You receive this email because you signed up for City-zen's newsletter or because you're part of our network.
If you do not wish to receive email from us, you can unsubscribe at any time via the link at the bottom.

Online version here / Also available in french

Newsletter #10 - July 2018

Overcoming obstacles and lessons learnt. "If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere" said Frank A. Clark. In the case of City-zen, even if our vision is clear, there are always obstacles and clearing these obstacles makes the project rich and allow us to draw a few lessons from it. Lessons we want to share with you.

Whether they concern PV System, retrofitting or heating and cooling, discover it! Enjoy reading this newsletter and have a great summer!

PV system with storage: an innovative and experimental device in Grenoble

On May 17, a photovoltaic power plant in self consumption was inaugurated on the roofs of the Grenoble’s local energy and climate agency (ALEC). A look back at this innovation with Jérôme Buffière, project manager at the agency.

“This type of installation is both a technical demonstrator and an unprecedented business model. Equipped with storage, it has been implemented within City-zen in order to experiment the self consumption of the energy produced. The 55 photovoltaic solar panels cover 30% of the building’s electricity needs. 80% of the solar system’s production is self-consumed on site. Real-time monitoring of production and demand ensure this.

The solar installation allows the agency to benefit from a reduction in condominium charges generated by the reduction in the electricity bill. In a rapidly changing regulatory context, this type of installation allows local production to be better exploited and could constitute a competitive model for other project leaders (tertiary and industrial building, co-ownership, etc.).”

Homeowner shares his lessons learned in energy efficient home renovation: "take into account the risks"

We need examples and experiences in sustainable home renovation for making the transition from gas to heat more common. Part of City-zen is the renovation subsidies for homeowners. Homeowners (private individuals, owners associations, housing corporations and investors) in Amsterdam made use of the European City-zen subsidy to make their homes very energy-efficient. The most important criterion included a considerable improvement in the energy performance of the home.

One of the subsidizers is Bert, a homeowner in Amsterdam. Purely based on interest in technical ingenuity and the ability to make his home self-sufficient, he made the choice to renovate his home to an all-electric one. Just like his grandfather in the 60’s, who installed gas heaters in Dutch households, Bert is fond of technological innovation. As it turns out, his newly installed heat pump is made by the same manufacturer as the gas heaters his grandfather used to work with. That builds trust. “And now I hope to experience the transition where houses are cut loose from gas.”

Implementation of a sustainable cooling system succeeded through social factors

In October 2017, pioneers Waternet and Blood Bank Sanquin implemented an innovative cooling in one of Sanquin’s building (location Plesmanlaan) in Amsterdam, involving cold from the public drinking water infrastructure. Cold is extracted from the public drinking water for the use of cooling this building and for the use of cooling in pharmaceutical processes, necessary for making medicines. The use of the system achieves CO2 savings of about 1100 tons a year, which is over 2% of Waternet’s current climate footprint. A CO2 saving of 8% applies to Sanquin.

If it was already a widely-known technique and moreover a favorable business case, why is it not widely accepted yet? The implementation of this technology in the Waternet-Sanquin project was so successful, because next to favorable technical conditions, crucial social barriers were overcome.

Rehabilitation of the Mistral Towers in Grenoble: urban and social renovation

Interview with Gilles Billion, head of the "rehabilitation service", who discusses the urban renewal of this neighbourhood in difficulty.

"Like other projects we work on, the rehabilitation of the Mistral Towers is part of an urban renewal strategy, so we go beyond "traditional" interventions since we are also planning: habitat diversification, the development of economic activity and vocational training, the installation of new equipment and unifying businesses and the complete requalification of the halls and building surroundings

The objective is to open up the district located in Sensitive Urban Zone, to accompany the positive occupation of public space and thus to dry up the parallel drug economy for more calm and security. We want to break with the social image of the neighbourhood by proposing a purer aesthetic."

[City-zen research] Connect innovative companies and start-ups

Ideas and opportunities arise where people and organisations of all sorts meet. City-zen’ believe is that supporting triple helix collaboration (authorities, knowledge institutions and companies) is a prerequisite for urban innovation and focusing on demonstration of innovations and less on technical research alone. For smaller companies, this setting is great to show and demonstrate their solutions. This resulted in an open project allowing innovations by SME’s and start-ups to enrich the project. In this article we share the lessons learned so far; where we were successful and in other cases where we needed to adapt.

Roadshow: five days to Zero Carbon

Although the City-zen demonstration projects take place in the frontrunner smart cities of Amsterdam and Grenoble, the project’s focus is sharing its knowledge and experience with other European cities. Not only by demonstrating to others how it can be done in The Netherlands and France but by going ‘Glocal’: combining specialist global expertise with local stakeholder energy and knowledge of context and lifestyle on location.

For this purpose a special City-zen Roadshow team – consisting of internationally recognized experts in the field of energy planning and design from the Delft University of Technology, Queens University of Belfast, University of Siena, VITO, Th!nk E and DNV GL – has been put together.

The password to see the video: CZRS18

Stay informed and subscribe to our newsletter!

This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement N° 608702