REMOURBAN Site Nottingham

Country & City

  • United Kingdom
  • Nottingham

Project

Contact Information

Ruth Stallwood
City of Nottingham
United Kingdom

The area around Sneinton Road in Nottingham is considered to be the most appropriate for the development of the REMOURBAN demo site in the United Kingdom. The site is nearby the existing district heating and the pipeline reaches Bio City, situated very close to Sneinton Road. There is substantial Nottingham City Council housing in the area that needs upgrading to a much more energy-efficient state. Near the site is one of the famous city landmarks – George Green’s Windmill – and the science centre.

With expected impacts of 50 % energy savings, 26 % CO2 reduction and directly involving 8 100 citizens, Nottingham is implementing a variety of actions in the fields of low-energy districts, sustainable mobility, and an integrated infrastructure and society.

An intensive retrofitting programme will be developed in the Sneinton area in order to achieve a low-energy district. The district heating intervention will extend the existing district heating network (4 700 homes) by using the low-temperature return heating for the first time on this system, and maybe for the first time in the United Kingdom as a whole. As regards mobility and transport, the actions foreseen are going to reinforce the city’s sustainable transport strategy by improving the transportation infrastructure, extending the city’s fleet of electric buses and developing a small local consolidation centre for last-mile-delivery by using small electric vehicles for the transportation of goods at the city centre, thereby reducing the number of large vehicles used for domestic and business deliveries.

All these measures are complemented by ICT technologies and social actions, including a citizen engagement strategy, a social media strategy, a real-time integrated city model, a strategy for development of integrated urban plan, funding models to help private owners of retrofitted properties, a smart energy map and a common sustainable and smartness evaluation procedure.

* Detailed information regarding the technical and financial performance will be available at a later stage.

The overall gross floor area of 28 343 m² has been refurbished at the Nottingham demo site. The annual final energy saving through retrofitting is 2334 MWh per year.

Financial & Economic

Financial & Economic
Country
Encountered barriers
Solution
United Kingdom

Attracting private investment was complicated due to the difficulties encountered when trying to explain the benefits of the project.

The team pursued a strong communication campaign. They have sought to explain the benefits of the project by providing examples of best practices implemented in other similar projects.

Acceptance & uptake, Access to capital, Financial & Economic, Social, Energy

United Kingdom

The main financial risks of the project have been around matching the internal funding with the rising costs of project delivery.

The team is constantly working to rework costs in order to ensure that the project can be delivered whilst also working under budget pressures.

N/A

United Kingdom

Attracting private investment was complicated due to the difficulties encountered when trying to explain the benefits of the project.

The team pursued a strong communication campaign. They have sought to explain the benefits of the project by providing examples of best practices implemented in other, similar projects.

N/A

Regulatory & Administrative

Regulatory & Administrative
Country
Encountered barriers
Solution
United Kingdom

The inefficient communication between the different departments of the Municipality resulted in delays. In addition, there was administrative confusion over sharing the responsibility, especially between the financial and urbanism departments. 

A cross-cutting smart cities department was created in the municipality, designed to aid the implementation of these projects. The department was not functioning perfectly, but it has proved helpful in dealing with the administrative burdens.

Administrative capacity & burdens, Regulatory & Administrative, Energy

United Kingdom

During the REMOURBAN works, resources have been a constant point of contention, with the number of personnel and cash resources required during the implementation of the project being different to those anticipated at the planning stage. This has largely been due to industry cost increases as well as staff reductions. Specifically, the project team has noticed equipment and goods costs increasing significantly between the initial bid and delivery stage, meaning that there have been financial pressures on achieving the required delivery activities of the project within the budget available. Government cuts and recruitment freezes have also put pressure on resources whereby changes in staff infrastructure have reduced the availability of personnel for the project.

This was solved by hiring casual staff when necessary as well as consultants. However, such costs need to be anticipated and accounted for in funding budgets, and internal potential funding sources understood throughout the length of the project. It is essential also that the project has support throughout the organisational hierarchy, with an appointed project sponsor ensuring communication to management.

N/A

United Kingdom

The inefficient communication between the different departments of the municipality resulted in delays. In addition, there was administrative confusion over sharing the responsibility, especially between the financial and urbanism departments.

A cross-cutting smart city department was created in the municipality, designed to aid the implementation of these projects. The department did not function perfectly, but it has proved helpful in dealing with the administrative burdens.

N/A

Social

Social
Country
Encountered barriers
Solution
United Kingdom

Owners (usually the Municipality) were aware of the merits of the project and they were committed to implementation. However, the tenants were used to doing smaller interventions (e.g. painting the walls) and did not immediately see the value for the community as a whole. 

The developers have tried to bridge the problems encountered with the tenants via communication campaigns, in which they sought to explain the benefits of this type of a project by providing examples of best practices implemented in other similar projects.

