POWER HOUSE Newsletter - 01.10.2013

Dear Colleague,

We are happy to inform you that two video clips have been recently published alongside with a report on how to finance energy efficiency in Divided/Cooperative ownership or multifamily buildings to follow up the recent work done within the framework of the POWER HOUSE nearly-Zero Energy Challenge! project.

To have a better overview of this initiative and of the issues at stake to secure a fair energy transition towards nearly-Zero Energy in the Public, Cooperative and Social Housing sector, please read our latest progress report, or check our website...enjoy the read!

The POWER HOUSE nearly-Zero Energy Challenge! Team

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Follow-up to the Warm/Mediterranean climates TaskForce Seminar & Study Visits: Video clip now available!

Follow-up to the Warm/Mediterranean climates TaskForce Seminar & Study Visits: Video clip now available!

In the framework of the Green City Energy initiative, a seminar organised by the POWER HOUSE TaskForce on Warm/Mediterranean Climates was held on 4-5th July 2013 in Pisa, Italy.

The purpose of the seminar, attended by some 20 participants mainly from Italy and Spain, was to strengthen the collaboration with other running EU-funded projects in the MED area (such as ELIH-MED, MARIE, Urban Empathy RELS and CAT MED), in order to capitalise on them, develop synergies and make sure that the information available will be feeding the future work of the Taskforce. The meeting also set the basis for a discussion that will lead to the definition of a common Manifesto on how the Public, Cooperative and Social Housing sector intend nearly-Zero Energy homes in Mediterranean climates (click HERE to download the presentations made).

The seminar ended with a presentation of some exemplary low energy buildings in Spain and Italy, followed by a study visit to five publicly-owned low-energy housing projects in Pisa and Empoli area, run by APES Pisa and Publicasa. Along with the above-mentioned site visits, participants also had the opportunity to visit the ‘Centro Ricerche TQV’, a centre for the development of integrated technologies and the nanoScience &Technology lab of the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. This helped participants to have an insight on the technologies available to improve the quality of life of elderly and disabled people in homes as well as an insight on cutting-edge technologies and insulation materials to improve the energy efficiency of our housing stock.

In the video clip below you will find a comprehensive summary of the key aspects of nZEB in Warm/Mediterranean climates as well as an overview of the main messages resulting from the seminar and the study visits that followed…enjoy the video!

Flash is required!

Follow-up to the Divided/Cooperative ownership TaskForce Workshop & Study Visits: Report & Video clip now available!

Follow-up to the Divided/Cooperative ownership TaskForce Workshop & Study Visits: Report & Video clip now available!

A workshop on Financing Energy Efficiency with a focus on housing in divided ownership or multifamily buildings was held on 11-12 June 2013 in Milan, Italy.

The event was organised by Legacoop Abitanti with the contribution of other key partners of the POWER HOUSE TaskForce on Divided/Cooperative Ownership and attended by representatives of the Cooperative and Social Housing sector and experts who have a responsibility in the drafting and management of programs to incentivise and finance energy efficiency (click HERE to download the presentations made).

As result of this exercise, the report “How to finance energy efficiency - focus on Divided/Cooperative ownership”, highlighting the discussions and outcomes from the workshop and the study visit that followed was recently published. This publication includes a closer look into the current housing situation and financial schemes in energy efficiency in Italy and their implications for the divided ownership and housing cooperatives in the country. A number of successful experiences of financing energy efficiency from different European countries which were presented at the workshop are also briefly described, focusing on the limits and priorities for their application in multifamily buildings. Additionally, the report summarises the key features of the two low energy cooperative developments that were visited as part of this event. The report concludes with some recommendations for the cooperative and divided ownership sector in Italy to address the issues of incentivising and implementing energy efficiency.

