“It’s absolutely essential” – These were the words of Rogério Colaço, president of Instituto Superior Técnico, to describe the renovation works on building rooftops at Alameda campus, in an email sent to the entire School community, in July. As part of Técnico’s Energy Efficiency Plan, the work has been underway since the beginning of the year and is scheduled to end in November, allowing Técnico to become “a more financially sustainable institution and, more importantly, a more environmentally sustainable one”, the president wrote.
Mário de Matos, from the Facilities and Equipment Area at Técnico, explains that this intervention includes not only the installation of new thermal insulation, but also the implementation of photovoltaic panels to produce electricity in more specific set of buildings. The renovation of the thermal insulation will, among other things, “reduce heat loss during the cold season, especially on the upper floors, contributing to occupants’ comfort,” he explains.
The installation of photovoltaic panels “will significantly reduce the amount of electricity purchased from the public grid”, while also increasing the proportion of energy from renewable sources that supplies Técnico by an estimated 1047 MWh/year (megawatt-hours per year), equivalent to 11.3% of consumption at the Alameda campus in 2022. At 2023 prices, a year with exceptionally high energy costs compared to the others, the savings on electricity bills could reach 270,000 euros per year.
After the conclusion of the rooftop renovation of Civil Engineering Building, the following rooftop renovations will follow: Mechanical Engineering Building (I, II and IV), Mining Engineering Building, Mathematics Building, Main Building, Informatics Building (I), Students’ Union Building, and the Interdisciplinary Building. The buildings that will produce photovoltaic electricity will be the Civil Engineering Building (the installation is already completed), Main Building, Mechanical Engineering Building (I and II), Mining Engineering Building, Mathematics Building and Interdisciplinary Building.
In the meantime, other work has been completed as part of the Energy Efficiency Plan on the Alameda campus:
- Replacement of lighting throughout the campus with LED bulbs and tubes;
- Replacement of the old chiller, in the South Tower, with a more efficient air conditioning system;
- Refurbishment of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in the Civil Engineering Building, improving indoor air quality;
- Replacement of the skylights, glazing and window frames in the Civil Engineering Building with more energy-efficient systems that provide greater thermal comfort for the building’s occupants;
- Installation of a Solar Thermal System to produce hot water in the changing rooms of the sports pavilion, in the AEIST building.