Cundall presentation on Green Buildings in Romania

September 26, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Events, Member Projects | Leave a comment
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Alec Stewart - CundallFor the last 3 years Cundall have celebrated the World Green Building Council’s “World Green Building Week” providing sustainability seminars in many of their global locations.   This year, they presented in Bucharest and have made their presentation available for your review.  Take a look!

Cundall presentation on Green Buildings in Romania

Liberty Technology Park Cluj was granted the first BREEAM Major Refurbishment certificate with a „Very Good” rating in Romania

September 17, 2014 at 12:36 pm | Posted in Certification, Member Projects, News from Members | Leave a comment
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Liberty Technology Park Cluj received on the 4th of September the final BREEAM International certificate (Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method).

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The 1st BREEAM certificate for major refurbishments ever received in Romania

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It’s the first BREEAM certificate for major refurbishments obtained by a building in Romania, proving thus the developer’s wish to create a project that uses all its resources to offer exceptional comfort and amenities to its residents. Moreover, the BREEAM assessment indicates the concern for capitalizing the industrial heritage, whilst contributing to Cluj-Napoca’s recent history and encouraging the development potential of the sites’ vicinities. The developer’s objectives were, in many ways, exactly the same as the BREEAM requirements.

The industrial heritage that came along with buying the Libertatea furniture factory included 5 buildings. During the first stage of the development, delivered in December 2013, buildings B and C were refurbished. These offer a total of 5 600 sq m occupied by class A offices and a restaurant. At the moment developments for the second stage of the project are ongoing, revitalizing buildings D and E, offering a total of 13 412 sq m.

 

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The developer’s initial intention was to keep and ingeniously use all the resources offered by the former factory, to recycle all that is to recycle, giving thus life to a new ecosystem, built on the remains of the former, without eradicating it completely and rather by putting to good use all that it has to offer.

Cluj-Napoca – The City of Green Buildings

May 28, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Posted in General, Training | Leave a comment
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We proudly announce that September 8th to 14th, 2014 will bring you the first autumn school programme, exclusively dedicated to green buildings. This event is called „Cluj-Napoca – The City of Green Buildings” an10363124_658754324201021_6859589987609069462_nd has been specifically conceived for both undergraduate and postgraduate students, within fields such as architecture, construction or civil engineering. Cluj-Napoca is among the first cities in Europe to offer a tax deduction for green buildings, which renders „The Heart of Transylvania” the perfect environment for our event.

“Cluj-Napoca – The City of Green Buildings” is organised by The Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, The Faculty of Building Services, ASFIC (Faculty of Building Services of Cluj-Napoca Students’ Association), RoGBC (Romanian Green Building Council), SHARE Federation and our most recent partner, E.ON Romania.

We are all aware of how important green buildings are when it comes to a large number of factors such as the environment, energy consumption levels and urban development. Moreover, modern man spends 90% of daily time inside a building, so the quality of that building is essential to well-being.

With that in mind, we strongly believe that by properly educating future architects and engineers with respect to green buildings, which have already proved their positive impact on our lives, we can actively contribute to building a bright and secure future via sustainable development.

The event was launched along with the 4th edition of the Cluj-Napoca Days, which takes place during May 23rd to 30th, 2014 and this year’s theme is multiculturalism. For three days, part of our team represented “Cluj-Napoca – The City of Green Buildings” within the Youth Corner set up in the Museum Square. Passers-by were attracted by our “Insta-Fun”, a multifunctional prototype, which is based on the idea of creating a system that makes it possible to observe the use and transfer of solar energy to various devices.

A full set of information regarding this event is available on the webpage: http://thecityofgreenbuildings.asfic.ro

 

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Can I have a green house?

May 12, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Posted in Events, General | Leave a comment
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The visitors of the National Real Estate Fair helped us to answer the question: Can I have a green home?”. We have used an interactive green panel to send the message with our intention to educate those interested in building sustainable houses.

