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Smart cities need integrated energy solutions

30 September 2020

All investments in a smart city project should have concrete results in subsequent budgets, through savings and return on investment. The city of tomorrow will depend on an energy hub that integrates and monitors in real time all the services subordinated to the municipality, in terms of energy performance. The guest speakers at the online conference “Smart choices for smart cities”, organized by Energynomics and BusinessMark on September 16, explained from various perspectives the concept of smart city and addressed the current approaches at the moment in Romania. After the initial presentations, the speakers answered questions from over 225 people registered in the online platform MyConnector. The event was supported by ABB România, Bjorn Heizung, EnergyPal, Signify and Vinci Energies România.

S+B Gruppe Romania to build a new office building in Bucharest

S+B Gruppe, a real estate company with operations in Vienna, Prague, Warsaw and Bucharest, will build a new 20,000 sq m office project in the Romanian capital, said Melinda Reikli, Country Manager, S+B Gruppe AG Romania. The new project located in Bucharest, on Doamnei Street, opposite the National Bank of Romania, will consist of an office building with commercial spaces on the ground floor. The land was purchased last year.

“All our recent projects are built to modern standards, being LEED Platinum or Gold certified. In this project we aim at a LEED Platinum certification”, she said.

Each floor will have an area of about 2,500-2,900 sqm for the first five floors, with terraces of 33-229 sqm, and the final floor will have an area of about 1,000 sqm, with a terrace of 100 sqm. The commercial space on the ground floor of the building will have an area of 2,000 square meters and a terrace of about 1,000 square meters. About 300 parking spaces will be provided in the basement of the building.

Over 50% savings on street lighting with Signify

Signify (Philips Lighting) is the world number one in the conventional lighting segment, but also in the field of LED technology, and it can generate economies of over 50% through smart lighting in Romanian cities, says Răzvan Copoiu, General Manager Romania & South Eastern Europe District, Signify.

While Hue and Wiz are Signify solutions for interior lighting, Color Kinetics can be used for exterior lighting of buildings. “We would like to be able to illuminate as many monuments in Romania as possible and we will be available to public authorities to achieve this,” said Răzvan Copoiu.


Copoiu also said that with the increase of the population, the public lighting area has also developed, but the intensity and color of the light are problems that still need to be solved. “We are ready to help public authorities to design standard and regulations for the intensity and color of public lighting. I would like Romania to start thinking globally about what proper lighting means, and not just when about categories of office buildings. We have the specialists and the architects who can carry out these lighting studies, contributing, in the end, to increasing the quality of life”, added Copoiu.

Smart metering is the foundation of all energy efficiency projects and smart buildings

Smart buildings management systems, BMS, aim to reduce operating costs, reduce energy consumption and increase the quality of life of building occupants, says Lucian Anghel, Founder and CEO, EnergyPal-TimePal Romania and FMS.

“It is very important that smart building monitoring and management systems, BMS, are not as prohibitive as they used to be. At the moment, through the solutions in our portfolio, we manage make the integration of older solutions or of different communication protocols and at the same time we have flexibility in offering solutions at a low cost”, he added, presenting the company’s solutions.

“What is different from the old BMS solutions is the part of cloud integration and analysis using Artificial Intelligence (AI). Until now, BMS systems were static, the data were recorded in a BMS computer and used only in reports. At the moment, using the data collected and interpreted in the cloud, we can obtain forecasts and establish the optimum efficiency in the building’s operation. BMS Tridium Jace equipment allows us to integrate solutions produced by different companies and different protocols, so we are not limited when upgrading an old building. We can use sensors, IoT and new systems to modernize older BMS systems.”


Smart metering is the foundation of all energy efficiency projects and the basis of all smart building projects. A special emphasis falls on the comfort side, by optimizing and personalizing the space, including using applications installed on the user’s mobile phone, allowing the control of temperature, of lighting, etc.

