Concrete sector welcomes emphasised role of buildings in achieving EU energy goals

Brussels, 30 November 2016: The Concrete Initiative welcomes the initiatives on buildings which the European Commission has outlined under its “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package, in terms of the important role which they will play to achieve the EU’s 2030 energy and climate goals. The package, published today, contains important items relating to buildings, including proposed revisions of the Directives on Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD), Energy Efficiency (EED) and Renewable Energy, and a new “Smart Finance for Smart Buildings” initiative.

From an environmental perspective, we fully support the recognition of the contribution of structural building materials with a high thermal mass as in the stipulation in the EPBD that thermal capacity should be considered when calculating the energy performance of a building. 

Furthermore, the proposal to assess buildings’ readiness to store energy and respond to the needs of the electricity grid, as part of a proposed “smartness indicator”, is welcomed. As indicated in a recently published study by 3E, commissioned by the Concrete Initiative, thermal mass in heavyweight buildings can provide this flexibility by allowing for consumer energy demand to be shifted in time (“active demand response”) by using structural thermal energy storage.  This could result in up to a 25% CO2 reduction per dwelling, up to 50% reduction in the need for peak electricity supply capacity and savings of up to €300 per household per year.

From a social point of view we fully agree that importance of indoor environments, and thus the health and wellbeing of occupants, also needs to be borne in mind in addition to environmental aspects.  It is also necessary to consider the benefits of making buildings more energy efficient to consumers, in particular those at risk of energy poverty.

From a financial perspective, it is clear that push towards more energy efficient buildings will require adequate financing.  As such, we welcome the Smart Finance for Smart Buildings initiative and its focus on improving access to public and private funds for energy efficiency investments.


More information
•   Renewable energy in buildings: Unleashing the potential of thermal mass for electricity grid flexibility
•   Thermal mass: The smart approach to energy performance
•   Energy efficient & low CO2 buildings with concrete

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Jessica JOHNSON, Communications Director
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