Stimulating the upgrading of skills by local authorities – The Summer Theater Complex in Gabrovo, Bulgaria

Public nZEB buildings case study
Building type
Cultural Public
Project type

Summer Theater Complex. ©

In 2020, 91% of non-refurbished buildings in Bulgaria had a poor energy performance (class E, F and G). To promote the improvement of the energy performance of these buildings, the Bulgarian Strategy for Sustainable Energy Development 2030 – 2050 was launched.

Gabrovo is one of the frontrunner municipalities in Bulgaria in terms of innovation in the public procurement process. In February 2022, the municipality of Gabrovo initiated a tender to refurbish the Summer Theater Complex, built in 1972 and abandoned in 2005. The project aimed at remodelling the existing buildings and transforming them into a youth centre, and was financed through the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2014 – 2021.

How was this building procured?

The contracting authority launched a tender with the subject “Major repair with reconstruction of the buildings and facilities of the Summer Theater Complex to create a youth centre in Gabrovo”. A training clause was included in the tender document according to which, the workers involved in the project should participate in a theoretical and practical training. In order to support the companies with this skills demand, the municipality of Gabrovo covered the costs of these training sessions.

The contract was awarded in June 2022 and included penalties in case of non-trained workers were working on site. The tender received 8 offers and was awarded to Nsk Sofia EOOD.

The training programme was developed by the Center for Energy Efficiency – EnEffect, an organisation specialised in energy efficiency, and included contents such as the principles of deep renovation, approaches to achieve air tightness of buildings and the installation of thermal insulation systems.

What are the key nZEB features?

The building’s key features related to nZEB will include:

  • Energy saving and heat conservation (energy efficiency);
  • Thermal insulation of the façades, walls and ceilings.
Did the project have an impact on skills?

Although the renovation and transformation of the Summer Theater Complex into a youth center is still in progress, the training was already conducted by the Center for Energy Efficiency – EnEffect. It is important to highlight the training requirement as a good practice in public procurement as it has a direct effect on the stimulation of nZEB construction skills in the market.  Covering the costs of these training sessions by the public authority, if possible, can also be a good way of supporting the companies with this increasing demand.

Keywords: Renovation of buildings, Skills demand, Energy Efficiency Training, Sustainable public procurement, Innovation public procurement, Bulgaria, Youth Center, Theater.
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