climate protection goals, many of the citizens decided to reduce their private car usage and signed up for carsharing and bike rentals. An important factor in this decision is the central location and the wide range of mobility options at the mobility stations.


© Stadt Köln


This demonstrates the importance of good promotion for GrowSmarter!


Action area 2: Integrated Infrastructure

Cracking open data - stimulating local entrepreneurs & traffic management


To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.


In our last blog we told you about our partner KVB, who provided their locations for the rental bikes as well as the actual position of each rental bike. A member of the open data community has now used this data to develop an application: https://tom.cologne.codefor.de/kvbrad/

The application is not yet finished – at the moment it only works properly in Google Chrome - but it is a very good example of how open data can be used to encourage innovation. We are very encouraged to gather and provide more data!

2 June 2016

Stockholm blog #3: putting smart solutions into practice

What is a demonstration site, if there is nothing to demonstrate? Why does it take so long to get things implemented? Isn’t the technology already there?


These are important questions for a Site Manager to handle and find answers for.

Now that many of the GrowSmarter smart solutions are entering the implementation phase, I will shortly summarise the experiences from the preparation and planning phase.


I will also give an update on the implementation status of the smart solutions and how they are being rolled out.




Action area 1: Low-Energy Districts

Preparation and planning; what have we learnt?


In Stockholm a range of smart solutions for low energy districts, as described in my previous blog post, will be rolled out in three building zones: Valla Torg, Årsta and the Slakthus area (see map).

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.


Preparation to implement our numerous energy efficient measures started quite some time ago, even before our GrowSmarter application was submitted back in May 2014.

One key issue was to decide the baseline; what can be done in older buildings and how much energy could each measure potentially save? For this purpose a consultancy firm was appointed; they helped us to assess and identify which measures would be most suitable. This gave us a good starting point for implementation, however the order in which they would be implemented, had to wait until we had our refurbishment plan in place.


Our refurbishment plan not only needed to detail construction costs and time and but also address simple questions like: Does the smart solution need electricity, data connection, wireless data transmission possibilities? As such, several meetings bringing together construction planners and industrial partners were held starting from March 2015 to February 2016. This extensive preparation and planning work was vital to ensuring that all the necessary specifications were included, to be sure that everything will work the way that it should.


Key learning: is to include smart solutions within the general planning process and to avoid implementation becoming separate to the actual construction process. This is the approach we have taken in GrowSmarter, so when an electrician or plumber is doing his/her work, (s)he is also implementing GrowSmarter solutions.


Implementation: efficient & smart climate shell refurbishment


Valla Torg (building zone #1): we are about to start with the energy efficiencies and solution 1 (smart climate shell refurbishment) of the residential building in Valla Torg together with Skanska. More update on this in my next blog!


Årsta (building zone #2): In the private condominium Brf Årstakrönet the activities solution 1 (Efficient and smart climate shell refurbishment) and solution 3 (Smart energy-saving tenants) started in January 2016. Veolia has installed a temperature sensor in every apartment, which logs information about indoor temperature levels. The target is to stabilise indoor temperature as far as possible, by controlling and steering heat into the building. In the diagram below, you can see information collected from the building to be able to optimise its energy use.


tenants.jpg>

Building temperature levels © Stockholm


The yellow line indicates the indoor temperature and the blue line the outdoor temperature. Traditional temperature regulation is based on outdoor temperature which means that it sends hot water (indicated with the purple line) at night into the building regardless of the need. By controlling both indoor- and outdoor temperature, you can postpone the need for hot water, and lower heating costs.


Veolia has also started preparations to install solution 4 (photovoltaics) on the roofs of the building together with a new innovation developed in Sweden called the Energy Hub. The energy hub controls energy flows between solar cells, energy storage (battery), local loads and the grid. Veolia will also implement a module called Adaptive Current Equalisation (ACE). The ACE technology continuously monitors the grid currents. If one of the three phase currents exceeds a pre-set threshold, available energy from the other two phase conductors are used instead. This prevents overloading of mains fuses and can even allow the supply capacity to be reduced and hence the associated grid fees.