The company will be involved in the Energy Up program, also by supporting the identification of solutions for which funding is provided. “We have already prepared some packages for the supply of photovoltaic energy solutions for the beneficiaries, so that they fall within the package of 100,000 euros – and also for POIM 6.2, for smart metering – we have some well-established routines, including in the financing area. In other cases, the beneficiary can make immediate savings by implementing our solutions and we provide the financing from our own sources”.

Maerean, Bjorn Heizung: Thermal energy consumption is “the big elephant in the room”

The concept of smart city focuses on six pillars, the best known of which is mobility – everything related to transit and movement in cities. “In reality, the purpose of smart city programs is economic competitiveness, sustainability and reduction of pollution,” says Mihai Maerean, CEO Bjorn Heizung. No new consumption capacity can be introduced without investment in infrastructure or large scale measures in energy efficiency.

“We deal with energy efficiency in the heating area. We analyzed the data from the city of Cluj, for all consumer segments, and we saw that gas consumption is four times higher than the power consumption. Of this gas, 54% is consumed by the population in the end. There remain 1.3 TWh consumed by the public sector. The polluting value of this gas is 525,900 tons of CO2, a considerable number”, Maerean also said.

While energy efficiency investments in the residential area are difficult to make, in public buildings, including universities or schools, they can bring significant savings and can even contribute to the quality of education, one of the advantages being standardized solutions for all the schools.

“Schools and universities are the most difficult to make energy efficient, as the glazed surface is very large, and the execution period is short – only during the summer holidays… About 90% of gas consumption is related to heating, but the final energy consumption, implicitly the absolute amount of emissions, can be reduced by 55%”, he said.

Andrei Berechet, Adrem: Cities can benefit from Energy Hub solutions

All investments in a smart city project should have concrete results in subsequent budgets, through savings and return on investment, said Andrei Berechet, Business Development Director, Adrem.

“Talking about smart cities, we noticed that in the last two years there is more and more a frenzy about the development of projects called ‘Smart City’. It is not within my competence to assess whether all these solutions are really smart city solutions, as we suffer from a lack of standardization and clarity about the labels we use. From what I have noticed it is clear that, on the one hand, there is emulation in the market and I think there is also some mistrust that is stopping the market from really developing. I think it all comes from the fact that we still cannot fully analyze the benefits of what is called ‘Smart City’ – the tangible economic benefits, beyond the social side”, Andrei Berechet also explained.


Adrem is a group of companies present for 27 years on the local market, being active for over 20 years in the energy area; the group has three main divisions dedicated to this sector. Adrem Engineering specializes in infrastructure solutions, and for 15 years the company has been one of the leaders in the automation market for large-scale energy infrastructure in large areas. Adrem Invest is a company specialized in services for energy infrastructure in the field and Adrem Link is mainly addressed to energy users.

“Thus, we propose to start by looking at how to integrate these ‘smart’ islands. There are very beautiful collections in the country, mosaics of intelligent technologies – electric mobility, mobility planning, efficient lighting, telecommunications – but they remain, to a large extent, just independent projects. The same thing happens in the case of energy management of municipalities”, he added.

Constantin Ichimoaei: ABB has a complete portfolio for smart cities

What a smart city must have, first of all, is available energy, but also an integrated infrastructure, said Constantin Ichimoaei, Executive Manager at ABB Romania.

“We want to have energy from renewable and non-polluting sources: wind, photovoltaic, hydro energy. At the same time, a smart city must have the industry around it, smart infrastructure, easy access to the airport, urban and interurban transport, including access to the Danube or the sea. Water supply is just as important as electricity. The city of the future should be safe, smart and sustainable, free of polluting emissions, no noise – and that means electric mobility. Logistics systems must allow you to order anything and receive it in less than 24 hours. Because we spend most of our time in buildings, we have to rethink them, we have to improve them.”

Within the projects for clean transport, ABB offers solutions dedicated to electric vehicles, but also to public transport, with a wide range of applications and smart power supply variants, but also energy efficiency solutions, such as energy recovery from braking in the case of trams, he added.

“It is very important that a city with a lot of connected devices can be monitored, in order for us make measurements, see if we are as performing as we could be or not and take decisions accordingly.”

