Ellinogermaniki Agogi 🇬🇷

A 3-level large private school working to continually innovate with an interactive open schooling process driven by an internal R&D team of 22 researchers in education.

ADOPTING THE NEB-LAB CONCEPT:

At Ellinogermaniki Agogi (EA) the planned building renovations are part of the Green School Living Lab concept aimed at raising awareness about energy efficiency and sustainable building solutions for students and the local community alike.

EA aims to demonstrate that when schools partner with their local communities and stakeholders, they can become agents of community well-being through their involvement in co-creative research and innovation on energy and resource efficiency in the school settings, inspired by the green school demonstrators. Exploring the interdependent relationship between the school, families and their community through an ecological systems perspective, the proposed interventions employ an interpretivist construct to demonstrate the importance of interconnected relationships as a mechanism for mobilising resources, strengthening social capital and building collective capacity. In this manner, EA aims to develop citizen awareness-raising activities to spread the concept of energy and resource-efficient buildings and renovation through education and training for sustainability.

Organisations involved

PARTNERS: EA: Building and infrastructure, Green School Living Lab, BURO HAPPOLD: Building Simulation and Participatory Design, Social Value; TEKEM: Consulting engineers, INTRASOFT: Technology and platform provider, ENGIE: Solar Park Construction, Heat Pumps and Εnergy management Solutions, HEDNO: DSO triggering the Demand Response – Demonstration of flexibility scheme, FRAUNHOFER-FIT: Internal and External Spaces (buildings and landscape) Augmentations, DELOITTE and NTUA: City Synergy Strategy and Green Neighborhood Development Planning, UBT: Sustainability Citizenship and Behavioral Change.

Sector: Primary/Secondary Education

District buildings portfolio: School buildings

Target groups:  Students, building owners and users, municipality, community

Link: https://www.ea.gr/

Main characteristics & Motivation

MAIN CHARACTERISTICS

Ellinogermaniki Agogi (EA) is a private school complex located in the periphery of Attica. Established in 1961, it educates approximately 2500 students. Additionally, the school offers employment to 250 teaching staff and 330 administrative staff. The complex of the buildings of the school is located in Pallini, a municipality in the Attica region, thus an excellent case study for typical Mediterranean climate conditions with regards to energy efficiency in buildings. The school already has a strategy towards energy efficiency of the school campus in place, which includes:

  • Construction of a new energy-efficient building of 1500 m2 (in operation in September 2021)

  • Renovation of the primary school building (construction in 1995)

  • Construction of a bioclimatic school canteen (2023) 

  • A large scale solar park (2022) 

  • Purchase of an electric school bus fleet (150 vehicles) by 2025 (through the Just Transition Mechanism (JTM) of the Green Deal Investment Plan for Greece).

The total foreseen investment is 5,5M Euros. The current total area of the school building adds up to 15,807m2 (to reach 17.307.00m2 in September 2021), and yearly energy consumption is estimated at 1,8 GWh for the main complex of school buildings (Kindergarten, Elementary school, High School and Lyceum) resulting in 1,1MtCO2e.

Earth Day, Environment concept and Eco concept

TYPE OF PLANNED RENOVATION

In the context of this project, a large-scale pilot with several separate demos is being proposed, focused on achieving high energy performance and energy savings, use of innovative and sustainable energy solutions, improved indoor environmental quality for the users, optimal dynamic matching of on-site renewable energy generation and building/neighbourhood consumption, creation of “living-labs” and innovation clusters, replicability and propagation of methodologies to be used in other projects. 

To achieve this, a series of point interventions are proposed including the construction of a new unit to act as a model for positive energy performance, the creation of a solar car park, the partial renovation of an existing building and the testing of the DR smart grid flexibility scheme. The focus of the pilot, which will permeate all the individual demos, will be the development of solutions for energy efficiency in school buildings (Green School Living Labs) through increased consumer engagement in energy-saving practices and gamification. There are over 3000 daily users with a substantial energy consumption.

MOTIVATION

EA is interested in forging a strong ethos in its students with regard to the environment, healthy living and the use of modern technology and has participated in many research projects both E.U. and privately funded. Having established close links with schools from other countries, it has also created synergies with the Municipality of Pallini. These synergies can be further enhanced with regard to the energy grid and circular economy plans. Given the community of EA consists of future citizens of tomorrow, this pilot will have a major indirect impact on society but also a direct impact on the district, by alleviating the energy grid of the area and offering clean energy to municipal users. 

