Project Description

Project Brief

FP7 EU project that aims to develop a system to refurbish existing public non-residential buildings to achieve at least 50% energy consumption reduction.

A retrofiting solution package for existing public-owned non-residential buildings is needed in order to drastically reduce energy consumption (beyond 50%) and GHG emissions in this sector. The BRICKER retrofiting package is based on:

  • Envelope retrofiting solutions for demand reduction through made-to-measure façades, innovative insulation materials and high performance aerating windows.
  • Zero emissions energy production technologies drawing on an Organic Rankine Cycle-based cogeneration system fed with locally available renewable sources, like biomass or solar.
  • Development of integration and operation strategies for the BRICKER Technologies and guidance for design, commissioning and maintenance.

High indoor environment quality standards are being met while implementing the energy effiency strategies, as such standards are critical for improving the quality of life of European citizens in areas such as health care, education and working environments. The retrofiting solution package is implemented in three real demonstration building complexes, located in three diffrent European countries and with diffrent end-uses.

To maximize impact and replicability of the project, technology integration, guidance for implementation and technological transfer to social housing are being developed. These are designed to help public bodies implement optimal retrofiting strategies, taking into account the economic and fiancial constraints, latest developments in building know-how, innovative business models and continuous operation strategies.

Project Partners

Real Demostration Building Sites

Spain Cáceres

Building owner: Autonomous Community of Extremadura
Building use: Administrative Offis
Surface: 8,480 m2
People involved: 300 employees
Estimated electricity energy saving: 60%
Payback: 7 years
Replication potential: 944 additional buildings

Turkey Aydin

Building owner: Adnan Menderes University
Building use: Hospital
Surface: 19,467 m2
People involved: 600 patients and 350 employees
Estimated energy saving: 51%
Payback: 7 years
Replication potential: 11 920 additional buildings in Turkey

Belgium Liège

Building owner: Province of Liège
Building use: Industrial Engineering College
Surface: 23,400 m2
People involved: 1 200 students
Estimated gas saving: 75%
Payback: 7.2 years
Replication potential: 370 additional buildings

Demo Sites

The demonstration buildings constitute the backbone of the BRICKER project. All three are real buildings and are currently in use. As such they are well suited to showcasing the technologies and systems developed. The project seeks to deliver state-of-the-art energy effient renovation, demonstrating this in real buildings with various uses set in diffrent countries and climates. Energy savings are expected to be over 50%.

Belgium Demo Site / Electricty Reduction 86%
Belgium Demo Site / Gas Reduction 75%
Spain Demo Site / Electricty Reduction 60%
Turkey Demo Site / Electricty and Gas Reduction 51%

ORC: Organic Rankine Cycle

The Organic Rankine cycle (ORC) is named for its use of an organic, high molecular mass fluid with a liquid-vapor phase change, or boiling point, occurring at a lower temperature than the water-steam phase change.

Solar parabolic collectors

By tracking the position of the sun, parabolic collectors can concentrate the solar radiation on a tube, thus heating the fluid which flows in the tube up to 250-300°C. The hot fluid can be used for many purposes. This technology is already used for large solar power stations.

Aerating windows

Heat recovery ventilation can be integrated into windows, walls, shutters, and heating and cooling units. HRV provides fresh air and improved climate control, while also saving energy

Ventilated façade

A sustainable lightweight ventilated façades constitutes a second skin outside the existing façade. A natural vented cavity is located between these two skins creating a void gap for “chimney effect”.

Chillers: thermally activated cooling technologies

Thermally activated cooling involves harnessing waste heat and using it for cooling applications. There are various techniques for achieving this and they can be applied to different types of building through the use of chillers.

Biomass boiler

Biomass CHP plants are commonly used in district heating systems as well as in industries with high heating and cooling demand.

PIR foams with embedded Phase Changing Material

PCMs are materials that can adsorb and store thermal energy while its structural phase changes.

Learn More


  • 50% cut in energy demand in the three demo buildings by applying envelope retrofiting solutions and zero emission energy production technologies (in Turkey and Belgium demosites).
  • New, better jobs and economic growth, along with healthier and more comfortable living and working environments by drastically reducing the GHG emissions
  • Better understanding of energy use in the non-residential sector and end-uses such as lighting, ventilation, heating, cooling, refrigeration, IT equipment and appliances thanks to an innovative Building Control System implemented in the three demonstration buildings.
  • Vast environmental improvements, saving much higher ratios in CO2 emission compared to standard measures by combining effient passive designs and renewable energy sources in a more effient cogeneration system.
  • Maximization of locally available renewable sources, according to location and climate conditions of the target buildings.
  • High replication potential of the BRICKER concept by the three public building owners.
  • Defiition of business model frameworks, assessment of market potential and exploitation options. Greater stakeholder awareness about best practices in energy management and savings.