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Green Home Pavilion at TNI, May 2014

May 12, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment
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Last weekend, from Friday to Sunday, RoGBC was present at the National Real Estate Fair with a booth used by its partners as exhibition space systems and products for green building. Among partners: Zest Collective, ALUKÖNIGSTAHL, E-MOTION, SIP PANEL TECHNOLOGIES, Studium Green, EfdeN, ECOPACK, Arta Gradinilor, BuildIN, Energinomics. Together we tried to answer the question:

Can I have a green house?

A green home requires as little impact on the environment both in terms of construction, building materials and energy used in its operation. At the moment it is not easy to build a “green” building. This would involve the use of special construction materials, renewable energy or energy very cheap for cooling, lighting and hot water production. Last but not least, a green home architecture is specifically designed for use within the natural advantages of the place in which it is built. Impossible? Certainly not, but most important is to try to minimize the effect it will have on future home environment. And on your budget!

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Europe Regional Network addresses the Energy and Environment Ministers on the EU’s 2030 Climate and Energy Framework.

February 26, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment
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2030: Europe Regional Network outlines need for investment certainty

The Europe Regional Network of WorldGBC has today written to Energy and Environment Ministers outlining the need for a coherent set of legally binding targets within the EU’s 2030 Climate and Energy Framework.

The letter from the Network notes that three targets for 2030 are needed, for energy efficiency, greenhouse gas reductions and member state renewable quotas, alongside a sector energy efficiency target for buildings. A number of EU countries are currently pushing for a single greenhouse gas target to replace the current ’20-20-20’ targets within the EU’s 2020 framework, though the European Parliament has supported a three target approach.

James Drinkwater, Senior Policy Advisor to the Network, said: “This is a matter of certainty for the companies investing in products and services that can transform our energy system for good. They need to know that EU policy-makers support their business models over the long-term so that they can create new facilities and jobs in the region without fear of having to cut this all back in the event national policies change. Many of our members are focused on unlocking the energy efficiency potential of the building sector, which is a complex issue that needs long-term political backing as well as market based solutions.”

Joanne Wheeler, Chair of the Network’s Policy Task Force, said: “The buildings sector has long been recognised as the sector with the greatest potential for cost effective climate action which will save money for businesses and householders. However, significant market barriers persist, and this means that industry needs long-term policy signals in order to invest and deliver greener buildings. A sector energy efficiency target would help focus minds across both public and private sectors, helping deliver buildings that are fit for the 21st Century.”

To view the letter click here

Introducing the Network

Green Building Councils are not-for-profit, member-based organisations that are driving the transformation of buildings, communities and users’ behaviour towards sustainability. The World Green Building Council is a coalition of over 100 national Green Building Councils around the world, making it the largest international organisation influencing the Green Building marketplace.

Our Europe Regional Network consists of over 30 national Green Building Councils and works in collaboration with around 4,500 member companies across Europe, which represent the full breadth of stakeholders in the buildings industry. A crucial part of Green Building is bringing the whole value chain in our industry together to provide better solutions, and this is exactly what we are doing through our members.

www.worldgbc.org/regions/europe

The Business Case for Green Building and European Green Building Policy Challenges – In Discussion with James Drinkwater

January 30, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment
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On January 29, at the Clifford Chance Badea headquarters, we organized a meeting between James Drinkwater, Senior Policy Advisor, World Green Building Council (Europe Regional Network) and RoGBC members. On this occasion, James Drinkwater held two seminars dedicated to introducing the members into the matter of policy change and of the next steps for the industry in order to help government and the EU take the best decisions.

The first seminar presented the World GBC’s landmark 2013 report on the costs and benefits of green building, underlining the business case for green building. If in 2007 the reason for building green was that it was the right thing to do, the incentive has gradually shifted up to today, more and more companies investing in green buildings because these stand for a better business decision.

