Energy refurbishment in buildings: a facade and much more

On 13 September 2013 the revised version of the Technical Building Code came into force in Spain. For the first time this included criteria for limiting energy consumption in buildings. The purpose was to bring the construction of new buildings and any works undertaken on existing buildings into line with what will be understood as “buildings with nearly zero energy consumption”. The modification in the standard exempted projects pending licence from compliance, considering a deadline for construction, while at the same time also exempting all applications processed up to six months after publication of the standard. That is, until today, March 13, 2014, neither the document nor the works are obligatory.

We have too much housing and too much electricity production, both at an exorbitant price for the home user. Will the energy refurbishment of buildings become another issue of mere façade or will we really soon notice a decrease in real units of energy consumption?

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We attribute 40% of energy consumption to the building sector, considering both the construction phase and usage. A question of comfort and individual welfare becomes in a country -or continent- with major energy dependence a strategic and geopolitical issue. Today Europe is conscious, and sees the proof in the armed conflicts it faces, that energy consumption endangers economic development.

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2014