The EU co-funded BRICKER project, which aims to cut energy consumption in public non-residential buildings by 50%, held its latest general assembly at its new demonstration project, an administrative building in Cáceres managed by the government of Extremadura, Spain.

In Extremadura the emphasis is on solar and biomass technologies. ‘The project consists of integrating Parabolic Trough Solar Collectors (PTC), a biomass boiler, a heat and electricity cogeneration unit based on Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC), an adsorption chiller and a cooling tower. The PTC and the biomass boiler will produce hot oil that will feed the ORC unit. The ORC unit will produce electricity as well as hot water,’ said Noemí Jiménez, industrial engineer at CEMOSA.

Just now entering in its second year, BRICKER includes a consortium of 18 partners from six countries and is worth around €13 million. This four-year project includes three demonstration buildings.

The project sets out to develop and demonstrate high energy efficient and cost-effective retrofitting solutions to public buildings by combining passive and active technologies.

In addition to the Cáceres demonstration site, BRICKER has a site in the Turkish town of Aydin and another in Liège, Belgium. The Aydin site involves a university hospital block which is part of the Adnan Menderes University (pictured), partner in the project. Lightweight façade covers, heat recovery systems and parabolic solar panels will be fitted as part of the retrofitting interventions. A return on the retrofit is expected in around seven years. ‘After retrofitting, we expect to have the same comfort levels in the building, using 50% less energy,’ said Yunus Çengel, dean of the faculty of engineering in Aydin. 

In Liège, where the last steering committee took place in March, the demonstration site is home to an engineering college managed by BRICKER partner Province de Liège and is focused on thermal efficiency

Energy consumption in the non-residential sector is typically around 40% higher than in the residential sector in Europe and a major goal of the project is to refine its approaches so that they can be applied to other public buildings around Europe.