Spain, Ecobuilding
District heating: has its time come?
District heating: has its time come? From the frosty reaches of Umeå in eastern Sweden to the rolling hills of San Sebastian in Spain’s Basque Country, European cities have one refrain on their minds as the cold sets in: winter is coming and homes must be heated in a way that allows the EU to reach its goal of reducing energy consumption by 20% by the year 2020 .
Challenging energy renovation of buildings
Challenging energy renovation of buildings Energy consumption in the construction sector is a key issue in the fight against climate change. It is often approached when planning new buildings, but there is little tendency to renovate the existing stock .
Generation green: smart cities bring new eco-friendly jobs
Generation green: smart cities bring new eco-friendly jobs This year’s EU Green Week is clear in its focus: “green jobs for a greener future.” It’s highlighting how environmental policies are helping to create new work opportunities and a demand for new types of competences.
Are smart buildings safe from hackers and privacy breaches?
Are smart buildings safe from hackers and privacy breaches? Smart buildings offer better energy efficiency and the kind of futuristic mod cons that appeal to many consumers, but some experts warn our appetite for new technology is putting us at risk from increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks .
Smart buildings: energy efficiency at what price?
Smart buildings: energy efficiency at what price? Smart buildings appear to respond to a range of energy challenges found in Europe today. Improved efficiency would help consumers reduce income spent on energy consumption, reduce greenhouse emissions and also help EU countries meet the goals of the 2030 energy strategy .
Fitting hot and cold climates into the “envelope”
Fitting hot and cold climates into the “envelope” Buildings account for 36% of CO 2 emissions in Europe, and energy consumption in this sector has increased in recent decades.
A raincoat for our houses
A raincoat for our houses Today, one of the new challenges for the construction industry is the use of textiles, coming from the clothing and footwear industries.
Going sustainable to rejuvenate the suburbs
Going sustainable to rejuvenate the suburbs Suburbs are often spaces of poverty, unemployment and urban decay. But now many peripheral areas are becoming laboratories of innovation , hosting initiatives for a sustainable future.
Green buildings: is the market ready to pay more for them?
Green buildings: is the market ready to pay more for them? The European construction industry and home-builder citizens are increasingly aware of sustainable choices. Some solutions can be more expensive than others, although sometimes this only concerns the construction phase.
Biomass: a green source of energy?
Biomass: a green source of energy? Bioenergy represents two-thirds of the energy produced from renewable sources in Europe, though biomass sustainability is not taken for granted.
When public buildings get smart: new technologies and tailor-made solutions for users
When public buildings get smart: new technologies and tailor-made solutions for users Cooling and heating public buildings remains an expensive and a mostly unresolved issue in Europe. According to the not-for-profit think-tank Buildings Performance Institute Europe , Spain has about 11.
Efficient Buildings Key to Reduce Climate Change
Efficient Buildings Key to Reduce Climate Change “The building sector is responsible for more than 30% of global energy demand and round about 20% of greenhouse gas emissions”, says Peter Graham from the Global Buildings Performance Network in Paris.
Low carbon materials to capture the imagination of homebuilders and owners
Low carbon materials to capture the imagination of homebuilders and owners In Europe, households are responsible for 32% of greenhouse gas emissions and 42% of energy. Cement production alone contributes to 5% of manmade CO 2 emissions .
Buildings producing their own energy prepared for tomorrow’s cities
Buildings producing their own energy prepared for tomorrow’s cities The worldwide energy consumption of buildings is expected to grow by 45% from 2002 to 2025, according to the SMART 2020 study carried out by the international NGO The Climate Group.
Social acceptance in new smart energy districts: a lesson from Spain
Social acceptance in new smart energy districts: a lesson from Spain Torrelago is one of the largest residential districts in Europe. Located in the Spanish city Laguna de Duero , near Valladolid , it consists of  31 blocks of flats with more than 4,000 residents. ...
A green revolution in the heart of Spain
A green revolution in the heart of Spain Experts believe that by 2030 more than 6 billion people will live in urban areas , which means 7 0% of global population . It is about time that cities make their buildings smarter : more efficient, green and livable.
Virtual models to make cities greener
Virtual models to make cities greener Making a city or district energy smart is, first and foremost, an exercise in good planning . However, such green planning tools are still in their infancy. The trouble is that every city is different, every district unique.
Cities join forces to retrofit districts
Cities join forces to retrofit districts Cities have started to join forces to become more energy efficient . This trends stems from the findings of the first climate assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published in 1990, which was quite alarming.
Multifold challenges for districts level retrofitting
Multifold challenges for districts level retrofitting The Cuarto de Marzo district of Valladolid, Spain , is an area spreading over 21,000 square metres with 166 residences. It is now the focus of a retrofitting project , called  R2CITIES , funded by the EU.
Transparency and residents’ involvement make retrofitting work
Transparency and residents’ involvement make retrofitting work One of the  biggest challenges of retrofitting projects  is to make them attractive to residents. Now, one of them, the EU-funded project R2CITIES,  is analysing the initial first feedback received from residents  of the  Cuatro de Marzo  district.
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