Romania’s Greenest Buildings

April 1, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Posted in General, Legislative Outreach | Leave a comment
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Thursday March 28th, the Romania Green Building Council (RoGBC) in partnership with NAI Romania, launched the “Romania’s Greenest Buildings” report to over 120 participants in the Crystal Tower Building.

The event’s purpose was to identify and celebrate the success of the existing and pipeline green building projects in Romania, open a forum for discussion for an open source tool kit for Romania’s municipalities to understand and implement fiscal incentives to promote green jobs and greener buildings, and launch a comprehensive report on “The Business Case for Green Buildings”.   The event opened with Mr. Ion Bradu showing support for the event in his role as President of the District 1 Bucharest’s City Council.

Romania’s Greenest Buildings campaign

In launching the campaign and 2013 reportSteven Borncamp, President of the RoGBC, explained: “We have tailored an initiative to provide and urgent economic stimulus, create green jobs, and dramatically improve the energy and environmental performance of our buildings; all while being revenue neutral or revenue positive for Romania’s municipalities”.

The RoGBC’s Mihaela Nicolau introduced the platform ( as a tool for collecting the data in this campaign. The Romania’s Greenest Buildings Campaign consists of continuous research and the report is to be completed along the way.


Andrei BotișManaging Partner of NAI Romania and leader of the research team engaged by RoGBC, declared: “RoGBC proved once again to be a resonant voice in promoting green buildings in Romania, through the legislative measures proposed to reduce property taxes and also through the launch of the ‘Romania’s Greenest buildings’ report. As research partners in this campaign, we are very glad we could add a brick on the well-established foundation of RoGBC”.

The event continued with Mr. Eugen Goldhammer’s presentation about The Prispa House, also included in the report as a case study, as an example of best practices from a team of talented students who represented Romania in the first Solar Decathlon competition in 2012; and with CristinaȘiu’s explanation regarding the difference between this report and the Gala of the “Romania Green Building Council Awards”, organized yearly by the association. This year’s Gala will take place on May 9th, 2013, and projects may be entered in the competition through the platform.

Building tax reduction for Green Buildings

Lawyer Luiza Manolea with Steven Borncamp, presented on behalf of RoGBC a proposal for a legislative guide aimed at recognizing achievements in green building tax reduction for green building owners. “The RoGBC initiative to propose property tax reduction as a mechanism to promote green building is based on : the results of the report “Measures to attract investment in local green buildings“, which indicates the property tax reduction or exemption for a period of time, as forefront among the most relevant and easy to implement measures for encouraging the development of energy efficient buildings by public authorities, on the existing legislative framework regarding establishing property tax by local decisions, but within the limits set at national level on the Fiscal Code.”declared Luiza Manolea.

The Business Case for Green Building

In the last part of the conference Steven Borncamp and Jukka Parkkamaki, business development manager SKANSKA Romania, presented a report from World Green Building Council discussing the general framework for promoting green buildings including the costs and benefits for developers, investors and occupants.

Read here the entire press release!


                C21 logo Romania _________________________________________________________________ 


Romania Green Building Council ( is a non-profit and apolitical organization that fosters market conditions necessary legislative and educational transformation and the adjacent construction industry to create and renovate buildings to be both sustainable performance and profitable. RoGBC received accreditation “Established Council” (Full Member) of the World Green Building Council (

Research partner:

Appraisal & Valuation, branded as NAI Romania ( is the exclusive representative of NAI Global in Romania. Although NAI Romania has the capability to provide full spectrum of real estate services, the main activity is valuation and research consulting for different types of assets (real estate, plant and machinery’s, business and financial instruments).   Starting with 2012, NAI Romania provides green building certifications for: LEED, BREEAM and DGNB. NAI Global is the premier network of independent commercial real estate firms and one of the largest commercial real estate service providers worldwide.

Research tool: ( – the first European platform dedicated to green building practitioners. The online platform is a consortium of six countries (Spain, Germany, Lithuania, Italy, Romania, France) which promote best practice examples of green building industry. This online tool helps registering and evaluating both local and international green building projects, presenting innovative products and technologies and also thematic communities to facilitate contact with companies from the field and local and international experts. Content Manager for Romania is Mihaela Nicolau.

