From an unused warehouse to a sustainable youth centre – Alzira

Public nZEB buildings case study
Building type
Public Social
Project type

Unused warehouse building. © Alzira Ràdio

Alzira Municipality is part of the Consorci de la Ribera, a consortium of 47 small local governments located in two neighbouring counties which acted as the contracting authority in this tender. The Consorci is active in different sustainable initiatives such as the Green Office, that promotes responsible energy use by citizens and to push for renewable energy sources, and the Prominent MED (Public pRocureMent of Innovation boosting greEN growTh in the MEDiterranean area) which aims to boost the use of innovative energy-efficient materials in the renovation of public buildings, and funded the refurbishment of this building.

How was this building procured?

The public authority, the Consorci de la Ribera, used an innovative procurement approach to refurbish an unused warehouse and transform it into a Youth Centre for the municipality of Alzira. Specifically, suppliers were asked to provide innovative façade renovations such as windows, that could contribute to the reduction of the overall building energy consumption and associated CO2 emissions – contributing to achieve a near zero-energy building (nZEB).

Green and innovative criteria were included in the tender. The project was innovative in how the solutions responded to the requirements in a holistic way. To achieve energy efficency, the tender required the use of tools to test the energy performance as well as calculate the life cycle cost (LCC) of the refurbishment.

The Consorci, together with Alzira Municipality and the local university, organised a market consultation to exchange information  between the public authorities and potential suppliers.

Additional information sessions were held as well as a guided visit to the project site for interested companies. Three offers were presented, of which two were complying with all criteria and were evaluated.

What are the key nZEB features?

The building’s key nZEB features include:

  • Hight air insulation;
  • Passive heating and cooling through strategic design;
  • Indoor air and acoustic quality;
  • Ease and low-energy intensity of maintenance;
  • Material guarantees to minimise future costs.

The contracted solution demonstrated a 15% reduction in energy demand for heating (from 63 to 54.6 kWh/m2yr) and a 19% reduction in cooling (from 34.1 to 27.5 kWh/m2yr). A total of a 15% reduction was shown in the building’s energy needs, which will lead to operational cost savings accounting for more than EUR  25.000 along the 30 year building’s life cycle.

Did the project have an impact on skills?

Although this tender did not specifically include criteria regarding official nZEB certificates or training programmes, the project did incentivise the contractor to demonstrate and develop their technical and nZEB-related skills. The market consultation and the enagement of technical experts helped the Contracting Authority to gain a better understanding of the possible solutions to meet the project’s objectives.

In addition, the strong communication strategy developed by the Consorci, together with the included green and innovative criteria, led to the stimulation of skills in the region related to nZEB buildings and specific technological needs required in energy efficient facilities.

Keywords: Renovation of buildings, Façade refurbishment, Spain, nZEB, Sustainable public procurement, Innovation public procurement, Market consultation, Youth Center
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