One of Técnico’s main concerns in recent years has been the sustainability of its facilities. The approval of the project “Energy Efficiency Plan – Técnico 2020”, is a great step towards reaching an increasingly sustainable institution. The financing project was submitted to POSEUR – Operational Programme for Sustainability and Efficient Use of Resources/Portugal 2020 and will bring huge benefits to energy efficiency.
Created in 2011, the Sustainable Campus is a structure whose main goal is to carry out systematic monitoring of consumption and propose measures to improve energy efficiency, in continuous collaboration with the Facilities and Equipment Unit. This project, which is now starting, is a decisive step for the improvement of the energy performance certificate of Alameda campus. “We applied to POSEUR through the project “Energy Efficiency Plan – Técnico 2020” in order to obtain funding that allowed us to implement more structural measures”, highlights the vice-president of Técnico for Facilities and Equipment, professor João Gomes Ferreira, who coordinated this project. “This will contribute to promote the image of Técnico, at national and international level, in what concerns sustainability”, adds the professor.
The total investment of this project has a 95% funding of nearly 5 million euros, which is almost the maximum value allowed by POSEUR. The installation of photovoltaic panels in Alameda campus and the replacement of campus lighting with LED lighting are the two most striking measures from the point of view of energy saving. The project will also allow to improve the surroundings of several buildings in order to reduce heat losses and to acclimate common areas.
We estimate that Técnico will save about 325 thousand euros per year in the energy bill, based on the current prices. “We will have to return 70% of that amount to POSEUR for a period of about 20 years, until the total fund is settled but not requiring interests payment” explains Professor João Gomes Ferreira. Nevertheless it will continue to be economically profitable, with an annual saving of almost 100 thousand euros. “It’s a great deal from all points of view,” says professor João Gomes Ferreira. Técnico was the Portuguese higher education institution that obtained the major funding within this programme. “Our project was very solid because the measures proposed were very well designed from a technical and economic point of view” points out the vice-president of Técnico.
The application process involved the Sustainable Campus and the Facilities and Equipment Unit, including the Construction Work Unit and the Maintenance Unit. It was a complex process “from a technical point of view and very demanding in terms of deadlines”, says professor João Gomes Ferreira. The success achieved “was only possible because these (and other) Units at Técnico have very skilled professionals who carry out their tasks with great enthusiasm and true dedication” he concludes.