Combined Rational and Renewable Energy Strategies in Cities, for Existing and New Dwellings to ensure Optimal quality of life
cRRescendo aimed to integrate a major share of sustainability into thousands of homes and their energy infrastructures. This CONCERTO project demonstrated how best to meet citizens’ desire to live in comfortable energy-efficient homes in a healthy and clean environment. Essentially, it aimed to create modern, comfortable, healthy, and energy-efficient homes in Almere in the Netherlands, Milton Keynes in the United Kingdom, Viladecans in Spain, and Ajaccio in France.
At the very heart of the cRRescendo project’s objectives was a focus on ways to integrate measures to increase the use of renewable energy sources (RES) with measures for energy efficiency (EE). This aim manifested itself through a number of activities at the community level, which helped contribute to the projects core objectives. Each community participating in the cRRescendo project implemented an integrated strategy towards achieving an increase in the use of renewable energy sources (RES) employing numerous techniques of poly-generation, specific innovation, and technology.
In Almere two 'Energy Rich' districts were part of the cRRescendo project. The total reduction in conventional energy consumption reached 31%. The high carbon reduction (over 90%) due to cogeneration and green electricity was not taken into account in this number. About 2000 new dwellings have been built in three 'Energy Rich' classes:
- eco-houses, built at least 10% more energy efficient than the building standard;
- solar houses with an energy performance 25% better than standard;
- passive houses, having an energy performance 50% better than standard.
In Milton Keynes the total reduction in conventional energy consumption was 30%. The carbon reduction (over 40%) due to CHP has not been taken into account in this percentage. The local programme, where a holistic approach to urban design has been adopted, included four separate developments:
- combined heat and power (CHP) with private cable network;
- enhanced building fabric in a residential and a non-residential building;
- a large 165 kWp photovoltaic (PV) system.
Thanks to its involvement in the project, Ajaccio became more aware of the need to reduce public energy consumption as well as the energy use of social buildings’ tenants. Public buildings like schools, which are part of the urban renewal project in priority areas, have henceforth been built in compliance with High Environmental Quality Standards (HQE, France), aiming at “zero” energy consumption, or even better.
Due to the recession, only five public buildings were refurbished in Viladecans (day-care centre, youth cultural centre, historical cultural centre, sports building and municipal building). The city has committed to reducing CO2 emissions: Viladecans Council has elaborated an Action Plan for Sustainable Energy that contains 143 specific actions for this purpose. In the coming years, the municipality will finalise the installation of 1 MW of photovoltaic panels in the city (up to 342 kW of them are part of cRRescendo project) and will build 2.000 new dwellings in a new eco-district called Llevant.