News and Events

Tools for maintenance & performance documentation

By Elsebeth Terkelsen, Architect MAA, Aarhus School of Architecture and Olav Kirchhoff, Development Consultant, Association of Social Housing Organisations, BL, Denmark

The life of a building AFTER it is designed, needs to be an important focus area in the design process. But it is often forgotten. Architects and designers need to be addressed and made aware of their responsibility of including design of technical installations, accessibility of the technical installations, position of meters etc. in retrofitting and new building projects. Designers and architects should become much more aware and acquainted with the technologies for operation and maintenance of buildings in order to develop retrofitting and low energy buildings in our future society. The social housing organisations and the building owners should at the same time be better at demanding design of the management and operation of the buildings – new build or retrofitting.

Inspiration from USA

The project has inspiration from USA concerning two central elements in the methodological framework of the project:

  • Retro-Commissioning and
  • Evaluation, Verification and Measurement concepts.

The retro commissioning (RCx) is defined as the “systematic process for improving an existing building’s performance by identifying and implementing relatively low cost operational and maintenance improvements, helping to ensure that the building’s performance meets owner expectations”. See also article on “Successful retro-commissioning process in Lystrup”.

The methods for evaluating, measuring and verifying the pilot sites in the project are also developed on behalf of American experiences. AFTER uses the IPMVP (International Performance and Measurement Verification Protocol) as common basis to elaborate its own testing protocol. IPMVP has been launched in 1995 by the US Department of Energy (“North American Energy Measurement and Verification Protocol”). Its aim was to provide a general tool to quantify and assess energy savings created by ESCOs (Energy Saving Companies).

New tools

In the AFTER project we have developed a methodological framework and tested a set of “tools” to identify problems, possible improvements and optimizations concerning management and operation of new low energy and energy renovated buildings

The methodological framework of the project has been developed in cooperation between the scientific partners and the social housing organisations, associations, and the tenants’ organisations in the project.

As a result, the AFTER project has created a number of tools, which can help social housing organisations or private house owners to optimize their buildings’ performance.

Handbook

When working with performance documentation it is extremely important to develop a set of definitions to be able to describe and compare the results.

The Handbook is a common platform with definitions. The Handbook gives the specification of the perimeter, metering units, nature and specific remarks to help the common understanding.

A big, but also well-known challenge has been to calculate the square meters as the basis for finding the right and comparable data for the energy consumption and the economy of the energy savings. The way we calculate areas in the different European countries is very different. But the Handbook gives an overview of the different calculation methods and points out the one to use to compare energy saving and economic results in the context.

An important element has also been the definition of baseline and metering period, and the Heating Degree Days.

You can access the hanbook here

Fact sheets

In 84 fact sheets we are describing all the energy saving measures that have been listed in the AFTER project. The fact sheets can be defined as a “catalogue of good ideas” for optimizing the buildings’ energy performance.

The social housing organisations and scientific experts have developed the fact sheets in cooperation. The focus is not only on the technical or managing issues, but also the experiences and tips for others, interested in implementing the energy saving measures.

Retro-Commissioning

An important, new element in the operation and management of social housing might be the Retro-Commisioning. It can be described as a building check in twelve steps and is the background for preparing a Master List of Deficiencies and suggestions for energy saving measures, improvements and optimizations.

The Retro-Commisioning (RCx) focuses on offices and industry buildings. In the AFTER project, we focus on the social housing sector, and the conditions in this sector. The results show that important elements in RCx and in revealing the problems in the buildings are

  • Registration of the energy use – big variations over the year(s) show, if action is needed. It might be technical and / or dependant on tenants’ behaviour or awareness.
  • Registration of tenants’ complaints can indicate that there are some technical problems in the building that need to be solved.
  • Interview with the caretaker might reveal bigger problems in the building.
  • A structured method with questions and documentation – like the RCx – helps the process.

In Lystrup (Danemark), for instance, the interview with the tenants and the caretaker revealed some construction failures, resulting in problems with the indoor climate, the temperature in the rooms and the comfort for the tenants. Fortunately the failure was discovered before the end of the guarantee and could be improved without costs for the owner.

A closer description of the twelve steps and the RCx process is integrated in the description of the methodology and can be found here

Common Evaluation Protocol or “M&V Plan”

A very important element in AFTER is the performance documentation. The Common Evaluation Protocol, or – as it came to be called in the project – the M&V Plan, describes the process to collect the different data necessary to evaluate the energy performance, the economical performance and the social performance, the necessary indicators, how to measure, by what means (meters), baseline and reporting periods.

The M&V Plan consists of all the practical information for measurement & verification of an energy saving measure. It follows the general structure of the IPMVP (International Performance and Measurement Verification Protocol), simplifying some of its aspects. Its main objective is to illustrate a process of assessment that can be adapted to every type of intervention in the housing stock.

Conclusion

The most important conclusion from developing and testing the tools in the AFTER project has been experiencing the importance and necessity of checking the building performance after finishing the new low energy building or the retrofitting. It was of course the thesis of the AFTER project that we could expect findings to improve the energy performance. But the lack of tools and formalized processes to measure and verify the performance was surprising. We generally had a big challenge in finding data.

The use of the tools has also revealed the importance of focussing on the design of the technical installations. Designers and architects should become much more aware and acquainted with the technologies for operation and maintenance of buildings to make it easier to see and control the installations for heating, water, ventilation etc. Dataloggers could be an integrated part of the building – strategically located e.g. to measure the use of hot and cold water, both for the information of the tenants, living there, and for the social housing company.

The social housing organisations and the building owners should at the same time be much better at demanding design of the management and operation of the buildings – new build and retrofitting.

Finally the surprises in construction and dimensioning of installations, lacking of setup of automatics, dysfunctional parts that were not known earlier, and – very important – the very few cases, where the measurement and verification of the operation and maintenance of the building was included in the management and operation of the buildings, calls for much more “AFTER”.

 

 

Focus on… Optimizing the profits after a global refurbishment in the subscription for a district heating network (FR).

“L’Aiguillade” is a building from the 60’s, recently refurbished by Auvergne Habitat (France) in order to improve its energy efficiency and comfort for tenants. The stake for this testing was to identify how much money can be saved thanks to the refurbishment investment, the building being connected to a district heating system. However, the former district heating contract between the Social Housing Company and the energy provider did not allow to take fully into account the energy savings generated and to decrease the energy bills of the tenants to its full extend. The objective of the AFTER measure was to overcome this situation and optimise the economic gains for all the stakeholders.

In 2012, the apartment block L’Aiguillade (126 dwellings) located in Clermont-Ferrand has been completely refurbished by its owner : Auvergne Habitat.

The main improvements included:

• the refurbishment of the roof insulation (Thermic insulation FOAM glass / R=3,33 m2.kw),

• a new external thermic insulation (no insulation to façade: thermic insulation polystyrene expanse tightness : 120 mm / R = 2,43 m2.kW)

• windows replacement from wood simple-glazing to PVC carpentries with double-glazing with a thermic performance UW=1, 4 W/m2.K).

• Improvement of the ventilation system with implementation of an innovative hybrid ventilation system

L’Aiguillade is connected to the municipal (Clermont – Ferrand) district heating system. As a part of the City sustainable strategy, a new boiler supporting a new energy mix (20% gas, 80% wood) has also recently been installed for this district heating network.

The new subscription contract between the Social Housing Company and the energy provider has been updated in 2010. Part of this renegociation involves a new mechanism to calculate the price for energy provision. This opportunity allows Auvergne Habitat to take into account savings induced by energy refurbishments of the existing buildings connected to the heating network.

Calculating the District heating prices

The pricing for a district heating subscription is divided in two parts:

– A proportional part (identified as R1-factor) based on the quantity of calories consumed by the building during a heating season. R1-factor  is obtained reading the energy meter of the building substation (difference between the value for the end of the heating season and the beginning of the heating season).

– A fix part (identified as R2-factor) covers the price of the subscription to the heating network (maintenance, replacement of systems, etc.). The way the R2-factor part is calculated, is a new element included in the 2010 district heating contract.

In the old subscription contract, before 2010, the R2-factor was calculated using the surface of the building. This pricing was not an incentive to implement energy refurbishments. Since refurbishments do not change the total surface of a building, it wouldn’t impact the R2: saving energy but not money!

In the new subscription contract, R2 is calculated using an indicator: the «average power demand». This APD is based, not on the actual consumption of a building, but on its theoretical “need for energy” (both heating and domestic hot water). This “need of energy” is calculated depending on an average energy performance of the building for a fix amount of running hours and adjusted using a fixed average heating period (2516 Heating Degree Days in Clermont-Ferrand).

