Fact Sheet Case Study Santiago de Compostela

Country Spain
City Santiago de Compostela
District Rúa Nova (RN) – Rúa do Vilar (RdV)
Climate Temperate oceanic (Cfb) with dry, warm summers
Type of district The district is located in the medieval urban area of the Old Town of Santiago de Compostela. The urban scenario changed from medievalism (narrow unpaved streets, dark wooden houses with overhangs and lack of public places) to baroque (from 1650 to 1750 there was a deep renovation of the existing buildings and the construction of big houses for the nobility elite). The old town consists of many narrow winding streets lined by historic buildings in the surrounding of the cathedral. The historic centre has not merged with the newer parts, so the basic structure of the centre is still clearly recognizable and surrounded by large green areas. It remains the administrative, political, social and cultural centre of the city.
Classification Listed. UNESCO World Heritage Site
Type of intervention Urban analysis: implementation of the H-GIS, the multiscale data model, the categorization tool and validation of the DSS in the Level of Decision Making (LoDM) II.
Suitability of intervention The city of Santiago had already a rich database regarding the buildings of the historic district in a GIS therefore it was possible to develop the multiscale data model without fieldwork and the implementation of the DSS in LoDM II.
Scope of intervention To evaluate the applicability of the multiscale data model, the H-GIS, the categorization tool, and the DSS in LoDM II. Energy use as well as energy production has always a geographic correspondence. Energy production facilities can be located geographically and energy demands can be assigned to an area. The planning and optimisation of transportation lines and grids is very close to the original core tasks of GIS in mapping and cartography.
Information requirements The EFFESUS decision making methodology has been designed in order to answer to different levels of availability of information, without the need of field work, taking advantage of the existing information infrastructure. In Santiago a high-medium level of information scenario was intended to study: with the information available it is going to be possible to develop the multiscale data model in a high medium level of completion and therefore to validate the categorization tool and the DSS in LoDM II.
Monitoring To test new control strategies to decrease the energy demand, the building selected is the museum Casa do Cabildo situated in the historic district. In particular the demonstration will focus on Comparison of the thermal and economic benefits of the building under the control strategy and of the thermal and economic benefits of the building under the control strategy against one based on electrical price variations, decreasing the electrical costs but keeping the internal comfort.


With its Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque buildings, the Old Town of Santiago, a World Heritage Site, is one of the world’s most beautiful urban areas. Granite stone is the most common building material. The block selected as a case study is situated within the medieval urban fabric. The shape of the plots is narrow and deep with the rear of the plot being gardens that were silting.

The buildings’ structural systems consist of loadbearing walls of stone and of wooden floor and roof constructions. The façade are of granite with small holes and windows flush to the outside. Curved ceramic tiles are used as roof covering. The current buildings have been built between the 18th and 19th century.

The chosen buildings are:

Building Use of Building Level of heritage protection
Vilar 59 Office II
Vilar 13 Residential III
Vilar 1-3 (Casa do Deán) Office I
Nova 22 Residential III
Nova 42 Residential III


Each building has a catalogue card except Casa do Deán (House of the Dean).

Santiago de Compostela is located in Galicia in the northwest of Spain and the climate is classified as a temperate oceanic climate (Köppen-Geiger: Cfb) with dry, warm summers. Due to the prevailing winds from the Atlantic and the surrounding mountains, Santiago has one of the highest precipitation levels in Spain. The climate is mild: Frost is common only from December to February with an average of just 8 days per year, while snow is rare, and temperatures over 35ºC are exceptional.

In Santiago de Compostela, a potential analysis of renewable energy generation on buildings as well as within communal spaces such as parks or market squares will be carried out. This will include solar thermal and photovoltaics (where admissible for historic buildings under consideration), but will include also biomass from households, gardens and landscaping waste. Energy demands for heat, cooling and electricity of buildings will be evaluated starting with the status quo and going into the future, includ-ing the gradual implementation of energy saving measures.

Both, information on energy generation and energy demand collected in Santiago de Compostela will be entered into a historic district geographical information system (HISD-GIS). The HISD-GIS will combine this information with information on restrictions and requirements regarding the alteration of the historic building stock to evaluate the areas available for renewables energy generation within the historic urban district.

The Santiago case study is coordinated by the EFFESUS partner SANTIAGO, the city’s municipal administration.