The Irish Republic has been one of the countries most hard-hit by the financial crisis; "SERVE has been a success during the deepest crisis Ireland has ever experienced," said Seamus Hoyne from the Limerick Institute of Technology in summarising his project experiences, and the results do indeed speak for themselves – 400 buildings renovated and 50 energy-efficient buildings built from scratch.
This project took a departure from the normal course by involving residents, 90 percent of whom actually owned the renovated buildings; the savings to be generated from the investment clinched the argument during the crisis.
There was a change of plan in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, with 100 new houses originally to be built as part of a new-build project; then the crisis hit, causing a change in focus to renovating existing buildings from the Fifties and Sixties according to Iver Jan Leren from the PIME'S CONCERTO project.
Reto M. Hummelshøj from the ECO-City CONCERTO project demonstrated how fast renovation projects can break even for housing associations and local authorities – all of eleven years on average in a follow-up on projects completed in Helsingborg, Sweden, and Helsingør in Denmark. Renovation and new-build projects alike saw CO2 emission reductions amounting to 28 percent; the project has long since been completed, and increased efficiency would make these reduction rates difficult to match in the present, according to Hummelshøj.
One thing that Emil ter Horst learned from the cRRrescendo CONCERTO project was that preparation is so much more important in renovation than in new-build projects – "There are a lot more stakeholders you have to include in a renovation project than when you're constructing new buildings," an observation echoed by Sylvain Koch-Mathian from the RENAISSANCE CONCERTO project. Lessons learned by project partners in Lyon have even found their way into the new French Energy Regulation for the construction industry, according to Koch-Mathian.The CONCERTO projects also showed that rethinking technologies along with procedures could bring dividends, with a CHP plant in Milton Keynes, UK, serving as one such example; "This technology hasn't yet gained much traction in Britain, but our project has shown that CHP does work well, boosting its credibility," said ter Horst. Combinations of technologies, integration and monitoring are disciplines that offer an excellent opportunity for project partners to learn from one another, according to Károly Matolcsy from the Hungarian Research Institute EMI and PIME'S project manager.
The general consensus from the conference was that the evidence from many countries had shown the need for flexibility in renovation and new-build projects in what can be difficult conditions.Contact:
Anette Mack | idw
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Advance in biomedical imaging: The University of Würzburg's Biocenter has enhanced fluorescence microscopy to label and visualise up to nine different cell structures simultaneously.
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NASA's follow-on to the successful ICESat mission will employ a never-before-flown technique for determining the topography of ice sheets and the thickness of sea ice, but that won't be the only first for this mission.
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In the last decades, sea level has been rising continuously – about 3.3 mm per year. For reef islands such as the Maldives or the Marshall Islands a sinister picture is being painted evoking the demise of the island states and their cultures. Are the effects of sea-level rise already noticeable on reef islands? Scientists from the ZMT have now answered this question for the Takuu Atoll, a group of Pacific islands, located northeast of Papua New Guinea.
In the last decades, sea level has been rising continuously – about 3.3 mm per year. For reef islands such as the Maldives or the Marshall Islands a sinister...
The ‘Internet of Things’ is growing rapidly. Mobile phones, washing machines and the milk bottle in the fridge: the idea is that minicomputers connected to these will be able to process information, receive and send data. This requires electrical power. Transistors that are capable of switching information with a single electron use far less power than field effect transistors that are commonly used in computers. However, these innovative electronic switches do not yet work at room temperature. Scientists working on the new EU research project ‘Ions4Set’ intend to change this. The program will be launched on February 1. It is coordinated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR).
“Billions of tiny computers will in future communicate with each other via the Internet or locally. Yet power consumption currently remains a great obstacle”,...
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