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Residential Renovation towards nearly zero energy CITIES

Genoa hosts R2CITIES periodic meeting on 24-26 May as city buzzes with Smart Week

For the second time since our project’s inception in 2013, the city of Genoa has hosted a R2CITIES periodic meeting. And again, it was all designed to coincide with the city’s Smart Week – a series of meetings, workshops and debates on energy-related topics at various venues throughout Genoa.

Genoa hosts R2CITIES periodic meeting on 24-26 May as city buzzes with Smart Week

Our fifth periodic meeting came after a period of relative uncertainty due to the need to apply for a project extension. This in itself was due to the grant procedure at the Cuatro de Marzo demo site in Valladolid failing to gain the support it needed from the local residents who have to pay a part of the expenses. Although this was a drawback for the project, the consortium is all the wiser for it and the Spanish demo team have been successful in setting out a revised retrofitting proposal for the Cuatro de Marzo district. A one-year project extension has now been secured thus allowing enough time for the works to be implemented and the results monitored.

Therefore this meeting represented the second breath of a rescheduled and slightly revised project. The project coordinator CARTIF opened the meeting, hosted in Genoa’s Berio Library. In addition to reviewing the work packages, the main features of the 2.5-day gathering were the ICT session, the exploitation workshop and the methodology session.

On the first day, D’Appolonia led the ICT session focused on the implementation of the Energy Management Platform. The purpose of this platform is to connect the field systems – sensors, actuators, devices etc – with the District Monitoring Platform, which in turn will provide relevant data for the Concerto SCIS database and as a feedback loop to the demo sites. Today, each site is to develop and implement their EMPs while D’Appolonia heads the design of the DMP. It’s all about energy planning using different control strategies chosen by each demo site energy manager in order to evaluate the best configuration for specific conditions aimed for.

Following the ICT session, the Genoa team arranged for the consortium to visit to the Lavatrici district, R2CITIES’ Italian demo site. Perched on a hill to the west of Genoa, the blocks for flats are quite exposed to the elements, with sun and wind dominating.

Delegates were able to examine the two in-situ show flats in which monitoring is taking place. Most of the works have now been completed – the transparent elements (windows and balcony doors) have been installed in the dwellings and the heating plant is set up and operating. For the photovoltaic apparatus, the contractor has been selected. The PV works require very specific solutions – the integrity of the building’s roof has to be safeguarded using a special support structure, and the high wind speeds mean a trade-off between the best angle to capture solar energy and the best angle for reducing wind loads. The visit concluded with an informal reception at the community centre within the housing complex where residents and project partners could share thoughts and experiences.

The agenda on the second days featured the exploitation workshop which is part of a series of workshops designed to support partners in developing long-term exploitation strategies based on the project’s results. Delivered by Steinbeis this particular session covered much of the day, focusing on methods of taking the project’s results to the market. Future exploitable results have already been identified and the partners have generated the first groups of exploitable results using the Business Model Canvas. Nina and Fredrik had the project members work on more detailed business plans, look into financing mechanisms and discuss cooperation agreements with third parties.

The final day involved a working session on integrated design methodology and the next steps towards its validation. This methodology covers integrated project delivery, building information modelling, life cycle analysis, and simulation of life cycle cost and energy performance. At this stage of the project where the retrofitting has taken or is taking place, emphasis is being placed on BIM Project Execution plan which provides guidance and processes to manage workflow and people involved in BIM.

Beyond the project meeting itself, and as part of Genoa Smart Week, the project coordinator Rubén García participated in a workshop to highlight some of the specificities of R2CITIES. He did so alongside other European projects such as Transform, Celsius and Electra, in front of a public audience.


9 June 2016