Within the set of activities that affect the energy consumption, buildings accounts for about 40% of the total.
That the reason why energy efficiency in buildings is an essential part of the effort to rationalize the use of natural resources, limit the overall energy consumption and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. At the same time, the energy industry is negative in the balance of payments trade of our country, so the negative effects it produces are intensified in a possible future scenario of rising prices of fossil fuels.
Therefore, to the need to reduce consumption for environmental reasons is added the desirability of replacing part of energy consumption from non-renewable sources by renewable sources that will increase our energy independence.
Directive 2002/91/EC on energy efficiency in buildings and its update, Directive 2010/31/EU is part of compliance policies of international agreements, like the Kyoto Protocol, and looks forward reducing energy dependence of the European Union. The same happens with directives such as 2009/28/EC, on the promotion of use of renewable energy sources.
The directive of energy efficiency in buildings includes the objectives:
- the efficient, prudent, rational and sustainable use of energy, especially in relation to those products that generate carbon dioxide emissions.
- reducing energy consumption and use of energy from renewable sources in the building sector as measures to reduce energy dependency of the European Union and emissions of greenhouse gases
- setting targets for 2020, such as a 20% reduction in energy consumption, improvement in 20% of the energy efficiency of buildings, and the use of 20% of energy from renewable sources, compared to the 1990 levels.
Therefore, minimum standards of efficiency of building systems and building points to almost zero consumption and low emissions are established.
The directive has its translation into national law, and acts at different levels. Roughly, we can organize the whole in blocks related with the Directive for Energy Efficiency in Buildings and its developments, the Building Act (LOE), the Technical Building Code (CTE) and its regulatory development (basic documents, RITE, etc). These rules work together, as a framework.
To attain these objectives, the CTE must progressively increase the level of demand implemented to facilitate the adaptation of the sector.
Reducing consumption is addressed through improved H.V.A.C. systems, and through limiting energy demand. In a mild climate like ours (Spain) t, it was considered appropriate to establish separated limits to the demands of heating and cooling, in order to obtain an accurate behavior, so more rational design strategies could be implemented
As we approach low demand levels, it is essential to approximate the optimal cost to reliably, so that we can locate the key points to be more effective, taking into consideration the full life cycle and not just the short term.
Advances in system efficiency come from both direct limitations of the equipment efficiency parameters, and indirect limitation through consumption.
The increase in the proportion of energy from renewable sources is addressed directly by increasing the involvement of building systems for generating DHW and electricity; and indirectly, through the energy certification label.
However, although the objectives and legislative support related to energy efficiency in buildings are clearly established, there is still a great ride possible in their development and final application.
In Neogloblal we help our customers to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings and projects.
Contact us for more information.