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Unpicking the Secrets to Sustainable Urban Renovation and Regeneration

The CITyFiED consortium met in at demonstration site Laguna de Duero, Spain 27 and 28 February 2017 to keep the project on track to achieving substantial energy savings, emissions reductions and a climate of confidence for energy efficient renovations across Europe. 

Partners and stakeholders are growing in stature, confidence and a number of successful deliverables and milestones have been achieved as we hit the mid-way point – giving substantiated insights on everything from social acceptance to biomass and business models. “We are entering the richest part of the project” confirmed coordinator Ali Vasallo, “moving from ‘technical’ to ‘tangible’ so a community of over 50 cities, regions and agencies can meet and surpass their energy efficiency obligations, creating districts that reward our communities and the planet around us”.

Leading from the front: CITyFiED demonstration sites

The intense work in three cities and by all partners to benefit their local ecosystem is core to this shift. In the cosmopolitan and dynamic university city of Lund, Sweden, the city strategy targets a 50% reduction in CO2 equivalent 1990-2020 despite a 33% population increase. They are almost certain to achieve it and use a blend of social, technical and ecological levers, including their city-owned energy company, Kraftringen and municipal housing company, LKF. As the technical challenges are increasingly mastered, energy specialist Markus Paulsson and colleague Linda Birkedal were able to focus on the social fabric of the Linero district in more detail.

“Our three targets in Linero are one, energy performance as good as a new build; two, fossil free district heating; and three, achieve this with only a moderate increase in rent” Dr. Paulsson explained. “We think we are showing that economically feasible and socially responsible energy renovation is possible!” he asserted. Part of this includes a recycling workshop and boutique, new playgrounds and park landscaping, bike lanes and a new supermarket and shops.

A number of political and financial changes and events in Soma, Turkey put a brake on the furiously fast start to works, which is now beginning to gather pace once again. Capturing heat generated from the nearby lignite power station and channelling it into a district heating (DHC) system is a key component. In a positive turn, responsibility for DHC is now with Manisa Metropolitan Municipality rather than the district and city. They bring additional weight and resources to realising the connecting underground pipe ‘highway’ which will be the focus from mid-2017.

With heavy construction works awaiting, an ICT and smart grid monitoring system has been applied to five out of 81 buildings. This pilot is gathering information from the field, monitoring the grid; dwelling and building level energy consumption; solar production and more. End-users can use their smart phones a web interface and occasional print monthly reports in communal areas with

Laguna de Duero in Spain hosted the meeting and currently the most advanced works completion of the three sites, with approximately 70% of planned tasks achieved. Split into fives stages of work, approximately 140,000m2 of façade being insulated, incorporating nearly 12,000 windows as well as a new biomass district heating system delivering a current 60% of heating, with a final objective of more than 80%. Key technical partners 3IA and Veolia for the insulation and heating works respectively gave a detailed study tour and expert insights into many aspects of the large-scale renovations – from the different types of scaffolding and intelligent monitoring of the boiler system to properties of the primers and acrylic finishings.

A rich ‘ecosystem’ of solutions and applications coming together

Through, with and for the demonstration sites, a wealth of achievements and knowledge acquisition is happening within the consortium.  At this fifth meeting, work package leaders were visibly more immersed in each topic and able to address highly complex areas with a new clarity.

Beyond the specific intricacies of each demonstration, the overarching value proposition, customer relationships, infrastructure costs and revenue streams of district renovation business models is much stronger than ever before. In ICT, a central backbone and information gateways for each demo site is allowing local innovation in information delivery and end user behaviour change. Thanks to this, CITyFiED, data is giving intelligent and integrated control, user awareness and decision-making support and will finally open possibilities for energy management and trading. A combination of energy simulations, life-cycle analysis and life cycle costing is also giving support to decision making, brining this into the process earlier to great effect thanks to clearer investment costs, actions and break even points for different energy efficiency measures.

These real-life experiences and replication modelling is being extended to 11 city cluster members to assist replication across Europe. The majority have already completed an energy model analysis and non-technical barriers workshop and join a further 41 cities keen to download and combine these tools to reach their unique energy goals faster, with less risk and managed costs.

This privileged community will have detailed and exclusive access to elements of CITyFiED solutions, but all can follow developments on twitter, Linkedin, or send a specific question to


23 March 2017