TIMA Charitable Foundation and INZEB – Initialising Energy Balance towards Zero joined forces and are working together towards the energy upgrade and energy independence of Diamantidion Care Home in Thessaloniki, Greece. The project is being realised with the technical support of INZEB and the financial support of the TIMA Charitable Foundation, Bodossaki Foundation, The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, The Hellenic Initiative Canada, and through significant price discounts of construction materials offered by several companies.
TRANSFORMING A HIGH-ENERGY CONSUMPTION BUILDING INTO A ZERO-ENERGY
Diamantidion Care Home has a total surface area of 2,235.16 m2 and was built between 1991-1992. The current average building’s energy consumption is 564.40 kWh/m². Based on the electricity bills for the reference year 2021, the annual energy cost of its operation amounted to 40,332.99 euros, which corresponds to 20.33 euros/m2 of heated/cooled surface per year.
The project consists of three phases:
Project Initiation: A detailed technical energy status was completed followed by a study presenting the roadmap of the needed actions to transform the building into a net zero care home.
Energy Upgrade: Involves the interventions in three main building components, the building envelope, windows, and HVAC to reduce the current energy needs of the care home.
Energy Autonomy: Working towards securing the energy independence of Diamantidion Care Home through the installation of PV panels on its roof.
CONTRIBUTING TO AN ACTUAL NEED
The need to support the vulnerable group of elderly citizens through institutionalised care is set to continue to grow in the coming years. Care homes are also, by default, heavy energy consumers, typically accommodating between 30-60 elderly residents and employing an average of 15-30 staff. Most elderly care homes are housed in old buildings with limited or no insulation, inadequate windows, and old-style heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) installations. As a result, they have high energy consumption needs to heat their premises during the winter and cool them in the summer months.
Energy consumption is also high due to the constant demand for hot water throughout the year, the supply of which, in Greece at least, is usually provided using electricity. The same applies to other energy requirements, such as lighting and running the kitchen. The ever-increasing energy costs add an unjustified and unnecessary burden to the basic operating costs of care homes and, by extension, their ability to provide better services. Reducing energy consumption enables care homes to leverage resources spent on energy to provide better services for the elderly.
All project activities, funding raised and developments are accessible at the Net Zero Care website.