Evaluating Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Given the goals of the Paris Agreement and their resultant influence on legislation, as well as increasingly volatile energy prices, energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy are the critical aspects to optimize the performance of a building.

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In 2018, the European Union committed to achieve climate-neutrality by 2050 in alignment with the targets of the Paris Agreement. Some European countries as well as individual organizations have more ambitious goals. This commitment is being applied in new EU regulations and its member countries related to energy efficiency. Consequently, the energy efficiency of buildings and the use of renewable energies are decisive for the future value of real estate investments.

In the present evolution of society, climate protection is listed on top of the agenda and different standards and certificates are promoted to help. However, the intentions of certain standards and certificates differ and so does the specific perspective on energy efficiency and renewable energy. The ability to discern the meaning of various standards and certificates relative to energy efficiency allows us to decide what the certificate label on a building really means in this respect.

Energy efficiency, in regard to a building, determines the consumption of energy over the entire period of use. Energy efficiency as of today – with energy from fossil sources still predominant – implies reduced production of climate-damaging emissions. This introductory guide compares the energy performance certificate (EPC) with the common building certificates LEED and BREEAM, with the aim of identifying commonalities and differences among them and an interpretation of their meaning relative to energy efficiency.

Read the full Evaluating Energy Efficiency in Buildings report to learn more.

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