Tags: comments, Energy Certification, Energy Efficiency, Events, Green Building, Green Building Council, LEED, Legislative Outreach, Romania Green Building Professional, Sustainable Development, Training
Invited to Bucharest on the occasion of the Green Building Professionals training platform organized by the Romanian Green Building Council, Eric Johnson gave us an exclusive interview where he discussed the development of green building trends, the challenges of managing such a building and the role of the public authorities in the development of this field.
by Diana Şerban
What do you think are the causes for the slower adoption of green building techniques in certain Eastern European countries?
Like in every new field, people are trying to find their way. I believe that they are relatively skeptical, for now, as they have a false impression on the amount of additional costs and they believe that hard work is necessary in order to make this idea profitable on the long term. I think that presently more and more concentrated efforts are being put into finding the right path for this new field.
You are one of the founders of the Czech Republic GBC. How well is the concept of green buildings understood in your country and what are the next steps for a complete development of the field?
I can tell you that all the owners of standard buildings are interested in obtaining a green certification for these constructions, regardless of its type. There are not many such buildings certified, but I believe that gradually their number will start to expand. At the beginning of the financial crisis, everybody wanted to be „green”, to prove that their products where good because they where green, and now I realize this is becoming more and more a strict criteria for the client. I know major developers that said that when you want to sell a building, you will not sell it for much unless it has a green certification. In four years, the Czech Green Building Council has had an impressive activity. We started with 13 certified buildings and we now have almost 100 or more. So even during the crisis we managed to attract enough members.
What does the management of a green building require in addition to a conventional building?
I think that the short answer is that one needs to establish clear objectives and make sure that everyone knows and respects them on a long term, doing what they are meant to do. It is important to know that the work is never the same, every day one learns something new.
Do you think that more human resources are needed for the administration of such a building?
I don’t think more people are needed, but more efficiency. Surely at least one person is required to overlook the whole process. And I don’t believe experience is necessarily required, but the enthusiasm for what you are doing.
What is the most difficult and what is the easiest aspect to promote as a project manager for a green building?
I think that no one would ever say that they don’t want to rent a space in a green building. The additional costs are usually the ones that scare the clients. I believe that when you have a building that is self-sustained in terms of energy and water, these costs will easily be recovered. The most difficult is to convince people not to smoke inside the building or do other simple things that they are usually reluctant to.
Do you believe that the governmental factor has a decisive role in the development of such a trend in Europe? What additional regulations would be necessary at an European level for the encouragement of the green building trend?
I am the advocate of a free market. I am not necessarily delighted by the regulations imposed by the state. For example, the American Government adopted the LEED standard for most of their public buildings and I believe that this is indeed a lead that other states should follow. I feel that these initiatives get stronger if the people engage in them voluntarily. However, I believe that the Governments should keep working on taxes and eventually adopt green certification standards for their buildings in order to encourage private institutions to follow.
Are there currently any public buildings in Europe certified as green buildings?
Yes. I think there are a few in Italy. There are definitely in the U.K., as they underwent a special development in this direction. Besides these two countries, I couldn’t name other examples in Europe.
How do you appreciate the development of green buildings for the next 20 years in Europe, compared to USA, for example? Will there be any differences, or does the trend follow a standardization of the field world-wide?
I believe there are a few differences. Europe relies more on Governments, while the U.S. puts more accent on the markets. So there will be differences in this sense, but generally we will have the same objectives. Even though apparently we are going in different directions, we will finally reach the same place. This field will develop more and more, people will begin to cooperate, to have better and better ideas and where there is a network of good ideas… for example if someone in Romania has a good idea, maybe someone in the U.S. will put it into good practice. It will all amount to sharing the information we have.
What is your strongest argument when convincing a client to build green?
I don’t think there is one sole argument because clients are different and they have different reasons to build green. Generally I try to convince my customers that it is a good business decision. It is the best thing to do in order to consume less energy, to build a solid reputation and to have a quality project.
Eric Johnson is a specialist in the planning, cost management and delivery of the green development and promotion projects, LEED AP and BREEAM Assessor.
Tags: Bucharest, conference, Energy Certification, Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Green Building, ILFI, LBC, Living Building Challenge, RoGBC, sustainable arhitecture, Sustainable Construction, Sustainable Development
For the first time in Europe, Romania Green Building Council organized the Living Building Challenge workshop, in the Romanian capital. The main mission was to present the most demanding ecological certification in the world.
