News Item - July 2011

"European Countries lead the way for Energy Efficient Buildings."

At the recent 15th international Passive House conference held in May at Innsbruck Austria presentations delivered show that many parts of the European Union EU are rapidly moving to meet the EU target of the ”Nearly zero energy building“ which is mandated to come into effect from 2021.

Clemens Haury of the EU Commission (Directorate General for Energy) stated that “Energy efficiency is ‘top of the agenda’ in Brussels. The share of renewable energy can be doubled to 35 percent in the next ten years, but what is most important is the improvement of efficiency. This can save more than 50 percent of the energy consumption without any inconvenience. As the building sector is responsible for 40 percent of the energy consumption in the EU, the Passive House Standard represents the best and most cost efficient solution for this“.

Building to the Passive House standard, which is the most energy efficient in the world, has resulted in currently over 14 million square metres of living space in Europe which will save at least 10 billion Euros in energy costs and 8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions within the next 40 years.

Presentations coverered a wide range of projects from large scale residential complexes to the refurbishment of exisiting buildings, including one from the 15th century.

The Austrian state of Tyrol showed how rapidly the move to the Passive House standard has become and reported that " In 2009, only 2% of all newly constructed buildings offered the comforts of a Passive House, this number rose to 10% in 2010, and in 2011 this will become 50%. The subsidies for housing construction are an important regulatory element for this, which is why only Passive Houses will be subsidised in Tyrol from 2012 onwards” . Tyrol will join with 27 Leading Passive house Regions in Europe, which cover a total of 25 million inhabitants.

The Passive House standard is also being applied to public buildings as well;
  1. with Brussels declaring it as the standard for the construction for all new public buildings from 2010 and for all other new buildings in the Brussels Region from 2015 onwards, and

  2. the city of Oslo also deciding to construct all public buildings according to the Passive House Standard by 2014 – and where possible, to apply it in the refurbishment of existing buildings too.
Read the Conference report Pub. June 2011.
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