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Ceuta Norte

Ceuta Norte


Ceuta Norte was conceived of by the City of Lisbon council in an effort to address the housing needs of the nearby neighbourhood of Casal Ventoso, an area prioritised for urban renewal after many dilapidated buildings and apartments were demolished.
Ceuta Norte was a demonstration project partly funded by the European Commission-funded SUNH (Solar Urban New Housing) programme and built in the Alcantara Valley in Lisbon. Sixty-two apartments were constructed.
Ceuta Norte was project-managed by INETI (National Institution for Industrial Engineering and Technology) who employed the construction company Somague as the primary contractor.

Building details

Type of building: Sixty-two apartments of social tenure were constructed in the project, over two sites. These formed two blocks, each of 31 apartments, integrated with a new urban development of 14 lots and 398 dwellings.
Year of construction/ Floor area: The total heated floor area of the building is 4266m2.
Heating and cooling / measures installed The building is integrating several solar shading devices.

Energy saving measures included also high levels of thermal insulation to exterior walls and roofs, double-glazed low-e windows and optimisation of daylight. A thermo-mechanical ventilation system provides permanent ventilation to dwellings and guarantees good levels of indoor air quality.


Aim The aim of the project was to improve the area’s quality of social housing in terms of thermal comfort and visual amenity as well as achieving better indoor air quality.

Façade featuring fixed shades and exterior shutters

Key points Energy Efficiency Measures
- Solar shading devices: These measures had to meet the combined requirements of achieving shading efficiency, reduced energy consumption and desired lighting levels. All windows had moveable shading devices attached; white PVC exterior shutters were fitted, with the added benefit of providing night insulation during the heating season.

Shading was also provided with fixed shades (projecting horizontally or vertically from the building), designed in view of the seasonal path of the sun and orientation of the building openings. Horizontal louvers (screening the laundry zones) also provided significant shading.

- Windows: In warm countries there is often trade-off to consider between allowing the desired level of daylight into a room and minimising this significant source of solar heat gain at times when it is unwanted. Consequently moderate solar gain double-glazed low-e units were selected that minimised the effects of solar heat gain without obstructing views and daylight unduly.

These units use clear inner and outer panes of 4mm and 6mm respectively, with a 12mm air gap. Sputtered low-e coating is applied to the inner side of the outer layer, reducing the solar transmittance to 0.54 (rather than 0.62 if applied to the inner side of the inner layer), achieving a U value of 1.8 W/m2K. In the winter single glazed windows create drafts by convection; the inside air next to the glas cools and drops to the floor causing drafts. Low-e double glazed units mitigate this cooling substantially, as the inner pane maintains a more stable temperature. The double-glazed units are neutral coloured and have a high visible transmittance.
The moderate solar gain low-e double glazing used has higher visible transmittance than single or normal double-glazed tinted windows, low solar gain low-e solar double-glazed or triple-glazed windows.

- Ventilation: The time-controlled thermo-mechanical ventilation system used can ensure a general and permanent ventilation of the dwelling which is essential for good internal air quality and comfort. Pollutants are efficiently removed from the bedrooms and the living room to the kitchen and bathroom where the collective exhaust shafts are located and there is no outside air intake.

PVC exterior shutters

Reason for inclusion as Shining Example This Shining Example usefully illustrates the application of fully matured passive technologies to reduce cooling demand in a warm climate context. Refurbishments can incorporate the same measures illustrated here to help minimise and possibly avoid the need for active cooling systems altogether.


Costs &


Total building cost: €2.19 million

Low E Glazing: €3,400

Ventilation: €900

Benefits - The chief engineer for the project found that high levels of comfort were reported by tenants in both summer and winter months.
- The diagram below illustrates the building’s impressive reduced heat gain (positive values) and reduced heat loss (negative values) when compared to a typical building, under standardised ambient conditions. Energy savings for heating and lighting were estimated at a theoretical 50 kWh/m2 year.

1: ‘Standard apartment’, 2: Improved apartment
A: External wall, B: Roof, C: Heat loss through windows, D: Solar gain through windows, E: Ventilation, F: Total


Partnership details The development was part-funded as a demonstration project under the aforementioned SUNH programme, supported through the ENERGIE funding stream of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Transport and Energy (DG TREN). SUNH funded renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements undertaken in new housing schemes across the EU, highlighting low energy and low carbon technologies from photovoltaics to rainwater collection and recycling through to measures such as solar shading and external insulation.


Achievements The project was later promoted as one of 15 European projects demonstrating best innovative practice through ‘Spread CD-RES’, part-funded by the DG TREN’s ALTENER programme.
Feedback from tenants

Tenants were contacted after having experienced both summer and winter conditions in the apartments. They broadly reported that the improvements led to high levels of comfort in both hot and cold ambient conditions.

To know more



Instituto Nacional de Engenharia, Tecnologia e Inovação
Contact Antonio Texeira
Address Estrada do Paço do Lumiar nº 22

1649-038 Lisboa



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