Animalitoland. Credits @ Sirla

Renovation of SmartEnCity buildings in Lighthouse City Tartu is about to be finished

11 Sep 2019

Reconstruction works have been finished on 10 of the 17 apartment buildings that joined the SmartEnCity project, with five more residential buildings set to be completed by the end of this year. Smart home devices, which will help residents to monitor and regulate their energy consumption, are currently being installed in several of the buildings renovated to be near zero energy buildings.

According to Raimond Tamm, Deputy Mayor of Tartu and local Project Coordinator for SmartEnCity, the reduction of energy consumption and adoption of renewable energy solutions in the buildings is of critical importance in terms of global warming. ‘The reconstruction of the apartment buildings, built decades ago, into low energy consuming buildings makes it possible, in practice, to show that reasonable energy use is not just a phenomena associated with the construction of new buildings. In the coming years, we will be measuring the energy consumption and renewable energy production of the buildings reconstructed within the framework of this project, an then we can make more in-depth conclusions,' explained Tamm.

Construction works have ended on the Tähe 2 apartment building, which is the only apartment building in Estonia to which balconies have been added in hindsight during the course of construction. According to Tõnis Eelma, chairman of the apartment association, the building's residents are quite happy with the balconies. ‘Even though their construction is expensive, and we received significantly less support than initially planned from KredEx, residents decided to implement the project in full and not abandon the balconies.'

In addition to the standard replacement of insulation and utility systems, solar panels were installed on the roof of the apartment building built in 1964, the basement was renovated, the exterior doors were replaced and the area surrounding the building was cleaned up. The installation and adjustment of smart home devices is currently being completed.

Each apartment association that joins the SmartEnCity project will decorate their building or the immediate vicinity thereof with a work of art. The author and performer of the Tähe 2 plan is Graciela Gon?alves Da Silva – one of three artists from abroad – who hails from Argentina, and whose artistic name is Animalitoland.

While creating the wall painting, the artist observed the people surrounding him and then drew in the painting. This is how a lady walking a cat, the plums brought by one resident of the building, and the parrots who lived in an apartment where he was invited for lunch found their way into the painting.

Sirla, art curator for Tähe 2, enjoys the warm colour scheme of the painting. ‘It makes the entire environment surrounding the building shine, and brings so much friendliness and caring within the big grey walls of the building,’ said Sirla.

The implementation of the SmartEnCity project in the City Centre of Tartu will see the creation of an energy efficient city district operating on smart solutions, where Soviet era apartment buildings are renovated into near zero energy buildings and where innovative solutions are also being used for district heating, street lighting and the use of renewable energy.