Pilot Case 3: Catalonia (ES)

The Housing Agency of Catalonia has selected for the project three (3) blocks of a public social housing promotion that is managed by the municipality of Sant Quirze del Vallès (Barcelona).

The technical services of the Agency during the programs of works and maintenance detected damages in the external cladding of these block’s façades, so it is necessary to do an intervention to solve them. Moreover, the current façade’s construction solutions presents a low comfort and/or a high-energy expenditure for their neighbours.

The three (3) blocks are relatively new, but they have been selected due to their plan distribution (the access to the apartments is through a common outside corridor) and due to the pathologies they have (with thermal bridges and damaged external cladding). The building has a G class energy label. It is important to remark, that it was built before the application of the Spanish technical building code (CTE) that requires stronger measures for energy savings in buildings. In general, almost all the buildings built before the CTE have poor thermal behaviour and low energy qualification. This led us to the conclusion that the energy renovation of existing housing has a high potential in Spain.

The Generalitat de Catalunya by means of the Catalonia’s Housing Agency is also aware about the European directives that require public administrations to become an example concerning the reduction of CO2 emissions of existing buildings.

Description of the housing promotion

The 3 blocks that compose the “Ronda-Arraona-30” building are organized in U.

The block A, in the Centre, has a ground floor with 1 commercial space and 3 floors with 2 apartments per floor. The main façade faces south and the service façade (with has access to the apartments) faces north. The blocks B1 and B2 which are east-west oriented, also have 4 floors with 3 apartments per floor. All the apartments are heated with electric radiators and have natural ventilation, however some of them show condensation problem.

Regarding the plug-n-harvest system, it adapts to a South-oriented façade with Windows. We propose to implement the solution in the main façade of the block A. It represents a surface of 140m2 and involves 6 apartments.

These demo blocks, placed in climate zone C2, are representative of the public housing park in Catalonia, and also of the private residence buildings. The 70.70% of the inhabitants of Catalonia live in climate zone C2 and that represents the 72.95% of households. Moreover, the 24.34% of the first residence buildings was built between 1991 and 2001, and concerning climate comfort, the 52.85% of them have individual heating although the 84.02% have no air conditioning. 26.50% of households only use electricity.

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