Position Paper regarding National Renovation Strategies

February 11, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Posted in Legislative Outreach | Leave a comment
In a position paper released on 31 January 2013, the Europe Regional Network has called on European policy makers to send a strong signal to the investment community about the building renovation agenda.

As leaders prepare for the EU Budget summit on 7-8 February, and debate on the future of the EU’s carbon market continues, the Network has highlighted a challenge that member states are just starting to discuss: establishing long-term national strategies to mobilise investment in building renovation, in accordance with the new Energy Efficiency Directive.

With just over a year to establish the first national renovation strategies, matching strong public funding programmes with the private capital needed to unlock the energy reduction potential across Europe’s buildings will be crucial. Leaders now have the opportunity to earmark EU funding for energy efficiency and renewables in buildings, as well as to strengthen and utilise revenues from the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) to back national renovation programmes.

Chair of the Network’s Policy Task Force, Ana Cuhna of France GBC, said:

“The scale of investment needed to improve our buildings is huge, but so are the opportunities for our economies. We will only take advantage of these multiple opportunities if we signal to investors that this is an agenda governments are serious about. France has committed to an ambitious renovation programme of half a million homes per year, and to linking EU ETS revenues to this. We’d like to see more countries follow this example, but with the price of carbon at an all-time low, interventions are clearly needed to support the price of carbon if we are to scale-up renovation activity.”

Senior Policy Advisor to the Network, James Drinkwater, said:

“Over the coming months we will be working with governments and stakeholders from around Europe on how they approach the challenge of creating national renovation strategies. Governments need to start this year by sending a signal to the investment community that this is an agenda that governments are invested in for the long-term. The Budget summit and EU ETS reforms are the right places to start”.


Article 4 of the Energy Efficiency Directive requires that countries establish a long-term strategy to mobilise investment in the renovation of the national stock of residential and commercial buildings, both public and private, by April 2014.

The Building Performance Institute Europe’s analysis of deep renovation scenarios of Europe’s building stock demonstrated the potential for net energy cost savings is as much as €1,300 billion.

A Copenhagen Economics report commissioned by Renovate Europe showed that investment in building retrofits, given current high levels of unemployment across Europe, could have a positive effect on public budgets equivalent to 0.5% – 1% of GDP 
Read the full Report HERE.

See HERE largely content of the letter. International Launch at Consense, 19th of June – Stuttgart

June 13, 2012 at 8:30 am | Posted in Academics, Certification, Events, General, Legislative Outreach, Meeting Notes, News from Members, Upcoming Meetings | Leave a comment

The European platform for green building practitioners

A project strongly supported by Europe to develop a green economy   

 Construction 21 is a social media tool and platform specifically designed to drive ambitious, trans formative improvement in how we design, build, and operate our buildings; linked also. This specialized platform is supported by Europe’s most influential Green Building Councils, trade associations and leading academic institutions. Available to the public since March 2012, Construction21 will be officially presented to international press and professionals in Consense, 19-20th of June – Stuttgart.

Buildings have typically been a conservative industry seeing only incremental changes in past decades. The recognition of resource constraints and the understanding of the significant impact our buildings have on our environment has been driving significant change in the building industry.

Achieve European objectives for energy efficiency and CO2 emissions supposes a complete change in building practices.  Construction21 is born to help practitioners to develop a new way of building in the whole Europe.

Construction21’s heart is a database for:

  • case studies presenting the most innovative projects through Europe
  • products and innovative services that have been used within these performant buildings
  • news – events agenda and information flow on green building issues, coming from partner websites and the whole Construction21 community

 Construction21 members have the possibility to

  • Publish news about their sustainable initiatives
  • Comment on published articles
  • Participate within thematic communities
  • Publish case studies and make their innovations known at an international scale
  • Share researches and experiences within their own community
  • Be up to date with the latest industry news
  • Promote their company with a direct link to their website

A national and international information system

Construction21 has created the first multi-specialist and multi-lingual network on sustainable building in Europe.

