Retrofitting Old Soviet Apartment Buildings in Tartu

Submitted by Tedora Aibu on 24 October 2023


In Tartu, Estonia, a remarkable initiative is underway to breathe new life into aging Soviet-era apartment buildings known as khrushchyovkas. This transformation is part of the SmartEnCity project, driven by the goal to slash energy consumption in these buildings by approximately 70%. 


Many khrushchyovkas have exceeded their intended lifespan, revealing quality issues and potential threats to residents. The primary challenge is to retrofit these buildings to meet modern energy efficiency standards. 

As part of the SmartEnCity project, the goal is to drastically reduce energy usage and consumption. Several energy-saving measures have been undertaken to reach this objective. 


The Solution:

The City of Tartu is piloting retrofitting solutions in 18 khrushchyovkas in the city center. These measures will reduce energy consumption from the current 270 kWh/m2y to 90 kWh/m2y, in line with class A requirements. Key solutions include insulation, triple-glazed windows, roof improvements, ventilation systems, and more, effectively transforming these buildings into high-quality smartovkas. 

Beyond energy efficiency, the project aims to inspire behavioral changes in how residents consume energy and adapt to new technologies. Cooperation and willingness among residents are fostered through information meetings, consultations, study trips, and forums. Additionally, a social innovation model motivates residents to use smart devices and save energy. 


In summary, Tartu's retrofitting project is an innovative approach to improve energy efficiency, sustainability, and residents' living conditions. It's about more than modernizing buildings; it's about paving the way for a more sustainable and brighter future for the city and its inhabitants. 


See the full article here.

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