The workshop was followed by a technical study visit to two nZEB cooperative developments in northern Italy focusing on the use of the Renewable Energy System (RES) in multifamily buildings. The use of RES is an nZEB requirement and its integration, especially solar and geothermal energy, in residential buildings is also a significant theme being looked into by the Taskforce. Around 40 participants attended the visit, including housing and construction experts from Italy and other European countries. The two examples were showcased as models for energy efficiency that responded both to environmental concerns and to other critical aspects such as affordability and inclusiveness. A strong focus was also placed on creating various typologies of dwellings to suit different demands and on the importance of aspects such as spaces for socialisation and the general well-being of residents.

In the video clip below you will find a comprehensive summary of the key aspects of nZEB  in Divided/Cooperative ownership as well as an overview of the main messages resulting from the study visits …enjoy the video!

Flash is required!

Follow-up to the CECODHAS Housing Europe Energy Experts Study Visits

An interesting study visit to two exemplary multi-family buildings took place on 19 September 2013 in the Brussels Capital Region in the framework of the POWER HOUSE nearly-Zero Energy Challenge! project. The visit, dedicated to the energy experts working for the National/Regional Federations represented by CECODHAS Housing Europe, was organised by Bruxelles Environment, an initiative of the Brussels Capital Region.

During the day, participants had the opportunity to visit the following two sites and hear directly from the architects the technical aspects related to the projects:

Rue d’Ostende, 1080 Molenbeek-Saint-Jean
The project is part of a contract of the Rives Ouest area of Molenbeek- Saint-Jean municipality. It is set at the corner of the Ostende and Vanderdussen streets, in a densely populated area. It has eight apartments of varied configurations, from one to four bedrooms, in simplex or duplex. These houses are designed to be managed by the Municipal Administration so as to offer low cost housing. The building complies with the “passive building” standard, thanks to thick layers of insulating material. The construction materials are chosen by taking into account their environmental balance, their origin and their low embedded energy.

According to the principles of bioclimatic design, the architecture of the envelope of the building and the organisation of the plan in accord with the orientation contribute to reducing energy requirements. In this project, the poor orientation of the plot of land led to the design of bow-windows that are better oriented towards and designed to soak in plenty of sunlight. The living rooms are spread out, especially with respect to the best orientation that the plot of land offers. In the North on the other hand, the drilling work is limited and the premises requiring little heating are set up here, such as the shared premises (bicycle station and pushchair station), the entrance hall and the stairwell. Furthermore, all the apartments are accessible to persons with reduced mobility with corridors that allow wheel chairs to move and rotate easily. The doors are not only sufficiently wide, but also allow a good grasp of the handle and provide proper clearance of the door. It is necessary to use a lift to access the floors.

Rue Locquenghien 20-28, 1000 Brussels
This project consists in a new passive building with 12 apartments, and in the construction and renovation of a passive building (and low-energy for the existing part) with a day care centre for children, plus 5 apartments. The project is located 20/28 rue Locquenghien.

The building will be designed (budget, layout, exterior obligations) to satisfy the energy performance standards specific to the initial situation (new build or renovation). Particularly, passive standards will be used for the new part, and low-energy standards for the renovation work. A number of factors combine (highly effective envelope; high level of airtightness; high performance heat exchanger; thermal bridges minimized through design] to reduce the building’s heating requirements to practically zero. Cooling strategies (such as reduced external loads, and sunscreens on all facades facing West) will guarantee summer comfort. Likewise, energy-efficient equipment will be chosen, which will reduce internal loads, whilst remaining loads are dissipated (amongst other means) by a manually opening the windows at night. In this way, energy requirements will be lower. Remaining requirements will be satisfied, to the greatest extent possible, by renewable energy (solar thermal panels).

For further information on sustainable buildings in the Brussels region, please do not hesitate to visit: http://www.sustainablecity.be/themas/sustainable-building.


The sole responsibility for the content of this Newsletter lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union. Neither the EACI nor the European Commission is responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

For further information, please visit www.powerhouseeurope.eu