In the GrowSmarter Cologne project, a residential area with old buildings (dating back to 1952) was selected as the project area for the first time. It includes 16 blocks of flats with 700 residential units. The ambitious goal was to implement measures leading to an energy saving of 70% and a reduction of the CO2 value by 60%.
To achieve this, a set of measures were put in place, including: insulation of residential buildings, connection to the district heating network, connection to air / heat pumps, installation of photovoltaic systems on the roofs, construction of battery storage, connection to the "residential estate management" software and construction of a mobility station with BikeSharing, CarSharing, E-charging station and parking lots that can be reserved in advance.
For the local inhabitants, it was a challenge to stay in the apartments for the entire construction period. All partners had to overcome numerous obstacles during construction until all measures could be implemented. All the houses have now reached an energy standard that exceeds the legal requirements and the first evaluation results show that the targeted energy saving is achieved. It is even possible that the residential area becomes self-sufficient in energy supply. The possibilities to move from owning a private car to using the shared mobility station unloads the traffic in the project area.
All these factors have led to the GrowSmarter project receiving two special awards. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia gives the climate protection housing award to exemplary construction projects that contribute to climate protection. The Stegerwald estate has now been designated as the 87th climate protection estate. The project of using a software to control the energy consumption in a residential area is unique in Europe and was successfully used here for the first time. Thanks to self-learning algorithms and big-data analyzes, the system controls systems such as the battery storage and heat pumps so that the locally generated electricity can be consumed locally as far as possible. For this purpose, the project has been awarded the innovation prize of the Association of Municipal Entrepreneurs.
Already, the city of Cologne has decided to roll out the most promising measures from the project throughout Cologne, especially for the mobility stations.
Find out more about the Award [German]: Link to website
Check-out the GrowSmarter actions in Cologne.