Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Finding a greener future for William Street

A new pilot project looks at energy efficiency in tenements across Europe.

Oct 8, 2013

The Low Energy Apartment Futures (LEAF) project aims to identify energy efficiency improvements in multi-occupancy buildings, such as tenements or blocks of flats and support owners to make changes. Here the project is led by the social enterprise and environmental charity Changeworks and co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe programme of the European Union, as well as the City of Edinburgh Council.

In Edinburgh the case studies will include a Georgian tenement in William Street. Residents have agreed to have a free energy survey carried out on their property, and based on the results they will be offered tailored impartial advice and support about the suggested improvements. EWH will be involved in offering advice on how traditional buildings can be made more energy efficient without effecting their historic character.

Chiara Ronchini, Energy Efficiency Manager for Edinburgh World Heritage said: “This project is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate together with our partners that historic buildings in multiple ownership and occupancy can be retrofitted with energy efficiency measures. We believe we can demonstrate that traditional buildings such as William Street are inherently sustainable, and that simple energy efficiency measures can be installed to reduce heat loss even further. Hopefully the LEAF project will be an exemplar to be replicated in many other tenements in Edinburgh and in other World Heritage cities.”

As reducing energy bills in flats and tenements is a problem for many European countries, the project involves partners from Germany, Sweden, Hungary, France and Austria. The initiative started in April 2013 and will last for three years, providing a total of 24 case studies across the participating countries.

In the long run, the scheme aims to provide practical resources to enable owners, landlords and residents to upgrade their property.

This approach will be applied in practical case studies in each country to demonstrate how multi-occupancy buildings can be upgraded by working together, rather than improving individual flats in a piecemeal approach. Lessons from the case studies will be used to evaluate the approach and resources, which will be freely available to use at the end of the project. Project findings will also help to inform future local and national policies.

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