In divided and cooperative property buildings, the role of the tenant or owner is crucial for the decision making process, especially with regard to the retrofitting of existing buildings. In order to discuss the situation in divided and cooperative buildings in different EU member states, the Estonian Union of Cooperative Housing Associations (EKYL) organised a workshop in Tallinn, Estonia in June 2014. This report highlights the discussions and outcomes from the workshop and study visit and includes a brief description of the presentations by and discussion amongst EKYL’s members, partners and other representatives on nZEB developments in Estonia.
The study demonstrates for the first time the link between real energy bills and a property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and the impact on the mortgage market. The study examined the availability of so-called ‘green mortgages in the UK and abroad, which typically offer a financial incentive to encourage homeowners to buy or to work towards greater energy efficiency. But the researchers found no mortgage product that delivers the link between home energy costs and lending amount.
This report is mainly aimed at business designers but is also directly relevant to the construction industry and to policy and regulation makers. It looks at the emerging market for building designers preparing buildings for a changing climate and at the opportunities and challenges they face.
This blog argues that smart buildings and a fresh approach to urban planning could herald a brighter future for the world’s fastest-growing cities. It examines the recently completed H2 low carbon building in Tianjin, China, It is a mixed-use development which includes offices, shops, restaurants and exhibition spaces and is one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the country.
This research seeks to quantify the macro-economic costs and benefits of investing in energy efficiency in UK building stock, and to analyse the impact of making energy efficiency an infrastructure priority. The analysis is carried out based on a programme to upgrade all of UK’s housing stock to an EPC C standard20 by 2035, through a combination of grants and low interest loans, with all low income homes treated by 2025.
On 2 October 2014, the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) and WorldGBC held a workshop in London to introduce UK green building experts to the European Commission’s ‘Communication on resource efficiency opportunities in the building sector’ and to examine its proposal for an ‘EU framework’ for sustainable building assessment. This workshop report presents a summary overview of the discussions; it is not presented as a formal position of any sort but rather aims to help inform discussions around this topic in the UK and other European countries.
Unlike Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), which provide a theoretical rating of the building’s energy consumption, Display Energy Certificates (DECs) provide information on the actual operational energy consumption. It’s claimed that in the public sector, where they are mandatory, DECs have helped achieve substantial year-on-year reductions in energy costs. The UK government ultimately withdrew plans to make DECs compulsory in the private sector, and while this might have caused dismay for many, it hasn’t stopped others from pushing ahead with their own ideas. The Voluntary Display Energy Certificate (VolDECs) is an operational energy rating scheme designed for commercial office buildings that has been developed by a partnership between the National Energy Foundation (NEF) and Phil Jones of Building Energy Solutions. The not-for-profit scheme has been piloted by Legal & General and tested on 16 of its major, multi-tenanted office properties. This blog contains the outcomes of a discussion with Debbie Hobbs, head of sustainability at Legal & General Property, and Malcolm Hanna, technical director of the NEF, to find out more about the initiative.
EuroPHit aims to significantly increase the quality and energy efficiency of perhaps the most common type of refurbishment: retrofits conducted gradually, over a period of years. The EuroPHit project is co-funded within the European Commissions’s Intelligent Energy Europe programme.
The government recognises that achieving the zero carbon standard could be particularly challenging for small builders. Therefore, it announced earlier this year, that there would be an exemption from part of the zero carbon commitment for small sites. The purpose of this consultation paper is to explore how this proposed exemption might work and to inform further development of the policy. Comments are requested by 7 January 2015.
Evidence generated by the Zero Carbon Hub and the housebuilding industry has demonstrated the existence of a ‘Performance Gap’ between the energy use of new homes as-designed and the actual use once the building is completed.