A new building, housing 84 apartments in the municipal city of Cornella de Llobregat, Barcelona, has seen each home individually fitted with Panasonic’s Aquarea air to water heat pump system to achieve a ‘B-class’ energy rating for the entire building.  

The new housing development compromises 84 homes covering six floors, one commercial property, parking and storage space on the ground and second floor.  

For each of the six floors, 14 apartments have been built around a central courtyard, with access to a perimeter corridor. Behind the exterior, modern architecture and colourful design of the building, the developers required the building to incorporate the parameters to achieve a high ‘B’ energy rating.

 The project developer was ‘IMPSOL’, a public entity that economically depend on the metropolitan area of Barcelona.  

In order achieve this particular energy rating, the heating, ventilation, air conditioning hot water systems needed to be cost and energy efficient enough to run an entire residential building complex. Initially, a centralised gas boiler and a cogeneration system were envisaged for this project.  

However, after careful thought, it was decided a system which implemented renewable technology would be better suited. An individualised heating and Domestic Hot Water (DHW) system that would use the latest heat pump technology to heat water was required. Choosing this second option meant that, due to the aero thermal renewable energy technology offered, the developer would not have to install solar panels for hot water production which requires the Spanish legislation.

There were several reasons why IMPSOL specified a DHW system instead of the original idea of a centralised gas boiler. These included:
• The performance improvement by an air to water system, particularly for cold climate housing
• Centralised boilers require numerous adjustments and tuning which involves extensive occupation of the dwellings
• A centralised community facility requires consistent and expensive maintenance  

For a system that would achieve all renewable technology and DHW requirements, whilst ensuring an energy rating of ‘B’ would be reached, the developer looked to Panasonic’s Aquarea system. Not only are these units infamous for energy efficiency, high COP levels and working to ideal temperatures, but it produces aero thermal, renewable technology, widely recognised by European Directive 2009/28/EC.  

Meeting the strict criteria set by IMPSOL, Panasonic’s Aquarea systems allowed each home to benefit from excellent heating and cooling aspects. At the same time, these systems were affordable and met the regulatory Spanish requirements for renewable energy inputs in the production of DHW and CO2 emissions.

Panasonics Technical Services and Project Managers from the City of Cornella de Llobregat organised a clever system to integrate energy saving measures across the residential complex. This included: implementing a Panasonic Aquarea System, increasing insulation and executing cross ventilation in all apartments.    

As a result, the desired energy rating was obtained, with a system that offers even more comfort to homes and, in turn, reduces maintenance costs. This clever system has also proved valuable for IMPSOL. The properties are of a higher value than anticipated, as homeowners enjoy the high energy efficiency and full air conditioning and heating system within each property.