Housing Association Meeting in Tartu. Credits@City of Tartu

Lighthouse City Tartu: Housing associations meet for another technical meeting

23 Mar 2020

On March 9, the housing association representatives of the Tartu pilot area met for another technical meeting. This time, the focus was on heating and ventilation systems, data collection and the smart home system.

Raimond Tamm, the project manager of the Tartu SmartEnCity project, opened the meeting with greetings and a short overview of the current status of the project. As only a few houses are still under renovation, most of the works have been completed in the majority of the pilot area buildings. Most of the unfinished tasks have to do with the smart home system, its installation and functionalities.

 Next, the new smart ventilation and heating systems of the so called “smartovkas” buildings were discussed. The project team and an external ventilation expert from the ventilation company SmartVent gave useful tips and suggestions to the representatives of the housing associations on how to finetune their systems and how to communicate these changes to the residents.

 Living in a smart house is very different from what the residents were used to, so an open and direct communication is very important to mitigate all doubts. For example, it was not uncommon in the pre-renovated buildings for the radiators to be scalding hot in the winter as the heating system had to be turned up in order to heat the poorly insulated houses. Now, after the renovation, the radiators barely get warm because the house is so energy efficient and well insulated, which left many residents doubting if their heating system is working at all or if the radiators are broken. To tackle these uncertainties and to explain what changes the residents may expect in their new homes, the housing associations received many useful tips.

 In the following, Martin Kikas from the Tartu Regional Energy Agency introduced the first steps that the housing associations need to take to move into the monitoring phase of the Tartu project, which includes setting up shared online data channels so that Tartu City can access the data and to ensure everything is securely stored in the City Platform (formerly known as Cumulocity).

 The meeting ended with a Q&A session where, among other things, it was revealed that the first renovated houses have already achieved a 50% decrease in their heating costs.