District 1: University Campus

Leioa University Campus, Bilbao, Spain (Oceanic Climatic Area)


The Leioa University Campus is located on the outskirts of Bilbao and was constructed around 1970 with more than 15 buildings. A number of these buildings  have been retrofitted over the last few years (internally and externally) but without a homogenous integrated methodology.  The demonstration building is the central rectors’ offices located in the Leioa University Campus and is surrounded by  several buildings with similar constructive characteristics but for different uses (sport centre, university buildings,…).


view of bilbao

The building is occupied between 7am – 9pm during the majority of the year reducing to 3pm during the summer months.


The building has a narrow plant layout with a dimension of 110 x 22 m, and with a maximum height of 18 m. It  is a complex consisting of three buildings, with two to four-storey heights. The central and western buildings  are connected via a common staircase access whilst the eastern and central blocks are connected by a  corridor.

Orientation Dimensions Buildings Floors Area/Volume
N-S 110x22x19.3m 4 Ground Floor +3 8973m2/41775m3

ground-floor floor-1

                                        Ground Floor Plan                                                             First Floor Plan


                                        Second Floor Plan                                                              Third Floor Plan


The external walls consist of a prefabricated concrete frame with infill concrete block and faced brick or stucco finish. The roof is constructed of prefabricated concrete and finished with a pvc coating. The floors are constructed with reinforced concrete providing a high thermal mass to the building.

north-structure  east-structure

south-structure         west-structure

There are three different types of windows currently used in the building: Wood frame with single glazing, aluminium frame (without thermal break) with double glazing and aluminium frame (with thermal break) with double glazing.

The balconies overhang the windows which in turn are shaded with concrete fixed shading devices.

balcony  overhangs

Part of the roof is to be upgraded using XPS panels.


roof-insulation sandwich-panel


The entire complex is connected to a district heating system that provides the heat to meet its heating loads. The district plant consisting of 7 natural gas fired condensing boilers is centrally located within the campus. The heat production and distribution temperature ranges from 80 to 100 ºC.  The onsite heating  system is distributed by two independent circuits that provide hot water to the radiators located to the north and south facing rooms respectively.

gas-systems distribution-heat


There is no centralized cooling system and only a small number of buildings having localised cooling systems (DX system and compression cycle based chillers).
There is no mechanical ventilation provision, apart from the extract ventilation to the toilets.

The existing domestic hot water consumption is negligible and the need is met by individual electric water heaters located at the specific demand points.




The internal lighting is provided by fluorescents which are constantly turned on when the building is occupied.

strip-lights fluorescent-lights

The main aim of the project is to retrofit the building using best practice methodologies  uisng the innovative technologies developed within this project. These retrofitting methods are discussed in the retrofitting strategies at: http://www.a2pbeer.eu/retrofitting-strategies/strategy-1-university-campus/