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Filed under: Environment Poverty Social inclusion

Elderly woman smiles, holds bouquet of flowers in her new apartment

Vardush Arakelyan, resident of the building, enjoying her new apartment for the first time

We have some good news to report. The doors officially opened on our energy efficient demo building at the end of 2012 and 20 socially vulnerable families in Goris, in the Syunik region of Armenia, got the keys to their new apartments.

Our project on energy efficient buildings teamed up with another project on social housing (pdf) to help select families in need; and the Armenian Government, the Global Environment Facility and the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency co financed construction of the building.

We built the three-storey residential building to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficient technologies in apartment buildings.

Apartment building, crowd of people out front, blue sky, snow covered houses in the distance

New energy efficient building for 20 vulnerable families

This included insulating the building’s external walls, columns, beams and floors; and installing energy efficient doors and windows.

We also installed hot water meters and heat allocators to monitor energy and hot water use, as well as energy efficient lighting throughout the entire building.

Two energy meters

Meters to measure hot and cold water use

For the first time in construction practices in Armenia, window-mounted air inlets were installed in the building to ensure sufficient ventilation of the apartments, avoid temperature fluctuations, prevent excessive humidity and ensure overall indoor comfort.

As a result of the energy efficiency measures, energy consumption decreased threefold (equal to about 78 kilowatts per square meter per year), contributing to an estimated reduction of 28 tonnes of greenhouse gas per year.

The cost of energy efficiency measures was estimated at seven percent of the building construction, and residents will save 60 percent of their energy costs. Not only that, but they get what they pay for, and will be comfortable in their homes. (See: The energy story of one building: +6.9 °C on average and 57% heat loss)

The savings in energy bills are especially significant since the residents are socially vulnerable families who need to make use of their limited family budgets.

Young boy helps cut ribbon, crowd behind him

Helping to celebrate his new home

Our project team was at the ribbon cutting ceremony, where the Ambassador of the Swiss Confederation in Armenia together with one of the young residents cut the ribbon, and the Deputy Prime Minister handed over the keys to the residents.

We’ll continue to monitor the building, which includes an energy audit and an energy passport.

The families living in the building will also take part in trainings on how to monitor heat consumption by using allocators installed in the apartments.

Stay tuned for the video we’re making about how we constructed the building!

Armenia signed on to the global Sustainable Energy for All initiative last year, committing to energy related goals by 2030, including increasing the rate of improvement in energy efficiency.

  • Azita Karimi

    توانا بود هر که دانا بود