ABB is a leader in technology, the digital industry and infrastructure. ABB has extensive experience in electrification. ABB has a history of over 130 years and global footprint. “Together with its partners, ABB formulates solutions for smart cities. ABB has experience and tradition in powering buildings, factories, in medium and low voltage, in protection and control systems, SCADA systems. At the same time, if we talk about buildings, ABB also has complete solutions, starting from medium voltage cells for indoor mounted secondary distribution, general and secondary distribution panels, UPS systems, SCADA and control systems. ABB portfolio for this segment, for example for the air and water transit in the building and in pumping stations, is supplemented by engines and converters, which makes ABB a complete solutions supplier. Last but not least, ABB is also a global leader in robotics”, pointed out Constantin Ichimoaei.

TIAB: Very compact equipment was needed for the 5 metro line

The Drumul Taberei-Universitate M5 metro line in Bucharest included the power supply project and the construction of 110kV / 20kV transformer stations for the Academy and Drumul Taberei Park, carried out by SC TIAB SA, a company of the Vinci Energies group (with Enel as a client), which stood out by using an intelligent solution for capitalizing on space limited.

“It is a one of a kind project in Europe, with two underground transformer stations equipped with high voltage equipment GIS + GIT [gas insulated hight voltage switchgear and gas insulated transformer”], with very compact SF 6 gas insulation, plus the equipment related to the internal services, the medium voltage distribution equipment, including the SCADA command-control equipment and the LES connections with the supply stations. It was very difficult to build such stations in the middle of Bucharest, in a limited space, which required the use of an adequate solution and very compact equipment “, said Corneliu Samoilă, Development Director of Vinci Energies Romania.


The advantages of this project highlight the possibility of building transformation stations in a crowded urban areas, underground, eliminating the visual impact and the risk of on the ground transformation stations, without land acquisition needed, but retaining their role and utility.

TIAB was permanently involved in the special works on the subway, in equipping stations and electrical substations, providing access system, elevators, ventilation systems, lighting or SCB, Samoilă added, explaining that the solution chosen for the two transformation stations was ready in time and had no impact on the delays in the inauguration of the new metro line.

Florin Enache: We want to build 100 #Better blocks of flats

The construction industry has advanced by several generations lately, being increasingly felt the need to invest in communications dedicated to the authorities and the end user. Thus, the #Better project has created a housing guide dedicated to consumers, which shows the facilities that must be added to an apartment for allowing a healthy life.

#Better block of flats, built collectively by the joint membership of future owners, brings to the users benefits that other builders do not include, in general. The construction scenario involves the association of several future owners, something which in general is difficult to achieve in Romania, said Florin Enache, co-founder of #Better.

“In the next five years we want to reach 100 such blocks of flats, with very good quality and more space.” The typical apartment proposed by #Better, at 100,000 euros, has three rooms per 100 square meters and includes facilities and elements of good practices with no pressure from maximizing profit.

“The biggest challenge is to change people’s perspective on such projects; it is not easy to find a group of 10-12 future neighbors, but you will see that this is actually the biggest advantage – you will actually like the neighbors you have chosen”, added Enache.

EFdeN is preparing a modular project with a low carbon footprint

EFdeN intends to participate in the Solar Decathlon 2022 competition with a new project, said Andreea Iacob, EFdeN representative, project manager, Solar Decathlon 2022. “Cities now occupy 2% of the Earth’s surface and bring together 50% of the world’s population. They are responsible for 75% of global energy consumption and 80% of CO2 emissions. At the same time, they generate 80% of the global GDP”, said Andreea Iacob.

At European level, buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions. According to some estimates, the growing urban population trend will lead to the construction of another 23 billion square meters by 2060. Reducing carbon emissions can start from the existing buildings, she says. “Cities can no longer be extended on land, and the built-up area must be used to the maximum. The 2022 competition considers this kind of aspects and encourages us to come up with solutions related to the existing housing stock”. Following EFdeN studies, new spaces must take into account the social impact, biodiversity and sustainability of buildings.

