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Challenge / Goal

Modern houses are highly energy efficient, but one third of Europe’s housing stock was built between 1950 and 1970 when the technologies and materials used now had not yet been developed. 

Barcelona Municipality has promoted the energy refurbishment of a social housing building in Passeig Santa Coloma with 207 dwellings and over 14,000 m2. The building facade (18-years old thermal clay facade) was significantly deteriorated. The Municipality decided to invest in better thermal insulation.


Facade retrofitting and blinds replacement have been conducted to improve the envelope thermal insulation and indoor comfort. Both wool and expanded polystyrene insulation have been employed, the former on ventilated façades and the latter on the rest of façades.Insulation design in each façade has been optimised in order to protect indoor spaces from weather conditions depending on the orientation and irradiation received. To measure the performance, an energy consumption and indoor air conditions monitoring system has been installed in some dwellings.

Citizen participation

Involvement of residents through a community wide association for the decision-making process before, during and after the works.


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    Main benefits

  • Decreasing energy consumption in buildings

  • Reducing energy bills

  • Improving energy usage efficiency

  • Reducing GHG emissions

  • Increasing share of renewables

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