King Sturge: European Property Sustainability Matters (EU)

The King Sturge annual report 'European Property Sustainability Matters' is released this week. King Sturge say that the issues is very alive, but in a post-recession, we need to think differently.

There may be very little new development for many years across Europe, so we need to focus on how we use existing buildings and save energy and money.

The latest EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive requires all European countries to set minimum energy requirements for renovations by 2020 and move towards 'nearly zero' energy buildings for new buildings. Also, the EU Eco-Labeling and Performance of Buildings Directive requires eco-labeling of all new building to a much higher standards by 2020.

Angus McIntosh, Partner at King Sturge says, "The new EU legislation calls on UK Governments to accelerate the requirements on managing buildings. In the UK, the Green Deal* announced in the Energy Bill in 2010 and the change to the Carbon Reduction Requirement into a full blow tax from 2014 onwards, needs to be linking to requiring Display Energy Certificates** for all buildings, to accelerate change. Energy Performance Certificates currently required when houses are sold or offices & shops are let are generally a waste of money."

Angus McIntosh also states that measuring energy-in-use is only part of the challenge, "We need a new vision and new whole-life framework for measuring the carbon footprint of the built environment. This should reflect the carbon used to construct (and demolish) the building and the transport to and from the building over its lifetime. Well meant rhetoric needs urgent practical solutions if we are to meet our carbon reduction commitments."

Source: King Sturge

* The 'Green Deal' proposes a third party retrofit a building to reduce energy used at no cost to the occupier; the energy saved pays for the capital expenditure.

** Display Energy Certificates (showing how much energy is used) are currently only required on public occupied buildings (not private occupied buildings) in the UK. An EPC simply states how the building is constructed; there is no pressure on the occupier to use less energy.

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