Surpassing Energy Targets through Efficient Public Buildings

Good practice: Key Documents

The project partners have identified the good practicies in partners cities and in other European regions contributing to energy efficiency in public buidligns. Below we present the list of the practices selected by the partners in pdf files.

Historical buildings definition

The proposal of AFE is to adopt the definition of the Directive 2002/91/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, Article 4, point 3, that says:

“Buildings and monuments officially protected as part of a designated environment or because of their special architectural or historic merit.”

Another proposal is to choose relevant examples among the 4 functions: Social housing, Sport, Schools and Offices buildings. . It means that we will have more opportunities to exchange with the four other subgroups.

Relevance of energy efficiency improvements for Historical Buildings

There are two basic reasons to study a possible retrofit of historical buildings:

We consider that the best method to improve historical buildings is the deep study of the structures, in order to identify the critical situations, i.e. the part of the building with the highest level of energy waste. In this way we can build specific projects, with a lower impact and a better efficiency.

In detail, it is important to reconstruct the phases of construction of every building we are studying and all the modifications the building had, passing the time, to detect the areas that have irregular walls, or empty parts that can create energy waste.

It is clear that we must begin an investigation also in order to have standards:

We therefore have to plan out the means of how to reach a good balance between  preserving our heritage buildings and improving their energy efficiency. We can reach this balance with the help of different technologies, according to the state of the building we are studying and according to the compatibility between advanced technologies, historical facts, and landscape. We have to find out the best possible relationship between advanced technologies and the historical and essential nature of the existing building.

List of good practice (pdf files):

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Offices subgroup definition

Offices subgroup would focus on office buildings (administrative buildings) which are continually used for a set period of hours each week (in Ireland this would be offices with a 35 hour core working period per week i.e. 7 hours/day and 5 days /week) and also where the energy use is comprised of small office equipment, heating, lighting.

The type of building would include:

It is possible that buildings may overlap with for example historical buildings subgroup i.e. a historical buildings being used as an administrative building.

List of good practices (pdf files):

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Schools definition

After having an internal debate on how to define schools for collecting best practices in this subgroup we came to the conclusion that it is better to keep a simple definition of schools following the most widespread criteria used. This means that we will focus only on primary education and secondary education taking into account the definition given by the Wikipedia, that we summarize below:

A school is an institution designed for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is commonly compulsory. In these systems, students progress through a series of schools. The names for these schools vary by country, but generally include primary school for young children and secondary school for teenagers who have completed primary education. An institution where higher education is taught, is commonly called a university college or university. In much of continental Europe, the term school usually applies to primary education, with primary schools that last between four and nine years, depending on the country. It also applies to secondary education, with secondary schools often divided between Gymnasiums and vocational schools, which again depending on country and type of school educate students for between three and six years. The term school is rarely used for tertiary education, except for some upper or high schools (German: Hochschule), which describe colleges and universities

Only public schools are included in this subgroup.

When talking about school building we include spaces used by pupils, by other people from the educational community or by other users of the school.  These can be spaces such as the canteen, the schoolyard, the auditorium, etc. 

Relevance of energy efficiency measures at school

Schools have a huge potential for saving energy and encourage more sustainable habits. Nevertheless, these buildings usually lack of a specific energy policy. Best practices demonstrate the possibilities to improve energy efficiency at schools engaging pupils, the education community and facility managers in a common project towards a more sustainable use of energy. Sometimes it is not necessary to make big renovations in the school building because just with behavioural changes it is possible to make big savings on energy use at school, as an example of this you can take a look at the 50/50 concept that started on German schools and that is spreading across Europe with the IEE Euronet 50/50 project.

Energy efficiency measures at school allow to reduce energy use and CO2 emissions while at the same time can help to improve the environmental conditions of classrooms and other areas of the school building.

List of good practices (pdf files):

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Social housing definition

Definition relates to intervention of dedicated operators, specifically created to build, renovate and manage these social housings with no profit aims. Being the contracting authority, the social housing organizations can have different legal forms. Social houses are helped by public policies to guarantee affordable housing for beneficiary households. They are attributed following priorities of objective criteria and transparency and ensure security of tenure for households. In Community law, social housing is a matter of services of general economic interest. This means that general interest outweighs on application on the competition rules. This qualification allows to maintain dedicated operators and to finance execution of the public interest mission by public funding.


Social housing can be collective or individual housing.
For a better standardization and exchanges with partners we proposed not to consider:

List of good practices (pdf files)

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Sport facilities definition

Individual buildings or groups of structures designed for exercising, sports training and practice, and competition in various sports.
The sport facilities are classified among the most intensive public buildings because of their occupancy rate, their specificities and their design for use that increase the energy consumption in comparison with other public buildings.

This definition does not include:

This definition includes:

The modern sports structures are the classical palaestrae, gymnasiums, stadiums, hippodromes, and circuses. Modern sports structures and facilities serve more than 50 types of sports. A structure or facility is usually divided into the principal area, where training is done and competitions are held (fields, courts, halls), auxiliary areas (cloakrooms, dressing rooms, shower rooms, rooms for officials, equipment rooms), areas for the maintenance systems (water, heat, and electric power supplies), and the spectator area (stands and seats, lobbies, refreshment counters, and restrooms). Sports structures and facilities can be outdoor or indoor.
Individual buildings may be designed for one or several types of sports, for example, auditoriums or halls for both gymnastics and games; sports complexes consist of several specialized structures designed for different sports. Fields and courts for games and track and field, ice rinks, swimming pools, rowing channels, ski trails, sledding runs, ski jumps, cycle tracks, and firing ranges are examples of individual outdoor structures and facilities. Stadiums with sports arenas and courts for different sports and equestrian sports centres are outdoor complexes. Individual indoor sports structures and facilities include halls or auditoriums for various sports, indoor arenas for track and field events and games, indoor ice rinks, tennis courts, and swimming pools. Indoor complexes include buildings with multiple arenas, general-purpose halls for entertainment and sports, and indoor stadiums.
The indoor facilities; either the gyms, especially those in which competitions are held, or the swimming pools are very energy intensive, due to the large amount of energy required based on the sports standards. Their height of the indoor gym automatically increases its volume, thus requiring a large amount of energy for space conditioning. All gyms, regardless of age and their scale, ie if are new or old installations, small or large buildings must adopt all other requirements for building operations, such as those listed in the Directive 2010/31/EU.

List of good practices (pdf files):

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