Bolzano: an apartment on display to show the benefits of energy recovery

Credit: EURAC Research


At the IPES construction site in Via Cagliari, in one of the buildings being refurbished in the framework of the SINFONIA project, Eurac researchers have set up the temporary exhibition named "Here I Live Better - Qui vivo Meglio - Besser Wohnen" in an empty and newly renovated apartment. This exhibition, collaborated in cooperation with the IPES technicians and the CasaClima Agency, invites tenants of the nearby building complex located between via Cagliari and via Brescia to discover the solutions that are currently being implemented to make the building more energy efficient. It is a space with a family atmosphere, but at the same time curious and interactive, where the tenants can see how their houses are changing and how to make the best use of the newly installed technologies.


During exhibition days, tenants of the IPES residential complex have the possibility to circulate between the apartments’ rooms, read tips for using the various technologies and ask information to technical experts. A guided tour is also offered and tenants can indicate which issues deserve further attention in a dedicated space. The exhibition was developed by Eurac Research, together with Cooperativa 19 and Campomarzio, who set up the exhibition. "It is the first initiative of its kind in South Tyrol and we are very proud to propose it in this building.  We have used cutting-edge technologies that are now available to all tenants, and not just those who can afford them. Now the tenants can learn how to make the best use of these technologies, and reap all the benefits instead of being only spectators of this change,” commented the council member of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano, Christian Tommasini.

Via Cagliari Construction site. Credit: EURAC Research


In Bolzano, IPES, the institution in charge of social housing, is carrying out an extensive renovation work including almost all of the architectural elements of the building, from the roof to the boiler room, through façades, stairwells, balconies, windows and various systems. Thanks to these works, the 180 kilowatt hours per square meter consumed on average by the building will drop drastically and, with an optimal use of the technologies, could even reach 20.  "One of the most innovative aspect of this restoration is the approach adopted towards tenant engagement. The tenants of this building, almost one hundred families, have been already involved since the project’s initial phase, shared its objectives and were thus able to withstand the inevitable inconveniences caused by cohabitation within the construction site. We have worked to the best of our abilities with the company in charge of the refurbishment to minimise tenant inconveniences," explained Gianfranco Minotti, Director of IPES Technical Services division. One of the best examples of this constructive dialogue with tenants is the temporary installation of a hoist that could be used safely by tenants when the elevator was not working due to the construction of ten new apartments in the attic.


"Involving citizens and taking into account their perspective in the changes that are affecting the city is one of the pillars of Sinfonia. In Bolzano, several innovative technologies in the field of energy efficient buildings, sensors and district heating are being implemented in the framework of the project.  Knowing them well will allow for their full potential to be exploited," said Wolfram Sparber, Director of the Institute for Renewable Energy at Eurac Research. This underlines the importance of this initiative, that will be repeated in each of the five residential complexes involved in Sinfonia project.