Energy efficiency in buildings construction is an area that has the greatest potential for reducing total energy consumption, which directly leads to a more comfortable and quality life in buildings, longer useful life of a building and contributes to the protection of environment and reduction of harmful gases emission.
Buildings construction sector is particularly important in the energy consumption because:
- participates with more than 50 % in total final consumption of energy in the RS, with a steady increase in consumption as a reflection of increasing living standards,
- has a huge potential for energy and ecological savings,
- buildings, due to long useful life, have long and continuous impact on the environment and energy consumption
Projects aimed at increasing energy efficiency in the building construction can act as a kind of urban and architectural incentives, and as the opportunity to apply innovative technical and technological solutions for:
- improving the quality of construction, quality designing of energy concept;
- construction of modern low-energy buildings;
- modernization and energy renovation of existing buildings ;
- increasing standards and comfort in buildings;
- reducing maintenance costs during the useful life of buildings
- applying innovative technologies and solutions;
- developing an integral approach to design;
- a long-term approach to building analysis, taking into account its entire useful life;
- reducing energy consumption and protection of the environment.
The main goal of energy efficiency in buildings is to establish mechanisms that will permanently reduce the energy needs when designing, constructing and using new buildings, and in the reconstruction of the existing ones, as well as to remove the barriers that impede the introduction of energy efficiency measures into the existing and new residential and non-residential buildings.
The successful implementation of energy efficiency measures in buildings construction of the RS will be based on:
- change in legal framework and its harmonization with the European regulations,
- increasing mandatory level of thermal protection in new and existing buildings,
- increasing efficiency of heating, cooling, ventilation and air-conditioning systems,
- increasing efficiency of lighting systems and energy consumers,
- energy control and energy management in existing and new buildings,
- defining the target value for the total annual consumption in buildings per m2 or m3,
- introducing the energy performance certificate as the system for labelling buildings and adapting an unique methodology for energy audit,
- continuous education and promotion of energy efficiency improvement measures
Building construction sector in the RS, which includes households and the service sector, is the largest single consumer of final energy, participating with 51.8 % in the final energy consumption in 2005, or 26.58 PJ (46.9% households + 4.9% service sector).
The expected consumption in buildings construction sector without the application of energy efficiency measures in 2030 would amount 43.30 PJ, while with the application of measures in residential and non-residential buildings the same would amount 37.40 PJ in 2030. By implementing energy efficiency measures in buildings construction, the final energy consumption in buildings could drop to 42.3 % in 2030, reaching the current European average.
The useful consumption of thermal energy in building construction is very high and averages over 200 kWh/m2. In 2005 the total housing stock in the RS was approx. 31 million m2 of residential floor area, of which 90 % were family houses and 10 % apartments. It is anticipated that the total housing stock will be 44 million m2 of the residential area, of which 70-80 % will be family houses and 20-30 % apartments by 2030. The total non-residential building stock amounted 5.4 million m2 of non-residential area in 2005, or ca. 4.6 m2 per capita. The total stock of non-residential buildings is projected to be 13.5 million m2, or ca. 11.6 m2 per capita by 2030.
Without active implementation of energy efficiency measures, energy consumption in buildings construction sector will continue to rise, with both heating and cooling energy, due to increasing standards. It is assumed that, by implementing energy efficiency measures through the law, the total thermal energy consumption will be limited to a maximum of 40-60 kWh/m2 for new residential and non-residential buildings by 2030. The energy renovation of existing buildings, especially those constructed before 1987, represents the greatest potential for energy savings.
In order to achieve planned savings in building sector in the RS by 2030, it is estimated that 136 960 of old residential units or a total of 12.25 million m2 of floor area should be renovated. With each energy renovation, thermal energy demand would be reduced by 60 %, due to better thermal protection and introduction of more efficient technical systems in buildings.
By above energy efficiency measures, the final energy consumption in households would be reduced by 15 % by 2030, compared to the scenario with no energy efficiency measures implemented. But, in comparison with the baseline year 2005 the same would increase by only 22 %. The total share of energy consumption in buildings-households and services, in the final energy consumption would approach the European average today, which is about 40 %.
It is important to point out that the scenario with increasing energy efficiency measures will not be achievable without applying legislative, institutional and organizational measures and an organized system for incenting non-commercial measures. Incentives should focus on thermal insulation measures in buildings with a pay-back period longer than 4 to 5 years.
The Energy Efficiency Fund will be established for the system of incentives, which would encourage those activities and energy efficiency measures which are beneficial for the society, i.e. which result in positive externalities, and would not be realized independently by investor and/or are not profitable according to financiers. Incentives should be realized in the form of loans, subsidies, favorable interest rates, donations.
The construction of new low-energy buildings will be encouraged, along with energy renovation of existing buildings. The expected investment for increasing energy efficiency in an ordinary building constructed before 1987, in order to achieve savings of 60 %, is estimated at 100 BAM per square meter on average. With the average investment of 100 BM per m2, this would mean that the total investment in energy renovations would amount ca. 1.2 billion BAM by 2030. Assuming that 30 % of the total investment would be stipulated, that would mean allocation of funds for promotion of energy efficiency of ca. 375 million BAM by 2030 or on average ca. 16-20 million BAM annually.
Considering that the housing sector accounts for over 85 % of total buildings construction sector, the greatest potential for energy savings lies precisely in that sector. It is assumed that the services sector will itself recognize potentials of energy efficiency, and further develop energy management plans. Hence, it should be noted that rapid growth of services sector and increase of the area to 30 % is expected, which implies that newbuilding should be planned as energy efficient and low-energy buildings.
It should be also noted that the public-purpose building sector will be the first under an obligation to provide energy certificates and inform public on how much energy is being consumed in such buildings, and what should be done in order to reduce that consumption. In this regard, the Republic of Srpska should develop specific programs to increase energy efficiency in public-purpose buildings, as well as plans for systematic energy renovation of existing buildings.
In creating a legal framework, the emphasis should be on:
- passing the Law on Energy efficiency;
- development of Action plan for implementation of the EU Directive on energy performance of buildings,
- adoption of new Technical Regulations which will determine a much stricter level of thermal protection and energy consumption management in buildings in conformity with EPB (Energy Performance of Buildings) and standard ЕN 13790,
- adoption of new Technical Regulations which will regulate the obligation of energy certification of buildings; i.e. the classification of buildings based on energy consumption
- adoption of new Technical Regulations which will regulate the education of independent energy experts to conduct energy audits and energy certification of buildings,
- adoption of the National methodology for energy audits,
- continuous education of various target groups and informing the public
Furthermore, the problem of reducing energy consumption in the residential and non-residential buildings sector should be approached in an interdisciplinary way, overcoming pure cooperation between some disciplinary approaches in defining and resolving the problem. The organized monitoring, analysis and solving of energy efficiency problem in buildings construction sector must relate to entire useful life of observed building, i.e. from production costs of building material to energy costs of construction, then during usage and maintenance of building, until the moment when, due to deterioration or some other reasons, the whole building or its parts should be removed and converted into usable or unusable construction waste.
Such an integral approach to design is defined as approach that integrates all relevant architectural and construction elements and all energy systems of building into one system, and in order to achieve optimal characteristics in terms of energy efficiency, environmental impact and internal qualities and standards.
Integral planning should start at an early phase of design development. If energy efficient technologies start applying at a later stage of design, the result will be a modest integration of measures which will probably be too expensive for the implementation. For this reason, it is necessary to plan introduction of energy efficiency measures in all development plans and project tasks in order to be implemented as quickly as possible in the newly planned construction.