This new calculation formula is interesting, as refurbishments will immediately lower the “Average Power Demand” of a building, thus decreasing the price for the R2-factor of the district heating.

As Auvergne Habitat has implemented an efficient global refurbishment in 2012 for l’Aiguillade, the APD of the building has been significantly modified. This is a major opportunity for Auvergne Habitat to take advantage of its new contract!

The process led by Auvergne Habitat in AFTER aims at quantifying the energy savings obtained thanks to the refurbishment (including the CO2 impacts induced by the new energy mix) in order to update the part R2 of its district heating subscription.

 

Energy savings related for heating after/before the refurbishment (calculated on a contractual basis with the district heating provider):

42% thanks to the refurbishment.

Savings for heating calculated in EUR regarding the price for energy (included in the district heating subscription contract /R1-factor  calculation)

22 518 EUR saved per year (R1-factor price for energy: 38,825 EUR/mWh).

Impact of the modification of Average Power Demand (included in the district heating subscription contract /R2-factor calculation): 12 315 EUR saved per year (R2-factor price for energy: 279,90 EUR/mW).

The heating consumption and the savings linked to the refurbishment are fully reported in the energy bills of the tenants. The final average yearly energy savings for every one of the 126 dwellings is about 276, 45 EUR per year thanks to the re-negociation of the district heating subscription for l’Aiguillade.

As a consequence, the optimization of the district heating contract has allowed direct reporting of the impact of the refurbishment on the tenants’ bills. At the same time, an energy awareness campaign has been raised by Auvergne Habitat to inform tenants. Their behaviours will be a key factor for the long-term success of the refurbishment.

 

AFTER: Energy performance and tenants’ involvement

by Iris Behr, IWU – Institut Wohnen und Umwelt, Darmstadt. Tenants awareness is an important aspect of the AFTER project. IWU has been involved in face-to-face actions with tenants of recent low-energy buildings. The article presents the process inmplemented in Darmstadt with the social housing organization bauverein AG. The campain concerns the passive building WOHNART 3 ( 44 dwellings) and focus on the optimization of energy consumptions for domestic hot water.

Tenants’ involvement regarding the energy savings is essential to tackle the energy efficiency topic in a building. The technical and financial aspects of optimization potentials have to be coupled with the optimization potentials geared by the tenants. An energy saving measure that is poorly understood or that is not well managed by the concerned tenants or even not accepted by the tenants will be inefficient and costly. As nearly all optimization measures of AFTER executed in the social housing organizations (SHOs) affect the tenants it was a must to address the tenants. Tenants of a passive house in Darmstadt/ Germany had been interviewed on their energy related behavior, i. e. their heating habits, the way of hot water consumption and the use ofn electricity. Next to this the tenants had been asked on their present satisfaction with the issues mentioned. Their expectations on energy saving potentials in general and in respect to the particular optimization measure as well as their overall environmental protection attitudes had been investigated. Their ideas and whishes in respect to information on energy saving had been of relevance in the surveys.

What had been done in Darmstadt?

Passive houses by definition show little additional saving potentials. The German example, a 4 storey-passive house with 44 families addressed the hot water delivery. Hot water production and the needed energy equals to nearly 50 % of the whole energy consumption in a passive house. Even if the absolute saving figures will be small the assumption was that some 7 % savings will be achieved. While the technical intervention was small – stopping the circulation pump for several hours during the night, the legal and tenants’ impact was important: German court rulings demand hot water delivery with very little delay (not more than 3 liters in order to reach 55° C hot water). New health standards (2013) demand 55 ° C in order to prevent the breed of legionella. It is this prerequisite that limited the stop of the circulation pump to 6 hours between 11 – 5 instead of the planned 8 hours per night. Tenants’ acceptance of the optimization measure was not only desirable but a must in order to avoid
complaints in front of the courts. Therefore a manifold tenants’ approach was chosen.

Comparison of domestic hot water consumption peeks during

working days (blue) and weekend (red) (0-24 h)

Tenants’ interventions

A first tenants’ meeting at the premises of the pilot site WohnArt3 the overall information of the AFTER project, the results of the water consumption data and the intended optimization was introduced. The prepared tenants’ survey was pretested together with the participating tenants. There were valuable recommendations to improve the questionnaire. The tenants took the chance to present other recommendations and complaints going beyond the hot water issue. The recommendations mainly addressed the existing handbook “Leben im Passivhaus” (living in a passive house) which had been handed out to all tenants while they moved in in the year 2010. All issues touched (heating and shading, air dryness, doors and window insulation, maintenance of particular passive house technical equipment) are of high interest for the SHOs and useful for the retro commissioning process.

Results

The questionnaire asked for satisfaction, awareness and knowledge as well as behavior of the tenants. Out of the 44 households 27 households participated in the survey. The overall satisfaction with the “living situation” is very good: 80 % of the households are satisfied with their present living situation. The passive house standard and the expected low heating costs had been a motive for renting a flat in the passive house. For 77 % of the households the passive house standard was a reason to choose such a flat. Putting the questions slightly different and asking for low heating costs in the passive house, 40 % focus on the savings in heat costs, 35 % stress the contribution to climate protection while 16 % appreciate the high comfort going along with the passive house. The awareness and knowledge on the passive house technologies is very high. More than 77 % are well informed on the particular passive house technology. Means of information are broadly spread – the handbook is one amongst many. It
was suggested to publish an English version of the handbook. Additional information is requested in respect to water saving, proper heating and shading in particular addressing the controlled heating system. The indoor climate is seen as a difficult issue for 54 % of the inhabitants. An amazing high proportion of 91 % is interested in energy-cost-saving and even more inhabitants (96%) are well aware of the environment.

Looking at the particular issue of hot water delivery and saving there is a very high satisfaction (73 %) with the present hot water delivery. A huge majority would accept 40° temperature for rinsing the dishes (82 %) and hot water for showering (72%). A majority of 91 % finds a hot water delay during the night very acceptable. In order to save energy costs 78 % would accept a comfort reduction. The described opinions and expectations are in line with the tenants’ habits in respect to water consumption. 81 % of the households use water saving appliances like toilet flushes, warm water connection for dishwasher and washing machine, water saving shower appliances and water saving taps. The tenants report that they take a shower instead of a bath and use cold water for hand washing instead of warm water. The dishwasher and the washing machine run only while the machine is fully loaded at 90 % of the households.)

Next steps

In February 2014 a second tenants’ meeting had taken place where the above described results had been discussed and the personal opinion of the participating tenants were exchanged. The new water regime is well received and no real complaints had been expressed. In order to verify these results additional questions will be asked and a third tenants’ meeting will be convened. It will then come to the test whether the consumption measurement will show the expected savings of energy, CO2 and costs.

 

INTERVIEW WITH JULIEN BONNET – DELPHIS

DELPHIS is coordinating the AFTER project since May 2011. As the project is ending in May 2014, after 36 months of action, the coordinator provides us a general overview of the project and its main results. All the conclusions of the project will be delivered on the 5th of July 2014 on the AFTER website (afterproject.eu). Julien Bonnet, coordinator of the AFTER project, presents the main lessons learnt highlighted by the 18 partners after more than 3 years of action

 

Mr Bonnet, Can you tell us more about DELPHIS and yourself ?

DELPHIS is a research and development institute based in Paris and focusing on the social housing sector. Our network is gathering 27 Social Housing
Organizations. We are leading for them activities aiming at identifying and disseminating best practices and quality processes. Our activities cover various topics such as energy performance, corporate social responsibility, ageing and social integration. DELPHIS also carries out and participate to several european projects concerning issues related to the social housing management. DELPHIS has been involved in 2013 in 3 European projects.

My work at DELPHIS focuses on the technical aspects related to the social housing stock including energy efficiency, indoor comfort and urban integration. As a part of these activities, I am leading coordination aspects of the AFTER project.

Why did you (and DELPHIS) decide to take part in the AFTER project?

The AFTER project is targeting relevant stakes for both European and French Social Housing Companies. Research and Development activities about energy often focus on high-profile innovations concerning new constructions. Interesting impacts and efficient energy saving measures are often highlighted in these buldings.

Nevertheless, the proportion of the total housing stock concerned is limited. The objective of the AFTER project is to extend our research activities to 100% of the existing housing stock focusing on measures related to its management and maintenance. The post-investment phase is, for us, a major challenge as it still contains unexplored potentials for energy savings. AFTER is an ambitious and down-to-earth project. Its strenghts: a large scale of the housing stock concerned by AFTER energy saving measures, low-cost investment interventions, simple actions to ensure the energy performance of efficient buildings and their equipment.

