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Large-scale construction of low-energy housing

Four city communities are ambassadors for energy-wise solutions in a large-scale EU project. The project will set a precedent for more energy-efficient operations at municipal level.
Solar collectors, solar cells, wind turbines, biomass plants and heat pumps.

Many different solutions will be trialled in the so-called ECO-City project under the EU-Commission's CONCERTO programme when a series of low-energy eco-buildings will be supplied with energy in Helsingborg (Sweden), Elsinore (Denmark), Trondheim (Norway) and Tudela (Spain) over the next five years.

In Elsinore and Helsingborg alone, work will include renovating 453 apartments and constructing between 282 and 350 new low-energy homes to be supplied by a large proportion of renewable energy.

The greatest integrated venture

The CONCERTO initiative is probably the greatest integrated venture the EU Commission has instituted in the field of energy.

During the initial round, nine integrated projects have been set in train, ECO-City being one of the first. The energy component of the ECO-City project accounts for more than DKK 200m, which the EU is subsidising to the tune of DKK 85m.
"The ECO-City project will set a precedent for ways of operating more energy-efficiently in future at municipal level and will promote low-energy building to meet the new requirements set out in building regulations according to the EU Building Directive EPBD. The purpose is to develop and demonstrate solutions that not only cut energy consumption on the demand side but also make it possible to switch to more environmentally friendly forms of energy sources,” says project manager Reto M. Hummelshøj from COWI, head of the ECO-City consortium with 22 partners.

The results will be communicated in the best possible way at many levels, by means including training, talks and lectures, the internet and European networking.

No effect on standard of living

As well as developing technological solutions, the project will also strengthen organisational cooperation between municipalities, utilities and housing companies, citizens and universities.

In addition, Helsingborg and Elsinore Municipalities will be working more closely together across national dividing lines. What with the many strings to its bow and the range of instruments available, as well as the desire to harmonise in unison, the EU programme has been named Concerto.

"We are demonstrating that all kinds of buildings can be made more energy-efficient so as to comply with the intensified demands to energy performance in the building sector, but we are also working on the supply and behavioural side. Living an environmentally friendly way can certainly be in harmony with keeping up our standard of living—we just have to do a better job on the energy side than we’re currently doing,” says Reto M. Hummelshøj.


Published: 16.1.2006


What is the CONCERTO initiative?

One of the points of the CONCERTO initiative is to bring cities, towns and local communities into line with the EU's energy policy objectives herunder to increase energy efficiency in buildings.

It is aimed that renewable energy will meet 22 percent of generated electricity by 2010 and 12 percent of the EU's total primary energy consumption in five years, allowing us to reduce our dependence on the supply of fossil fuels like gas, oil and coal.

The ECO-City project includes a total of 2,400 square metres of solar collectors, 4,000 square metres of solar cells, 5 MW wind turbines, a 5.75 MW biomass-fuelled heating plant, 1,050 low-energy homes and refurbishment of another 477 homes; as well as underground cold storage, interseasonal storage of waste and investigating the biogas supply for public transport, energy measuring equipment and systematic energy savings in public buildings.

LAST UPDATED: 16.09.2016