  • Six national platforms in 2012France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Lithuania and Romania
  • The 27 European countries within 5 years
  • Construction 21 is a free and open platform , linked to BUILDUP, the European portal for energy efficiency in buildings,  best content showing in both platforms as well as on all other Construction21 platforms assuring them an European audience

Construction21, a clear benefit for everyone

  • engineers,
  • architects,
  • owners,
  • developers,
  • contractors, builders,
  • asset / facility managers,
  • legal professionals,
  • Energy auditors,
  • manufacturers,
  • consultants,
  • rating tool and product verifiers,
  • associations,
  • researchers, trainers,teachers,
  • government officials…

Nobody masters all the topics involved in sustainable building. To improve their practices, specialists of each field share researches and experiences within their own community, managed by an expert of the sector. Air tightness, energy performance management, life cycle analysis, sustainable urbanism… Construction21 covers all the fields, technical as general or managerial ones. More over, communities can lead “real life” events as fairs, conferences or visits, or give them more visibility.

Construction21 is developed in co-ownership by leading institutions in each countryto ensure strong roots in their respective building sectors : Green Building Councils in Germany and Romania, Chambers of commerce and Building trade associations in Italy, French, German and Spanish expert organisations and School of Architecture in Lithuania.

On sustainable building, practitioners need high quality and seamless information There’s so many topics to deal with and valuable information is so scarce. That’s why national and leader experts organizations are called to join forces, in order to make this sustainable building resources center a reality. That’s why they will share the Construction21 governance and ownership.

Organizations from the six founder countries, France, Italy, Germany, Lithuania, Romania and Spain, have joined in a Consortium to create Construction21, Romania Green Building Council (RoGBC) being the platform’s Romanian Partner.

More details about Construction 21 here, Details about Consense here .


Property tax reduction for green building owners in Cluj-Napoca

May 30, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Posted in Certification, Legislative Outreach | Leave a comment
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The Cluj-Napoca City Council  delivered a positive example to the nation being the first municipality in Romania to adopt specific measures for encouraging green building development. The City Council voted on May 24 to provide a 50% reduction in property taxes for buildings earning a green certification and achieving the top score on the energy efficiency rating.

This decision shall apply only to buildings that are certified by three certification systems recognized worldwide:

  • LEED;
  • DGNB;

According to the latest decision, starting with 2013:

  • building owners that are legal entities will pay half of the annual building tax for buildings with an A level in the energy performance certificate and that have obtained an official green building certification. This  practically means  that the annual property tax was reduced from 0.50% to 0.25% for green buildings in Cluj Napoca;
  • for individuals  the City Council granted a 50% reduction of annual property taxes on residential buildings that have an A level in the Energy Performance Certificate and an official green building certification issued by any of the three systems mentioned above.

To be eligible for the property tax reduction the building owners have to present:  

  • the final reception certificate issued by the local planning service;
  • the energy performance certificate;
  • the green building certificate issued by any of the three systems: LEED, BREEAM or DGNB;
  • declaration of conformity issued by the Romania Green Building Council.

The project was initiated by the local councilors and the executive team from Cluj-Napoca City Hall: Irsay Miklos, Laszlo Attila, Csoma Botond, Somogyi Gyula and Molnos Lajos, Virgil Porutiu, Victor Radoi.

We would like to congratulate and thank them for the initiative!

The RoGBC would also like to thank the following persons for their support and involvement in obtaining this legislative success:

  • Dorin Beu, Director RoGBC Transilvania;
  • Luiza Manolea, Attorney at Law – RoGBC General Member;
  • Razvan Nica, BuildGreen Romania – RoGBC General Member;
  • Elena Rastei, ecovision – RoGBC General Member

“The Romania Green Building Council will provide assurance to Cluj-Napoca that only qualified green buildings are provided this benefit and assist project developers interested in obtaining this certification.” explains Dorin Beu Ph.D. , Director of RoGBC’s Transilvania chapter.