Due to the economic context and the growing complexity of the new systems and design, Social housing need to be concentrated on pragmatic solutions and knowledge in order to reach ambitious European objectives concerning energy.

What are the main objectives of the project ?

As the name of the project might suggest, we are looking for energy solutions to be implemented «after» the design and construction phases. The challenge aims at finding adjustments and corrections to bring the building up to its energy and economic performance and to optimize it. As a matter of fact, AFTER is covering a large range of actions related to the energy performance. This includes technical interventions on heating, ventilation or domestic hot water systems but also measures related to the contracts and tenants awereness. Managing and highlighting this variety of approaches is one key issue for the project.

What were your expectations at the beginning of the project? Do you think they have been reached?

The AFTER results correspond to the original objectives mentioned in our original agenda. An exhaustive inventory of existing energy saving measures has been delivered by the partners. 18 Pilot Sites have been involved in the project including more than 1000 dwellings in 6 different countries. 3 to 7% of additional savings have been achieved concerning these Pilot Sites. These savings are related to already implemented investments such as global refurbishments, replacement of boilers or construction of lowenergy buildings. The project was intended to create a methodological framework to assess and guide these measures. A complete scientific methodology for the project is existing and has been disseminated on the website.

What have been the main challenges during the project?

The data collection has been one of the main challenges of the project. Figures about energy consumptions and costs are often difficult to collect within social housing organizations. The diversity of measurements and legislation don’t make this task easy and this task can be quite time-consuming ! SHOs have been very involved in collecting the requested data (sometimes implementing complementary monitoring systems) using the templates provided by the Scientific Committee of the project.

Tenants awareness is also a major stake for the AFTER project. Participating organizations have tried to inform all the tenants about our works. This task is very interesting as efficient information and sustainable behaviors are requested to guarantee energy performance of buildings. AFTER sometimes focus on very technical
measures. Finding the relevant level of information was an ambitious challenge. General information has been disseminated to the tenants on the major part of our Pilot Sites. Feedback from tenants is globally positive as savings have been achieved without degrading comfort..

In your opinion, will services like the one developed in AFTER be widely replicated in the future, and if so why?

AFTER is covering different types of energy saving measures. Interesting results have been raised concerning interventions such as intelligent monitoring solutions for heating, hybrid ventilation, balancing of oversized heating systems, control of the domestic hot water consumptions in low energy buildings or tenants campaigns.
Efficient impacts have been achieved with limited investments. All the results will impact the future routines of our participating Social Housing Organizations and can be used as recommandations and toolbox for the other European Social Housing Companies. The deliverables of the project try to be as practical as possible and are directly targeting pratictioners of the social housing sector.

 

11-16/03 /2014 AFTER at…  53rd International Home Fair Ljubljana

The International Home Fair is the largest specialized fair event covering the domain of civil engineering in Slovenia. Apart from product exhibitions and services, there are experts that will offer the right solutions concerning renovation, remediation, energy consulting, prefabricated wood house construction, etc. The Fair lasts for six days and comprises 585 companies from 33 countries. 50 000 visitors are expected. The fair is a major Slovene event and one of the most visited event in the country

On the 11th of March a workshop was organized under the IEE AFTER project, called ‘’How to Act in Residential Building Renovation,’’ where representatives of the Building and Civil Engineering Institute ZRMK, alongside two respective representatives of managers of SPL Ljubljana and SPEKTER Trbovlje, presented the measures that can be taken, supported by examples of energy efficient residential building improvements. The workshop was attended by residents, landlords, managers, maintenance technicians,and others who are interested in energy efficiency. Special emphasis was put on the analysis of energy savings in optimizing the operation, maintenance and managing of the building stock. The Slovenian national television reported on the After project workshop in its news programme.

Many topics of discussion,regarding sustainable use of energy and its environemental aspects were debated. For instance: the consequences of poor quality or
deficient instalation of thermal insulation (such as algae, mould and moisture). Another topic was was error detection in the building wrap, using thermography and airtightness testing. The criteria for choosing product and services was also discussed : how to choose between low proces, local craftmanship and aspects of sustainability?

The round table saw a lively discussion on the problematic of planning and monitoring the functioning of a building from the moment of moving in. Interest in the contents was show by designer engineers, maintenance technicians and contractors.So far, in our meetings, we have mostly reached the same conclusions regarding the implementation of measures in multi-owner buildings: special attention and extra effort must be put into raising awareness among fieldwork managers. They are the one that have face-toface contact with building owners due to the specific ownership structure : 80% appartement owner, 10% rented accomodation). Decisions about about substantial maintenance work are made with the consent of a great number of owners in a particular building (in order to carry out individual measures, 50% of owners must agree to it, and 75% if an upgrade is in question).

That is why it is that much more important to have well-educated managers, who will establish a personal relation with the owners and hand them relevant and expert information. Under the Fair, SPL prepared the presentation of the project in the form of a leaflet. They are successfully spreading the information at their exhibition area, with the interest being high.

This year, as well, visitors have the opportunity to take advantage of free counselling and lectures at the consultancy and exhibition area in the GI ZRMK organization. They organize events pertaining to building energy, remediation, sustainable construction, energy performance certificates, and the like. Citizens can partake in individual expert and free-of-charge energy consultation. Lectures and workshops welcome investors, managers, experts, real estate agents, local community representatives, and national bodies alike. Presentations include sustainable construction and planning, energy efficiency of household appliances, energy efficient construction and renovation of residential buildings, energy performance certificates, networking and training experts in producing energy performance certificates, carrying out energy audits, and environmental and sustainable building assessment, with emphasis on green public procurement and taking into consideration the LCA and LCC methods, low-energy buildings, improvements in earthquake resistance and the possibilities of financing in the field of energy.

 

 

INTRODUCTION OF THE SLOVENIAN PILOT SITES

April 2014

In the framework of the AFTER Project, 3 Pilot Energy Saving Measures are implemented in Trbovlje within the social housing stock of the non profit housing operator SPEKTER, manager of 1900 living units, rents apartments for non profit rent, in highly degraded environment which is a result of many years of mining and excessive pollution (thermal power plant, cement and chemical factory…).. These measures and their impacts in terms of Energy Savings are assessed and optimized thanks to the help of the Scientific partners Gradbeni inštitut ZRMK (ZRMK) and SPL Ljubljana D.D. Poslovanje Z Nepremicninami In Inženiring (SPL), also in charge of dissemination activities.

Adress : Trg Revolucije 16, TRBOVLJE

Number of appartements : 52

Year of construction : 1970

 

 

Adress : Trg Franca Fakina 2a, TRBOVLJE

Number of appartements : 31

Year of construction: 1990

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adress : Savinjska Cesta 9b, TRBOVLJE

Number of appartements : 13

Year of construction: 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SLOVENIAN PARTNERS OF THE AFTER PROJECT

April 2014

SPEKTER d.o.o. Trbovlje (SPEKTER) is one of two companies – manager of the housing stock in Slovenia, a non-profit housing organization, owner of 1900 living units, rents apartments for non profit rent, in highly degraded environment which is a result of many years of mining and excessive pollution (thermal power plant, cement and chemical factory…).
Housing is rented mostly to socially week people. SPEKTER is interested in lowering energy consumption because this reduces living cost and consequentially decreased also environmental pressures.

 

Gradbeni inštitut ZRMK (ZRMK) acts as an R&D and consultancy company in the building and civil engineering sector. The company focuses on several fields as buildings and civil engineering including rational use of energy (RUE) and renewable energy sources (RES) in new construction and refurbishment, energy audits and concepts, energy-efficient and environment-conscious building materials, products, and technologies, and also other relevant fields: green labelling, green procurement, climate protection and sustainable development… The company is active on local, regional, national and European level.

 

SPL Ljubljana D.D. Poslovanje Z Nepremicninami In Inženiring (SPL) is a leading Property Management company in Slovenia distinguished by a 40-year tradition in administering, managing and renovating residential and commercial buildings. Labeled ISO 900A, SPL d.d. operates in the central Slovenian region, covering capital city Ljubljana as well as other towns near capital city, e.g. Domžale, Kamnik, Kocevje, Medvode, Mengeš, Ribnica and Trzin and Postojna. SPL provides services to ministries, housing funds and some major corporate clients throughout Slovenia. As a housing facility management company, SPL is in charge, in the frame of AFTER, of reporting energy saving measures and testing new optimized measures.

