’Village Block’ energy efficiency refurbishment project

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In the 1960s and 70s, a very dense housing estate was constructed in the Budapest district of Óbuda-Békásmegyer. The blocks of this estate, which were built by industrialised construction technology (so called “Soviet-type blocks of flats” or panel blocks) operate with outdated energy systems, with minimal or no isolation, and outdated windows. Low energy efficiency causes higher emission, and due to the higher energy demand leads to higher operational costs. Increasing energy prices make long-term sustainability of these buildings a serious problem for owners and residents, most of whom have low income.

The Municipality of Óbuda-Békásmegyer joined the STACCATO project in 2005 together with Amsterdam Noord and Sofia Oborishte, as the third municipality to undertake a pilot programme of energy efficiency refurbishment. The aim was to reduce dramatically the energy consumption and the CO2 emissions of the building. The building in Óbuda was selected in June 2009: the renovation was planned in the largest residential building of Hungary, the so-called ‘Village Block’ with its 884 flats (the building named after its 3,000 inhabitants, which easily makes up the population of a village), 43,500 square metres, 15 staircases.

Residents of the ‘Village Block’ could opt to pay their own contribution in monthly instalments. Due to the efficiency improvement following the refurbishment the savings in the heating bill is higher than the monthly instalment. The implementation costs were approximately €4.18m, of which €1m in co-financing from the EU under the CONCERTO initiative.



  • Organisational problems with a large number of beneficiaries.
  • Difficulties in securing funds.


  • The low thermal efficiency of the residential building that resulted in high energy costs
  • A possibility to upgrade the value of the apartments


Project results:

  • Complete insulation of the house, with insulation capacity exceeding the standards of newly constructed buildings.
  • 1,800 outdated windows were replaced with new ones (5 chamber plastic windows).
  • A solar collector system for the production of hot water was implemented on the roof of the building with 1,500 square metres and 1,128 MWh capacity (altogether 125 solar collectors).
  • Individual metering of the heat consumption.
  • Increase in the value and living quality of the flats.
  • Reduction of CO2 emission as a result of better energy efficiency and the application of renewable energy sources.

Further Information

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