26 November 2015

Efficient Buildings Key to Reduce Climate Change

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For the first time “Buildings Day” is to be held on 3rd December 2015 as part of the official program at this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris. It’s a dedicated event to present how the building and construction sector is able to tackle climate change. 

“The building sector is responsible for more than 30% of global energy demand and round about 20% of greenhouse gas emissions”, says Peter Graham from the Global Buildings Performance Network in Paris.

Two examples of the European Research Project DIRECTION demonstrate how buildings can play a crucial role in keeping global warming below 2°C. In Munich, Germany, the NuOffice has demonstrated after 18 months of operation that its energy consumption is 73% lower compared to a standard office block with no energy efficient technologies. Elaborate energy models predicted quite accurately these results.

But on a global level, the biggest impact on building efficiency will be achieved in hot countries. “The increase in energy demand to provide electricity for cooling is one of the single largest new sources of greenhouse gas emissions between now and 2030”, says Graham. In Valladolid, Spain, the architects of the showcase building CARTIF III provided solutions for both – hot summers and cool winters.

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