“This is an excellent and timely move as the economic benefits to the project and community include higher building valuations, lower operating costs, creation of green jobs, reduced impact on traffic and other infrastructure, and, importantly, attracting high quality local and foreign investment to Cluj-Napoca.  Many of the top tier companies investing in the region are seeking the benefits of green buildings ” added Steven Borncamp, Founding President and CEO of RoGBC.

The RoGBC has campaigned since its inception for these type of “green economy” stimulus measures arguing that it is a desired way to both encourage economic growth during challenging times while using the long term financial benefits to repay any early investments.   In addition, this organization has argued that this will ensure local businesses and professions remain competitive as building and related energy standards increase across Europe and the world.

“Many cities in Europe, driven by the new stringent EU regulations on energy efficiency and green energy production,  have adopted specific local incentives for buildings.   Most of them are targeting building renovations or directed to the public buildings.   The Cluj-Napoca initiative improves on these by also including private developers and new construction and focusing beyond energy efficiency and green energy to reward other essential elements of such as ecological materials, site selection and management, and transport issues. ” explains Anca Bieru Robinson- RoGBC’s Director of International Relations and Policy and Chairperson of Europe Green Building Council Network Policy Task Force who has been guiding policy analysis and formation at the European and National and Municipal levels in Romania.

Encouraged by this action in Cluj-Napoca, the  RoGBC intends to continue its efforts to encourage other municipalities to adopt similar measures across the country.

Read the official document on the Cluj City Hall website here

World GBC Europe Network – EU legislative updates newsletter

March 14, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Posted in General, Legislative Outreach | Leave a comment

Check out the latest newsletter from WorldGBC Europe Network to find out what are the upcoming  EU policies and latest debates in Brussels impacting the building sector. See  also different GBC’s activities in the policy area at the national level.

More details here.

What is the cost of the Energy Performance Certificate for buildings?

February 3, 2012 at 12:37 am | Posted in General, Legislative Outreach | Leave a comment
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I recently found  a research, published in December 2011  on the price of Energy Performance Certificates and main factors that influence  it  in different Member States. The research is made by the Energy Performance in Buildings  Concerted Action (EPBD CA) – a group of experts (mainly from the governments but also associated technical experts from each Member State) in charge with the implementation of EPBD at the national level.

What are the main findings of their study?

  • the price of certification is mainly dependent on the expert’s work and defined in most member states by the market conditions; however there are countries (Spain, Portugal, Malta) where part of the price is fixed (fixed fees imposed in the legislation) and part is determined by the market.
  • price of certification may vary considerable based on type of buildings (residential or non-residential) and if the building is new or existing; in some countries certification for existing buildings is more expensive than that for new buildings
    • in general the price of certificates for residential buildings typically range from 200EUR -600EUR
    • for the non-residential buildings the range can vary significantly from few hundred Euros for small and simple buildings up to 20 000 EUR for large and complex buildings
  • the main factors that influence the price of the certificate are the experience of the auditor, the methodology used, the size and geometry of the building, the characteristics of the HVAC systems

What is the situation in Romania?

According to the study there is no difference in price between certificates for existing or new buildings in Romania. The price is defined by market conditions and varies according to the type of building certified:

Residential, single family house – 2-3 EUR/m2

Residential, single flat in multifamily building – 1.5 -2.5EUR/m2

Residential, entire multifamily building – 1-2 EUR/m2

Small non-residential building (<1000 m2) – 2-3 EUR/m2

Large non-residential building (>1000 m2)  – 2-3 EUR/m2

The information in the research is based on a survey  with data from 2008. The situation might be different now considering that  the building energy performance certification market is growing and there are more energy auditors. Anyway, the EPBD recast will inevitably lead to changes on the market (more buildings will need to get the certification, penalties for non complying with the requirements of EPBD should be introduced in all member states) and inevitably on the price.

Get more insights on the price of energy performance certificates and the factors that influence it in different countries from reading the whole report here.

What do you know about the price of energy performance certificates in Romania?

Do you find the results of the study consistent with your experience in getting an energy performance certificate for your building?

