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By : Henk Visscher, Dasa Majcen, Laure Itard

The energy saving potential of the building stock is large and considered to be the most cost efficient to contribute to the CO2 reduction ambitions. Severe governmental policies steering on reducing the energy use seem essential to stimulate and enforce the improvement of the energy performance of buildings with a focus on reducing the heating and cooling energy demand. In Europe the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is a driving force for member states to develop and strengthen energy performance regulations for new buildings and energy certificates for the building stock. The goals are to build net zero energy new buildings in 2020 and to reach a neutral energy situation in the whole stock by 2050. More and more research projects deliver insight that the expected impact of stricter regulations for newly built houses is limited and the actual effects of energy savings through housing renovations stay behind the expectations. Theoretical energy use calculated on base of the design standard for new houses and assessment standards for Energy Performance Certificates of existing dwellings differ largely from the measured actual energy use. The paper uses the findings of some Post Occupancy Evaluation research projects. Is the energy saving potential of the housing stock smaller than expected and should we therefore change the policies?
Keywords: Energy performance certification, Energy performance regulations, Europe, Energy efficiency policies, Housing Stock.

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