P&G’s bright green future

November 27, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment
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On Thursday, the RoGBC hosted Procter & Gamble’s Technical Director, Mr. Jacques Euler and his colleague Mr. Ovidiu Dutu who were kind enough to provide details of the green features of the company’s green flagship manufacturing facility in Urlati, Romania.

P&G's Jacques Euler highlights the sustainable construction features of the company's new Urlati factory

The recently completed 100 Million USD project was designed from its inception by renown green architects McDonough Partners with sustainability and a necessary strong business case in mind.   The addition of this factory will reduce the carbon miles of shipping its products throughout the Central Eastern European region.

The  RoGBC members heard about features including:

– the modeling and design of the building orientation for maximizing the effects of passive solar and natural daylighting

– collection of rain water for use in its manufacturing processes

– a design that would allow future expansions / modifications to the building while minimize construction waste and ensure the retention of its originally designed features

– waste processing using natural means

– ventilation measures for improved indoor air quality and heat recovery

– geothermal heating and cooling

– sustainable construction materials selected and installed and

– local recruiting and shuttle buses to minimize the number of employee commuter miles

The RoGBC greatly appreciates P&G’s fantastic example and the efforts of Jacques and Ovidiu to share their experience of the project.   I toured this factory a few months ago and was amazed to see such a nice design and the efforts made to make it comfortable and safe for the employees.   As this factory will serve as a global model for the company’s future plants, we are certain it will drive considerable positive change for P&G and the industry.

– Steve

Big debates in Brussels over energy efficiency; buildings are on top of the list

November 5, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Posted in Legislative Outreach | Leave a comment
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If 2009 was the year for lobbying for Energy Performance in Buildings Directive in the context of discussions and debates around its recast,  2011, 2012 will be dedicated for lobbying activities around energy efficiency. Buildings are still very high on the agenda. 

In spring 2011, the European Commission is expected to issue the next Energy Effciency Action Plan. In the draft  of the plan that was published earlier this year there were several measures that are supposed to have a high impact on the building industry. The most relevant measures:

  • Buildings are a priority sector in the  draft of the revised EEAP ; measures range from building renovation to policies meant to speed up the up-take of energy smart -meters
  • Proposes a European Buildings Initiative to stimulate the renovation of 15 million buildings by 2020
  • Set up of a mandatory National Energy Efficiency Fund (by all Member States) to support preferential loans or risk-sharing facilities
  • Mandatory set up of a white certificate scheme at member states level  to encourage energy efficiency in the power sector
  • Formation of a network of smart cities that would pioneer new technologies
  • European-training Strategy for energy-efficiency workforce

The draft is expected to be changed since the new Energy Commisioner that started the mandate this spring  – Mr. Gunter Oetingger, has a more moderate approach. However, even if there will be changes, buildings will still be high on the agenda.

 Next year, the European Commision will work also on the proposed recast of the Energy  End-use Efficiency and Energy Service Directive. The idea is to broaden it’s scope and provide an enhanced framework for energy efficiency and savings policies of Member States, including targets, role of National Energy Efficiency Action Plans, exemplary role of public sector, financing, consumer information. It will also define instruments to develop the energy services market and the roles of energy companies in promoting energy savings throughout the energy supply chain, including supply to end-users. It will set framework conditions for increased generation, transmission and distribution efficiency, including strengthened measures for the promotion of cogeneration and district heating & cooling.

What is the message for the building industry? The high levels of energy efficiency in buildings will cease to be just optional in the near future,  and just the  sophisticated choice of some forward looking developers. If the white certificate schemes will start to be mandatory for each Member State, the stakeholders of the energy market will be mobilised an co-interested in contributing to higher levels of energy efficiency at the end user. 

The sceptics  may say that the discussions are just at the beginning and by the time we see some effective results at the national level some years will have to pass and a lot of buildings will be built or renovated  as usual, in the meantime. However if we think that buildings are build for  the next 50 to 100 years the few years of political debates appear to be peanuts compared to that….what we build and renovate now will have to compete with the buildings build and renovated 5 or 10 years from now.


Waste Directive – in the public debate

November 5, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Posted in Legislative Outreach, News from Members | Leave a comment
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The 2008/98/CE Waste Framework Directive has to be transposed into the national legislation by the end of the year. This directive is important for the construction industry because it aims at recovering 70% of the construction waste by 2020.

More information about this directive and a brief analysis of the law project proposed by the Ministry of Environment  are available here. This analysis was carried out by Luiza Manolea, lawyer member of RoGBC in the Legislative Outreach Group.


New legislation for Public Private Partnerships in Romania; smoother path to Building Green?

November 4, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Posted in Legislative Outreach, News from Members | Leave a comment
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The new law that regulates the way public private partnership can be established and run in Romania was published on November 4th . Law nr.178/2010 was expected already by many for at least couple of years.  Without a dedicated legal instrument  Public Private Partnerships were not possible untill now. The section that is regulating the public concessions from OUG.34/2006 was a weak and inneficient substitute for setting up partnerships between public authorities and industry.    There were a lot of challenges between the different stakeholders (industry and public authorities) for reaching an agreement but finally we have a law now. The result is not perfect if we consider the analysis made by Luiza Manolea, active lawyer and member in RoGBC. The methodological norms that are to follow might give some clarity …or not. However this is a beginning and at least now we can start talking about Public Private Partnerships with the public authorities.

Maybe it is no coincidence that this long expected law came in a period of economic downturn. The Public Private Partnerships are great tools for boosting economic development and encouraging innovation  in periods when the budgets of the local  or central public authorities are close to bottom.  Since Green Building projects adress both criteria (stimulate local economic development and encourage innovation) we hope to hear soon about the first innitiatives of Public Private Partnerships that relate with sustainability in construction in Romania.  Establishing Public Private Partnerships represents a  great solution for the public authorities to finance new construction and major rehabilitation of existing buildings and use and implement  green building principles in the same time. There are plenty of sucesfull examples all over the world and not necessarily only in countries with previous tradition in building  high quality, energy efficient buildings with low impact on the environment. In India the CII Sohrabji  Godrej Green Building Center is considered one of the leading examples of Public Private Partnerships  that enabled the widespread green building movement in India.  The European Commision is also using this tool for funding research and development in different areas including buildings.

Looking forward to write about the first examples in Romania….


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