Aims of the project:

  • The project aims to tackle sustainability issues around transport, energy, and ICT and to develop a model to show how sustainability can be integrated into the regeneration of our towns and cities.

REMOURBAN is a Horizon 2020 project involving five European cities; the project is developing a model to show how sustainability can be integrated into the regeneration of our towns and cities. The project will focus on interventions to improve the energy performance of homes, to establish new low-carbon transport and to implement smart technologies.

For housing REMOURBAN is piloting new technologies to make a step change in the amount of energy older houses use, so they’re ready for low carbon standards in 2050. The project will reduce residents’ bills and make them warmer through innovative insulation techniques, and in some cases energy generation and battery storage. Some measures such as external wall insulation will also transform how homes and neighbourhoods look.

Treating over 400 Nottingham City Homes properties and private homes with energy saving measures to make them warmer and reduce energy bills

  • EWI retrofit for hard-to-treat homes and LED lighting
  • First UK Energiesprong pilot, an ultra-low energy standard for 10 houses, so they will need almost no heating, and exploring the options to replicate this solution across the City.
  • Extending the district heating network to 94 homes using innovative technologies to draw additional heat from a return leg,
  • Piloting the concept of low temperature community heating, which could allow Nottingham to roll out its low carbon heat from waste to many more domestic properties in the future, at a much lower cost to the City.
  • Testing innovative ways to fund and procure solutions which would make ultra-low energy standards achievable for more homes, without reliance on grant funding

Outcomes

  • Reduced fuel poverty via reduced fuel bills
  • Better quality housing
  • Warmer and healthier homes
  • Reduced carbon emissions
  • Neighbourhood regeneration
  • Increased renewable energy generation

Key challenges and how were these overcome:

    • Bronze standard using external wall insulation (EWI)
    • Silver standard using EWI, low temperature district heating, solar PV and battery storage
    • Gold standard using the energiesprong whole-building approach, which challenges the sector to innovate to ultra-low energy standards to a fixed price, ensures quality through a guaranteed performance, and drives cost reduction through offsite manufacture by giving a restricted time on site.Getting hard to treat homes down to very low energy standards in an affordable manner.  This was achieved through trialling three different approaches:

    Right to buy – makes it hard to invest in housing stock.  Worked because of high European commission funding, and the relatively small numbers of gold standards homes (where highest £/home).  Now modelling the outcomes to assess whether this is an issue for higher volumes.

    Overcoming barriers to a non-traditional procurement approach  – wanted a guaranteed outcome rather than the traditional buying a specific intervention.

Key success factors:

  • Dedicated project management
  • Collaborative approach to procurement for the ultra-low energy homes – built a good relationship with the contractors
  • Right infrastructure in place ie District Heating to build on
  • Citizen engagement strategy already in place from which to build on

Key learnings:

  • Early and detailed tenant engagement is key – tenants have a valuable contribution to make in the shaping of a housing retrofit solution, although expectations need to be managed.
  • Early engagement with planners, find out how they see the local neighbourhood developing and design the external aspects in line with their future vision

Organisation: Nottingham City Council

Delivery agents: NCC, NCH

How long has the project been operational: Jan 2015 – December 2019

How long the project took from concept approval to implementation: 17 months

Funding: Nottingham received £5 million of EU Horizon 2020 research funding; £3m was for domestic energy efficiency measures for over 400 local homes, both social and private.

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