Thoroughly underlying analyses/studies led to retrofitting based on energy efficient criteria and a prioritization on the use of renewable resources
The EDEA RENOV project consisted of several studies intended to identify the techniques and measures best suited for retrofitting dwellings. Six dwellings were retrofitted with energy improvements such as insulation improvements, windows and doors replacement and new HVAC systems. Further energy efficiency rehabilitation studies and execution projects for additional retrofits of 63 dwellings in Mérida were prepared which will start when funds are available. Other measures in the Santa Engracia (Badajoz) and San Lázaro (Mérida) social neighbourhoods were:
-Climate analysis of the neighbourhoods
-Development of more than 130 dwellings floor and elevation plans and more than 50 dwellings energy studies
-Monitoring of 8 dwellings and testing 3 different monitoring systems
-Energy rehabilitation workshops for social dwelling users (40 participants).
-Assessment for social dwelling users in the neighbourhoods’ technical offices: activities coordination, grants request, installation guidelines etc.
-Thermography and “Blower Door” tests in order to evaluate energy improvements implemented
Energy performance in the six retrofitted dwellings improved from 60,26 kWh/m2 to 46,57 kWh/m2. The retrofits were funded through European funds and the project consortium. This approach meant no costs for residents. As such, this practice demonstrates the importance of detail-oriented strategies needed before greening the social housing sector to get the best result in local contexts.
500,000€ funded by European funds (50%) and by the project consortium (50%) were used to conduct all underlying studies to select the best measures. The resources were also used to retrofit six dwellings and the buildings of three local associations in the area.
Evidence of success
Improved energy efficiency of six social housing dwellings is notable given the small budget. The resources were also used for a thorough analysis of the best measures to improve resource efficiency in the local/regional context, which was important for achieving the most appropriate result. The analyses could also be used when future funding for retrofitting the remaining dwellings are available and as such, are an important asset for rehabilitation projects in the area.
At first, residents were suspicious of collaborative efforts with local authorities. This was based on their perception of public and private development entities. Once the partnership focused their activities through the neighbourhoods’ associations, all previous difficulties were eliminated.
Potential for learning or transfer
As pointed out, several studies were made with the aim to identify best practices and measures for retrofitting the dwellings. These studies had a regional scope. One of the measures included a workshop on energy rehabilitation with social housing residents. Thus, the techniques and measures selected could be reproduced for the entire region and in other regions with a similar climatology to Extremadura. More importantly, the fact that these analyses could identify the best techniques and measures is a good practice in itself and a process that could be scaled and transferred to other places.
Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.