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New energy buildings – What opportunities are created

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ΝΕα ενεργεια&kappa κτorρια – Ποιες ευκαιρες δημιο υργοyνται

Νεα εν&epsilon ;ργειακκτorρια – Ποιες ευκαιρiε ς δημιουργοyνται

Anna-Maria Eutychiou*

The “tomorrow” in the construction industry and in developing and in general in real estate investments, are the “green” and energy buildings, which will be an important part of the future development, in the field of construction and urban adaptation.

Almost all governments and companies have shown increased interest in sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions in the construction sector, a fact that Cyprus could not be an exception.

The “green” buildingsare designed with the aim of reducing energy consumption, using sustainable materials, efficient waste management and the use of bioclimatic designs. These buildings are designed to minimize their carbon footprint and promote sustainable development.

Citizens are increasingly valuing sustainability and environmental sensitivity, and are looking for alternatives that respect the environment. Therefore, “green” and energy buildings meet this growing demand and offer sustainable options for living and working.

In addition, many countries have set targets to reduce gas emissions< /strong> of the greenhouse and the promotion of energy efficiency in the construction sector, which further encourages the development and adoption of green buildings.

High energy efficient buildings< /strong>

According to data collected by the “Green Energy” Group, which has many years of experience in the field of Renewable Energy Sources, (since the services it provides offers integrated energy saving solutions in Cyprus. At the same time, it holds an electricity supply license since 2018 and from October 2022, participates in the Transitional Regulation of the Competitive Electricity Market), the energy requirements of buildings in cities, especially countries with high temperatures are almost twice as much as the same buildings outside cities.

“Sustainable Building” or as it is otherwise known “High Performance Building” or “Green Building” are terminologies that describe, essentially, the same object. “Green Building” refers to a structural, but also a utilitarian process governed by environmental responsibility and efficient use of resources throughout the life of the building – From the design phase, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, up to demolition.

What is the design of the buildings based on?

The goal is to reduce the environmental impact of the building, with the main characteristic being high energy efficiency. Therefore, the design of such buildings is based on the following pillars:

  • Efficient use of energy, water and other resources
  • Use of Smart Systems (Building Management System – BMS, etc.)
  • Reducing waste and pollution
  • Protecting the health of tenants and improving worker productivity

The EU is moving forward…

They are also great important to know that the European Parliament recently approved a new bill that aims to tackle climate change by reducing carbon emissions. Something particularly positive but at the same time innovative in terms of the movement to buy real estate in Cyprus.

So, interested buyers and investors in general should know that from 2030 onwards, according to the New Green Deal, “buildings must consume little energy, be powered by renewables as much as possible and must not emit carbon emissions from fossil fuels”.

New regulations provided for in the 2050 Agreement

According to the new regulations:

  • Zero emissions from all new buildings from 2028 (2026 for new residential or public authority buildings).
  • Installation of Photovoltaic (PV) systems, by 2028, on all new buildings and where economically feasible, while 2032 is a milestone for homes subject to radical renovation. Securing an energy efficiency certificate with category E until 2030 (and D until 2033).
  • If the buildings do not comply with the above rules, then the property cannot be mortgaged or transferred/sold.
  • Reduction of final energy consumption by 1.9% per year from the public sector.
  • Renovation of 3% per year of public buildings into Near Zero Energy Consumption Buildings (NEC) or zero emission buildings.

< p>The effects of the new regulations result in:

  • The reduction in the value of buildings that do not meet the new energy efficiency standards.
  • Declining turnover in the construction sector: due to the high cost of building energy-efficient buildings, while investors may not show much interest in larger investments.

Opportunities: >Financial incentives for investments in energy upgrades/renovations.

  • Creation of green mortgages or loans with reduced interest rates for energy efficient properties by financial institutions (Sustainable Finance).
  • Comparative advantage for construction companies that incorporate sustainable building practices in their projects.
  • Strengthening the reputation and brand of companies that have incorporated the provisions of the regulations, as they will contribute to a more sustainable future.
  • At the same time, the rates of increasing energy consumption costs >is a phenomenon of intense public concern. At the same time, the construction industry is closely related to the development and maintenance of energy efficient buildings. The construction industry affects the energy performance of buildings in many ways. This can happen during the design phase, construction, but also during their operation.

    Improving energy efficiency

    In design and construction, aspects that improve energy efficiency can be considered, such as:

    1. Insulation: The use of advanced insulation materials can improve the building's thermal insulation and reduce energy consumption for heating or cooling.
    2. Building materials: The use of materials with low energy consumption, such as energy-efficient windows and doors, can help reduce energy consumption.
    3. Building design: Building energy design, including solar orientations, natural lighting and ventilation, can reduce the need for energy.
    4. Energy efficient systems: The use of efficient heating, cooling and ventilation systems is important to reduce overall energy consumption.

    During the operation of buildings, it is important to implement monitoring and maintenance systems to ensure continuous energy efficiency. Technologies such as smart buildings and automated controls can help save energy during day-to-day operation.

    Overall, collaboration between the construction industry and the energy industry is critical to creating and maintaining buildings that are sustainable and energy efficient.

    Property Market Profile< /strong>

    Regarding the profile of the Real Estate Market, there is a large stock of old buildings in Cyprus and Greece (in Cyprus about 70% were built before 1980, while in Greece the percentage is around 55%). Therefore, the new energy efficiency standards set by the EU are not met. Major upgrades are needed in these buildings in order to meet the new energy efficiency standards, resulting in a high cost of acquiring energy efficient properties.

    Indicatively, the cost of renovating a building to meet the new energy efficiency standards, estimated at around €7,500-30,000, depending on the extent of the renovation.

    How will we cope?

    According to the Long-Term Building Renovation Strategy, the building stock consists of old buildings, as a result of which it is considered quite energy-intensive. The economically optimal solution in the life cycle of the building requires the planned renovation to a high energy efficiency building (from B+ to KSMKE). The most important action of the Strategy seems to be the strengthening of the Energy Performance Certificate (PEA) in the Real Estate Market.

    The “realistic” scenario for the energy upgrade of buildings is the annual renovation of 1% of the entire building stock. This scenario takes into account financial and technical constraints. However, to achieve the goal of decarbonising the entire building stock by 2050, the annual rate of renovations will need to triple. This scenario seems unrealistic today, however, through the revision of policies and actions, which will take into account the macro-economic, social and environmental benefits, the rate of renovation will increase to the maximum extent possible.

    Which solutions are the easiest?

    It is important to mention that in order to achieve energy savings, it must be ensured that the comfort level of the occupants is kept high levels or has improved.

    Energy saving in buildings with simple tips:

    • Using efficient lighting (e.g. e.g. LED)
    • Utilization of natural lighting
    • Implementation of “smart” ventilation
    • Maintenance of frames – reduction of thermal losses and improvement of thermal comfort
    • Maintenance of facilities – maintenance of long-term efficiency life of the equipment
    • Replacing the old installation with a more energy efficient system
    • Installing a compensation system in old installations
    • Setting the thermostat/system, air conditioning/heating to a more suitable for the season temperature
    • Isolation of the bodies in the rooms that are not used
    • Choosing household appliances with a low energy consumption label
    • Avoid installing oversized appliances
    • Utilization of RES (such as PV installation, etc.)
    • Electric Vehicle charging systems
    • Plants covering the outer shell of the building
    • Systems water recycling system
    • BMS for “smart” buildings.

    *Journalist

    Source: 24h.com.cy

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