First BuildHeat newsletter – May 2016

30 May 2016

Through the retrofit of multifamily houses with the best available technologies, BuildHeat favours residential wellbeing bringing high-energy performance, comfort and healthiness.

Making construction more efficient is key to maintain European’s competitiveness, as well as globally benefitting the environment in which we live. Our ambition is to provide models and methodologies to decrease energy and resources consumption, but also to provide a change in the energy consumption paradigm, turning citizen from consumer to prosumer.

A first solution for the renovation of the heating and cooling system moves around integrating heat pump plus solar thermal systems to thermal energy storages located in each single dwelling.

This allows to increase the total storage capacity of the building usually limited by the narrow spaces available in the existing technical rooms, to reduce thermal losses between technical room and apartments, and to optimally control the state of charge of the storages based on the users behaviour.

A second technical solution develops couples of plug and play mechanical ventilation with air-to-air heat pump that serves a single dwelling with a small PV field generating as much electricity as to drive the unit. The integration is devoted to the full self-consumption of the renewable electricity. Also in this case, the plug and play unit is equipped with a tank for the storage of the thermal energy necessary to cover the domestic hot water needs of the apartment.

In both cases, work is put into selecting the proper ICT infrastructure, guaranteeing the communication of the operation and energy use information from the single dwellings to users and to building managers.

The installation of solar thermal and PV technologies in multifamily houses requires that the façades of the building are used, if a significant amount of renewable energy harvest is pursued. For this reason, BuildHeat is designing a flexible solution of a multifunctional façade allowing for the easy installation of insulation, cladding and active elements (such as solar thermal and PV panels).

BuildHeat integrated solutions allow to reduce the space heating and domestic hot water demand from the actual standards (170-190 kWh/m2y) to around 50 – 70 kWh/m2y.

Driver of the developments is an investment cost of the renovation in the range of 50-60% less, compared with the new built.

It is an exciting prospect to seek out integrated responses to these issues and to pioneer a set of solutions that will be adopted throughout Europe and beyond: the planned retrofit measures will be put into practice in three demo cases (Rome, Zaragoza and Salford).

Please feel free to encourage other stakeholders or interested parties to subscribe to it, keep an eye on BuildHeat and get in touch whenever you feel it would be appropriate to point us to new sectors, developments or complementary initiatives.

Click here to download the complete BuildHeat Newsletter.

New interventions to reduce consumption of apartment buildings

5 Oct 2015 - There are 1 million apartment buildings in Italy, representing around 70% of Italian Homes. The Institute for Renewable Energy of the EURAC is leading a European project that aims to reduce consumption of these structures by up to 80% using a new package of measures for improving energy performance.The Institute for Renewable Energy at EURAC has a strong track record of research and development of practical solutions to reduce energy consumption through renovation, or retrofit. ... read more
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