Slakthus (building area #3): Refurbishment of the Slakthus area buildings will start in May/June.


The picture below is from a study visit where Royne Julin from the Stockholm City Real Estate Administration is presenting the refurbishment and energy efficiency measures in the buildings for an international group of visitors.



Action area 2: Integrated infrastructures

Smart street lights and supermarkets sustainable energy use

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.


Installing smart LED-lighting

In April this year, we started with the installation of solution 5 (smart LED street lights) which will be finalised by the summer in Valla Torg.


The LED street lights, 25 Luminaires installed by the Stockholm City traffic Department will be an opportunity to showcase the benefits of open standards in enabling interoperability within intelligent lighting systems.


Using integrated light controllers and associated software, the Luminaries will be connected to outdoor Wi-Fi networks (via the radio frequency (RF) mesh network) and run by an automation system (Power-lin communications (PLC) networks) to reduce energy usage, operational costs and improve safety.


The potential exists to expand the RF mesh network to connect other city devices such as traffic lights, meters and different sensors. This possibility will be explored in more detail as part of the measure traffic posts as base of sensors.

In the picture above, Anders Hedlund from the City of Stockholm’s Traffic Administration is presenting smart LED lighting solution to an international group of visitors participating in the Eureka Innovation week in Stockholm. The building in the background is one of the buildings to be refurbished in Valla Torg.


Waste Heat recovery

Fortum’s open district heating (solution 6) will be implemented in two locations:

• In Västberga, waste heat from data centres will be captured and distributed via the district heating system

• in Farsta waste heat from supermarkets (some 5km south of the Slakthus area) will be used. As soon as agreements are signed, implementation will start.

Here Mr Hedman, from Fortum is presenting the open district heating solution. More information about this solution can be found here.


Big data management

In March, IBM, which is responsible for the open consolidated big data platform (solution 8), has conducted a Design Thinking workshop with the city’s traffic department to define which users to focus on and which problems to address.


Work continues with Stockholm’s Traffic Department and STOKAB/St Erik Communication to demonstrate the open data analysis and innovation platform to connect IOT devices, existing traffic data sources, as well as, assessing the need for new potential sensors e.g. video sensors.



Action area 3: Sustainable Urban Mobility

A grand opening...!

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here.


The delivery boxes (solution 9) will be installed alongside the refurbishment in Valla Torg.


A survey of travel behaviour (solution 10) in Valla Torg has been done. The next step is to study two other locations in Stockholm and analyse reference groups.


As part of the GrowSmarter project, Fortum will install 10 charging stations and one fast charger (see image left - ©Stockholm)(solution 11). The fast charger will be put up in Årsta. The other charging stations will be put up in BRF Årstakrönet, Slakthus area and Valla Torg. The implementation has started.


Contracts for the first two refuelling stations (solution 11) have been signed and the third is on its way. The filling station in Årsta is shown in the picture.



Study visits in new information centres


Information centres in Valla Torg and Slakthus area for citizens and other interested visitors are now open!


The grand opening was held in 28 April when a study visit was organised for an international audience from Asia, Europe and North America.


A second study visit took place on 19 May with visitors from the different departments of the City of Stockholm.


The picture (Information centre ©Stockholm)is taken from the information centre in Valla Torg.





Discussed in this blog

Solution 1: Efficient and smart climate shell refurbishment

Solution 3: Smart energy-saving tenants

Solution 4: Smart local electricity management

Solution 5: Smart street lighting

Solution 6: Waste heat recovery

solution 8: Big data platform

solution 9: Sustainable delivery

Solution 11: Alternative fuel-driven vehicles


Mika Hakosalo

Site Manager, Stockholm


For the previous blog post, click here