Energy efficient buildings in demand across the globe

April 12, 2012

The idea that the world cannot sustainably keep pace with the growing hunger for energy around the globe has given birth to a series of ideas concerned with increasing efficiency and lower consumption levels for both nations and international corporations.

According to a release from the Passive House Conference, an international gathering focused around energy efficient construction, the building sector has an enormous potential for energy savings, as use in commercial structures can be cut by 80 to 90 percent without a reduction in comfort.

The release noted that countries around the world are coming to this realization, and specific places like South Korea and the state of California have created policies that permit the construction of only "net zero energy buildings" by 2020. Europe has also undertaken an energy efficiency directive that calls for high annual retrofit rates of public building stock.

According to the release, the conference forms the basis and an open market for the use of cost-effective building and retrofitting. The gathering presents an opportunity for designers, decision makers and the construction sector to come together and share the latest advances in the industry, as well as potential ways to implement policy changes around the world.

More than a hundred companies will show off their products and hold lectures to highlight new innovations within the sector, and vendors will host exhibits that explain and demonstrate how technology works to reduce energy consumption and costs.

The conference, organized by the Passive House Institute and proKlima, will also offer an extensive programme of side events such as introductory courses, a forum for tradespeople and several excursions to Passive House buildings in the Hanover region of Germany.

The concepts of positive ROI and energy efficiency are now being treated as things that can be accomplished through the use of the right technology. Green Tech Media reported that it is difficult to demonstrate cost value, as buildings consist of ever-changing operational requirements and dynamic components that need to be carefully watched.

This type of research is needed to study the efficiency of retrofit projects in the U.S., and a push is being led by a U.S. Department of Energy-designated initiative, the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy Efficient Buildings (GPIC). 

The GPIC will study the effects of retrofit projects in the Greater Philadelphia region, as it looks to serve as a national model for the sector.