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ABRACADABRA Technical Toolkit helps assessment of deep energy retrofit projects

4 October 2018

ABRACADABRA Technical Toolkit helps assessment of deep energy retrofit projects

ABRACADABRA Technical Toolkit helps assessment of deep energy retrofit projects
The expansion of the deep retrofit market will require the development of commonly agreed, tested and accepted standard process which will increase the chance of successful replication.

In this context, the EU-funded Horizon 2020 project ABRACADABRA (Assistant Buildings’ addition to Retrofit, Adopt, Cure And Develop the Actual Buildings up to zero energy, Activating a market for deep renovation) is based on the prior assumption that a substantial increase in the real estate value of the existing buildings can play a key role in the deep renovation. The project aims at demonstrating to the key stakeholders and financial investors the attractiveness of a new renovation strategy based on volumetric Add-ons and Renewables (AdoRes) intended as one (or a set of) Assistant Building unit(s) – like aside or façade additions, rooftop extensions or even an entire new building construction – that “adopt” the existing buildings to achieve nearly zero energy.

One of the key deliverables of this project is a Technical Toolkit, which provides a guide and outline process for stakeholders to understand, assess and implement the technical assessment required for successful building renovation projects.

The Technical Toolkit consists of two main parts. The first part of this toolkit includes an integrated and simplified energy model (SEM) for energy-economic analysis for non-experts and experts alike. The SEM is specially designed for quick input of data and calculations. It also offers the possibility to insert data regarding extensions of a building without having to re-insert data on the existing building, which is an advantage compared to other similar software. In this way, various extension scenarios can easily be assessed.

Scenarios for ABRACADARBA:

scenario 1: standard retrofit (without any extension);

scenario 2: ground piles;

scenario 3: façade extension;

scenario 4: rooftop extension;

scenario 5: sideward extension;

scenario 6: construction of an ‘assistant building’.

The second part of the Technical Toolkit is the Guideline Catalogue for Technical Solutions. The Catalogue is an information source for building owners, project developers, construction companies, financiers and other involved parties. The Catalogue provides different technical solutions, possibilities, materials their technical properties. This information is provided to help successfully carry out deep renovation projects with volumetric extensions from the technical perspective. The toolkit also provides a preliminary cost calculation for each scenario according to the reference construction market as well as an estimation of the real estate value of the renovated building and AdoRes. In order to calculate the business performance and use cost effective solutions for deep energy renovations with AddOns (volume extensions) and AdoRes (renewable installation), the ABRACADABRA Financial Toolkit can be used.

Together with the Financial and Regulatory Toolkits, the Technical Toolkit provides guidelines for stakeholders in implementing AddOns with energy renovations. As there is little knowledge on how to realise nZEB (nearly Zero Energy Building) buildings, these guidelines will serve as helpful means in the renovation process.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 696126


Heat Roadmap Europe 4 workshop at DecarbHeat Conference

4 May 2017

Heat Roadmap Europe 4 workshop at DecarbHeat Conference

Don't miss the next Heat Roadmap Europe 4 (HRE) workshop, which will take place during the EHPA DecarbHeat Forum, on 11-12 May in Brussels (Blegium) at the BEL. The session, titled “DecarbCities: addressing the renovation challenge”, taking place on 11 May, 14.00 – 15.30, will discuss solutions for turning cities into sustainable living areas using a combination of building renovations, best available heating and cooling technologies and low carbon energy sources.

As one of the keynote speakers, HRE project leader Professor Brian Vad Mathiesen will highlight the importance of energy planning for connecting electric and thermal infrastructures and using energy most efficiently in future cities. Session speakers, joined by ICLEI's Carsten Rothballer, will sit on a panel to discuss the best way to help local authorities making informed decisions on how to exploit the available heat sources and reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption in their cities.

#DecarbHeat 2017 will collect ideas from energy stakeholders on the next steps towards the vision of a 100 percent decarbonised heating and cooling sector by 2050 (80 percent by 2040). The conference addresses the future of heating and cooling policy and will explore scientists and policy makers' visions for a 2050 energy system, including what cities can do to help, the effects of digitalisation on the heating and cooling industry, and perspectives from the industrial sector. The Heat Pump City of the Year Award, for which ICLEI is a jury member, will be awarded at the event.

For more information and to register, please click here.

