Energy Efficient Retrofitting - University Campus in Bilbao-Spain (Oceanic Climatic Area)

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The A2PBEER research project focused on “energy efficient retrofitting” methodology for public buildings. Within the context of this project it has been developed an initial systemic energy efficient buildings’ retrofitting methodology for the three demonstration sites with the intention to provide a retrofitting methodology to be replicated into Public Buildings in Europe. This will take advantage of synergies derived from interventions at the district levels.


Three public buildings located in Bilbao Spain, Ankara Turkey and Malmo Sweden have been chosen to serve as demonstration districts. The chosen sites represent the three main climatic regions of Europe – Oceanic, Mediterranean and Continental. A range of innovative technologies will be developed and deployed at these sites with a view to achieving a highly efficient integrated retrofitting methodology that can be replicated throughout the European Union.


The case study is the Leioa University Campus is located on the outskirts of Bilbao and was constructed around 1970 with more than 15 buildings. A number of these buildings have been retrofitted over the last few years (internally and externally) but without a homogenous integrated methodology. The demonstration building is the central rectors’ offices located in the Leioa University Campus and is surrounded by several buildings with similar constructive characteristics but for different uses (sport centre, university buildings, etc).



The building has a narrow plant layout with a dimension of 110 x 22 m, and with a maximum height of 18 m. It is a complex consisting of three buildings, with two to four-storey heights. The central and western buildings are connected via a common staircase access whilst the eastern and central blocks are connected by a corridor. The external walls consist of a prefabricated concrete frame with infill concrete block and faced brick or stucco finish. The roof is constructed of prefabricated concrete and finished with a PVC coating. The floors are constructed with reinforced concrete providing a high thermal mass to the building.


The entire complex is connected to a district heating system that provides the heat to meet its heating loads. The district plant consisting of 7 natural gas fired condensing boilers is centrally located within the campus. The heat production and distribution temperature ranges from 80 to 100ºC. There is no centralized cooling system and only a small number of buildings having localised cooling systems (DX system and compression cycle based chillers). There is no mechanical ventilation provision, apart from the extract ventilation to the toilets.


These retrofitting methods and strategies are discussed here

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