“It is important that we prove the concept that ‘deep green’ or ‘restorative buildings’ are beneficial for green economic growth, for improving our building stock, and, of course, restoring the health of our planet. As Europe debates the Net Zero Energy Building criteria for year 2020, we believe the Living Building Challenge represents the most ambitious interpretation of how are buildings need to be and we and our member companies will deliver them soon as aspirational yet practical examples of what is possible,” said RoGBC President Steven Borncamp who was recently appointed Managing Director of the campaign to promote the Living Building Challenge in Europe.
Trainer arh. Adrian Pop presented the criteria of the Living Building Challenge, emphasizing the importance of demonstrating the 1 year performance as a Net Zero Energy Building, and the requirements to collect and process all water on site, and to build only on brown field or existing building sites.
In the end we wish to thank our partners and hosts AECOM and Cervantes Institute for their support in organizing our event.
For more pictures visit our Facebook page.
Tags: Bucharest, buildings, Energy Audit, Energy Certification, Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Green Building Projects, news from members, RoGBC, Romania Green Building Council, Sustainable Construction
The new member of RoGBC, EGEEA Design, has made on 13 December 2012 an survey with a infrared camera of the RoGBC headquarters. As part of the RoGBC pilot project : Greening our Workspace Phase II.
The survey has revealed the main areas where the heat transfer is increased, know as Thermal Bridges. Areas which, besides the energy which is consumed (lost) to the exterior environment, they can develop mold and/or condensation on the interior finishing and also, more evident, they generate a thermal discomfort of the residents.
Below you can find some images from this survey.
the Office ceiling: with a lamp on the left and a thermal bridges on the right.
the Office windows (view from out side): with a thermal bridges on the lower part (parapet) where is also an radiator on the interior.
Exeterior view: the darker parts of the attic is covered with snow, the lighter parts o the attic are thermal bridges which are dry(not covered whit snow) due to the interior-exterior heat transfer.
Tags: buildings, conference, Energy Certification, Energy Efficiency, Events, Green Building, Green Building Council, green buildings, Legislation, Legislative Outreach, RoGBC, Sustainable Construction
On September 28th, Romania Green Building Council held, at the Athenee Palace Hilton, a one day course on “Greening our Hotels – Green Hotels in Romania too”, in order to engage the hospitality industry and its related products and services in a discussion regarding the opportunity and importance of a more environmentally responsible approach of architectural design, rehabilitation and dealing with properties.
The workshop provided practice information about integrating available technologies in the design of more energy efficient and with low environmental impact buildings. In addition, the course was structured so that the participants had the time to interact with the speakers, during the “question& answer” sessions.
First part. Competitive advantages for building/ refurbishing green hotels.
In his welcoming speech, Steven Borncamp, president of RoGBC, gave a short introduction to the importance of the “green approach” in designing and operating new buildings, increasing international and local regulations for building materials and energy consumption, as well as the need for more action for generalized sustainable principles for all types of buildings. Stressing that “green” stands for quality, present and future, Mr. Borncamp also mentioned that for a slight increase of the costs for a green building (with 2-4%), the cumulative savings are about 40% per year, while the investment amortization is being done in the first 2 or 3 years.
Next, Linda Griffin, the new general manager of Hilton Athenee Palace, presented some recent actions that aim at reducing electricity consumption, promoting ecological means of transportation (bicycles for customers) and creating a Green Team, which would be involve in implementing sustainable initiatives in the hotel network as well as initiating a “customer awareness” program on environmental behaviors during accommodation.
David Nicholl- general manager of Schneider Electric- had a comprehensive overview on the benefits of generalized automation systems in all types of buildings, including hotels. Through the Active Energy Management systems, significant, controllable and predictable reductions are being made, throughout the building, while ensuring optimum comfort for residents. The integrated Schneider Electric solutions can lead to constant electricity and heat consumption reductions up to 30% in the long run.
Second part. Financial incentives, legislation and certification
Ms. Maria Daniela Toma – manager in Ministry of Environment– tackled issues of the environmental labeling of hotels. Introduced after 2005, eco-labels represent green building certification, based on 20 criteria which include, among others, indicators of ecological materials use, presence and quality of the vegetation in the site area, energy and water consumption, waste storage and recycling, cleaning systems’ efficiency, information about preventive ecological behavior etc. Specific matters regarding general aspects and regulations of green label certification are available on www.eur–lex.europa.eu. The fee for obtaining this certification is presently 200-300 euro/year.