Sustainable Cities: Transformative Action Award - apply now!

28 April 2017

Sustainable Cities: Transformative Action Award - apply now!

Applicants are being sought for the Transformative Action Award, which rewards initiatives which address the goals of the Basque Declaration including the use of public procurement to create productive, sustainable and resilient cities.

Initiatives which involve a high level of innovation, for example in terms of social innovation and civic economy, that inspire others to replicate the action elsewhere in Europe are invited from local and regional authorities, and civil society organisations. Actions are preferably part of a local strategy or vision rather than standalone and must be in place for at least three months and less than 5 years at the time of application.

Transformative actions combine various pathways and address one or more agendas of the Basque Declaration. They should achieve a comprehensive transformation with a positive local or regional impact. Winners will be rewarded with free entry and a presentation at the next European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns taking place in 2019 and publicity through the Sustainable Cities Platform, ICLEI online platforms and publications and a promotional video. The deadline for applications is 18 June 2017.

For more information and to download an application form, visit the Sustainable Cities Platform.

Urban transport roadmaps: a web-based tool to help cities develop sustainable mobility strategies

27 April 2017

Urban transport roadmaps: a web-based tool to help cities develop sustainable mobility strategies

The urban transport roadmaps tool, developed for DG Move, European Commission, by Ricardo Energy & Environment and Trasporti e Territorio, is a web-based tool to help city authorities develop urban transport roadmaps that address the most pressing environmental, social and economic issues faced by their transportation systems between now and 2030.

The tool provides cities with the ability to identify, develop, screen and assess different transport policies and measures. In particular, it helps cities to quickly and easily assess the likely costs and impacts of measures that could help them improve the sustainability of their transport systems. Cities can explore combinations of different policy scenarios and assess the impacts of these scenarios on the environment, safety, mobility, the economy and the city’s transport system. This type of scenario analysis helps cities to rapidly identify which policy measures are likely to be useful in supporting their own urban transport sustainability goals.

A key benefit of the tool is that users do not need any prior experience in transport modelling. The tool is user-friendly, and has a simple and intuitive graphical user interface.

For more information, visit

CIVITAS SUMPs-Up launches call for mobility planning authorities

21 April 2017

CIVITAS SUMPs-Up launches call for mobility planning authorities

The CIVITAS SUMPs-Up project has launched a call for applications for its Innovation Pilot Pool (IPP), a select group of transport and urban planning practitioners who will develop tools and services to help SUMP development in European cities. IPP participants will receive SUMPS-Up funding and participate in learning activities known as SUMP Learning Programmes (SLPs) to test and apply SUMP approaches, tools and methodologies under real conditions.

CIVITAS SUMPs-Up is an EU-funded project with a focus on helping cities develop Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) - strategic long-term planning documents that integrate all transport modes and balance environmental, social and economic factors. The project assists mobility planning authorities, especially in countries where there are few SUMPs, to overcome the barriers that stop or make it difficult for them to implement the plans.

The current call for applications seeks to fill 40 slots in the Expert Group, who will participate for six months, and 10 slots in the Leadership Group, who will participate for three years. The remaining 50 slots in the IPP scheme will be selected via similar calls for applications opening in 2018 and 2019.

For more information and to submit an application, visit

Basque Declaration presented at European Parliament meeting of European Greens

6 April 2017

Basque Declaration presented at European Parliament meeting of European Greens

ICLEI colleagues outlined the key messages included in the Basque Declaration at a recent stakeholder meeting convened by the European Greens, attended by a select group of MEPs, NGO representatives, and others working in the field of urban sustainability policy.

Austrian MEP Monika Vana, a Member of the Greens/European Free Alliance parliamentary group, moderated the informal meeting. Former ICLEI Regional Executive Committee member Evelyne Huytebroeck, now a member of the European Green Party Committee, provided the opening welcome to participants.

Head of the ICLEI Brussels Office Peter Defranceschi and Coordinator Giorgia Rambelli gave a succinct presentation, providing information on the background of the urban sustainability movement, the launch of the Basque Declaration at the 2016 Sustainable Cities and Towns campaign in the Basque Country, and the role of local governments in meeting transnational agreements, such as the Paris Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Urban Agenda.

