The EU-funded BRICKER project is aiming to show how public buildings such as universities, hospitals and administrative centres can cut their energy consumption in half.

Improving the energy efficiency of public buildings through retrofitting may be crucial to reducing Europe’s carbon footprint, but is not necessarily all that easy to implement. People still have to work in these places, making issues such as health and safety and disruption to the working day critical. Recent developments in an EU-funded project however have shown that the retrofitting of hospitals, education facilities and administrative centres is not only feasible, but could eventually lead to drastic reductions of energy consumption (over 50 %).

The four-year BRICKER project, which began in 2013, is carrying out retrofitting demonstrations at three sites; an administrative centre in Spain, a university building in Belgium and a hospital in Turkey. Solutions include installing made-to-measure façades, innovative insulation materials and high performance windows.

In Spain, the demonstration project involves the refurbishment of Extremadura government offices in the town of Mérida. The refit will combine technologies that have never before been used together. In particular, the project consists of integrating Parabolic Trough Solar Collectors (PTC), a biomass boiler, a heat and electricity cogeneration unit based on so-called Organic Ranking Cycle (ORC), an adsorption chiller and a cooling tower.

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