 

INTERVIEW WITH MR. DEJAN PAPEŽ, DIRECTOR OF THE CZECH REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION

April 2014

As an effective economic lobby, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia has been operating for over 160 years, representing the interests of companies in relation to the state and the unions in matters of creating working conditions, business, and providing conditions for economic development. Its members are provided with new opportunities for development, competitiveness, and foreign market penetration.

The real Estate association is one of the many branches of the Chamber of Commerce. It represents the majority of companies and the sole proprietors dealing in real estate. The chamber provides for the
reputation of the profession. It represents and protects the interests of its members in their field of expertise, as well as business matters. Operating in the framework of the Real Estate Association are Association of Real Estate Agencies, Association of Evaluations Companies, Association of Property Management Companies and Association of Housing Funds

Mr Dejan Papez, Director of the Real estate Association answers our questions :

What is your role in the After project?

As the director of the Real Estate Association, I take part in the National Advisory Board workshops. In Ljubljana alone, there are over 100 000 apartments, mostly within multi-owner buildings. We join powers with the most prominent managers who are members of the Association and with common efforts we reach a large percentage of the target population of owners. We have already presented the project at an event organized by the Real Estate Association. The final findings will be presented at the next real estate consultation in Portorož, which is attended by all prominent managers, public housing funds and real estate service providers from all over Slovenia

Where do you see the possibility of implementing the results of the project?

We are all coming to the conclusion that it is necessary to put more effort into raising awareness among residents. That is why we welcome the opportunity to inform mangers, first and foremost, who, in turn, familiarize floor owners with the possibility of implementing cost saving measures. The After project brings about an analysis of successful practices, which we can use as proof to make residents realize the importance of their active participation and proper use of living quarters.

What is your take on the aspirations to reach the target reduction of energy consumption in Slovenia by 2020?

Simple solutions for big issues. In recent years, the country has been dealing with resolving the crisis and austerity measures. National programmes give special attention to energy saving, with the intent to reduce costs for individuals. By the beginning of the 2011/2012 heating season, floor owners were obliged to install heat dividers, and the results are already showing. The After Project puts forth results which offer the basis for our suggestions of simple solutions with low investment to
consumers. With a technical basis we can, based on the chosen technical solutions, display the savings and return on investments, so that owners find in easier to opt for procedures that entail substantial investments.


INTERVIEW WITH BRANKO ARNŠEK, TECHNICAL MANAGER OF SPEKTER

March 2014

For project AFTER, SPEKTER has been testing an energy saving measure of external shell insulation. External shell insulation is one of the most popular energy saving measure connected to investment in Slovenia as their efficiency is widely known, and combined with the non-refundable subsidies of the Eco Fund, Slovenian Environmental Public Fund, the number of implementations of external shell insulation increases annually as the price of heating energy is becoming more and more expensive.

Since just the implementation of external insulation itself leads to saving more than 20 per cent of heating energy and like the recent unofficial results of the pilot testing activities show, together with raising tenant awareness of a refurbished building, energy saving can raise by another 15% to a combined 38% heating energy
saving. Coaching tenants personally with a home visit instead of organising a meeting or simply leaving printed materials in tenants’ mailboxes proved to be the correct decision (as impersonal methods tend to be less efficient, e.g. tenant meetings of such nature are rarely attended more than 50% and a lot of leaflets wander straight to
the wastepaper bin).

The experience of WP6 pilot site will help SPEKTER gain a greater perspective on actual energy efficiency of external shell insulation combined with proper tenants’ behaviour regarding heating energy usage and ventilating habits. With this information, based on experience of project AFTER, SPEKTER will be able to advice this energy saving measure to flat owners with a greater detail supported by the results of pilot testing. As SPEKTER is managing a majority of housing stock in the municipality, this measure could vastly improve energy efficiency of the housing stock in Trbovlje area, starting in spring 2014 when Eco Fund will publish the new public call for Non-refundable financial incentives to citizens for new investments in renewable energy use and increasing energy performance of multiapartment buildings.

 

Focus On… SHELTER project

December 2013

Innovation in the Procurement of Energy Renovation (supported by the IEE Programme)

The SHELTER Final Event took place in the context of the CECODHAS Housing Europe General Assembly 2013 in association with the Irish EU Presidency, with the participation of hundred people from all European countries. Improving the energy performance of buildings while reducing costs for Social Housing Providers & Residents through better planning along the whole renovation supply chain is the main goal of the IEEfunded project SHELTER

After an introduction on the sector’s current challenges and an outlook on the renovation market trends and their implication for Social Housing Providers, panellist focused on tested innovative coordination and delivery methods in the renovation and construction supply chain, with concrete examples from SHELTER Pilots implemented in England, Italy, Bulgaria, Belgium and France. The last panel was dedicated to financial schemes and access to capital.
The presentation of the AFTER project took place in the second panel, Renovation and Construction Supply Chain Coordination, at the presence of Ms Yamina Saheb in representation of the International Energy Agency (IEA). All the presentation made are downloadable from the Cecodhas website .

www.shelterproject-iee

 

 

 

Focus on … ELIH project

December 2013

Energy Efficiency in Low Income Housing in the Mediterranean (supported by the MED Programme)

ELIH-Med is a strategic project co-financed under the MED Programme. Its attention is focused on energy efficiency in low income housing (LIH) in the Mediterranean area and on the involvement of residents in energy retrofit in LIH in order to help LED area to reach EU2020 objectives.

AFTER has participated to the last meeting of ELIH in Montpellier on the . DELPHIS has presented AFTER activities focusing on the RCx methodology. The AFTER outputs may be interesting to complete the researches led by ELIH after refurbishment. The collaboration between the two projects – that will be strengthen during the last phase of AFTER – is also fruitful as it joins two different zones of Europe fom Greece and Malta (ELIH partners) to Czech Republic and Denmark (AFTER partners).

http://www.elih-med.eu/

 


 

28/08/2013 AFTER at …

«Wirtschaftlicher Einsatz vongering-investiven MaSnahmen im gebäudebestand und im neubau» CONFERENCE

September 2013

The day has been organized thanks to Bauverein AG. The Scientific partner IWU is also participating to this workshop that will present and discuss the main steps of AFTER and of research and developments about Retro-commissioning methodology (cf. AFTER Newsletter #3).

The workshop has been organized thanks to several interventions regarding topics such as «Efficiency in Passive House», «Energy Efficiency at what social cost?», «Focus on energy efficiency of the housing industry – creating facts!», «Retro- Commissioning – Recognize and use Energy Savings», etc.

 

 

06/2012 AFTER at…

September 2012

DANISH NATIONAL ADVISORY BOARD Copenhagen, Denmark

Number of participants: 10
Type of participants: Universities, municipalities, the Danish Facilities Management Network and Social Housing Organisations.

The Danish National Advisory Board met for the second time. Generally the NAB found that the documentation of the energy saving measures in the fact sheets will be very interesting as a catalogue of inspiration and good ideas. Some of the energy saving measures will be more interesting than others in the Danish context – with a very wide spread district heating system. But as an example it was mentioned to use the fact sheets (in a Danish translation) as “help yourself” for the technical staff in the Social Housing Organisations.

The communication with the technical staff is very important. The meters generally have a very bad interface, difficult to understand for the users. It’s important to include that in the evaluation and to disseminate the results to the producers. Awareness raising and information on Retro- Commissioning is a very important result of the AFTER project – in combination with the fact sheets. Trimming the process of operation, maintenance and management in the Social Housing Organisations is an important challenge for saving energy, creating better comfort and improving indoor climate.

 

 

 

 

Focus on… Improving the efficiency for a smart metering portal about energy performance (CZ)

September 2013

In the frame of the project AFTER municipality housing organisation MRA, Ltd. from the city of Havírov, the Czech republic, as other SHOs involved in the project, has realised three pilot optimised energy saving measures. This article describes one of them – the web tool for increase in awareness of the tenants about their water and heating energy consumption.

JABURKOVE is a typical multi-residential building from the municipal housing stock. This building was constructed in 1962 according to a national standard known as T02B and it was refurbished in 2009. It has altogether 36 rental apartments with 73 inhabitants.

The aim of the ESM is to provide the pilot building tenants continuously information about their water and heating energy consumption by means of modern information and communication technologies and to motivate them to the resource savings. At present time once a year the tenants are provided with information about their hot and coldwater consumption and heating energy consumption of previous year by paper form in the frame of annual settlement (invoice) when in fact the tenants can not change the consumption.

