POWER HOUSE nZEC & Solar Decathlon Europe 2014, Versailles

Symposium: "The City of Tomorrow and the Fair Energy Transition: the role of affordable and social housing providers"

                                                  3 July 2014 - La Cité du Soleil, Versailles

European cities have a key role to play in addressing the economic, social and environmental issues arising. Urbanisation, affordable housing, energy efficiency, social inclusion and governance strategies are some of the many challenges that the cities of tomorrow and their inhabitants will be facing. There is a general consensus on the need for an integrated, collaborative approach towards achieving sustainable and people-centred urban development in European cities.

To further explore this field, Housing Europe, under the aegis of the POWER HOUSE Nearly Zero Energy Challenge initiative, has teamed up with the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 to address these interlinked challenges and explore opportunities for stakeholders across all sectors to work together and join up solutions.

Setting the scene: the 4 challenges that cities of tomorrow and social housing providers will be facing

The first part of the POWER HOUSE nZEC! Symposium was dedicated to the role of social and affordable housing providers within the urban context. The aim of the morning session was first to assess the issues that cities of tomorrow will be facing in the near future and discuss with local authorities’ representatives and social housing experts about how to address the identified four challenges reported below:

Growing population: shortage of land & urban sprawl;

Energy: nearly-Zero Energy Buildings and fight against Fuel Poverty;

Living together: evolution of way of life, new needs, new services and technologies;

New governance strategies: the role of inhabitants in managing and shaping the city of tomorrow.

Please download here the presentations made during the event:

Welcome speech
Mr Kurt Eliasson - President of Housing Europe

The European urban agenda, the energy jump and affordable housing
Mr Mark Frequin - General Director for Housing and Building, Ministry of the Interior, The Netherlands

The City of Tomorrow for all: what are the challenges at stake?
Mr Jean Haëntjens - Economist and Urban Planner

Watch the video that triggered the dialogue with local authorities’ representatives (a full report of the event summarising the main outcomes of the debate will be soon made available):

Mr Marcos Muro Nájera - Basque Country, Spain
Mr Morten Kabell - Copenhagen, Denmark
Mr Christos Doulkeridis - Brussels, Belgium
Mr Pierre Calame - Fondation Léopold Mayer, France


Watch the video that inspired the exchange with social housing experts (a full report of the event summarising the main outcomes of the debate will be soon made available):

Mr Steve Cole - National Housing Federation, England
Mr Sebtien Garnier - AEDES, The Netherlands
Mr Özgür Öner - GdW, Germany
Mr Stéphane Dambrine - Paris Habitat, France

The contribution of the POWER HOUSE nearly-Zero TaskForces to the fair energy transition

The second part of the day focused on the work carried out by the POWER HOUSE nearly-Zero TaskForces. Four TaskForces were set up in order to make partners of the POWER HOUSE initiative work together according to the different climate zones they are operating in, also by taking into account the different type of tenure and an issue of common interest…how to finance energy retrofitting and new-build!

The POWER HOUSE nearly-Zero Energy Challenge! - Opening Remarks
Mr Marco Corradi - Chair of the POWER HOUSE nZEC initiative

Discussion with the POWER HOUSE TaskForces:

Excerpt of video clips shot during the various study visits organised in the framework of the POWER HOUSE nZEC project were shown in order to trigger the debate with the Coordinators of the respective TaskFroces while emphasising their respective peculiarities (please note that full video-clips are available on the Housing Europe YouTube Channel!)

Warm/Mediterranean climates TaskForce
Ms Anna Maria Pozzo (Federcasa) & Mr Carlos de Astorza (AVS)

The video offered the opportunity to introduce the main points of the Med Manifesto, a ten-point document produced by the TaskForce outlining the characteristics of the nearly-Zero Mediterranean house; attention to the climate factors and orientation,  use of natural and local materials and a correct mix of active and passive systems, are all key issues to be take in to account while designing buildings in MED climates.

Cold/Continental climates TaskForce
Ms Eva Bauer (Gbv) & Mr Walter Hüttler (e7)

The video gave the opportunity to introduce the debate about Low Energy vs Passive House standards and present the results of an empirical analysis carried out in Austria by Gbv, the coordinator of the TaskForce. The key finding of the work is that taking the real consumption into consideration and calculating primary energy, the ecological advantage of very low energy vs passive buildings is non significant if any.

Divided/Cooperative ownership TaskForce
Ms Sara Zoni (Finabita)

The video showed the importance of working with residents in Divided and Cooperative property buildings since the role of tenants or owners is crucial for the decision making process, especially for what concerns the retrofitting of existing buildings; it also offered the opportunity to present the key findings of the Report on legal & organizational framework and communication & marketing actions produced by the TaskForce.

Innovative refurbishment solution: 

The Energie Sprong approach: Non-intrusive affordable refurbishment within a week
Mr Ron van Erck - Energie Sprong

Financing the nearly-Zero Energy Challenge:

Scaling up investments in green and affordable housing: the point of view of housing providers
Mr Julien Dijol - Housing Europe

Financing energy efficiency improvements in buildings
Mr Juan Alario - European Investment Bank

Recommendations from TaskForces on effective Renovations Roadmaps and presentations of the on-line data base HIVE:

Concerted Action EPBD Core Theme 5 "Towards 2020 - Nearly zero-energy buildings"
Ms Heike Erhorn-Kluttig - EU Concerted Action-EPBD

Tracking real energy consumption - the POWER HOUSE Pilots & the HIVE Database
Ms Sorcha Edwards - Sectary General of Housing Europe 

Being a Solar Decathlon Winner: The experience of the SDE2012 winner “Canopea - Rhône Alpes project”

What happened afterwards?
by Mr Maxime Bonnevie - Project Manager Team Rhône-Alpes SDE2012

Canopea Nano Towers was selected on the basis of its holistic urban approach, with grids for heat and energy, waste removal and treatment systems and its emphasis on social connectivity and common space. To find out more, watch the video shot in 2012 in Madrid explaining why the Canopea - Rhône Alpes project won the “Housing Europe meets Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 Award - For a Fair Energy Transition in the EU”.

Closing Remarks:

Exemplary buildings in Brussels-Capital Region
Ms Evelyne Huytebroeck - Brussels Minister of Environment, Energy and Urban Renewal

Award Ceremony

The "Housing Europe meets Solar Decathlon 2014 Award"- To conclude the event, a Team of Jurors coordinated by Housing Europe evaluated the 20 proposed projects and awarded the “Housing Europe meets Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 Award - For a Fair Energy Transition in the EU”.

Mr Georges Bullion - President of the Jury, Chair of the Housing Europe Sustainable Urban Working Group

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