Tags: BREEAM, Green Building Council, Green Building Projects, LEED, RoGBC, sustainability, sustainable architecture, Sustainable Construction, Sustainable Development
Carlo Battisti has 20 years of experience in several Italian construction firms performing multiple roles. He has worked for Habitech, Distretto Tecnologico Trentino (Italy) – the founding member of Green Building Council Italy – as Program Manager of the Business Unit on Sustainable Materials and Construction Products. He launched the web site ‘green map’; the first Italian on-line database of LEED compliant products.
The workshop provided an overview and case studies about historic building, about main problems and opportunities in sustainable renovation of historic building, a new rating system for historic building sustainable refurbishment assessment and others interesting subjects related to historical renovations.
Tags: Certification, Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Green Building, Green Building Council, Living Building Challenge, renewable energy, sustainability, Sustainable Construction, Sustainable Development
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.
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.
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Tags: BREEAM, conference, Energy Efficiency, Green Building, Green Building Council, green buildings project management, LEED, Legislation, Romania Green Building Council, Sustainable Construction, Sustainable Development
On the 8th of August, Romania Green Building Council organized the Managing Green Building Project workshop, in Bucharest, a comprehensive insight into the key principles of sustainable construction.
We were privileged to have Eric Johnson among us, a consultant specialized in planning, cost management, and delivery of green commercial development projects. Eric demonstrated the importance of management quality, sharing from his vast experience gained as a LEEP AP and BREEAM Assessor and involvement in numerous international committees of experts.
Among the objective, the course tried to give a full definition of an integrated project management, identify the requirements and challenges posed, as well as the assessment tools and strategies needed to successfully deliver high performance building projects, aiming to increasing profitability through streamlined management and planning practices.
The 30 participants enjoyed an interactive training, the informative sessions were interspersed with case studies and teamwork, which helped them successfully achieve the objectives. Also, they identified the most appropriate ways of implementing best business practices for the management of sustainable buildings.
We believe that raising public awareness about the use of assessment tools and adopting an integrated project management, will help the future development in this area.
Event location at the Cervantes Institute was provided by our partners AECOM, which was the perfect setting for out courses and we would like to use this opportunity and Thank them!
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Tags: conference, Energy Efficiency, green buildings, Legislation, Legislative Outreach, RoGBC, Romania Green Building Council, Sustainable Construction, Sustainable Development
The Association for Energy Efficiency and Environmental Protection, în collaboration with Bursa Construcțiilor/ Construction Stock, organised on Friday, the 21st of June2013, a conference on the subject of Energy Efficiency of the new estate development. Almost 100 specialists attended the event, debating the possible solutions for increasing the energy efficiency in the real estate projects, both residential and commercial, amid the new European legislation on highly energy efficient buildings, taking into consideration the available financing and models of good practice at home and abroad.
In the context of the „times of the lowest price”, the architect Șerban Țigănaș, president of the Order of Architects in Romania,opened the discussion with the question of the relation between the individual, the building and the city, exemplifying this with urban renewal projects.
The main estate developers came forward to present their plans for future growth and their interest to increase energy efficiency within these proposals.
Representing the business sector, several speakers came to the microphone – Ingo Nissen, country manager at Sonae Sierra, the international commercial centres developer, speaking about energy efficient commercial spaces, the developers of the residential ensemble Metropolitan Residence, Robertino Georgescu and Daniel Drăgulin, and Mihai Bizu, the developer ofthe Appollo Residence ensemble.
Further on, Mr. Ion Dogeanu, as Executive Director of The Association for Energy Efficiency and Environmental Protection, presented the European context for the improvement of the energy performance of the buildings, identifying development opportunities within the long term European Strategy. Șerban Danciu, Task Force Manager Romania at the Institute for Building Performance (BPIE) presented the priorities in the development of the strategy meant to improve the energy performance of the buildings in Romania, proposing several options for combining the available funds.
Oana Stamatin, LEED Green Associate at Colliers International, spoke about the steps that need to be taken in order to reduce the energy waste in buildings and the result that can be achieved, considering the building orientation, the location, the building envelope, natural light and lighting system, the use of water, the heating and cooling and the use of efficient equipment. By applying ecological standards to the above, the building is prone get higher rent and selling prices.
The architect Mihai Trandafir presented a model of good practice in de sector of energy efficient buildings, the project Eurogate in Viena, the largest residential ensemble Passive House certified, also detailing the requirements of this certification. Finally, the construction material producers, represented by Octavian Nicula, Manager Thermo Insulating Products at AdePlast and Marcel Ionescu, general Director at Europlastic, presented solutions for the thermo insulation of the buildings.
The audience was invited to participate in the debate, formed of estate developers, constructors, architects, energetic auditors, engineers, real estate consultant, representatives of patronages and specialised associations, press, etc.
Tags: BREEAM, conference, Green Building, green buildings, LEED, Legislation, Legislative Outreach, Sustainable Development, tax reduction
Following the increased interest of the public authorities in Bucharest and throughout the country in the sustainable development of the built environment, on Monday, the 10th of June, Romania Green Building Council and the Association of Municipalities of Romania launched the Guide for local tax reduction on green buildings during the conference on financial incentives for the promotion of green constructions with a high energetic performance.
The document represents a working instrument for the local public authorities, meant to support the decision making process in order to attract investments for the construction of green buildings and to reward the investors’ efforts through tax reduction on these buildings.
