OMV PETROM LAUNCHES A NEW PROJECT: Boldesti-Scaeni community centre
OMV Petrom launched a unique community development project in Boldesti-Scaeni, Prahova county, a town where the company conducts operational activities. The educational and professional centre is mainly addressed to the town’s Roma community (approximately 10% of the town’s population), but also to other disadvantaged people, and will support over 500 beneficiaries of all age categories, for whom the centre will offer the chance to a decent life.
According to Mona Nicolici, Head of Sustainability at OMV Petrom, “The educational and professional centre from Boldesti-Scaeni is unique because everything that will take place there is based on sustainability principles. The centre’s building is designed according to the most rigorous standards in constructions and strives to become the most sustainable building in Europe. The educational and professional programs developed by our partners from Amare Rromentza are based on the community’s needs and also, on a constant dialogue. The centre is built with the help of volunteers, under the coordination of the Habitat for Humanity Romania Association. The Boldesti Centre is the most practical reflection of the principles that stand at the bottom of our strategy for community intervention”.
The project plans to raise the Roma community’s quality of life and educational level, by improving school performances, reducing school abandonment and raising the level of parents’ involvement. The community members will benefit from professional training classes, in order to increase their chance for finding jobs or developing local businesses.
The Amare Rromentza Roma Centre, partner in this project, has been developing since 2011 ‘after-school’ activities, pre-school and intercultural educational activities for Roma and Romanian children and also counselling and parental education for parents.
“The experience we gathered along the years during our educational activities in Boldesti-Scaeni community will be applied successfully at the ‘Resource Center for the Roma Community in Boldesti-Scaeni’. Amare Rromentza Roma Centre wants to apply its vision about identity education and ethnical self-esteem, elements which we consider to be fundamental for the training of children and adults. «Iekh ciacio manuş si ieck manuş kai na lajavel peske darina» – a responsible citizen is a man who is not ashamed of his roots,” declared Delia Grigore, the President of ‘Amare Rromentza’ Roma Center.
The building’s construction benefits from the involvement of young Romanian architects, of volunteers and local community, and is exclusively built through volunteers’ contribution, under the coordination of Habitat for Humanity Romania Association.
“Habitat for Humanity Romania doesn’t just build houses. It builds communities. The project from Boldesti-Scaeni is a fine example of what we consider to be recharging the community, a concept which, in time, will lead to eliminating poor living conditions. We know very well how to involve the locals in building activities. They come as volunteers on our building sites, put their trust into the project and, more important, develop the feeling of belonging – they know the centre belongs to them and need to take care of it in the future. No maintenance costs benefit is another very important element, of great use for a poor community,” said Mario DeMezzo, national director of Habitat for Humanity Romania.
The centre is build according to Passive House, a well-known international standard which follows, besides the energy efficiency factor and the source of the materials used in construction, the independence use of water and the ‘zero waste on site’ policy (the recycling of all used materials). For example, a building that is Passive House certified must use up to a maximum of 25 kWh/MP/year, while a regular construction in Romania uses over 200 kWh/MP/Year. In the building process, materials from entrepreneurs and local suppliers are being used, such as wool for thermal isolation, woven wattle for furniture or straw bales for filling the wooden structure. “Sustainability has been a core value of the project since the beginning. On one side a technical sustainability, regarding the top quality of the indoor environment, minimal environmental impact and offsetting energy consumption or carbon footprint products and on the other side, social and cultural sustainability: we chose local materials and techniques (wooden structure, straw bale filling, clay plaster, roofing shingles), which blend with innovative solutions and technologies (metal screw foundations, triple glazing carpentry, solar panels) and have recruited for our executional team, people from the Roma community in order to specialize in the construction techniques that are being used,” said the creator of the project, Architect Adrian Pop, member of PRISPA team, 2nd place winner for energy efficiency in the Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 competition in Madrid.
The building of the social centre in Boldesti-Scaeni will have complete independence from all utilities available in the public network. For example, the water comes from a well drilled on the parcel that houses the construction and rain water is collected and reused. All the necessary electricity and heat is provided by a system of 30 solar panels and two solar thermal panels. Although the energy required is taken from the public network, the energy that is produced by the solar panels is ‘delivered’ back into the system, which generates zero costs. Moreover, the annual consumption of the building will be less than the amount of energy produced.
The construction of the social centre is part of a large project, led by OMV Petrom between 2012 and 2015, which aims to support disadvantaged people in the Roma community from Boldesti-Scaeni town in Prahova county. The total investment during the last three years is over 320,000 Euros. OMV Petrom’s partners in this project are Habitat for Humanity Romania, Amare Rromenza Roma Centre Association, Centre for Sustainability in the Built Environment Association and Boldesti-Scaeni City Hall.