In 2013 the town of Dubno officially joined the European initiative ‘Covenant of Mayors-East’, undertaking voluntary commitment to raise energy efficiency and grow the use of renewable energies in its territory, thus contributing to the development of eco-friendly economy and raising the living standards of the town residents. Later the town became a participant of the European Union’s program ‘Covenant of Mayors – Demonstration Projects’, within the framework of which since May 2018 the Project ‘Warm Schools and Kindergartens as the Pre-Condition of Children’s Health: a Comprehensive Project in Raising Energy Savings of Educational Institutions of the Town of Dubno’ has been under implementation. Thermal refurbishment of pre-school educational institution No. 4 is a part of the Project.
The town mayor of Dubno Vasyl Antoniuk has shared some details with us.
Mr. Antoniuk, please, tell us about the Project funded by the European Union, that is under implementation in your town.
The Project embraces 4 educational institutions. This is kindergarten No. 4, school-kindergarten and two general education schools. Thermal refurbishment is being conducted in pre-school educational institution No. 4, and it is already about to be completed. Comprehensive thermal refurbishment is also planned for the educational and upbringing complex. In general secondary school No. 7 we have to build a new boiler house on alternative fuels as well as to reconstruct external heating networks, while in general education school No. 6 we intend to conduct reconstruction of the heating system and networks.
Please, share with us the information as to what thermal refurbishment works are being performed in the kindergarten №4?
Before thermal refurbishment works were launched we had to start with the most problematic issues. Therefore, at first we reinforced some footings, walls and attic flooring. And then we moved on to establish a new heating system, to replace window and door entrance blocks, made the roof and the cover from metal tile. We insulated external walls and attic flloring with mineral wool slabs, and the socle part of the premises – with foam glass. And also new inflow exhaust ventilation with waste-heat recovery as installed in the kindergarten – and that was the first of the town’s public facilities with such system.
What effect do you expect after the already refurbished facility is put into operation?
As the result of implementation of this subproject we expect to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions into the air by 41 t/year, while the savings of heat power and electricity will constitute 135,266.00 kW-hour/year. In general, it may be stated that annual energy consumption in the kindergarten will go 51% down as compared to the actual annual consumption prior to thermal refurbishment. And we will thus ensure compliance with the sanitation norms of child stay in the institution. And it is also clear that thanks to that we will get savings of public funds, that could be further directed at similar activities.
You have mentioned that the works in the kindergarten are already at the completion stage, and good results are expected. Haven’t you had problems with implementation?
Yes, before the design works we had to conduct an additional technical inspection of the building’s carrying structures and a comprehensive energy audit. This provided us with an integral idea of the premises status and energy costs. And, as the result, in the design documents we got a much wider list of energy efficient activities within the frame of further performance of works in pre-school educational institution No. Respectively, that resulted in a considerable cost rise, and there arose the need for additional project funding. While the cost of thermal refurbishment of pre-school educational institution No. 4 under the Concept Note of 2017 was assessed as 1.390 mln. UAH, in 2019, taking into account changes made in the activities, the cost of all works according to the opinion of the comprehensive state examination constituted already 6.912mln. UAH.
Quite an amount. And what way out of the situation did you find?
We had no other choice but to provide additional funding from the town’s budget. We got some ideas to do this at the expense of other facilities, but we rejected them. Finally, we had already launched our cooperation with the European Union and there was no way back. The deputies at the Town Council’s sessions supported this decision. Therefore, now we can just stay watching the way our fourth kindergarten is being refurbished.
That is a large and powerful project for the town. Have any similar projects been implemented in the town ever before?
Yes, we have some experience of implementing similar projects. For example, with the support of the European Union, via the UNDP program ‘Community-Based Approach to Local Development – III’ we performed capital repairs of 16 residential buildings, the premises of the educational and upbringing complex ‘School-Grammar School’ and the gym of general education school No. Our main goal was to improve energy-saving characteristics of the buildings. And here, with the support of the State Regional Development Fund, we built a block-module boiler house for the educational and upbringing complex, conducted reconstruction of two town’s boiler houses, performed capital repairs of the heating systems of 5 pre-school educational institutions of the town. But it is within this project that we are performing such comprehensive thermal refurbishment works for the first time.
What further cooperation with the European Union in the field of climate and energy do you expect to have?
First of all, we need to complete this demonstration project. We have three more facilities within it. These are substantial budget commitments. Secondly, this year is the final year of our Sustainable Energy Action Plan, therefore, we will summarize, draw conclusions and do the planning. We have much more facilities that require improvements in terms of energy consumption and improved eco-behaviour. And it is the European Union that opens up great prospects for us not just in involving money to bring our intentions into life, but in opportunities for involving technological novelties, fresh knowledge, practice, and skills. Even the construction company, working in the fourth kindergarten, has gained quite an experience and mastered new skills. Permanent support of the technical experts from the Support Team of the European Union’s Program ‘Covenant of Mayors – Demonstration Projects’ has also been precious for all of us. Therefore, we are ready for and intend to move further in this cooperation.