In addition, the replicability of the pilot is major as there are 13,000 school units in Greece, where energy performance/consumption monitoring is limited. EA is coordinating a large network (more than 1.000) of Open Schools (www.openschools.eu) that are acting as innovation hubs and agents of change in their communities. Through this network, the NEB-LAB approach and solutions will be also promoted to numerous schools in Europe.

Pilot concept description

To realise the ambition of the pilot, a series of interventions is foreseen which will be articulated around the following activities:

 

1) CONSTRUCTION OF SOLAR PARKING LOTS – DEMONSTRATING INTERCOMMUNAL GRID ENERGY-BALANCING AND PROVISION OF FLEXIBLE SERVICES TO THE POWER GRID

A modern hi-tech photovoltaic park (adopting a nature-inspired architectural design) in the parking lot with canopies will be constructed offering the chance to charge EV fleets in an optimised way. In a vehicle-to-grid approach, the vehicles may also feed the internal grid and support it with ancillary services, allowing bidirectional energy fluxes, and acting as a new player eventually providing services to the power grid. One EV will be bought in the context of this demo, to show the scalability of reducing energy consumption of the school, from the bus fleet. A smart digital solution will be developed to test the distribution of energy between the school and the community by matchmaking energy surplus and demand for internal and external users with EV vehicles. An additional digital solution will be developed, to collect production and consumption metering data, provide forecasts, estimate the available flexibility and allow the exchange of information between the school and the grid operator (HEDNO) to simulate a DR scheme.

 

2) CONSTRUCTION OF A ZERO-ENERGY BIOCLIMATIC SCHOOL CANTEEN, TO ACT AS A BENCHMARK FOR NET ZERO/POSITIVE ENERGY PERFORMANCE AND FUTURE INTERVENTION

A new school canteen building of 40m2 will be designed with materials with low embedded CO2, and it will include innovative solutions to produce the energy required for its operation, including natural ventilation systems, hybrid BIPV solutions for facades, use of BIM a digital from federated sources, in order to reduce energy consumption during the building operations to be integrated into a BMS actuator model. Energy needs will be optimised through the use of tailored architectural features and materials (very effective building insulation, green roof, low‐energy lighting and equipment). It will also make use of local and renewable energy (the school’s swimming pool will for example act as a heat storage tank, MCHP running on vegetable oil and new generation solar panels) and sustainable water management solutions (recovery of rainwater, specific vegetation in the schools’ organic garden).

 

The current school canteen and the new bioclimatic net zero building will be developed in the framework of the NEB-LAB project. The bioclimatic canteen building is part of the school strategy towards the transformation of food systems that require low-carbon, circular and planted-based approaches. The school operates an organic school garden that acts as an open educational environment for all students producing significant quantities of vegetation being consumed in the school canteen.

 

3) USING THE SCHOOL’S SWIMMING POOLS AS THERMAL STORAGE

The EA campus hosts two indoor swimming pools with a total volume of 700m3. Swimming pools with Dehumidification systems for indoor air use can be suitable for water-powered heat pumps (HP). Via natural refrigerants like CO₂ (ODP=0, GWP=1) in compliance with the F-Gas ordinance, heat pumps are suitable for large temperature swings, maximizing the use of cooling–heating coupling to provide the right temperature for every process. 

In the framework of the NEB|LAB ECO²-SCHOOLS project, a heat pump mechanism will be used for the exchange of heat between the main building and the swimming pools. A control strategy will be designed to utilize existing components to remove heat without the need for an external condenser. Simply explained, the existing air conditioning facility will use the thermal storage capacity of the swimming pool to hold excess heat created during air conditioning of the facility (e.g., the Sports Hall, the School Building, the Main Amphitheatre or the Indoor space of the pool itself). However, if cooling demand is not coupled with heating demand, then thermal storage hot water buffering will be necessary to implement the HP solution.

 

4) RENOVATION OF AN EXISTING BUILDING

A part of the main building will be renovated to reduce its existing life cycle carbon footprint and reduce energy consumption by 30%. The renovation will include the use of innovative insulation materials, smart facades, indoor and outdoor smart meters, sensors, and actuators in specific areas of the main building.

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