The technical solution includes in terms of hardware wireless digital RF 868 MHz thermometers of inside temperature and cold, hot water meters with pulse output that have been installed in the pilot apartments. In the common parts of the house there has been installed RF outdoor thermometer, building gateway and repeaters that ensure signal transmission. Elements are powered with inside long life batteries. Readings of water consumption data, temperatures, energy for heating the house are done every 20 minutes and transmitted to the building gateway with wireless technology. The gateway is connected to internet distributions. The consumption data are sent from the building to central server where they are stored, processed and visualised to the users on the web portal in graphical and numerical form. The heating energy consumption per apartment is calculated with degree-day method. The tenants have received login name and password to the web application.

The ESM has been optimised with education materials that have been distributed to the tenants in paper form and also placed on the internet web portal. The material includes advices for correct heating (for example correct temperatures in flat, correct use of TRVs), correct ventilation and tips for water savings. As not all the tenants have internet access, the monthly paper reports about consumption have been sent to the tenants. The benchmarking with the other apartments anonymously. The benchmarking means to show the tenants column graph informing every tenant what his consumption in comparison with the other flats anonymously in the same building.

In the frame of this project MRA would like also to test another form of measuring of heating energy consumption per apartment.
MRA has negative experience from past with the heat cost allocators installed on radiators. The management of MRA consider the meters of heat consumed on radiators not to be fair because of the heat transfers between the apartments of a same buildings. There is a potential and major «free rider» issue regarding the behaviors of the tenants: measurements on radiator leads some tenants to turn off heating and steal heat from neighbouring properly heated apartments. Another reason why not to measure energy consumptions on radiator is the development of mildews. The HCA strongly motivate the tenants to savings but some tenants by inappropriate savings cause the increase of presence of mildews and increase of costs paid by building owner to remove
mildews and deterioration of the technical state of the building. MRA has provably documented that at the time when heating consumption has been allocated to flat on the basis of meters on the radiators and people saved, MRA had enormously high cost of removing mildews. Immediately after the meters have been removed, the costs of removing mildews rapidly decreased on minimum.

 

 

Focus on … l’Union Sociale pour l’Habitat

July 2013

Measures implemented in France intend to identify corresponding major leverage opportunities (efficiency in energy, economic and social terms, implementation methods, reproducibility and impact on rental charges):

RAMEAUX: Optimisation of energy gains of a maintenance contract with incentives. Improving approaches on follow up maintenance actions is also essential.
BERGSON: Optimisation of statomechanical ventilation systems in a recently refurbished building. Instrumentation was established to measure the efficiency of the system and to carry out corrective actions.
AIGUILLADE: The renegotiation of the subscription contract of a district heating system following an energy refurbishment; The approach involves assessing whether the requested heat flow is in line with the subscribed heat flow.

 

INTERVIEW WITH LAURE BOURGOIN – CLCV

May 2013

Consommation Logement et Cadre de Vie (CLCV) is a nongovernmental organization that acts as an umbrella for 390 local consumers’ associations. CLCV was founded in order to improve the living conditions and were prepared to strive in order to secure the protection of consumers’ rights. CLCV bases all its actions and activities on the information that it gathers from consumers.

What is CLCV ?

CLCV is a consumer organization and also a tenants organization. A large number of our members are tenants and take part in the boards of housing organizations.
As a campaigning organization, CLCV’s action fits into our aim of fostering compliance with sustainable development principles in production, distribution and consumer behavior, and turning consumers into leading players of this trend.
CLCV lobbies politicians, the Government and the various institutions set up by the Authorities to tap into the opinions of consumers’ associations about the policies that they implement and in order to foster dialogue between the various economic players in society.

What are the main issues for tenants ?

There are several issues for tenants. Energy saving measures, in order to achieve the EU target of reducing consumption up to 20%. It also has to be stressed that a lot of discrepancies remain in energy saving experiences. Furthermore, the need of a sound return on these experiences is still an important issue. Other factors have to be taken into account : the dramatic rise of energy costs, new regulatory requirements (RT 2012 European Directive on the energy performance of buildings, the Grenelle environment …), environmental requirements in order to reduce greenhouse gas.

What are the main challenges in this project ?

Generally speaking, the project’s aim is to reduce energy consumption of buildings, to improve management of maintenance operations, to set up strategies combining energy efficiency and low cost investment.
From the tenant’s point of view, the project is an opportunity to increase their involvement in the reduction of energy consumption through better adaptation of the technical solutions to their behavior.

What is the role of CLCV in this project ?

In this project, CLCV, is the only one tenants organization and we have developed a satisfaction questionnaire and a methodological note presents various awareness tenants on the 18 pilot sites. We are in charge ot the answers compilation
and we are also responsible for organizing the collection of tenant’s opinion in three pilot sites in Clermont-Ferrand.
We also disseminate information about the project through articles in our magazine, and more recently, during a one-day training on «Housing and energy.»

What are the actions taken by the CLCV desk based in Clermont-Ferrand in the context of the AFTER project?

Test measures are highly technical and it is quite difficult to involve tenants in this kind of tests. Nevertheless, it is still possible to inform and educate. For example :

Résidence Les Rameaux: a new energy contract with performance objectives and a profit sharing system with the operator concerned CLCV conducts a satisfaction survey among tenants on the temperature inside the housing during the next heating season (November 2013). Cofely, an energy provider, has lent equipments to raise temperature.

Résidence Bergson: establishment of a monitoring system of assisted natural ventilation CLCV conducts a survey among a panel of tenants on the functioning of the ventilation system : Are they satisfied with the solution ? Is ventilation system noise level acceptable ?

Résidence Aiguillade: heating network: monitoring the average power demand for a renegotiation of the R2 part of the price.
CLCV conduct house-to-door in all the tenants to collect their views on rehabilitation and satisfaction with the heating.

What are the actions with Auvergne Habitat ?

For example, with Auvergne Habitat, CLCV has provided :
– A meeting of the collaborative council in February and November for the results.
– Meetings workshops with tenants of the sites, but also sites around. A discussion of district heating will be conducted more broadly than just experimentation undertaken.

In summary, what do you think is important?

For us, the project must participate before any improvement in the quality of life for tenants, regardless of their opinion, determine the most appropriate measures and allow their dissemination with the aim of a reduction of the energy bill.

 

 

AFTER IN COPENHAGEN

May 2013

The fourth AFTER Project Meeting has been organized in Copenhagen on the 15th, 16th and 17th of May 2013. The meeting was hosted by BL (Boligselskabernes Landsforening) an  interest organization representing about 700 housing associations, which manage almost 20% of Denmark’s dwellings – at its headoffices.

This Project Meeting has been fruitful in order:

– to provide to the AFTER partners an overview of the comments and recommendations made by the EACI about the AFTER Interim report.
– to organize the work to complete/improve the project deliverables.
– to discuss the improvement of the reporting activities with the same objectives above mentioned.
– to present the WP8 activities “Pilot Sites” & WP9 activities “Dissemination”.
– to plan the next steps and milestones to respect until the end of the project.

AFTER partners have also participated to field visits on energy-efficient buildings owned by BL members and organized by our host in the Stationsby neighorhood of Avedore in the Copenhagen suburbs (photo: Store Hus building in Avedore).

 

 

AFTER IN ITALY: FOCUS ON THE NATIONAL LEVEL

February 2013

In the framework of the AFTER Project, 3 Pilot Energy Saving Measures are implemented in in the Piemonte region within the social housing stock of the Agenzia Territoriale per la Casa Torino (ATC Torino). These measures and their impacts in terms of Energy Savings are assessed and optimized thanks to the help of the Scientific partners Scholé and SiTI and their dissemination at a national level will be led by FEDERCASA, the Italian Federation for the Social Housing.

Italian partners of the Project

Agenzia Territoriale per la Casa della Provincia di Torino (ATC) was established in 1907 by the Torino City Council to supply underprivileged citizens with low-cost housing and at the same time administering and managing their own real estate and that entrusted to them by other public bodies. ATC manages around 31.000 dwelling units and 10.000 owned by former tenant.
As a social housing organization, ATC is in charge, in the frame of AFTER, of reporting energy saving measures and testing new optimized measures.

 

Istituto per l’Ambiente e l’Educazione Scholé Futuro (SCHOLE) is a non profit cultural association, founded in 1982, which main purpose is to promote environmental preservation through different activities such as research, cultural promotion, planning, training and consulting, focusing mainly on environmental education and sustainable development.