Anca Bieru

World GBC is hiring Senior Policy Advisor for the Europe Regional Network

January 25, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Posted in General, Legislative Outreach | Leave a comment
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Green Building Councils in Europe are getting more active with their policy work at the EU level! World GBC is looking to hire a resource with a solid policy background and experience with EU lobbying. The location is flexible, but the new resource has to be able to travel easily to Brussels. For more information please check the WorldGBC website here.


Energy Efficiency Directive: Potential for job creation and green growth – how is the European Parliament going to achieve it?

January 16, 2012 at 5:57 am | Posted in Legislative Outreach | Leave a comment
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The negotiation on the upcoming Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) is at stake in the next coming months. I wrote in a previous article about the proposed text of the European Commission and how it will impact the building sector and I also promised to come with more updates.

Last fall, MEP Claude Turmes (the Rapporteur assigned in the European Parliament to lead the negotiations on this file) came with a much clearly defined legislative proposal on the binding measures to be implemented by the Member States in order to achieve the voluntary 20% energy efficiency target. The measures that have most impact on the building industry are the ones regarding the 3% yearly renovation target for public buildings (Art.4) and the Energy Efficiency Obligation Schemes that Member States have to put in place (Art.6).    The European Parliament (through its Rapporteur, MEP Claude Turmes) came with some significant changes that could transform the Directive in a powerful policy that would create jobs and stimulate green growth.

Why is the proposal of MEP Claude Turmes, more powerful?

It introduces a new article on Member States having to set in place financial facilities to aggregate multiple streams of financing, which would be the major source of funding for implementing the measures in the Directive. The article is essential since without securing proper funding, the implementation of the measures at the national level and the Directive’s potential for creating jobs and trigger innovation are questionable.

For the section on public buildings renovation ( Art.3a and Art.4) MEP Claude Turmes’ Draft Report:

  • Sets as general objective for the Member States – to reduce by 31 Dec. 2050 the energy consumption of the existing building stock by 80% compared to the 2010 levels
  • Member States should submit by January 2014 national plans that should include:
    • A record of buildings differentiated by category
    • Deep renovation targets for 2020, 2030,2050 differentiated per category of buildings (all buildings are included, not just the public owned)
  • Priority  for deep and staged deep renovation should have:
    • Residential and commercial buildings with worst energy performance
    • Buildings that are owned or occupied by public authorities
  • In order to implement the plans Member States shall ensure that starting with January 2014 at least 3% of the total floor area owned or occupied by public bodies is subject annually to deep or staged deep renovation (where deep renovation is defined as refurbishment that reduces both the delivered and the final energy consumption with at least 75%  and staged deep renovation  is a refurbishment that reduces in stages the delivered and final energy consumption of a building by a total of at least 75% during a normal renovation cycle, while ensuring that any stage does not preclude or increase the costs of subsequent stages)

Another important provision is also the one on Energy Efficiency Obligation Schemes – the supplier obligations.  According to the European Commission’s proposal Member States are supposed to set up an energy efficiency obligation scheme. This would oblige either all retailers or all energy distributors to annually save an amount of energy which equals 1,5% of their totally energy sales by volume in the previous year, but there are opt-out clauses. In his proposal, the Rapporteur wants the introduction of energy saving obligation schemes that would ensure that energy distributors and/or retail energy sales companies achieve cumulative annual end-use energy savings of at least 1.5% of their annual sales. The savings should be additional and to already existing programs and implemented measures and be accomplished among the final consumers.  Also Member States should ensure that the yearly energy savings of the obligated parties are achieved for at least 50% through long term saving measures such as deep renovation of buildings.

Next steps:

The European Parliament is expected to adopt its final position on the Energy Efficiency Directive in April. However the most challenging part will be the negotiations with the Council of Ministers (that represents the voice of national governments) that are supposed to happen also in the next coming months.

What do you think about the proposed measures for buildings? Will they stimulate the market? 

Do you see the deep renovation  and staged deep renovation standard (as they are defined now) achievable for public buildings in Romania?

Looking forward for feedback and opinions….

Anca Bieru

Which cities in the world are the leaders in implementing green building policies?

