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The inhabitants of a small town benefit from the Community Centre’s Renovation


The ‘Nikola Vaptzarov 1924’ Community Centre in the town of Krivodol is a solid-frame brick 2-storey building, comprising a large cinema hall, three conference rooms, offices, a dressing room and a public library. Part of the building was not used for years. The municipal administration was located in the building. However, the Community Centre is far from the town centre, which is not very suitable for the local citizens and the administration employees of the municipality.

When the new administration was elected in 2003, the Municipal Council decided to make changes to the Community Centre building. Therefore the Council opened an invitation to tender (in accordance with public procurement rules) for an energy audit and general reconstruction and renovation of the building. It was envisaged that the work would combine the implementation of energy saving measures, as defined by the audit, with the general reconstruction and partial change of the functions of the building. The main purpose of the building as a cultural centre was preserved and the unused sections had to be adapted for the needs of the municipal administration. The work took place in 2005-2006.

Prior to the implementation of the energy efficiency measures and the reconstruction of the building the joinery was wooden. The existing heating system- a local boiler house using industrial heavy oil that was supposed to supply the community centre and the two adjacent apartment blocks, had never been in operation. Consequently, the building was heated using electricity, which in itself was an indicator of low efficiency and high costs.

Building details

Type of building: _ Community centre (“chitalishte”) including a large cinema hall, three conference rooms, offices, a dressing room and a public library. An extension to the building now accommodates the municipal administration.
Year built/ Floor area (m2)/ Operating hours (hrs, days etc.): The building was erected in 1983 and the renovation and general reconstruction took place in 2005–2006.

The total floor area of the building is 3,778 m2 and it operates 50 hours a week from Monday till Friday from 8:00 a.m. till 6 p.m. On national holidays and celebrations it is also open on Saturdays and Sundays.

Heating and cooling _ Heating for the building is provided by three water heating boilers, each of 100 kW rated heat capacity. The fuel used is woodchips.
Energy label/ CO2 emissions It is not yet possible to produce a Display® label to show the ratings after the implementation of the energy efficiency measures because a full reporting period has not yet elapsed. The other reason is that the building before the reconstruction was a community centre only and after it became the central office of the municipal administration.

Project description

Aim The aim of the project was to improve the energy performance of the building and to provide better conditions for the municipal administration and for the relevant activities of the Community Centre. The building was cold and uncomfortable before the reconstruction. A detailed energy audit undertaken by the Bulgarian engineering company Enemona SA identified the most cost-effective energy saving measures to implement. After the reconstruction, carried out in parallel with the implementation of the energy saving measures, the building turned into a real cultural centre for the community, suitable for different cultural and political activities. The municipal administration got new cosy and warm premises, providing staff with a comfortable and pleasant working environment that helped staff to perform their work well. At the same time the changes to the heating system led to a considerable reduction of energy costs.
Key points _ The first step of the project was to undertake a detailed energy audit of the Community Centre. The audit identified several measures that could be implemented and could lead to reductions in energy consumption, improvement of the building’s performance and improved comfort for building users. The recommendations from the audit resulted in:

- Insulation of the roof with mineral wool, protected by a vapour-drainage foil laid on a vapour-resistant foil.
- Replacement of the old worn out wooden joinery with PVC joinery, which provided good weather protection for the whole building.
- 2 cm internal and 5 cm external insulation of the walls.


_ The energy audit also identified the need to upgrade the heating system. Prior to the upgrade, electricity was being used for heating, because the local boiler house that was originally designed to provide heating to the community centre and two adjacent apartment blocks had never been in operation.


_ The new space heating system consists of 3 pyrolise boilers of 100 kW each, running on woodchips, and 2 types of radiators. Different types of heating units were installed depending on the specific needs of the premises.
Reason for inclusion as Shining Example This project can be considered a shining example because of the following reasons:

_ The whole refurbishment was undertaken after a detailed energy audit carried out by a competent company. This is important because in similar cases the approach is rather subjective and is often based on the judgment of the Municipal Council.


