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Spanish technology center offers a holistic methodology to reduce the economic risks of district energy retrofitting projects

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Partner keyword: 
Construction engineering (design, simulation)
Management of construction process & life
Energy management
Construction companies
Engineering and consulting services related to construction
Facility management companies
Other utilities and related firms


A Spanish technology centre has developed comprehensive district energy retrofitting methodology. This holistic and customizable method reduces the economic risks of large-scale renovation projects and facilitates the planning, implementation, management of such energy projects. The methodology has been tested at district level on three demonstration sites. Technical or research cooperation agreements are sought with any type of entity involved in district energy retrofitting.



A Spanish technology center, funded in 1994, offers transversal, integrated and innovative solutions to companies to improve their processes, developments, systems and products. It operates in five economic sectors: i) industry, ii) energy and environment, iii) construction and infrastructure, iv) agro-food, and v) health and quality of life.

The technology center offers a holistic district energy retrofitting methodology, developed in the framework of an EU funded project, to comprehensive plan and select the most appropriate energy solutions to reduce the economic risks and to guarantee the desired energy performance, especially in large-scale renovation works.

It guarantees the successful planning and implementation of integrated retrofitting projects at district level, and allows to, systematically, design complex renovation projects.

The methodology also integrates district sustainability indicators (DSI), building information modelling (BIM), integrated project delivery (IPD) and energy and life cycle simulation tools for selecting the most suitable combination of energy conservation measures for retrofitting interventions.

The methodology improve the decision-making process in district retrofitting projects providing better results by i) monitoring the achievement of objectives throughout the process, and ii) establishing stakeholders' responsibilities. It reduces personal costs due to time savings, particularly in the design and decision-making stages, and improves the organizational tasks and communication workflows before, during and after the intervention.

The district energy retrofitting design methodology has been tested in 3 demonstration sites in the framework of the EU project, and the solution is being optimized and tailored to end-user needs through additional study cases.

The methodology can be applied to:
- Strategic energy planning of districts
- Energy-efficient building retrofitting selection
- Building retrofitting management
- Design of new buildings under a holistic energy-efficient approach
- Evaluation, validation and reinforcement of tendering and bidding proposals
- Evaluation of compliance with initial energy objectives after intervention and proposition of actions to improve critical aspects during the building/district lifespan

The partnerships sought are construction firms, design companies, building owners or municipalities interested in implementing the methodology for specific retrofitting activities in real size scale. And in companies or public administration interested in further development of this methodology to be tested and analysed under research and techical cooperation agreements to participate in EU funding programs:
- ICT companies could be involved for implementing tools using the developed methodology as starting point
- Municipalities could validate the methodology at city level and collaborate in the redefinition to make it adaptable for other different dimensions.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
The methodology proposed applied a multi-criteria and holistic analysis, based on a wide set of relevant indicators in energy, economy, sustainability, comfort, social and urban, among others, calculated at district level. It is modular, customizable and easily scalable. The multi-criteria analysis and holistic approach allows to detect system failures derived from misconceived designs, reducing by this costs and risks during the construction phase. The ex-ante analysis, based on reliable and robust simulation data, also permits more comprehensive planning and implementation resulting in savings in personnel and other costs. It can also overcome technical barriers of large scale retrofitting activities assuring to meet targets on time, meet the budget and the required quality. The methodologies available in the market does not offer holistic and multi-criteria approaches including this wide range of indicators, limiting the analysis of the district retrofitting design.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Field tested/evaluated

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
A technical cooperation agreement with partners interested in applying the methodology for specific retrofitting activities in real size scale, such as construction firms, building design companies, building owners or municipalities. A partner with a retrofitting idea can test the result that would be obtained in terms of energy, environmental, economic, comfort, social and urban improvement before starting the construction works. A research cooperation agreement with partners interested in participated in EU funding programs to study districts for retrofitting. Additionally ICT companies could be involved for implementing tools using the developed methodology as starting point.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,University,R&D Institution,SME <10,251-500,SME 51-250