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Residential Renovation towards nearly zero energy CITIES

In the Spotlight: ONYX Solar and VIVA

ONYX Solar

The core business at Onyx Solar is the development of high efficient, cutting-edge and customized BIPV solutions for buildings. These multifunctional products combine both active and passive properties and are used for easily replacing any non-active conventional building materials. These innovative solutions allow buildings to generate its own energy thanks to the sun power providing at the same time passive benefits as heat insulation, daylight entrance or acoustic comfort.

From a real application point of view, ONYX makes real the mentioned multifunctional concept through the integration of different constructive solutions such as PV ventilated façades, brise-soleils, canopies, skylights, curtain walls and even PV walkable floors from the design stage until turn-key scope.

"All these solutions provide the architect and the customer the opportunity to count on a great variety of designs for their projects", says Elena Rico, differentiating ONYX Solar from the traditional photovoltaic industry. Semi-transparency degrees, colors, patterns, designs, sizes, thickness,… are just some of variables combined in order to develop the most innovative, efficient and beautiful BIPV solutions for each project and for each client need.

The main role of Onyx Solar in R2CITIES is to obtain by means of research activities the best options for integrating PV technologies mainly based on c-Si and a-Si as sustainable measures for building retrofitting at a district level.

Despite the wide range of BIPV solutions available for buildings, it was decided since the first stages of R2CITIES project that applications based on thin film a-Si (amorphous silicon) technology would be the most appropriate to be considered for its use within a district approach at 4 de Mayo Neighbourhood, where it is being studied the implementation of a PV Ventilated Façade. With respect to the energy generation, the main challenge which is being investigated by Onyx Solar is the way of upscale the already known behaviour of this solution in residential buildings to district spaces as a whole.

Within R2Cities Project, it is expected to obtain an innovative Urban Mobility concept at a district level. In this sense, Onyx Solar efforts are being focused on the design and development of a specific solution: Parking-lot based on thin film a-Si or c-Si PV technologies mainly for charging electric vehicles.

The main challenge is to optimize the possible configuration of the solution in terms of structural, electrical and specific BIPV matters. The objective is to enhance this as a Distributed Energy Resource for district applications, taking advantage of its benefits for both sustainable urban mobility and the possible use of the energy generation for other particular needs as an on-site renewable energy source capable of satisfying energy demands.


Contact person for R2Cities: 
Elena Rico



VIVA is the Municipal Society of Housing and Land of Valladolid whose main function is the development of the policy to promote social housing from the City Council of Valladolid.

Its aim is to facilitate, preferably for rent, dwellings in perfect conditions to people who need them. Within this group, it pays special attention to young people seeking for their first home. We promote the access to social housing in terms of equality and objectivity. To facilitate the access to a social dwelling in terms of equality and objectivity, VIVA has developed various regulated, streamlined and simplified procedures.

In addition, nowadays, taking into account the situation of crises of real estate sector, VIVA is also an important instrument for the promotion of the renovation of buildings and urban renewal of the districts, in order to improve the quality of life of its citizens and the energy performance conduct in them.

At this moment, we participate in three retrofitting projects. Two of them are cofounded for European Commission: R2CITIES and REMOURBAN projects. The third one is ongoing and it is a very ambitious project to transform and old district in a new one with efficiency energy targets. This one is called “29 de Octubre”

In R2CITIES, we are the promoter and main responsible of the Valladolid demo site “Cuatro de Marzo coordinating all the work and interventions taking place here. Previous experience in district retrofitting buildings were made  at the ARI LA RONDILLA .The Rondilla District of Valladolid is one of the most populated of the capital, with about 40.000 residents spread in more than 80 acres. It consists mainly of buildings built over half a century ago.  

“R2CITIES will be the mirror for other districts in the city of Valladolid or other cities in Europe.The most important challenge of this project to the CITY of Valladolid is to manage not only a Smart City but also and more important is to manage smart citizens. For that, perhaps the most important part of the project is the social acceptance plan”. Carolina Fernández

"The main priority of the project is energy efficiency. But we are also concerned with renovating the buildings in terms of access, as requested by residents. This is necessary because we are dealing with buildings from the 50s and 60s, which were built in a way which is now considered obsolete. We are also providing financial assistance to residents for such renovation". César Alonso


Contact person for R2CITIES: 
César Alonso‚Äč