_ The whole package of energy saving measures recommended by the energy audit was implemented, which provided energy, environmental and social effects as a whole. The reasonable balance between more and less expensive measures combined with general reconstruction of the building was an important issue in this operation.

_ The energy rehabilitation of the building was skilfully used to also undertake a functional reconstruction of the building, which created normal working conditions for the building administration in the vicinity of the most important communication centre of the town.

_ The use of a third party financing scheme through an Energy Services Company (ESCo) provided for the realisation of the project without the need for the initial considerable investment on behalf of the municipality.

Costs & Benefits

Costs &


The total cost of the project was €254,600 (BGN 500,000), of which €160,500 (BGN 315,200) including V.A.T. was secured by the ESCo according to a contract with the municipality for auditing and implementing the energy conservation measures. The project’s payback period is 4.3 years.
Benefits Within a period of 4 years, in the framework of the ESCo contract, the project is expected to save a total of 315,399 kWh of energy.

_ Installing insulation and a new heating system in Krivodol’s community centre and municipal office is expected to reduce the CO2 emissions by 2,585 tonnes over the four years.

_ The refurbished building was opened by the Mayor of Krivodol at an official ceremony attended by the majority of the inhabitants, the ESCo company managers, representatives of the Bulgarian Energy Efficiency Fund and the Municipal Energy Efficiency Network EcoEnergy and representatives of local and regional newspapers and TV. The opening marked the start of an awareness-raising campaign that is expected to change the attitude of the public in the town of Krivodol with respect to the notions of “energy cost savings” and “energy efficiency”.

Partners & Roles

Partnership details A fruitful partnership has been established between the Municipality of Krivodol and the Bulgarian engineering company Enemona AS since 2004. So far two ESCo contracts have been signed between the parties for implementation of energy efficiency projects after obligatory tenders for the selection of an auditing company, which have been won by Enemona AS.


Achievements _ Krivodol Municipality is small and does not have a separate department or a specially appointed person to perform the monitoring and evaluation of the project. The energy efficiency officer, who is responsible for communication with the Municipal Energy Efficiency Network EcoEnergy, is doing this on the basis of the information for the energy expenditure of the municipal sites that is provided by the municipality’s accounting department.

_ In most of the Bulgarian municipalities these so called Municipal energy efficiency officers are engaged with other activities as well and energy issues are not their priority obligation. The EcoEnergy network has been trying for years to convince its member municipalities of the importance of appointing an energy manager to ensure the success of energy efficiency projects and make sure that the results are maintained over time. So far, the project is evaluated as successful although data for a whole heating period is not available yet.
Lessons Learned This project is widely applicable and shows how improving the energy performance of a building by changing the heating system, installing insulation and a modern lighting system improves the comfort of building users. Here are some of the lessons learned:

- When a building’s rehabilitation is based on a detailed and competent audit and on a good balance of energy saving measures, the results gained are encouraging and long lasting.

- The reasonable combination of energy rehabilitation with the necessity of functional changes and current repairs leads to good economical, technical, environmental and social results.

- Third party financing is one of the most attractive schemes for implementing energy efficiency projects. When the project is implemented by an engineering company on the basis of an energy performance contract (ESCo contract) the municipality can get the best benefits if it can ensure its interests are taken into account, as a partner.

Useful info

Publications The rehabilitated Community Centre of Krivodol opens its door – interview with the Mayor Mr. Nikolai Ivanov (Vratza Today newsletter, issue 63, 29-31 August 2006)


_ The Deputy Minister of Education Mrs Nadejda Zaharieva opens the renovated town library in the building of the Community Centre (Vratza Today Newspaper, issue 63, 29-31 August 2006)


To know more



Krivodol Municipality
Contact Dr Tzvetan Iliev
Phone +359 9117 2545

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