Around one-third of Slovakia’s population lives in housing estates constructed just after the 1950s. These buildings are far from energy-efficient, especially in the winter months when residents turn the central heating on.
LIFE DELIVER is coming up with some low carbon solutions to the problem.
Buildings account for 40% of the EU’s energy consumption and 36% of its greenhouse gas emissions. The EU knows that improving their energy efficiency is vital for achieving its 2050 climate targets under the European Green Deal.
And its recent EU Renovation Wave Strategy, which aims to double renovation rates over the next ten years, will also ensure that these renovations lead to higher energy and resource efficiency.
Slovakia’s Bratislava-Karlova Ves municipality is home to many so-called “prefabricated” buildings. These structures comprise factory-made components assembled on-site. In the past, they were a cheap and quick solution to the lack of homes for the rising population.
But they are not well insulated and lose a lot of heat in the winter, while in the summer months they overheat quickly.
‘Despite districts like ours suffering from extreme weather events like heatwaves and storms, there have been no major actions taken to reduce the energy intensity of the buildings,’ says the LIFE DELIVER’s project lead expert, Zuzana Hudekova. ‘And little has been done to improve biodiversity here,’ she adds.
To counter this, the team has just started building an entire school and a kindergarten using energy-efficient materials, which will provide cleaner air and more greenery to future occupants.
‘Water features, trees and shrubs, as well as rainwater collecting systems will also be put in place beside both buildings to boost biodiversity,’ says Zuzana.
These test buildings will serve as a model for future energy-efficient projects. And it is hoped that other cities and districts across the country will be inspired to undertake similar initiatives.
Project partners also plan on developing an online tool that will be able to monitor, assess and present the impact of climate change adaptation and mitigation actions in the district.
This tool will help authorities to make the right decisions in the face of climate change for the benefit of the environment and residents.
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