IMPULSE project - Practical guide and tools for public-buildings energy efficiency plans


By G.M. Stavrakakis and M. Damasiotis, Division of Development Programmes, Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving (CRES), Greece
Spring 2019

Energy transition to a low carbon economy in the horizon of 2030 goals starts indeed at local level. According to the directive 2012/27/EE, public buildings should be exemplary in terms of energy upgrading projects.

To that direction Regions and Municipalities are expected to conduct reliable and affordable energy efficiency plans for their public buildings. While the regulatory framework is already in place, the development and implementation of such plans is still in its infancy especially in the Mediterranean. Indeed, in most Countries there is no common methodology or guide specifically dedicated for local authorities to conduct such plans. Combining the latter with other technical, financial and administrative barriers (lack of technical data, absent energy management, pending property issues, lack of funding, etc.), delays are observed in conducting the required plans and eventually implementing projects.

The IMPULSE project introduces a practical methodology accompanied with user-friendly computational tools to generate realistic and affordable energy renovation plans for public buildings. The methodology is consisted of the following steps and tools:

  • Classification of building stock: A practical guide has been developed for clustering the initial building stock into representative Typologies, based on classification criteria affecting energy performance such as construction year, building use, construction type, systems, etc. From each Typology a representative building can be selected as the "Ambassador" building with available technical information for further energy analysis.
  • Energy analysis: Based on the assumption that similar buildings present the same energy-related Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) per sq.m., an excel-based platform has been developed which automatically extrapolates KPIs for various retrofitting scenarios from the "Ambassador" buildings to all buildings of each Typology. The approach presumes the availability of KPIs for the "Ambassadors" e.g. obtained by energy simulations. The approach is very cost-effective, at least for planning purposes, as it skips time-consuming calculations for each building separately. The platform estimates also economic indicators (such as payback period, weighted investment cost), thus facilitating bankability assessment of projects for entire groups of buildings.
  • Gradual renovation planning: Finally, an excel-based decision-making tool is developed which allows the user to select and bias decision criteria by means of which KPIs to optimize as well as to impose the % of floor area of the building stock to be renovated each year. The tool processes the KPIs' database from the previous step and returns which buildings and what projects to take place each year, accompanied with the duration of the plan (in years), the expected energy saved, the avoided CO2 emissions and energy-related cost savings.

The methodology has been successfully applied in six Mediterranean Cities, namely Heraklion-Greece, Elche-Spain, Cannes-France, Ravenna-Italy, Osijek-Croatia and Mostar-Bosnia & Herzegovina. Through the pilot applications the following major conclusions were drawn:

  • The introduced protocols and platforms facilitate significantly energy renovation planning for large public-buildings' stocks at local level.
  • Detailed energy audits are triggered, thus formulating a reliable energy baseline for public buildings which is a prerequisite for attracting innovative financing schemes.
  • Bundling of buildings and of intervention scenarios increases the bankability of the foreseen projects.
  • Energy managers and other technicians of public administrations are trained through a learn-by-doing process in planning, implementation and management of energy upgrading projects of public buildings

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