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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

22 February 2018

Stockholm Blog #8: Inside a flow

Csíkszentmihályi, who defined the state of flow, has said, "If challenges are too low, one gets back to flow by increasing them. If challenges are too great, one can return to the flow state by learning new skills.". Even if it is often referred to a personal state of mind, it could also be put in the context of the smart solutions implemented as a joint effort in Stockholm. Most of the solutions in Stockholm are implemented the first time in a larger scope, with high goals and a very tough schedule, but they are also very tightly linked to each other. Now that the implementation phase for most parts is over or in a repetitive phase it becomes evident how challenging the project actually has been and how it has required developing new skills. Now we are stepping out of this state of flow and starting sharing our experiences. And I think we have a very interesting story to tell.

Action area 1: Low-Energy Districts

What is happening in Valla Torg, Årsta and the Slakthus area buildings?

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here

In Valla Torg the refurbishment of the two first multi-storey buildings (7G and 6) are finalised and the tenants have moved in. The evaluation of energy use has started and will continue until the end of the project to secure a 2-year evaluation time.

The second half of the low-storey building 8 is finalised and tenants have moved in.

In the private condominia Brf Årstakrönet the evaluation is on its second year indicating clear energy savings.

In Slakthusarea the refurbishment of building 8 is finalised. The new tenant, nightclub Slaktkyrkan, is open and have a full schedule of live shows planned for this spring. The pictures below show some of the energy efficiency measures implemented.

New interior window with u-value 0,6, the external window is original

The building with integrated solar panels on the southern side (upper right) of the external glass roof, all lights are LED-lights

The substitute building Kylhuset in Slakthusarea is also finalised for building related energy efficiency measures. The waste heat recovery will be installed in summer 2018.

Action area 2: Integrated Infrastructures

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here

Installing smart LED-lighting

The smart LED-street lights (solution 5) have now been in operation for 1,5 years and the system has worked well. The results have been so promising that now the City of Stockholm will scale up this solution on a district level.

A Smart Connected City

In Stockholm the smart connected city will use the extensive fibre network provided and administered by Stokab, a company owned by Stockholm City Council (more information) Several Internet of Things applications and solutions can be developed thanks to the fibre network.

The implementation of sensors in the Slakthusarea is soon finalised. Most of the sensors for vehicle traffic flow measurements are now installed and most of the wifi-based sensors are going to be installed within the next two weeks.

Vehicle sensor installed measuring in- and outcoming traffic in Slakthusarea

Sign informing pedestrians and bicyclists of traffic flow measurements

IBM, who is responsible for the open consolidated big data platform (solution 8), will build up a multiuseable data platform where real-time data can be analysed, but also were the data can be turned into practical usecases reducing transport emissions and increasing the quality of life for citizens. The development work will be done in an agile process were users from different city organisations work together with IBM:s development team.

Waste Heat recovery

Fortum’s open district heating (solution 6) system has been operating during the heating season and has given better results than expected. The heat recovery can thus heat up more than the earlier calculated 700 apartments.

Smart waste handling

The waste handling system provided by Envac has been running since summer. The system has worked well with the bags provided for this purpose, but in some cases the tenants have used other plastic bags which has unfortunately broken. In the picture below you can see how the waste fractions look like inside the container before the delivery to the end sorting facility.

Mixed different coloured bags inside the container

Action area 3: Sustainable Urban Mobility

To see all the measures to be implemented, click here

Building logistics centre and delivery boxes

The Building logistics centre (solution 2) implemented by Carrier, will start handling more materials for the last buildings to be refurbished in Valla Torg. Carrier has together with Skanska agreed which material streams can be best handled by the logistics centre, and these materials will be handled by the centre during 2018.

The implementation of delivery boxes (solution 9) by Carrier is done. The delivery boxes are actually a delivery room, which later on can be used for other purposes. In the room for instance tools could be safely kept and booked by tenants.

Smart Traffic Management

Insero has together with NOAE (Network of Automotive Excellence) implemented an information system for drivers (solution 10). Effects on travel time and the drivers’ experiences will be evaluated.

KTH has developed a smart phone application (solution 10) to follow up changes in travel behaviour. In the same application, information about renewable fuels in Stockholm will be shown. The application is launched.

Alternative fuel driven vehicles

As part of the GrowSmarter project, Fortum will install up to 10 charging stations and one fast charger (solution 11). The fast charger is installed in Årsta. The normal chargers are also installed in Valla Torg.

The first four refuelling stations (solution 11) for renewable fuels are up and running. The filling station in Årsta is expected to be built in 2018.

Stockholmshem launched yesterday its electrical carpool (solution 12) for tenants and habitants.

The Valla Torg Electrical Car Pool

Communication and marketing

In Stockholm Emma Borggren-Franck has taken the responsibility of the demonstration of smart solutions. Several study visits have been organised and still more are planned for this year. There has also been a great interest for presentations of the smart solutions implemented in Stockholm. A few weeks ago we presented our experiences in Brussels and last week I was in Wien and Bratislava presenting results and experiences. In spring there are two events planned. One will be focused on the smart solutions in Slakthusarea and the second one on smart solutions for tenants in Valla Torg.

Presenting GrowSmarter in Bratislava, Slovakia

Discussed in this blog

Solution 1: Efficient and smart climate shell refurbishment

Solution 2: Smart building logistics

Solution 5: Smart street lighting

Solution 6: Waste heat recovery

Solution 9: Sustainable delivery

Solution 10: Smart traffic management

Solution 11: Alternative fuel-driven vehicles

Solution 12: Smart mobility solutions

Mika Hakosalo

Site Manager, Stockholm

For the previous blog post, click here