“Everybody is aware that there is an urgent need to transform our societies. The Basque Declaration is really about seeing the local level as agents of change, and empowering civil society to have an active role and responsibility in bringing about this change,” said Mr Defranceschi.

A networking session followed the presentation, in which representatives from the European Greens asked follow up questions about ICLEI’s vision for urban sustainability and transformative actions by cities.

For more information, contact

European Commission offers cities a say in Urban Water Agenda 2030

28 March 2017

European Commission offers cities a say in Urban Water Agenda 2030

The European Commission’s DG Environment is looking for cities willing to contribute to the strategy development of the upcoming Urban Water Agenda 2030 (UWA2030). Through the UWA2030 initiative, cities will gain visibility for their commitment to sustainable urban water management and readiness to apply innovative solutions in the field of water resources, systems and services.

Recognising the strengths of local action for sustainable urban water management, the European Commission seeks to engage cities in accelerating the implementation of EU water policies and legislation, in particular the EU Water Framework Directive and the Floods Directive. This work will contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6 on Access to Water and Sanitation, and 11 on Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Following a tender procedure, ICLEI and EUROCITIES were selected by the European Commission in February 2017 to prepare a strategy and work plan for the UWA2030. The European Commission is setting up a core group of cities that will be regularly consulted on these matters between April and October 2017.

By participating in the UWA2030 core group, cities gain a unique opportunity to have a say on the strategic direction of the UWA2030. The Terms of Reference outlines the expected role and contribution of core group members as well as the process for joining the group. Cites interested in becoming a member of the UWA2030 core group should express their interest by contacting by 7 April 2017.

For more information, download the terms of reference.

Be the Heat Pump City of the year

20 March 2017

Be the Heat Pump City of the year

The Heat Pump City of the Year Award recognises the most efficient, smart and sustainable heat pump project at the local level. In the context of its involvement in two low carbon heating and cooling projects (Heat Roadmap Europe 4 and THERMOS), ICLEI is well placed to lend its expertise as member of the jury.

Launched in 2011 by the European Heat Pump Association, the award aims to give visibility to cities active in decarbonising their heating and cooling sector and to put the spotlight on cities and regions that have implemented an energy efficient project incorporating a heat pump. The competition is calling for sustainable heat pump examples from single residential, commercial and industrial buildings. The level of integration in thermal grids and with other renewable technologies, such as solar panels, will be considered.

The competition is open to cities and regions, national associations, and individuals. The deadline for application is 7 April and the winner will be awarded during the DecarbHeat2017 event, which will take place in Brussels (Belgium) on 11-12 of May.

For more information about this year’s edition and details of how to apply, visit

Sustainable energy actions from planning to implementation

10 January 2017

Sustainable energy actions from planning to implementation

The Final Conference of the Intelligent Energy Europe funded projects Mayors in Action and BEAST will take place in Brussels (Belgium) on 8 February 2017. The projects will provide ideas on how to bridge the gap between planning and implementing a wide range of sustainable energy actions.

The event will bring together policy makers and technical staff from local and regional governments, signatories of the Covenant of Mayors, Covenant Supporters and Coordinators, energy agencies, the business sector, and energy stakeholders. In addition to a great line-up of speakers and experts, the free one-day workshop will be an opportunity to exchange and discuss about sustainable energy actions and replication possibilities.

The workshop will have a round of speed presentations to look at financing and implementing sustainable energy actions, followed by an interactive panel discussion. A “matchmaking lunch”, in which expert hosts facilitate the networking among participants in a series of topical roundtables, will conclude the event. Registration can be completed online.

For more information, click here.

ICLEI members provide examples of good practice in procuring low-carbon transport

7 January 2016

ICLEI members provide examples of good practice in procuring low-carbon transport

The EU-funded TRANSFORM project has gathered examples of good practice in procuring low-carbon public transport in a series of publications. The project focussed on the experiences of ICLEI members Barcelona (Spain), Birmingham (United Kingdom) and Rotterdam (The Netherlands).

A final report explains the journey of the three cities as they incorporated innovative practices when procuring transport and mobility products and services. Two policy briefs have also been produced, discussing the policy issues around procurement in transport as well as the implications from evidence gathered through the pilots in the participating cities and stakeholder workshops.

Finally, the project has developed joint statements of demand, inviting European cities seeking clean urban transport solutions to join the project in communicating collective messages to the market.

For more information, visit

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