The Mayor of Pamplona welcomes the international representatives of the OPEN Lab project who are in the city for their General Assembly

Oct 28, 2022

The City Council and the local partners with whom it develops this European program in La Rochapea have been working for a year.

The Mayor of Pamplona, ​​Enrique Maya, received this morning at the Town Hall; a large group of representatives from town councils, associations, companies and institutions, such as universities or technology centres from seven different countries: Spain, Estonia, Belgium, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, and Greece. They are agents involved in the oPEN Lab project, a program carried out with European funds and in which Pamplona is participating in as a ‘Living Lab’ (demonstrator).

All these people are in the city to participate, along with those who join the online call, in the third General Assembly of a macro-project that has a budget of almost 22 million euros and was one of the three selected by the European Union from among the 115 proposals submitted. Throughout Tuesday and Wednesday, October 19, different talks and communications will be presented on the year of development that Open Lab has carried out in Pamplona, ​​the Belgian town of Genk and the Estonian city of Tartu.

In this public-private collaboration project, 32 partners from seven different European countries participate Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain. oPEN Lab seeks to reduce energy consumption in buildings and neighbourhoods, increase renewable energy production, and lower costs by applying rehabilitation solutions. The oPEN Lab project has an expected duration of four and a half years and began on October 1, 2021. Since then, Pamplona has been working in parallel on the processes of refurbishing buildings, the design of technological and digital solutions and the mobilisation of citizens and agents who have to collaborate in one way or another with the project.

Technological solutions adapted to two buildings

Throughout the first year of the project, the local partners of the Living Lab Pamplona have collaborated in the design of the rehabilitation of the two demonstration sites, the so-called Casas de San Pedro and the IWER building in Rochapea. It is about ensuring high energy efficiency standards and equipping the demonstrator buildings with advanced energy systems that are the basis of a future positive energy neighbourhood. Prior to the design work, the company AH Asociados carried out a testing and monitoring campaign for the buildings. Previous studies have placed particular emphasis on surveying the geometry of buildings using laser scanning technology and 3D modelling to reduce the need for subsequent on-site adjustments.

Throughout this year, local entities have collaborated closely in the design and optimisation of integrated construction solutions, such as a roof rehabilitation system that includes an integrated photovoltaic system and a ventilated chamber that makes it possible to take advantage of the heated air for ventilation. The National Center for Renewable Energies, CENER, has worked on a detailed study and advanced simulations of the possibilities offered by each of the roofs of the two buildings.

Innovative installations such as low GWP (Global-Warming Potential) heat pumps, integrated photovoltaic generation, electrical and thermal accumulation and vehicle recharging are included in the design and dimensioning of energy systems. Electric, as well as communication interfaces that require an active role from the end user. The energy system will be articulated around an integrated manager developed by CENER, which will coordinate and optimise the action of all the resources of the buildings, in addition to generating incentives to modify the energy consumption patterns of the users, approaching the goal of a future Energy Positive Neighborhood.

The social repercussions of the intervention

The Public University of the Basque Country (UPV) has been working on the necessary processes to include citizens and different agents involved in the Rochapea neighbourhood in the development of the project and the generation of positive energy in the neighbourhood, in that they pass from a role of consumers to a role of prosumers.

In this way, the first participatory sessions have begun and other types of activities are being prepared that will be carried out throughout the last months of 2022 and 2023. The Neighborhood Forum will take place on October 25, organised by the Pamplona City Council and in November the process of creating the local Energy Community of Rochapea will open, with the first informative and training sessions. At the beginning of 2023, the doors of the neighbourhood office (PEN office) are scheduled to open.

For its part, the City Council, in addition to working in the inter-area modality, has drawn up the comprehensive rehabilitation project for the San Pedro building, the result of which will be to achieve a standard of energy consumption.