Smart infrastructure for smart public administration

Countries

Estonia

Policy areas

Organisation name eu-LISA – European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice

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Contact person: Matija Vilfan, Senior Planning Officer – Corporate Governance

Second prize winner in category Green in EPSA 2021:

The European Union Agency eu-LISA ensures the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice. Therefore, the Agency’s activities are crucial for the functioning of the Schengen system and thus supporting the free movement of people and goods. The implementation of this principle has an immense impact on the EU’s functioning, economy and, most importantly, EU citizens. Hence, the Agency is the heart of the European Union Public Administration and EU services.

From its establishment, it was essential that the Agency was supported, and its services secured and developed by a modern, smart and green infrastructure. This motivated eu-LISA to design and implement the green and smart headquarters project for smart and innovative public services in Tallinn, Estonia.

The project is an innovative combination of sustainable green infrastructure, ergonomic working and modern collaboration space, which aims at a cultural change for greener public administration services. The objective of the project was not only to build a new, modern and green building but also to encourage the development of the capacities of its users – staff, stakeholders, visitors and the broader public, towards the sustainable use of resources.

The building was constructed with a clear objective to reduce the environmental impact to the maximum while offering the best ergonomic spaces to its employees. The Agency used innovative solutions that allow energy efficiency and energy savings wherever possible.

For example, one of the most striking improvements is the air quality provided by more than 200 plants systematically placed throughout the building, so that no additional humidifiers and air cleaners are needed. To minimise water consumption, the Agency introduced two-system flushing in the toilets; all room controller manuals are in a video format and are accessible using the QR code, so no paper copies are used or necessary. There is an innovative floor heating system supported by exhausting hot air from the server room via heat exchangers, also used to preheat the fresh air for inflow. Lighting, including external lighting, is based on LED technology and connected to the building management system, enabling control and programming according to needs.

The Agency’s staff was included in the process as a key stakeholder in the project’s design, delivery and management. Offices and common spaces were designed together with this key stakeholder to ensure maximum ergonomic standards and promote the well-being of the Agency’s crucial asset: the employees. Smart infrastructure demands smart management and vice versa. For this reason, the Agency developed a comprehensive capacity-building programme for the headquarters users. On the other hand, the capacity-building programmes and the engagement of staff, as well as other stakeholders, provided the project management team with valuable feedback on how to make the investment (both the infrastructure and the behavioural/cultural change in the infrastructure’s users) even greener and smarter. This also means that the project team continues its mandate with the clear mission and vision to improve and make the initial investment sustainable, as well as transferable.

The project’s main outcome – eu-LISA headquarters – is sustainable over a longer period and does not require any more improvements or investment during the next decade. Smart, innovative and green public administration infrastructure will ensure the improvement of energy efficiency per square metre, and the optimisation of the building management system over the longer period. Based on the smart and fully digital resources management, the monitoring system and the feedback from staff and all relevant stakeholders, the Agency permanently revises its strategy and the headquarters management will be improved further by introducing new activities for increasing the environmental friendliness of the building. All these measures and activities are supported by the Agency with dedicated training and awareness-building opportunities for all the staff and any external contractors, other stakeholders and visitors.

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