Furthermore, two case studies were presented. Linica Stan, manager Saturn Hotel, presented the case of Saturn Hotel, Mangalia, while for Crowne Plaza Hotel, Bucharest, the presentation was held by Melania Secuianu, Administrative Manager Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Mark Velody – BERD consultant – held a methodological overview of financial procedures, with favorable interest or grants for energy efficient building projects.
Third part. Innovative solutions.
Rafael Mărculescu – Schneider Electric – completed David Nicholl’s presentation through an application of energetic management integrated systems. He showed that the implementation of this kind of systems is very useful for all types of hotel equipments (heating/ HVAC/ water management, lighting etc.) and that the investment amortization for Schneider systems is up to 3 years, meanwhile noticing reductions of 35% for heat, 60% for electricity, as well as the number of employees.
David Clark – Cundall Engineering – presented a hotel case study, underlining the three aspects – energetic benchmarking, clarifying the CO2 footprint criteria (design, passive/ active system, energy efficiency and the recovery of energies) and users’ information/ education, in this case the tourists.
In the last part the presentations were about a) particular solutions (products and systems) for a successfully implementation of significantly reduction of electricity consumption, lighting through efficient LED and mercury light bulbs (Cuneșteanu – Philips România), b) packaging waste management (Lorita Constantinescu – Eco-Rom Ambalaje) and c) sustainable solutions for green spaces design, through water management and special effects for the aesthetic part and for air quality improvement (Katja Perrey – Katja Perrey Landscapes).
Romania Green Building Council (www.RoGBC.org) is a non-profit and non-political association which encourages the development of market, educational and legal conditions necessary in the transformation of the building industry, in order to create and refurbish intelligent buildings, both sustainable and profitable. RoGBC is an “Established Council” within the World Green Building Council (www.WorldGBC.org) .
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Changes in the “Normative for thermo-technical computation of the houses elements, indicative C 107/2005”July 30, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment
Tags: Bucharest, Energy Audit, Energy Certification, Energy Efficiency, Legislation, Sustainable Development
The Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism has issued an Order for modifying the technical Regulation “Normative for thermo-technical computation of the houses elements, indicative C 107/2005” approved by order of the Ministry of transportation, construction and tourism no. 2055/205.
The following changes appear in C107:
– In the first part, for the computation of the necessary heat for heating, the 7.3 chart is replaced and some modifications appear at 7.8.2 point. This is a rectification.
– An actualization is done also for the minimum values of the Normalized Insulation Coefficients GN and of the Thermal Resistances Rmin, for buildings designed after 1.10.2010. This way the stakes are raised for construction specialists.
– For a more precise computation of the Global Reference Coefficient G1, the values of the control coefficients a, b, c, d, e were recomputed are the old values are replaced (C107/2).
Through these changes in C 105 normative, the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism is raising the standards for the construction field, and make it clear that correct thermo-technical computations are needed.
The changes can be viewed here.
Tags: Certification, class A, Energy Certification, Sustainable Construction
This January, the RoGBC suggests a sustainable New Year resolution: turning your home into a greener one. To prove that this is a feasible target, we invite you to take example form one of our very active members: Perry Zizzi, partner within Badea Clifford Chance, who achieved a Class A certificate for his home.
Lestat Monroe, the person behind the retrofitting of the home, as well as Ila Teodorescu, the auditor who rated the energy efficiency of the house agreed to explain the motivation, method and consequences of rating one’s home.
Lestat Monroe: We believe in setting an example that green construction is feasible and desirable in Romania. There is also the personal conviction that we must green our homes and workplaces to ensure sustainability. Finally, there is no doubt that a building certified as energy efficient will — at least in the medium term — be more valuable than a building that is not.
RoGBC: What were your expectations and experience with the process?
L.M.: There is very little information on this, available to the average person. It is difficult to find companies that know the range of options available and that have the requisite expertise to properly install photovoltaic cells and other enhancements. We did all the research and educated ourselves, but we were still often told that nobody in Romania builds green, it is too expensive, etc. Because we made improvements that are not generally used in Romania, we expected that the building would get high marks.
RoGBC: Was the result as high as the expectations?
L.M.: The building earned the highest rating. It was gratifying to see so soon a pay-off from all the planning and extra effort to educate contractors and search for materials.
L.M.: We will continue to monitor technological developments and current trends in an effort to maintain an optimal mix of energy-saving features in the building.
RoGBC: Where is the most room for improvement for Romanian homes/buildings? The biggest ROI?
