At the beginning of July the R2CITIES project consortium gathered in Valladolid, Spain, for its kick-off meeting. The purpose of this ambitious four-year FP7 project is to develop and demonstrate replicable strategies for designing, constructing and managing large scale district renovation projects for achieving nearly zero energy cities. These results will open the way for new refurbishments on a European scale within the framework of new urban energy planning strategies.
Project coordinator Rubén García from Fundación CARTIF led the two days of intense discussions about the complex implementation of the R2CITIES. The meeting centred on the core aims of developing and demonstrating innovative, cost-effective and high performance retrofitting concepts and solutions to boost the quality of district renovation and enhance market uptake of low-energy building stock. Two parallel strands that underlie the project’s rationale were pursued: the demonstration activities with three complete districts being renovated, and the development of an exhaustive methodology for energy efficient district renovation as a result of RTD endeavours.
The three demonstration sites are located in different climate regions and each has its set of challenges. There is one in the Italian city of Genoa, another in Turkey in Kartal, a Municipality of the city of Istanbul, and the third is part of Valladolid in Spain. All are managed by their respective Municipalities and participated in the kick-off meeting to represent public policy makers.
The Genoa site is the “Lavatrici” council housing estate in the periphery of the city. The demonstration will focus on passive and low-cost solutions drawing on available natural resources (solar, natural ventilation, natural daylight). Through R2CITIES, the activities here could lead to methods for qualifying as quasi-zero energy district with regard to national regulations.
In the Yakacik district of Kartal, there are low efficient lighting systems and appliances, but also issues relating to insufficient insulation, meaning much room of improvement. Emphasis will be put on passive design strategies, heating and cooling sources, and the integration of renewables for building envelopes.
The Cuatro de Marzo demonstration site in Valladolid is a compact estate with medium to poor construction quality and high population density. Interventions will aim to reduce thermal energy and electricity consumption drawing on insulation technology, shading, integration of renewables and ICT applications.
Supporting these endeavours are the other consortium partners who are at the cutting-edge of energy efficiency. The Universities of Genoa and Istanbul, D’Appolonia, ABB, Fundación CARTIF, Exergy and Acciona provide specific R&D input and technological expertise. Industrial partners specializing in the provision of materials are Onyx and Ezinc for integrated photovoltaic and solar thermal solutions, and ODE for building insulation products. Officinae Verdi specializes in energy efficiency and financial solutions. And finally Steinbeis and youris.com, specializing in technology transfer and communication respectively, will be in charge of exploitation and dissemination activities.
As a demonstration project, it is crucial to transfer knowledge in a way conducive to leveraging replicability. In this respect R2CITIES will adopt an ambitious communication and dissemination policy drawing on a vast array of means including television media and web 2.0 ensuring a multi-channel approach. This will enable the project to reach out to the broad set of stakeholders on all levels Europe-wide. As Rubén García summarised “the most important goal of R2CITIES is to be a mirror for future cities, with our innovative solutions cascading through to stakeholders across different urban areas”.
R2CITES is coordinated by Fundación CARTIF (Boecillo-Valladolid) and developed in cooperation with 15 other partners: Sociedad Municipal de Suelo y Vivienda de Valladolid SL, Acciona Infraestructuras SA, and Onyx Solar Energy SL, Steinbeis Innovation GmbH, D’Appolonia SPA, Municipality of Genoa, University of Genoa, ABB SPA, Officinae Verdi SPA, Istanbul Teknik Universitesi, Ode AS, Municipality of Kartal, Ezinc Metal AS, Exergy Ltd, Youris.com GEIE
R2CITIES is co-financed by the EU within Framework Programme 7 (FP7)
Press Release n° 1 - 12 September 2013