Energy is invisible,
Residential and Commercial immovable properties are responsible for the 40% of energy consumption in European Union. The use of energy is always physically invisible to consumers. Only the status and comfort of using it will be visible to the energy buyers themselves as well as to others.
BUILDING ENERGY EFFICIENCY
A building that does not require air-conditioning might be comfortable and cheap to run, but only by installing air-conditioning, owners or developers can realize that indoor comfort is a must. Some installations or ineffective energy use show that the users and owners of the buildings can afford to make a comfortable indoor comfort and care about the wellbeing of building occupants. Even the noise from air-conditioning units can be seen as an added value because this makes comfort visible for owners and guests in hotels or in workplaces. Some might consider a reduction of the consumption and increase in efficiency as a decrease in comfort or status. For users with a good economic foundation ineffective energy use will not usually influence their lives substantially since the costs will only be a small part of their overall budget. Increasing prices might help to reduce this barrier.
Due to the fact that the Land and Building Construction Industry is a developing sector, the energy consumption is following an increasing trend, something which contrasts the targets of European Union for sustainable development. Taking into consideration the above reason, everyone personally has to find ways to reduce his/her consumption rate. The usage of renewable sources in Land and Buildings Industry is a measure that must be applied in order to achieve low rates and reduce the greenhouse emissions and thus enhancing energy security. Based on the Regulation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Laws (2006-2012), Cyprus has already embodied to the island national fair the direction 2010/31/EU which is targeting for the improvement of the Buildings Energy Efficiency using different measures, taking into consideration the outdoor climatic conditions, interior climate requirements and the cost-optimal level.
These measures are:
(a) establishing a general framework which helps the calculation of the overall performance of buildings,
(b) setting minimum efficiency requirements for new buildings and building units,
(c) setting of minimum performance requirements for existing buildings and building units that undergo major renovation,
(d) setting minimum efficiency requirement elements of the building envelope when they are retrofitted or replaced,
(e) issuing performance certificates for all new buildings and building units,
(f) establishment of regular inspections of the heating boiler and air conditioning systems,
(g) establishment of requirements concerning the proper sizing, installation, configuration and operation of technical systems installed in existing buildings or replaced or upgraded,
(h) promotion of buildings with almost zero consumption target all new buildings constructed after December 31, 2020 to have nearly zero consumption.
Based on the direction 2010/31 / EU, in order to achieve the objectives of efficiency and increase the usage of renewable source requirements, we have to maximize the number of buildings which not only fulfill existing minimum performance requirements, but are characterized by higher performance of a building, achieving at the same time reduced consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.
Cyprus government has elaborated a study and adopted an action plan so that buildings for domestic purposes use almost zero energy consumption.
MINIMUM ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Based on the article 15 of the Cyprus Law, the Minister of Energy, Industry and Tourism by decree sets the minimum building energy efficiency requirements. The decree was first implemented on December 21, 2007. According to this decree and taking into consideration the heat transfer coefficients for the shell and frames in all new buildings and all buildings over 1000m2 which are undertaking major renovation must not exceed specific heat transfer rates, making the thermal insulation of the building mandatory.
Again, based on the above revised decree that came into force on January 1, 2010 additional requirement was voted for compliance with the maximum average heat transfer coefficient, the welfare placement using electricity production systems from renewable sources, solar installation for hot water in buildings used as dwellings and the issuance of a Certificate of Energy Efficiency with category at least “B”.
According to Cyprus laws, buildings are divided into seven categories. Depending on the overall annual primary consumption, buildings with the biggest consumption are classified in category “G” where buildings with the lowest consumption are classified in category “A”.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY CERTIFICATE
The building Energy Performance Certificate is similar to the labels used for labeling electrical appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines. Its purpose is to provide useful information on the overall energy situation of the building and shows how effective in terms is this building compared with a similar (control building). The categories listed in Performance Certificate is standardized and shaped in such a way that one can easily compare the performance of one building to another.
The Energy Performance Certificate needs to be submitted with the application for a building permit for a new building, for houses and buildings over 1000 m2 undergoing major renovation. Also during the sale or rental of a building, owners must present to the prospective buyer or tenant the Performance Certificate. The certificate must necessarily be accompanied by recommendations for improving the efficiency of the building. The efficiency class of the certificate of a building or building unit available for sale or rent must be stated in all commercial advertising.
Our company is actively participating in this attempt of the Cyprus Government for the creation of a sustainable development through systematic research in cooperation with different bodies and universities.