Getting to Low and Zero-Energy Buildings
Government regulation is putting a serious squeeze on thermal inefficiency in new European buildings between now and 2020. Whether new build or renovated, buildings are going to have to be seriously energy efficient. And it’s a necessity that brings great opportunities as well as endless technical challenges.
For example, many old buildings have been constructed with cavity walls, huge energy inefficient spaces that need to be filled. Many have no insulation at all. Then there is the issue of new buildings. Each building is constructed to meet the demands of its environment, so there is no one-size-fits all solution.
Of course new-builds can avoid the mistakes of the past but there will still be challenges as energy efficiency increases until buildings are near zero-energy, a standard that will be mandatory in all new European buildings by 2020.
One of the key challenges that drains energy from buildings is poor air-tightness. Tackling this issue while adding insulation can achieve great levels of energy efficiency.
Knauf Insulation has developed a system known as ECOSEAL in the States. The system combines the best insulation for a building with a flexible sealant that easily and efficiently closes energy depleting building gaps.
In Europe, combine Knauf Insulation’s SUPAFIL Blowing Wool or Glass Mineral Wool with ECOSE Technology with Homeseal accessories for ensuring airtight, insulated homes.
Here are five key points to show how the EPBD revision will make this happen:
1 Member States must make their building stock nearly zero-energy by 2050. There are ‘milestone’ target dates for 2030 and 2040 to ensure delivery.
2 Rapidly increasing the energy efficient renovation of buildings in EU countries is a cornerstone of the directive. Member States have to create strategies — including ‘trigger points’ — and make them a reality.
3 Countries have to step up the use of smart technologies in buildings to ensure lower energy bills, lower energy consumption and a better use of the energy that is being used.
4 The EU wants to unlock money to make all these things happen through, for example, the ‘Smart Finance for Smart Buildings’ initiative. The revised directive “strengthens the links between public funding for building renovation and energy performance certificates”.
5 The EU wants to increase the use of electric vehicles in Europe and the directive includes provisions to ensure the installation of more charging points in car parking areas.
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THE FAMILY PICTURED above is one of two families that took part in an ambitious six-month experiment organised by Knauf Insulation and scientists in Hungary to see exactly how much money could be saved through renovation.
Ambitious renovation roadmaps, as required under the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive, will help countries remain competitive. Every ‘roadmap’, due in April 2014, will outline how each government intends to make their entire building stock – private and public – more energy efficient by 2050.
France plans to make 500,000 homes energy efficient every year and how our French plants will help.
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