January 10, 2012 at 1:06 am | Posted in Certification, Legislative Outreach | Leave a comment
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World Green Building Council, partnering with ICLEI International and UN Habitat, announced the winners of the first annual World GBC Government Leadership Awards, last December in Durban, during the climate change negotiations. Over 80 Green Building Councils around the world together with  ICLEI and UN Habitat network  members, had the chance to nominate local government policies implemented in their countries that should be considered best practices for the way they maximize the opportunity of building green.

There were 22 nominations made and 6 prizes awarded. The Best Green Building Policy was awarded to the city of San Francisco for the “San Francisco Green Building Ordinances” – considered to be the strictest, most ambitious and most comprehensive policy approach to the build environment yet undertaken by any US city.

The main tool used by the city to encourage green building development/ rehabilitation is  the implementation of very strict standards  for energy, water management, recycling. All municipal buildings have to attain LEED Gold Certification, while private buildings (new commercial and residential) must meet LEED or California-based Green Point rated standards. Certification for private buildings is not mandatory, but projects committing to LEED Gold receive priority in permitting queues.  The performance of existing building stock is addressed through requirements for annual public disclosure of energy label, energy audits every 5 years, water efficiency retrofits at time of sale and mandatory  recycling and composting. Financing mechanisms such as Green FinanceSF Pace program, were also put in place to assist building owners with implementing the policies.

Birmingham from UK received  the Urban Retrofit Award, being the only European city from the several nominated to get an official prize. Birmingham City Council’s Energy Savers Program demonstrates how the famous UK Green Deal initiative is implemented at the city level .The Green Deal will allow householders to improve energy efficiency in their homes and pay off the costs of this measures from savings made on energy bills over time. Birmingham’s Energy Savers Program has as an immediate objective to fund the energy efficiency improvements of 15.000 houses and 40 public buildings by 2015, but the program is expected to lead to green retrofit for 200,000 buildings in the next 15 years. The green retrofits will include installation of energy efficiency measures and renewable solutions, and the target beneficiaries will be mostly the households from Birmingham affected by fuel poverty (spending more than 10% of their monthly income on energy bills). The program is expected to create over 60,000 green jobs at the local level – from installation engineers to designers etc.

WorldGBC made available a special report where you can find details on the other cities that received awards and the ones that were nominated. You can find out :

  • how did Tokyo implement the world’s first Carbon Trading Scheme for reducing CO2 emissions from large commercial and industrial buildings
  • details on the New York’s Greener Greater Buildings Plan – the set of policies that deals with reducing energy and water consumption in city’s largest existing buildings
  • how Mexico City’s integrated policy – Climate Action Plan 2008-2012 – is supposed to reduce the city’s green house gas emissions with 12% by 2012
  • what are the other European cities nominated for their ambitious local policies

…any many other details in the report here and on World GBC website here.

Also, if RoGBC was to nominate a city from Romania for the Leadership Awards in 2012, which city would you suggest us to pick?

Looking forward for your feedback!

Anca Bieru

Cato Manor Affordable Green Homes Tour – part of World Green Building Council event series at Durban climate negotiations

December 2, 2011 at 12:29 am | Posted in Events, General, Green Building Projects, Legislative Outreach | Leave a comment
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This year, during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 17) that started this week in Durban, World GBC is representing the green building community with a series of side events (check the list here). Among them, the Cato Manor Affordable Green Home tour, will exemplify very clearly how greenbuilding retrofit has a significant impact  not only in cutting carbon emissions but also in improving people lives.

The project, led by Green Building Council South Africa in partnership with World Green Building Council, is a green retrofit of 30 low income houses and involves fitting each home with a solar water heater, insulated ceiling, efficient lighting and heat-insulation cooker. It includes additional “greening” elements such as rain water harvesting – that allows for better water and food security – and planting of indigenous trees . The local community was involved in the process and second hand, recycled materials from the surrounding areas were used for the retrofit. The cost for each home retrofit is estimated at 2800EUR.  More information on the specific  solutions that were used for the retrofit can be found here.

RoGBC sent invitations to the side events to our country  delegation to Durban. We were pleased to receive confirmation of participation to World GBC  COP 17 side events from the representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. 


Anca Bieru

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