Acceptance & uptake, Social, Energy

United Kingdom

Owners (usually the municipality) were aware of the merits of the project and they were committed to implementation. However, the tenants were used to doing smaller interventions (e.g. painting the walls) and did not immediately see the value for the community as a whole.

The developers have tried to bridge the problems encountered with the tenants via communication campaigns, in which they sought to explain the benefits of this type of project by providing examples of best practices implemented in other, similar, projects.

N/A

Best Practices

Best Practices
Country

Description

Links to lessons learned
United Kingdom

An interesting outcome of the introduction of the electric bus scheme has been the impact on the working relationship between the bus drivers. It seems that the capacity for each vehicle to be driven in a way that can maximise emission savings has stimulated a healthy and positive competition between drivers to see which of them can drive the most efficiently and save the most energy. This has been good for team building and employee relationships.

United Kingdom

Owners/tenants have been consulted throughout the project, in both planning and implementation stages. The team has worked to develop good relationships with the residents, holding fish and chip suppers, consultations within homes in the area and encouraging community champions to support the developments. The financial costs and benefits have always been discussed with the residents and their opinions sought. As the project requires their permission to be able to move ahead with the implementation, it has been essential to provide open and honest consultation throughout the project. This has been achieved through the community consultation meetings as well as printed information.

United Kingdom

The Nottingham project coordination process has included the establishment of monthly team meetings, engaging with all local partners working within the project across all the various strands. It has been noted how important it is to ensure good communication and overall project understanding.

Challenges

Challenges
Country

Description

Links to lessons learned
United Kingdom

In the main, this project has been able to move forward relatively smoothly, running well within the government’s existing administrative and financial standards. However, some of the challenges noted have been specifically around the size and impact of such a project on organisational resources, as well as the style of language used and the requirements for partners to understand a varying level of complex and specialised knowledge, together with the unique Horizon 2020 processes, which not all project colleagues are automatically aware of. It is therefore essential that the local project coordinator acts as a conduit between colleagues and the project to support, ‘translate’ and motivate engagement. It is also essential that the coordinator has the time and resources available to be able to provide this service alongside the overall procedural management of the project. Key skills to support this role include academic understanding, project management experience and a thorough understanding of the organisational structure.

Energy: 

* Detailed information regarding the technical and financial performance will be available at a later stage.

The actions and measures being implemented in Nottingham within the REMOURBAN project are:

Energy efficiency in buildings

  • Retrofitting the building envelope
    • Retrofitting: 28 343 m2 district retrofitting of 465 dwellings with 2567 residents
    • Solid wall insulation and its use on a variety of substrates and property ages
    • ‘Room in the roof’ insulation on properties that are over 100 years old
    • Horizon 2020 funding for these measures will be maximised with national Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding

Energy systems integration

  • District heating and cooling
    • Connection with city-scale district heating
    • Within the individual blocks, the intervention aims to supply a low-temperature flow to go through class 2 or 3 meters into the individual properties and deliver low-temperature heating to the individual rooms by zone-activated control valves, operated by wireless room stats with individually set heating curves per property. The heat emitters will be skirting radiators, providing a healthier internal heating environment.
  • Cogeneration (CHP)
    • Electrically distributed generation with cogeneration
  • Photovoltaics
    • Photovoltaic installations will be positioned on five buildings with a total annual generated energy of 90.8kWh per year and total power capacity of 111kWp
    • Storage in battery arrays
  • Waste heat recovery
    • Heating and cooling based on renewable energy sources such as waste heat
  • Waste-to-energy
    • The electricity to recharge the buses can be supplied by Enviroenergy, powered by burning the city’s waste, representing further carbon savings of around 40 % compared to conventional diesel buses
Mobility & transport: 
  • Clean fuels and fuelling infrastructure
    • Transportation infrastructure – electric drive-lines and fast charging technology
    • Recharging by exploiting the waste from the city
    • 2 fast charging points with photovoltaic panels
    • e-Buses charging depot
  • Electric, hybrid and clean vehicles
    • Fleet of 45 existing electric buses
  • 13 e-Buses Urban freight logistics
    • Small local consolidation centre for last-mile-delivery with small electric vehicles
    • 3 electrical vehicles
ICT: 
  • Building energy management system
    • Advanced building energy management system for monitoring district heating and building comfort controllers
  • ICT as planning support
    • Integrated Infrastructure City ICT Model that will combine online simulation models for each of the three building blocks, ICT for city architecture infrastructure, ICT for energy consumption infrastructure and ICT for transport infrastructure
  • Mobile applications for citizens
    • Citizens' engagement and empowerment – virtual ‘games’ and user apps
    • Energy chain – app for energy control at home
  • Traffic control system
    • Road systems – crowd-sourcing data connection (smart meter, traffic model)