In the second seminar of the session, James Drinkwater discussed EU green building policy and legislation, going through major challenges that governments and businesses are facing. This discussion highlighted the opportunity for creating a voice of industry in support of policy regulation.

The RoGBC Policy Task Group comes as an initiative to channel this voice of the green building industry in Romania, to discuss the needs, objectives and opportunities of each stakeholder on the market and put these forward for regulation. As a RoGBC member, if you want to take part in this Policy Task Group, please contact Monica.Ardeleanu@RoGBC.org.

Want to join RoGBC? Click here. 

The Living Building Challenge Certification

August 30, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Posted in Certification, General | Leave a comment
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Considered a “manifesto in the form of a certification standard”, the Living Building Challenge stands out through a stringency meant to inspire new solutions in order to minimize the negative impact that construction has on the environment, maximize the positive impact and insure the building’s independence from the point of view of resources. This system’s mission is not a mere certification, but performance and the opening of new paths towards excellence in the green building field.

The certification incorporates four main social and environmental problems – climate change,persistent toxic chemicals, loss of habitat/ extinction of species and global inequity, problems that it addressees through seven categories, named Petals, which will be discussed in the further on. The association to the flower comes from the concept of grounded, an organic development which supports the system it belongs to. Thus, the certification’s Petals refer to the various aspects of such a living construction, namely to Site, Water, Energy, Health, Materials, Equity and Beauty.

The first Petal, related to the Site, aims to rebuild the connection between the urban and natural environments. Consequently, an essential aspect is that of not restricting the natural habitat, allowing the construction only on brownfield; additionally, a surface equivalent to the built area has to be devoted to ensuring the species’ freedom in nature. Also, the Living Building Challenge targets the creation of pedestrian areas, through efficient use of infrastructure and the proximity to facilities.

The Petal referring to water seeks to inspire the creation of places, buildings and communities relying on water independent systems that reuse water by filtering it without employing chemicals, gather the rain water and reduce the water consumption. This request is one of the main challenges for the design process, especially in residential areas, where water consumption is higher than in buildings with a discontinuous program. In the end though, this challenge is the first step towards innovation and more and more ingenious solutions custom made for each location.

The energetic request refers to a net zero energy consumption, the building relying on alternative forms of energy. Regarding the Health Petal, this is mostly concentrated on a civilized, healthy environment, and biophilia. The inhabitants need to be able to control air quality, thermal and visual comfort through windows that can be opened. In order to fulfill the biophilia standard, the design needs to be inspired from the elements of nature, helping create the human-nature connection.

The most consistent request of the Living Building Challenge is the one related to Materials, by recognizing and using strictly materials safe for all species in the long term. Thus, a Red List has been constructed, together with a document that inventories safe products – Declare, initiated by the Living Future Institute. Also in the Materials section, the reduction of carbon footprint, the local procurement of materials, the use of responsible industries and a waste recycling and reuse plan are included among the requirements.

Regarding Equity, the Living Building Challenge certified construction needs to be accessible for all social classes, maintaining an equitable life standard, to establish a proportional relation between the human scale and that of the building, all the while ensuring the right to nature, natural lighting and visual comfort for the inhabitants and the surrounding buildings. The Beauty Petal brings up discussions on the education and inspiration of future projects through esthetics and the harmonious integration of the project.

Currently there are 4 Living Building Challenge certified buildings worldwide, with another 40 registerd. Romania applies to this certification with 3 projects initiated by the Romania Green Building Council, who starting February 2011 has been a Living Building Challenge Ambassador. The three projects registered for certification are ecoBiblioteca, The Calnic Project and the RoGBC headquarters.

Eric Johnson: Green certifications need to be treated as business decisions.

August 30, 2013 at 11:00 am | Posted in General | Leave a comment
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ImageInvited 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.

Understanding the Living Building Challenge

August 14, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Posted in Events, General | Leave a comment
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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.

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