“We are required to have a clear analysis of each element used in the project, to integrate the infrastructure part in IoT and move from the classic BIM (building information modeling) in order to use information related to the city, to introduce such information as to ensure optimal functionality at City level (CIM, city modeling). The project also considers the social part, with modular housing units, dedicated to a single person or a couple, abiding to the volumetric character of an area and with a zero or even negative carbon footprint. We are currently working on this project “, she concluded.

The conference “Smart choices for smart cities” was organized by Energynomics and BusinessMark, with the support of our partners ABB România, Bjorn Heizung, EnergyPal, Signify and Vinci Energies România.

227 people have registered on the MyConnector platform to participate in the dialogue, representatives of organizations such as 3M Romania, ABB, ABC, ACE ISS (Aveva Distribuitor), Adisun Smart Systems, Adrem Engineering, Aktron, Albalact, AMBER technologies, Andel, ANRE, APIA, ARAMIS GROUP, Arc Electronic, Arhigraph, AROBS Transilvania Software, Asociatia Producatorilor si Importatorilor de Automobile, Asociatia Solar Decathlon Romania, ASRO, Avitech Co, Banca Transilvania, BAT, Beia Consult International, BM DEMAILLE Bruno, BT Public Relations, Camera de Comerț și Industrie Româno – Britanică, CCIFER, CEC Bank, CERTICORP SRLD, CES, CFR, CHIMCOMPLEX SA Borzesti, CHIMCOMPLLEX, Cima Data Analytics, Claritech, Cluj Innovation Park, CmT Elect, CNE Cernavoda, CNR-CME, Colliers, Compania de apa SOMES Cluj Napoca, Continental – Contitech, Cora Office Solutions, Danisan Consult, Dedeman, DHL Logistic, DNC CALINA SRL, Donosa A Vasile Audit Instal, Dussmann, Ecovillas, EFdeN, Electra Norte, Electrocentrale Bucuresti SA, ELEDAN ALL SERV ENERGY SRL, ELSACO SOLUTIONS, ELUX RODIT, Embassy of Canada to Romania, Energie Finanzierung und Kapital, EnergoBit, Engie Building Solutions, ENGIE Ro, EUROELECTRIC SRL, Exe Green Holding, Eximbank, Eximprod Grup, EY Romania, Facilitec, G.M.Cantacuzino, Geological Institute of Romania, GLOBEMA, Hidroelectrica, ICI, INCDTIM, KIRCHHOFF Automotive Romania, LISSCOM, Marco Polo Institute, Marquardt Schaltsysteme S.C.S, Masifpanel, MAXIMUS General Services, Metrorex SA, Mircea cel Batran Naval Academy of Constanta, Mivaserv Advanced Solutions SRL, Monsson, Orange Romania, OT Strategy Consulting SRL, P. DUSSMANN SERV ROMANIA SRL, Permanent Representation of Romania to the European Union, PETRYKA Engineering SRL, Phoenix Contact, Photomate, Primaria Sectorului 1, PROJECT ONE CONSULTANCY, Prysmian Cabluri si Sisteme, QETICS, Quartz Matrix, RATEN – ICN, RINA SIMTEX, Romanfir SA, Rominterface Impex SRL, S+B Gruppe, Safetech Innovations, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Solstar Energy Pro SRL, SOMPLAST SA, Sora Automatizari, Steinel Distribution, Strabag, Strauss Romania, SWOBODA SIBIU SRL, TECHNOSAM SRL, Tectonics Art SRL, TIAB, TIAB SA, Total Energy Solutions, Tractebel Engineering, Transelectrica, Transgaz, Transylvania Energy Cluster, Universitatea Tehnica “Gheorghe Asachi” din Iasi, UNIVERSITATEA TEHNICĂ GHEORGHE ASACHI DIN IASI, UPB, UTM, Facultatea de Energetică și Inginerie Electrică, Vegacomp Consulting SRL, Vestra Industry, Weidmueller SRL.

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