 

 

Istituto Superiore sui Sistemi Territoriali per l’Innovazione (SiTI) is a non-profit association founde in 2002 between the Politecnico di Torino Univeristy and the Compania di San Paolo that lead research and training activities toward innovation and social and economic growth. Its main activities focus on: logistics/transportation, sustainable development/urban renewal, and territorial safety.

 

Federazione Italiana per la Casa (FEDERCASA) is a professional umbrella organization representing 108 public corporations which, all over Italy, build and manage social housing. Its objectives concern, among others the promotion of political and social initiatives aiming at “the good house” help to the partners in order to promote their innovation strategies, the representation of the Associates in national and international organizations and developing study and research activities.

 

Italian pilot sites

 

Interview with Ettore Isacchini, president of FEDERCASA

March 2013

The refurbishment of existing buildings plays a central role in energy saving policies above all in Italy where the territory is widely built. Especially for public housing the energy improvement is needed not only for environmental reasons, considering the role that is attributed to the public sector, but also for social reasons, since most of tenants have very low incomes and therefore difficulties to pay their energy bills.
Of total assets of approximately 800.000 of dwellings, we estimate that at least an half is in needs of refurbishment, because it was built around 30 years ago when the energy performance of buildings has not been considered. These 400.000 units are without insulation, with single-glazed windows and with obsolete equipments.

The economic resources are scarce and so far the public housing companies were excluded from the tax incentive mechanisms for energy refurbishment instead of the private citizens; for that reason firstly it is necessary to identify the cost-optimal measures.

From our experience, we can say that much more has to be done by investing better in integration between tenants and in creating a better system of cohesion and participation in order to preserve the buildings. A good behaviour for a rational use of the space in which tenants live is the first step to improving energy efficiency also for a better global management.

The strength of AFTER lies in the identification of several energy saving measures, from operating management to new building and in their
development and optimization in order to test their effective efficiency and so their replication. The role of ATC Torino in this process adds an
important contribution to the National Roadmap for the refurbishment of social housing.

The work of Federcasa contributes to this process by creating network between projects in which Federcasa and its members are involved, with the aim to find synergies both at national level and European level, thanks to Cecodhas Housing Europe.

Through these projects we try to bring our contribution to the European Strategy 20 20 20 for improving the quality of life of inhabitants in the social houses. If dedicated resources are available in the future we can go much further than the few demonstration projects in which we are working.

This is my message to the Italian government and Europe!

 

 

Interview of the SiTI team

SITI supports ATC Torino in the work of improvement of energy efficiency measures and monitoring.

What were the main problems encountered in carrying out this task? How did you solve them?

AFTER is a complex project, as for its success it needs cooperation and dialogue between the different partners involved.
In this framework, SiTI plays a special role, because it offers its support to two different kinds of partner: the Scientific partner Scholè and the Social Housing Organization ATC. Regarding the support to ATC, the main activities are the collection of energetic and economic data and the performance assessment of the optimizations of the energy saving measures (ESM).

The most relevant problems encountered in carrying out this task are related to the lack of data. In fact, the project requires a comparison of energy consumptions and heating costs before and after the optimizations, for it has been necessary to gather and compare a huge amount of different data, often managed by different offices working in ATC.

The problem is common to all SHOs involved in the project and has not been fully solved yet; nevertheless, ATC has made a great effort in order to fill this gap and it has provided to SiTI a lot of economic and energetic data. SiTI has therefore provided support in the interpretation and elaboration of the data collected.

The general problem of ex ante data retrieval on the consumption of the buildings makes it difficult to develop project feasibility. Do you think is possible to begin now to build a database of energy consumption? How?

The project AFTER has shown how difficult it is to collect data ex ante and ex post, especially in those cases where there is not a consolidated monitoring system. The lack of previous data is a problem for the comparison phase and for the assessment of the performance; an interesting solution could be to create a database of energy consumption, in which to collect economic and energetic data related to the specific energy saving measure applied.
In order to be functional, this database should be unique for all ATC housing stock and it should be constantly updated and validated, for all the data to input.

How does the AFTER project experience help to improve the effectiveness of future operations?

The project AFTER has led to interesting results that can help to improve the quality of the management of the housing stock of the SHOs involved and, in general, may serve as a basis for actions aimed at the energy saving in any private building.
Regarding ATC, the most relevant suggestions concern to the necessity to improve the quality and the quantity of energetic and economic data
collected and to increase the awareness of tenants. The reduction of the energy consumption is, in fact, strictly connected to a responsible and conscious tenants’ behaviour.

 

 

Description of the ESM RIESI implemented by ATC Torino

The Pilot project RIESI, located in Orbassano, concerns 102 dwellings, in a 10 storey building, a total internal surface of 7,092.85 smq. The
residents are 289, of which 16 foreigners. The energy fuel for the central heating is methane gas.

In this pilot site ATC of Turin tries to ensure the thermal comfort and the economic performance of the new heating system (3 new condensation
boilers) for tenants thanks to the Hydraulic balancing of the heating system via the regulation of the temperature settings and calibration of the heating curves (slop and level, from 0.8 point to 2) once a month.

Control devices provided by the Energy Manager Techem register for each housing units heating (thermal units), per room, and the consumption data of domestic hot water, separately for kitchen and bathrooms (m3). This allows the operator to immediately verify the anomalies and to take prompt action.

An important added value of this test case is the integration with another European project, the project BECA, which develops and verifies information and communication technologies for centralized monitoring of the consumption of several buildings by the operator of social housing. Through this project it will be possible to compare the results of three sites, whose data is flowing into the central system of the manager. Each user has access via the web to the reading of their consumption data, but the social housing inhabitants often don’t dispose of web access, so ATC Torino has installed consultation points in its headquarters, in the lounge reserved for the inhabitants.
Other solutions adopted to increase the awareness of the inhabitants are the lessons of energy savings carried out in collaboration with the Polytechnic of Turin and the publication of articles in the residents newspaper.

 

18/10/2012 AFTER at…

Workshop #1, Paris, France

Number of participants: 7
Type of participants: DELPHIS Social Housing Organizations, Maintenance services.

AFTER France has been implemented by DELPHIS in order to translate AFTER objectives in a national French context. Workshops including a small number of Social Housing Organizations, members of the DELPHIS network, will be organized in order to highlight the best practices implemented by the companies. Factsheets and standard measures will be disseminated thanks to this project. A selection process has been implemented to help the 24 DELPHIS SHOs to identify their ESMs tested in their housing stock during the last 5 years.

 

11-12/10/2012 AFTER at…

URBANPROMO 2012, Turin, Italia

Number of participants: 25
Type of participants: National Housing Associations, representatives, urbanists

 

«Urbanpromo 2012 Social Housing aims to help build a vision system for Social Housing, as a starting point for the formulation of useful
proposals for an organic development of the field. This event is made up of several sessions for debate and an exibition of projects.»
ATC exposed during the URBANPROMO Congress the main stakes of the AFTER Project and detailled the state of the art of the project focusing
particularly on the measures identified for the Italian Social Housing context.

 

 

23/08/2012 AFTER at…

Danish National Advisory Board, Aarhus, Denmark

Number of participants: 9
Type of participants: SHOs, Technical experts, Interest Group.
Presentation of AFTER and status of the project; presentation of Pilot sites and pilot ESMs; discussion, suggestions and improvements.

 

10/07/2012 AFTER at…

French national advisory board, Paris, France

Number of participants: 16
Type of participants: representatives from federation of industry for building sector, from federation of workers in building sector, from research institutes and from tenants unions

 

Focus on … Successful RCx in Lystrup (DK)

The retro com

missioning (RCx) process -cf. Newsletter #2 for better definition- led by Aarhus Kommune services identified some optimization solutions for the two Danish Pilot Sites. Feedback on one of the Pilot Buildings : LYSTRUP.
These solutions will be tested and monitored during the implementation phase of AFTER.

The AFTER Pilot Site LYSTRUP in Denmark has been refurbished in 2011. The objective of the RCx process, was to identified some weak points in the energy consumption of the building in order to improve its post-refurbishment performance.

In the system after refurbishment, underfloor heating and heat recovery ventilation systems were partially interdependent. If the heating recovering ventilation system was on, the underfloor heating would have to be on. In order to avoid draft coming from the ventilation system, tenants would have to turn on the heating system.
In order to optimize this system, Aarhus Kommune staff proposed to separate the two systems adding a control valve for the heating coil of the ventilation system in order to make its control independent from the underfloor heating.

