Net Zero Energy homes…an interesting example

February 24, 2011 at 7:38 am | Posted in Certification, Green Building Projects, Legislative Outreach | 1 Comment

Please take a look at this brief article from CNN that highlights some of the great work our colleagues at the UK Green Building Council and WWF have achieved in setting ambitious green building targets for the residential sector.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/02/22/zero.carbon.homes/index.html

The Romania GBC is working together with UKGBC and the other GBCs of Europe through the Europe GBC Network to encourage effective legislation to reward energy efficiency and environmental responsibility in construction.

Green Building Rating Tools – Info Session

February 21, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment

Certification Task Group seeks input on Green Building rating tools

The desire to obtain internationally recognized green building certifications has clearly increased significantly over the last couple of years.   Investors and Developers of all building types have taken action to earn a certification or, at least, made serious inquiries to the RoGBC or its members on how to achieve a certification.

The RoGBC provides support for the green building rating schemes supported by the World Green Building Council. The two most prominent on the Romanian market are the LEED rating tool and BREEAM.   Recently, we have seen the addition of a project targeting the German Sustainable Building Council’s DGNB building certification. It is our belief that all are valuable tools to promote sustainable construction and that our best service to our members will be to facilitate the highest levels of achievement in these systems.

We have chosen to support more than one rating tool simply because 1) each are very useful and effective tools ans 2) each has relevance and popularity with different investors, companies, building types, industries, etc. and 3) we, as an organization, feel we can add valuable assistance to projects regardless of the rating tool chosen.

The RoGBC Certification Task Group is seeking member company representatives to assist us in ensuring that these rating tools continue to develop and improve their relevance for the Romanian market.     Representatives would have a place on the Certification Task Group – under the direction of RoGBC Director Gabriel Hyde – and can be involved in sub-task groups related to specific rating tools (LEED, BREEAM, DGNB, etc.) as appropriate.

Volunteers should be willing to commit a minimum of 10 hours per month of assistance and be familiar (or be willing to quickly get familiar) with the rating tools described above.

The RoGBC Certification Task Group will hold an information session on March 7 at 3pm at the RoGBC office.

The items of discussion include:

– Certification Task Group objectives – proposals and group feedback
– Working with specific Rating Tools – LEED, BREEAM, and DGNB
– Next Steps

Please send an email to info@RoGBC.org indicating your interest in participating or call our office for more details.

Rediscover Sinaia…

February 16, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment

The objective of Redescoperă Sinaia Association is to position the city of Sinaia domestically and internationally as the preeminent elegant, charming and “green” town in Romania, with an unparalleled quality of life, and cultural & entertainment offer. The Association proposes the reconnection with the history, culture and oldtime charm of Sinaia.

The events organised until now focused on activities like the City Tour and culinary programs, homemade traditional bread or pickles.

The aglomeration in the top season periods made us forget that Sinaia doesn’t mean only hiking in the summertime and skiing in the wintertime.”

For more details please follow up the future offers of the association.

Rediscover Sinaia on facebook, or contact office@redescoperasinaia.ro.

Georgiana B.

Green Buildings in Romania…

February 8, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Posted in Certification, General, Green Building Projects, Romania's Greenest Buildings | 1 Comment
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The EuroTower acheived a BREEAM “Very Good” rating and awaits final “post construction” certification and its first tenant’s have had a chance to settled in.   RoGBC is pleased to present the opinions of Cascade Group’s Alex van Breemen – one of the early proponents (and executors) of green buildings in Romania and WSP Group, the design stage assessor of the project.

What do you see as the biggest benefit and the biggest challenge in undertaking a green project?

Alex van Breemen – The main BREEAM certification benefit for us, as developer, is that attestation that the EuroTower is designed and constructed according with the international standards in terms of quality, energy efficiency, environmental protection and sustainability. This demonstrates Cascade Group’s continued commitment to excellent design and construction practices, enhancing the building performance and workplace environment to our tenants, and reducing overall energy and material consumption in our projects.  By going green, Euro Tower provided substantial savings to tenants’ of operating costs, an optimal work environment for employees and a significant contribution to the environment in terms of reduced energy consumption and a clean environment.

The biggest challenge for us, was that we could not find the local expertise or experience for this kind of project and we worked together with WSP Group assessor from London together with our project management team. The first stage of certification was coordinated locally by our project manager Razvan Nica, who was responsible for interpreting the BREEAM requirements and to implement them into the project supported by UK based BREEAM Assessor. The Final certification (post-construction) is ongoing and is done by Razvan – now a BREEAM assessor, who left Cascade Group to setup his own green building assessment business -BuildGreen Romania.

What is WSP’s advice to developers and investors considering building BREEAM certified buildings?

Alex Batraneanu, WSP – Our experience both locally and internationally shows that for developers who plan to get the BREEAM certification for their projects, the sooner they implement BREEAM elements in the design and the more time they spend on planning, the easier and cheaper will be for them to obtain the BREEAM certification. This is applicable for all types of projects from retail and commercial through to healthcare and educational buildings. It is extremely beneficial to have BREEAM certification undertaken by well-known multi-disciplinary practices, particularly ones that employ BREEAM certified designers. Having full knowledge of both the certification and the design process means the consultants can assist the Client to implement BREEAM requirements early in the design and cost-effectively stage in order to spend less time on execution and retro-fitting solutions.

Did your tenants, other investors respond to the green features of your building as you had hoped?

Alex van Breemen – For our tenants, the EuroTower features and operation offer support for their corporate environmental policies. Indoor comfort and productivity of the tenants’ employees is enhanced by creating work areas which maximize exposure to natural light and offer sweeping views over the city. In addition, the lighting, heating and cooling systems are controlled by occupants according to their needs and preferences. This together with the high performance equipment make energy savings possible of up to 30% as compared to a standard A-class building which is reflected in the tenants reduced operational costs.

For the investors and also for the tenants, the green building certification is proof of the quality and sustainability of EuroTower from the early design to operational stage.

Do the local regulation support the green building certification process?

Alex Batraneanu, WSP – From nearly 10 years of working in the Romanian market place WSP Group have learned to understand the contradictions between local regulations and availability of resources and the requirements of BREEAM. It is hard to achieve a BREEAM credit for minimizing car park spaces when the local norms stipulate a higher number than BREEAM allow. Knowing which credits to target and, more importantly, having the design knowledge to achieve them is crucial to achieving a good BREEAM rating without increasing build cost.

How has the crisis affected the perceived benefits of green buildings?

Alex van Breemen -I cannot tell you that the real estate crisis has not affected us, but I consider that some important features of a green building, like accessibility of the location, provision of public transportation( metro, trams and busses) as well as lower operational cost for tenants made the EuroTower attractive to potential clients in today’s market conditions.

What are Cascade’s future plans for green buildings?

Alex van Breemen – Cascade Group considers that sustainability must be an integral part of the analysis and management of any new or existing real estate investment. Our long-term business objective is to create high quality, cost-effective, attractive work environment for our clients. We promote responsible and sustainable business practices and continually work toward creating best quality real estate developments will continue to certify all of our future developments with a targeted BREEAM rating of at least “Very Good”.

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