L.M.: It’s simple: windows need to be closed when the heat or the air conditioning is on. If it is too hot, turn down the heat — don’t open the window. Same if it is too cold when the air conditioning is operating. This behavior is among the most wasteful and inefficient! Besides that, buildings could be better insulated, energy saving bulbs could be used, lights could be put on sensors to turn off automatically when a room is empty and water saving toilets could be used.
RoGBC: How was the process seen from the auditor’s point of view?
Ila Teodorescu: At present, a building is considered to be an organism undergoing permanent evolution, needing to be rehabilitated after a certain time and modernized in order to fit the requirements claimed by the owner, at a specific level.
RoGBC: Where do you think is the most room for improvement in Romanian homes?
I.T.: Improving or increasing energy efficiency has to start as a matter of educating the building users in the spirit of energy saving and has to go through affordable interventions, to energy auditing and finally receiving recommendations for technological improvements of the building. The building envelope is the area where most improvements can be done in order to rehabilitate the building. It is the biggest source of ROI as well. We have to bear in mind the fact that the costs associated with the thermal rehabilitation of a building are lower than the costs of installing a complementary thermal energy capacity.
Common sense and increasingly efficient technology are the two elements driving the future of responsible building. Ignoring either of the two can delay development and have a negative economic impact.
As in any other field, it is the awareness of the possibilities to improve that can transform our reality in a way that could pleasantly surprise even the most skeptical.
RoGBC signs position paper “Romania and Climate Change Policies – Economic Stimulus from a Green Economy”September 19, 2009 at 4:46 pm | Posted in Events, Legislative Outreach | Leave a comment
Tags: buildings, climate change, conference, Energy Audit, Energy Certification, Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency in Buildings, GBC, Green Building, Green Building Council, green buildings, LEED, Legislation, Legislative Outreach, renewable energy, strategy, sustainability, sustainable architecture, Sustainable Development, WWF
The Romania Green Building Council (RoGBC) along with WWF Danube-Carpathian Romania, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Association of Energy Auditors for Buildings (AAEC) signed a shared position paper, regarding the measures that should be taken in order to encourage energy efficiency. The document, entitled “Romania and Climate Change Policies – Economic Stimulus from a Green Economy”, draws the attention on the economic opportunities associated with the implementation of environment policies, especially in the construction field. Some of the opportunities highlighted are the reducing energy costs, ensuring energy safety, raising comfort and creating new jobs.
In addition, the position paper underlines the necessity of immediate action in order to move towards a greener economy and explains that the practical measures to be applied do not represent budgetary costs, but investments towards a sustainable development. .
The position paper is available for reading here.
Tags: Energy Audit, Energy Certification, Energy Efficiency, EPBD, Green Building
Nemetschek Romania launched a software package dedicated to “Calculating the energy efficiency of buildings”. The software, which is fully translated into Romanian and complying with the current legislation, uses all the architectural data from the unique model of the building, avoiding the potential errors due to defining the building through a great number of numerical data, that are difficult to manage. The package supplies all the features necessary to obtaining an energy efficiency certificate, including instructive tutorials.
Obtaining an architectural model is very simple. After 10 to 12 hours of preparation, a user with no experience in assisted planning can, in approximately 3 hours, make a model of a P+4 apartment building, with two entrances, in compliance with the requirements of the Energy Efficiency of the Buildings Program.
The software automatically determines the physical characteristics of the architectural elements, allowing the Certificate for Energy Efficiency of the Building to be printed with just one mouse click.
The certificate is obtained according to MC001/2007 and elaborated by applying the law 327/2005, which includes energy consumption for heating, hot water and lighting.
Also, the software offers a quantity list of added materials (e.g. new insulation layer) for rehabilitation options.
Nemetschek offers live demonstrations to those interested in test running the software program.
Tags: Energy Audit, Energy Certification, Energy Efficiency, EPBD, Green Building, Legislation, renewable energy, sustainable_development, Training
We are pleased to announce that videos from our training on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive are now available online. The presentations are in Romanian, with subtitles in English.
“How to get an A rating on the Energy Performance Certificates?” was held in October 2008. It was a training event dedicated to explaining the most important aspects to be considered to score the highest rating on the energy performance certificates in the European Union’s mandatory Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).The presentations covered: definitions and benchmarks in a building energy performance certificate, energy saving measures (insulation, architecture and vicinity passive solutions, traditional and unconventional heating systems, lighting, ventilation and air conditioning, etc), case studies.
To view the presentations, go to www.RoGBC.org, Watch Green Videos section.