As a consequence, especially at the beginning and at the end of the heating season (when temperatures are still intermediary) – tenants could use only the heat recovery of the ventilation system and the natural sun effect. Underfloor heating will be turn on later during the season in order to save energy.

 

 

INTERVIEW WITH OLAV KIRCHHOF – BL

October 2012

BL is the national Danish social housing association. It has 700 social housing companies as members – with a total of more than 545.000 dwellings (almost 20 % of all dwellings in Denmark).

What is the role of BL within the AFTER Project ?

BL is working on its members’ and residents’ interests by influencing the social housing sector development, both economically, technically and socially. In practice BL represents the social housing companies in relation to public authorities.
It also has a strong influence on its member’s investment choices, particularly regarding energy savings.

BL is engaged in climate politics, energy reduction and sustainability. At the national level BL is represented in a governmental committee working
on a national strategy for energy reductions. In the context of AFTER project, BL is in charge to guarantee the reproducibility of the project outputs
notably through dissemination activities. BL will also report and experiment innovative energy savings measures.

What kind of ESM is more widely applied inyour country?

I like to distinguish ESMs into two categories: ESMs with high or low investment. The high investment ESMs are typically Global retrofitting. This is because it is much more profitable than renovating only one component of a building. But I know that this is not necessarily the case in other countries. Widely applied low investment ESMs would be Tenant information and campaigns, light control, regulation of ventilation systems etc.

What kind of problems did you face during the ESM selection process?

Probably the most difficult part during the ESM selection process was the data collection. A lot of required information is about respectively maintenance, operation and management costs. These kind of data were not easy to find; they are rare and for many ESMs I ended up with only one figure representing the sum of all three types of
costs. Furthermore, I was not able to find costs of the relatively cheap ESMs – simply because they were not computed or estimated at all. I guess the reason for missing data is that many SHOs don’t see it as normal ‘business’. And that’s a pity! Without such data it is hard to create the basis for energy savings. On the other hand: this is why we do the AFTER project.

In your ESM’ selection, are economic, energy and social aspects balanced?

I think some of the best ESMs are often characterized by a good balance between economic, energy and social aspects. In my selection I also found some well balanced ESMs. But whereas economic and energy aspects are relative easy to measure, the same is not the case for the ‘soft’ aspects. So, in the real world it is not straight forward to evaluate whether if an ESM is balanced or not.

 

 

INTERVIEW WITH GIANFRANCO TARABUZZI – ATC

October 2012

ATC Torino – AFTER Italian Social Housing Organization – was established in 1907 by the Torino City Council to supply underprivileged citizens with low-cost housing and at the same time administering and managing their own real estate and that entrusted to them by other public bodies. ATC manages around 31.000 dwelling units and 10.000 owned by former tenant.

What is the role of ATC within the AFTER Project ?

As a social housing organization, ATC is in charge, in the frame of AFTER, of reporting energy saving measures and testing new optimized measures.

What kind of ESM is more widely applied in your country?

According to our experience in the field of energy saving measures applied to new and existing buildings, the most common ESMs consist in plant optimizations (e.g.: lighting, heating, cooling systems). ATC, based on its building stock and money supply, has:

-installed smart metering systems,
-improved heating systems by installing new boilers and substituting individual with central heating systems,
-placed external insulation on buildings allowing this kind of intervention,
-substituted windows.

By the way, the most common and challenging issue to be faced in Italy concerns interventions on ancient buildings: our historical centres are protected by a very strict system of prohibitions and regulations, forcing technicians to choose between the limited range of ESMs unable to affect the integrity of the building and its exterior look.

What kind of problems did you face during the ESM selection process?

The biggest challenge was undoubtedly the lack of a common methodology, as each building has its own management protocol, and even its own way to collect data, measure systems being different from one building to another. However, these problems highlighted the value of our SIGE management system, a good resource for the management of tenants and monitoring protocols. Maybe in the future it should be implemented and made able to manage technical and energy aspects too.

In your ESM’ selection are economic, energy and social aspects balanced?

The economic and energy aspects played a prevailing role in our ESMs selection. This because the tenants are not owners of the flats they live in, and the interventions on buildings have to be paid by ATC, so we must try to guarantee the best result we can achieve using a limited money supply. However, AFTER project will allow us, in
the next months, to give out a questionnaire aimed at inquiring into tenants’ satisfaction about our building management, so we will at least get a feedback on our actions.

 

 

27-28-29/06/2012 AFTER at…

CECODHAS Housing Europe General Assembly, Lyon, France

Number of participants: 20
Type of participants: representatives of national housing associations that are European members of Cecodhas housing Europe.

Ms Anna Pozzo made a general presentation of AFTER project to participants at the meeting. She explained the objectives, the approach and the action of the project. There was a lot of interest in Energy Saving Measures inventory as the start point to improve the management of the housing stock.

 

 

21- 22/03/2012 AFTER at…

Project meeting #3, Darmstadt, Germany

Partners of the European project AFTER met in Darmstadt on the 21 and 22 of March. The Darmstadt meeting took place at a crucial moment of the project, its main stake was to end the phases of inventory, analysis and assessment of the ESM ( WP3.WP4,WP5,WP6,WP7) and to prepare the phase of selection and optimization of the pilot E.S.M.

 

9/03/2012 AFTER at…

DOM 2012: International fair of offers for the home, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Number of participants: 10 in the AFTER workshop and 55.000 in the fair

Type of participants: Building professionals, Architects, Engineers

This international fair is a showcase of key solutions for economical, safe and sustainable building and for this edition there were visitors in 6 days. A workshop of AFTER project was held in the frame of the independent energy advisory events organized for the visitors of the fair.

 

14/02/2012 AFTER at…

Italian national meeting, Turin, Italy

Number of participants: 14
Type of participants: representatives from federation of industry for building sector, from federation of workers in building sector, from research institutes and from tenants unions

This meeting took place in the ATC office specifically in order to show to the present stakeholders the contents of the project, especially the topic of the energy saving measures and the mission of the National Advisory Board.

 

 

 

INTERVIEW WITH AFTER SCIENTIFIC COORDINATOR

March 2012

Interview with Elsebeth Terkelsen, architect MAA, special consultant at the Aarhus School of Architecture (AAA) and coordinator of the scientific work in AFTER.

This interview allows us to have a special feedback on the scientific methodological process that has been achieved during the project.

What is, according to your opinion, the general approach of the AFTER Project ?

For the architects, the energy performance of buildings has become an important part of designing a new building or renovating an existing building. The architect work with the orientation of the building, the building envelope, building materials, form and function.

The life of a building AFTER it is designed should also be an important focus area in the design process. But it is often forgotten.

Architects need to be addressed and made aware of their responsibility of including e.g. design of boiler rooms, technical installations, accessibility of the technical installations, position of meters etc in retrofitting and new building projects. Designers
and architects should become much more aware and acquainted with the technologies for operation and maintenance in order to develop retrofitting and low energy buildings in our future society.

This is one of the main reasons, why the Aarhus School of Architecture have engaged in the AFTER project.

What is the interest of the scientific part of the project ?

For reaching the 2020 goals of energy saving, the building design and the building performance are to be optimized. AFTER focus on the synergy between the two elements and the extra gains that can be achieved.

From a scientific point of view it is very interesting to develop methods and tools to reveal the operational problems and problems with operation and maintenance – to improve the energy performance of the building. In other words: Listen to the buildings! In the AFTER project we have an extraordinary opportunity to analyse, optimize and test, how the buildings can function better.

The methodological framework of the project has been developed in cooperation between the scientific partners in the project and in a running dialogue with the social housing organisations and associations, and the tenants’ organisations.

Can you give us more information regarding the Retro Commissioning and Evaluation, Verification and Measurement concepts within the AFTER Project ?

The retro commissioning (RCx) is defined as the “systematic process for improving an existing building’s performance by identifying and implementing relatively low cost operational and maintenance improvements, helping to ensure that the building’s performance meets owner expectations”. Retro commissioning is intended to be an equivalent of commissioning for existing buildings as its main objective is to understand “how building equipment and systems function in order to enhance a building’s overall performance”. (California Commissioning guide: Existing buildings. California Commisssioning Collaborative, 2006 )

The RCx focuses on offices and industry buildings. In the AFTER project, we focus on the social housing sector, and the conditions in this sector.

The results so far show that important elements in RCx and in revealing the problems in the buildings are :

•Registration of the energy use – big variations over the year(s) show, if action is needed. It might be technical or dependant on tenants’ behaviour or awareness.

•Registration of tenants’ complaints can indicate that there are some technical problems in the building that need to be solved.