The launch of the guide was accompanied by presentations that traced the context of the legislative proposal for tax reduction on green buildings. Mr. Steven Borncamp, president of the Romanian Green Building Council, launched the presentation series through a detailing of the benefits that the green buildings bring to both the Romanian community and to the development of the construction industry’s capacities. Mr. Borncamp depicted the necessity and the commitment required from the private investors to provide significant investments for the development of sustainable new buildings or renovation projects in exchange for the benefit of tax reduction. He also highlighted several success cases, including the Cluj-Napoca Municipality, the first town to apply the tax reduction on buildings in order to reward energy efficiency and green performance. In this respect, the vice- mayor of Bucharest, Mr. Marcel Nicolaescu, confirmed the orientation of the capital city towards an environmentally friendly urban development.
Luiza Manolea presented the legislation that stands at the basis of the decision of tax reduction on green buildings, a chance with which she highlighted the characteristics and principles on which this kind of tax incentives are rewarded, ensuring a high adaptability to the specificities of each community and willing to establish a balance between the interest of the community and that of the building owners. In this way, the highest investment efforts and the achievement of the highest sustainability requirements are rewarded through tax reductions, for a longer period up to four years, while the tax reductions don’t exceed a cumulative of 80% of the tax due. Also, she mentioned that the proposed fiscal measure for the promotion of green building is different from other fiscal or financial incentives, as: it includes all types of buildings, not only the residential ones, the investment comes from the owner, the initiative is private, the energetic efficiency requirements are higher and are accompanied by sustainability criteria, whose achievement is confirmed by final certifications internationally recognised.
Bringing a new perspective to the subject, this time the view of the energetic auditor, Mr. Eugen Goldhammer sent out a clear message- You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Thus, he highlighted the benefits of an energetic audit, both from the point of view of the authorities and that of the companies, given that it represents a major instrument within the implementation process and further on in the annual monitoring of the environmental management systems, according to ISO 14001 and EMAS, and that it has an important part in reaching the established objectives through the annual and multi- annual strategies of increasing the energetic efficiency and of reducing the emissions of carbon dioxide, and not the least, it reduces costs with maintenance of the buildings.
Further on, Alinda Dudu’s presentation concentrated on the introduction of the main international certifications in sustainability. She discussed the fact that the international certification standards for green buildings, of which LEED and BREEAM are the best known, represent a viable method of evaluating the performance in sustainability of a building. These systems are voluntary, neutrals- managed by third parties and can be applied at different stages of the building’s life, as well as to a variety of architectonic programs in Romania.
In addition to this, the subject of creating a package of tax incentives, neutrals from the point of view of the expenses, has been brought to discussion, in order to encourage the development of constructions, renovations and the management of environmentally friendly buildings, while bringing significant value to the local and regional economy. Mr. John Lyins discussed this subject, adding that from the point of view of the employees, they can only gain from the low rate of absenteeism and of illness, as well as from the increase of efficiency at the workplace.
The interest shown by the public authorities and their openness towards the improvement of community life encourage and at the same time bind us to continue the initiative to build or transform existing buildings into sustainable constructions. We wish that through this practical Guide, also meant to be a model of decision making for the local counsel, we can contribute to the implementation of as many instruments for the stimulation of green building constructions.
The guide for local tax reduction on green buildings, as well as the legislation pack that provided the basis to its realization can be accessed on the homepage of the Romania Green Building Council.
Tags: buildings, ecobiblioteca, Green Building, Romania Green Building Council, sustainable architecture, Sustainable Construction, Sustainable Development, sustainable_development
I wanted to extend a welcome to our recent addition to the Romania Green Building Council team, Mr. Paul Lannoye. Paul will serve as our Director of Projects and joining Mr. Dragos Riti as co-Director of our ecoBiblioteca project. Paul is a highly experienced real estate and construction professional with significant experience in Romania and on exemplary projects. His participation “in house” at the RoGBC will provide us some needed resource hours as we make the final construction push for ecoBiblioteca.
Paul can be reached at Paul.Lannoye@RoGBC.org and +40720 449 139.
Tags: BREEAM, buildings, Certification, Green Building, Green Building Council, Green Building Projects, green buildings, green homes, green office, green renovation, LEED, renewable energy, RoGBC, Romania Green Building Council, sustainability, sustainable architecture, Sustainable Construction, Sustainable Development, sustainable_development, Training
Do you want to become a BREEAM or LEED assessor?
RoGBC just prepared for you a brief presentation about LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and BREEAM (Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method).
This LEED information package summarizes what LEED is, measures and delivers, which the rating systems are, the steps to achieving certification and also how to become a LEED professional.
This BREEAM information package tells you about what BREEAM provides, its objectives, types of projects and buildings that can be assessed using BREEAM. You can also find out the main things regarding BREEAM certification and how to become a BREEAM assessor.
Tags: news from members, Sauter Controls, sustainability, Sustainable Construction, Sustainable Development
RoGBC member – Sauter is in pole position with its range of diverse solutions, when it comes to building management, that can be adapted to meet all requirements.
Sauter is launching several new products for 2013, which for sure will confirm the Swiss quality. Last year it was the year of Bacnet solutions confirmation, the versatile controller with integrated web-server EY-AS525 being the flagship of their systems.
– Sauter added a further valve to their Valveco range, up to DN 50;
– The Sauter VAV compact controller ASV 115 is now available with a second control loop for compact decentralised and flexible control of room temperature and room pressure for Pharma aplications.
– Also new are the two heating, ventilation and air-conditioning controllers, flexotron 400 and flexotron 800 – the former for smaller systems and the later for more complex ones.
– The new Sauter AKM105 actuator is particularly sustable for smaller ball valves, while the new Sauter AXM 217 is used for 2/3 points or 0-10 V for through ot three-way unit valves.
– There will be also a new version of the SCADA building management software, novaPro Opne, while SAUTER EMS 3.0 has a redesigned user interface and is now also suitable for mobile usage.
For more information about Sauter products and services you can ask information at the e-mail adress (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Also you can visit the site http://www.sauter-control.ro/ro.html or http://www.sauter-controls.com/en.html