Energy Efficiency: Shaping the Future Through Renovation

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Renovating buildings through ecological, energy-usage upgrades is key to meeting the EU’s energy efficiency targets. The Energy Efficiency Directive identified the existing building stock as “the single biggest potential sector for energy savings.”

More than transport and industry, the existing building stock accounts for 40% of the EU’s overall energy consumption, 36% of its CO2 emissions, and 55% of its electricity consumption, making savings in this sector vital to meeting the EU’s climate and energy targets. Deep renovation can cut energy consumption by 80%, saving the EU over 30% of its total energy use—equivalent to four billion barrels of (imported) oil a year.

With the slow addition of new buildings to the existing building stock, renovation to improve the energy efficiency of the existing stock of buildings is imperative to meet the EU’s targets of a 20% improvement in energy efficiency by 2020 and a 27% improvement by 2030.

Plans for the Future: EU 

  • 20% cut in greenhouse gas emissions (from 1990 levels) by 2020
  • 80-95% cut in greenhouse gas emissions (from 1990 levels) by 2050
  • 20% of EU energy from renewables by 2020
  • 20% improvement in energy efficiency by 2020

Renovation is also an important way to tackle fuel poverty. To date, however, renovation rates in the EU are low and renovating the existing building stock to make it more energy efficient remains a challenge. Increasing the rate at which existing buildings are renovated to at least 2-3% per year until 2030 is a key objective of the EU’s Resource Efficiency agenda, which outlines how Europe’s economy can become sustainable by 2050.

Plans for the Future: CTP 
With a portfolio of 4.5 million m2, CTP chose to be a leader in energy efficiency. All of CTP’s office buildings are BREEAM certified, rated Excellent or higher. In 2017, CTP’s ‘LED everywhere’ strategy focused EUR 1.9 million of investment into retrofitting buildings with low-energy consumption LED lighting covering 420,000 m². This usually results in an upgraded energy certification from C to B. The goal is to upgrade at least 400,000 m² each year.

Furthermore, CTP targets smaller investments into HVAC and Building Management Systems which have a noticeable impact on building efficiency. CTP has also introduced a number of new technologies into the ‘2020 Whitebook’, the standard specifications on which all five offered property types are based. Over 70 items were upgraded, including remote consumption metres for utilities and more efficient air handling units with a greater heat recovery ratio.

It’s Possible 
The size of the EU energy renovation market could increase by almost half the current levels if a 40% energy savings target was adopted for 2030. The renovation market would then be worth about EUR 122 billion, with approximately 988,200 additional jobs in the sector. GHG emissions would fall by 62.9% in the residential sector and 73% in the non-residential sector by 2030. With a 27% target, by 2030 GHG emissions would fall by 33.8% in the residential sector and 50.6% in the non-residential sector.

Healthy World, Healthy People
The typical person spends most of his or her life inside buildings. Proper renovations reap the benefits of daylight, thermal comfort, indoor air quality and acoustics, all of which have an impact on health, learning abilities and productivity. Renovating buildings therefore not only improves energy efficiency and property value, but also positively impacts people’s health and performance.

series of studies led by Harvard University found that employees working in high-performing green buildings showed higher cognitive function scores, fewer sick-building symptoms and higher sleep quality scores than workers in buildings without green certification. For example, when a building’s ventilation increased from 20 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of outdoor air per person to 40 CFM, the results was an 8% increase in employee decision-making performance. This amounts to improved productivity equaling approximately EUR 5,300 person/year.

“Good companies know the value of providing a healthy workspace,” said Joe Allen, assistant profession at Harvard University’s School of Public Health. “Healthy buildings are a recruiting tool, after all.”