•Interview with the caretaker might reveal bigger problems in the building.

•A structured method with questions and documentation – like the RCx – helps the process.

The methods for evaluating, measuring and verifying the pilot sites in the project are developed also with the background of American experiences. AFTER uses the IPMVP (International Performance and Measurement Verification Protocol) as common basis to elaborate its own testing protocol. IPMVP has been launched in 1995 by the US Department of Energy (“North American
Energy Measurement and Verification Protocol”). Its aim was to provide a general tool to quantify and assess energy savings created by ESCOs (Energy Saving Companies).

The IPMVP has been adapted to the AFTER Project in a “Common Evaluation Protocol”, focussing on the following themes :

• Management
• Operation & maintenance
• System exchange
• Retrofitting
• Low Energy Buildings

This «Common Evaluation Protocol» follows the general structure of the IPMVP, simplifying some of its aspects. Its main objective is to illustrate a process of assessment that will be adapted regarding specificities of every type of intervention on the housing stock.

What methodological tools have been created during the process ?

The AFTER project has created the following tools:

1. Inventory – organization of the first registration of the energy performance and economy of the possible pilot sites and relevant Energy Saving Measures (ESMs)

2. Handbook – a common platform with definitions of the different elements in the Inventory

3. Typology – a categorization of the different types of ESMs, registered in the Inventory

4. Fact sheets – describing the first selection of ESMs concerning techniques, use, economy and ideas for optimization

5. Retro commissioning – pilot site building check and background for preparing the evaluation of the ESMs at the pilot sites

6. Common Evaluation Protocol – a notebook collecting the different data and results necessary to evaluate the energy performance, the economical performance and the social performance of the ESMs, how to measure, by what means (meters), baseline and reporting periods.

How did the team work during this process ?

The team in the AFTER project consists of scientific partners, SHOs, national housing associations and tenants organizations.

The scientific partners have been responsible for the developing of the methodological framework of the project. But as the developed methods and tools must be operational and understandable for the users – the SHOs, who are the main target group of the AFTER project, it has been very important and very valuable during the development process to have a dialogue between the scientific partners and the SHOs in the project.

A special task is the “social awareness” theme in the project. We address some general elements that can be measures, such as vacancy rate and turnover rate. But it’s important also to look at tenants’ behaviour and tenants’ awareness.

For this reason the AFTER project has developed a questionnaire to either do interviews or to give to the tenants to fill in. The tenants’ organisations have been an important and experienced contributor in this part of the development of the methodology.

What difficuties have been overcome ?

In an innovative project with a large number of partners from many different countries, there will always be difficulties.

We have been able to develop an organization that functions, although we meet rather seldom.

We have overcome scientific problems – like how to calculate the areas – through several “loops” of discussions and proposals.

We have – although we disagreed quite a lot about the process due to both cultural and methodological different approaches – managed to proceed.

 

 

12/05/2011 :AFTER at…

National seminar for associations of Czech municipality housing companies Havířov, Czech Republic

Number of participants: 17
Type of participants: Directors and managers of Czech municipality housing companies

Formal part of the national seminar of several Czech municipality-housing companies lasts from 14:30 to 18:00. The agenda included reports from individual housing companies by directors, presentations about AFTER and the presentation on installation and operation of low voltage distribution systems in residential buildings (Internet, cable and satellite TV, telecommunication law etc.).

 

17-19/10/2011 : AFTER at…

Nordic Passive House Conference 2011 Helsinki, Finland

Number of participants: 175
Type of participants: Building professionals – Architects, Engineers, Constructing Architects, Researchers, Teachers

PHN11 Helsinki conference was the 4th conference in the Nordic series of seminars on passive houses.
The first conference was held in Trodheim (Norway) 2008, the second in Gothenburg (Sweden) 2009 and the third in Aalborg (Denmark) 2010. The themes for PHN11 are based on the conclusions from the Aalborg conference.

 

 

Focus on…National Advisory Boards

February 2012

National Advisory Boards are auxiliary partners of the AFTER project.

Their ambition is to insure a link between AFTER partners and a dissemination at a national level. They act at the crossroad between the AFTER team and the other social housing national actors.

National Advisory Boards gather AFTER national members and different protagonists such as energy providers, thermic engeneering professionals, public social housing organizations, etc…

National Advisory Boards will act as a local committee and advice, evaluate and disseminate the results of the project.

 

 

Ljubljana / Project Meeting #2

Partners of the European project AFTER have met in Ljubljana on the 22th and 23th of November.
The meeting objective aimed at discussing at the same time the main advances realized since the AFTER kick-off meeting on May 2011 in Paris.

The Ljubljana meeting helped to underline the interesting diversity of energy saving measures collected among participating social housing organizations.

 

 

Interview with Franc Props, General Manager of SPL Ljubjlana D.D

January 2012

What is your interest in the AFTER Project ?

SPL LJUBLJANA d.d. manages residential buildings and commercial buildings as well. For the management company a special challenge is to ensure the highest level of comfort in the buildings for different users, both inhabitants and workers.
We see the After Project an opportunity to get knowledge about:

1. first kind of measures to be adopted for saving energy consumptions;
2. quick, low-cost and simple solutions to save energy;
3. solutions that can ensure the best comfort of living.

As a Social Housing Organization, how do you consider your role among the other partners of the project ?

Contact and exchange with our customers represent our primary role. We propose them some solutions.

Our target groups are:

1. owners and tenants – for the correct daily use of energy;
2. staff – for the improvement of abilities in the maintenance and energy savings measures;
3. manager – for the necessary skills to propose the most cost-effective solutions.

AFTER : obstacles and hopes ?

In Slovenia there is a monopoly of the energy market and for this reason we fear that the introduction of these energy saving measures can’t reduce the costs of the buildings. The lower income due to reduced consumptions, could have compensated by an increase of prices per unit.

We expect that the exchange of best practices thanks to the After project will increase our knowledge and improve expertises between our employees. We wish that thank to this new knowledge, we will also successfully face the pressures of competition and participate in projects with the aim of reducing energy consumption in building sector.

 

 

Interview with Iris Behr and Britta Sein, IWU members and scientific partners of AFTER.

January 2012

Aims of WP 7: Recent low energy buildings

In the frame of the work package recent new buildings (completed during the last five years) are monitored. We deal with individual and multi storey low energy buildings (LEB) with less than 50 kWh/(m²a) final energy for heating, hot water, auxiliary energy.

These buildings –for the time being – are not the standard of new construction but stand for ambitious projects – so to say “lighthouses”. However, when taking into consideration the EPBD recast of 2010 the future requirements for 2020 demand the “nearly zero energy construction”.

The LEB respectively the Passivhaus Standard will become state-of-the-art. IWU is well experienced with the development and monitoring of low energy buildings and Passivhauses – you should remember that it was the IWU researcher Dr. Wolfgang Feist who “invented” the Passivhaus at IWU.

LEBs consist of distinct elements:
– super insulated shell,
– high standard windows + window frames,
– heat recovery system, and efficient heating system,
– possibly supported by solar thermal installations

These components of course can be used in all kinds of renovation projects, and might therefore be useful in the context of the other work packages dealing with refurbishment, replacement of heating, ventilation and domestic hot water systems.

What is different and special in comparison with the other work packages?

Low energy buildings and even more Passivhaus buildings are based on an integrated approach. Cooperation and communication of everyone involved is essential: there is the investor who looks at the live cycle of the construction and understands
this (somewhat more expensive construction compared with the legally required standard) as an investment into the future.

Planners (architects, civil engineers, special consultants) as well as skilled craftsmen have to take care of a very precise implementation, and finally the “consumer”, the inhabitant of the LEB, who needs to take care of that type of construction: to whom the ventilation system and the potentials to save heat, water and electricity must become familiar.

AFTER : obstacles and hopes ?

Data collection shows that nearly all partners started with low energy building construction. There are real new low energy buildings but also rehabilitations of the existing stock up to LEB-standards.  It is noticeable that the SHOs are trying to address
different target groups: students, families, elderly people, and residential communities living together under the roof of a low energy building and who want to address energy saving and other common issues.

 

AFTER in Ljubljana – November 2011

AFTER partners have met in Ljubljana to discuss latest advances of the project on November.

Review of the meeting.

 

AFTER Project website is now available online

This website will help to communicate inputs developed through the European project. Its content presents the main informations useful to understand the project, its stakes and partners.
AFTER website is also a tool to inform both a large public and more closer stakeholders about the evolution of the project and its future events.