“Beautiful Cetinje” connecting energy efficiency and history

Cetinje, 12 September 2012
Almost two years ago representatives of Cetinje, the Old Royal Capital of Montenegro and UNDP had a project idea, and they named it Beautiful Cetinje. The idea was, and still is about the economic revitalization of the old capital and urban reconstruction of the cultural heritage, with energy efficiency as essential element.
Keeping in mind that the price of energy and resources in general will continue to grow - with each increase projects like this one seem to appear more profitable: 
  • An investment in the amount of € 100,000 provides up to € 20,000 of yearly savings in energy consumption;
  • 10 unemployed people from Cetinje were employed to do the adaptation works, and there is a possibility for their continued employment in construction works;
  • The entire investment will pay off in 6 years;
  • CO2 emissions will be 36 tons lower every year.
In March 2011 the Project team organized a detailed energy audit for the ex-British Embassy building, today the Music Academy. The audit showed great potential for savings in energy consumption and significant possibilities for reducing CO2 emissions. With joint funds and joint efforts of the Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Culture, Old Royal Capital and UNDP, the building has been adapted.
However, the successful work on the Music Academy obliges the Project team to continue working even more vigorously. This is the first building covered by the project “Beautiful Cetinje”, and there is more to do: the reconstruction of several buildings in the historic center of the city, with the implementation of elements of energy efficiency.
The retrofitted Music Academy building opening ceremony
The reconstructed former English Embassy building has officially been opened accompanied by the sounds of Verdi’s “Traviata”, performed by the String Quartet of the Music Academy of Cetinje.
Addressing the many guests, Mayor of Cetinje Mr. Aleksandar Bogdanović recalled that the construction of the English Embassy began exactly one hundred years ago and nowadays, thanks to the reconstruction, it has become the first building in Cetinje that meets modern standards in terms of energy efficiency. “The former British Legation shines in new splendor. Therefore, I have all the reasons to say that it is an example of well reconstructed facility, and it will provide ideal working conditions for students of the Academy of Music,” said Mayor Bogdanović.
“Investing in energy efficiency is not just an innovative approach in domains of architecture and construction. Being energy efficient is in fact the engine of economic development and, very important, it is a way to save local and central budgets. In times of global crisis, energy efficient policy is maybe the only tool for achieving sustainable development and for organizing life and national economy,” said Mr. Rastislav Vrbensky, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Montenegro. He alsostressed that the successful retrofitting of the facility at the Music Academy is a reason for satisfaction and pride. “In addition, until the end of this year we expect to finalize the main project for the old hospital Danilo I,” Mr. Vrbensky explained.
Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Montenegro Ms. Kate Knight-Sandssaid she was extremely pleased with the fact that the project “Beautiful Cetinje” began with the reconstruction of the building that was once built for the British diplomatic mission. “Congratulations to the Government of Montenegro, the Old Royal Capital and the UNDP for their commitment to the realization of this project. And this project is not only important because it represents the promotion of historical and cultural heritage of Cetinje, but because it is the best way to promote environmental protection,” Ambassador Knight-Sands underlined.
“Reconstruction of the Music Academy – former British Embassy building in Cetinje also marks the 100th anniversary of its construction, which together with the construction of other diplomatic missions in Cetinje, after the Berlin Congress, laid the foundations of modern Montenegrin state and established bridges of cooperation and partnership with other countries and peoples,” said Mr. Nebojša Kaluđerović, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro at the ceremony. “Reconstruction of this building has another important dimension for us: through these activities, focused on energy efficiency and sustainable development, our constitutional commitment to respect ecological principles gains full meaning,” Minister Kaluđerović added.
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The work on the Music Academy entailed the reconstruction of facades, roof adaptation, replacing the entire facade windows, thermal insulation of the attic and parts of the facade, replacing heating systems with boilers, works on the inner light bulbs, etc.. Cost of the works was €93,500, and the return of the investment will take about seven years.

“Beautiful Cetinje” is a project of the Old Royal Capital of Cetinje and UNDP for the reconstruction of buildings in the historic center of the city, with the implementation of elements of energy efficiency. In addition, thee aim is to provide vocational trainings, to support small local businesses and to encourage green design ideas and innovations in overall urban development. Significant contribution to the reconstruction of the former British Embassy was provided by partner institutions - the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Economy, the Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Montenegro, as well as the Academy of Music which is settled in the said building.