The demo building for BRESAER – Interview with Ekodenge
02 Dec 2015 - Demosite

A public education center in Ankara has been selected as the demonstration building for the BRESAER Project. It is based in Kecioren, a largely populated district municipality in Ankara, Turkey. The building is used by the Ministry of National Education of the Republic of Turkey (MoNE) as a life-long educational center for adults, where certified vocational courses on various topics such as computing, language courses, accounting and sewing are held.

Ekodenge Engineering and Consultancy Inc. engineers, Emre Yöntem and Gülfem Inaner are in charge of coordinating and monitoring the activity at the Kecioren demo site. We interview them today about the demosite activities.


BRESAER is an energy efficiency building project, with an EU wide geographic scope. Which criteria had you in mind when you selected the geographic area for your demo building?

A number of technical and social criteria have been considered in the selection of geographic area of the real demonstration building. From the technical point of view, the impact of BRESEAR technologies on energy savings should be representative for all EU climatic conditions. Therefore, the demo building must represent vary climatic conditions which generate both heating and cooling demands. Ankara has a very special climate with temperatures ranging from -15 to 35°C and large shifts between day and night which can provide efficient applications of thermal storage technologies.


Does the “social element” contribute to make of a building a “good candidate demosite” in a project like BRESAER?

Yes. The demonstration activities should be visible and replicable. These criteria lead us to select Kecioren Public Education Center which is used by over 60.000 people (adult and young students from every age) in a year.


The Kecioren public education center was built in 1990: how old must a building be to demonstrate the effectiveness of the BRESAER methodology?

The construction year of a building is not directly related with the effectiveness of the energy efficient retrofitting methodology, which is directly related to the annual fuel consumption of buildings per square meter (kWh/m2) and the year starting from which national or regional building envelope regulations have started to apply. For example, in Turkey heat insulation regulations for buildings (TS 825) have started to apply in 2000, however, there are many buildings built after that year which do not comply with this regulation. Therefore, one should not only investigate the building year but also the annual energy consumption.


You just mentioned regulation on retrofitting intervention. Is there one regulation across all the member states?

According to recast EPBD Directive 2010/31/EU, all member states define energy measures for retrofitting actions and set national targets. So, the parameters of building age or annual energy consumption can differ for every member state.


How long do you envisage the refurbishment work will last?

The estimated duration of refurbishment works of BRESAER system implementation is between 3 and 4 months, which is very convenient for educational buildings which are usually not fully occupied for 3 months every year. However the exact duration of installation and commissioning will be defined more accurately once the design and development of the system will have been finalised.


Will the BRESAER project be able to cater for the refurbishment of the entire building or of only part of it?

The BRESAER will deliver refurbishment solutions up to the extent sufficient to demonstrate the benefits and thermal gains. Improved envelope system will be provided for the whole building, but other solutions may have their peculiar implementations. For example, dynamic windows with automated blinds will be only integrated into the south facade of the building, but there is no need to apply them on other facades. In fact, applying sun control in north facade does not have any impact on energy efficiency.


Have you considered the maintenance interventions which may be needed at the demo building after the BRESAER refurbishment?

One of the tasks of the project is about developing guidance for installation, commissioning and maintenance of BRESAER system. Adequate resources have been allocated to this issue and maintenance guides can prevent concerns of building owners related to use of the building after refurbishment.


What challenges do you expect to encounter during your activity at the demosite?

Various risks were identified at the proposal stage and they were considered while developing the project’s management structure and time plan. Although the solutions have been identified, we have recently experienced administrative delays with Ministry of National Education of Turkey on the installation process of monitoring equipment. Correct manufacturing and commissioning of the components for the new and integrated solutions remains the major technical challenge partners will be facing.


Have you thought of a way to minimize disruption for the occupants?

Some options have been defined with the building manager until now. With regards to the installation of monitoring systems, installation and commissioning works are being carried out in the evenings of week days and on Sundays, when occupancy is low or the building is empty. When possible, weekend courses may be shifted to another public school building near to our demo building for a defined period of time. In the long-term, the installation of the BRESAER system will be scheduled in the holiday season, which corresponds to the summer months.


Do you plan to test occupants’ reaction and wellbeing following the refurbishment intervention?

We are planning to organize user satisfaction questionnaires before and after the BRESAER refurbishment. Feedback on these questionnaires can provide a non-technical and different point of view and can contribute to the project well.


The organization owning the building is committed into re-investing the energy cost saved money into social services: how important has the “ethical element” been in the selection of this demosite?

The overall ambition of the MoNE – who owns and operates the building – is to use the building as a teaching venue, to replicate the improvements and make them visible to an as large as possible extent. In this respect the Ministry of Education, who is a partner in the project is dedicating efforts and funds to fulfil this ambition and support the success of the project.


Are you planning to engage the local community about the refurbishment intervention which will be made in Kecioren?

The project benefits from good visibility at local level. The demo building, Kecioren Public Education Center has up to 60,000 visitors and students from the local community per year and a division of the school also accepts Open University applications every semester. So, the local community will not only engage with the refurbishment activities, but it will also be one of the beneficiaries of the project.


Will the technical results of the activity at the demo building be public?

Towards the end of the project, all of the project results will be made public through dissemination workshops, both at EU-and-national level. During these workshops, innovative aspects, cost effectiveness and replicability of BRESAER system will be illustrated.