Energy Efficiency

Green building concept has important role in climate change adaptation, Belgrade conference conveys

Photo: Serbia Green Building Council

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September 27, 2017

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Published:

September 27, 2017

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Green building concept has important role in climate change adaptation, as buildings account for more than 30 percent of CO2 emissions in the world, the Going net zero conference, held today in Belgrade, was told. Serbia is committed to the sustainable development of housing and the improvement of energy efficiency, Serbian officials said at the gathering, adding that Serbia is currently in the process of adopting regulations and developing mechanisms that will enable this kind of development.

The Going net zero conference was organized in Belgrade by the Serbia Green Building Council (SrbGBC), a member of the World Green Building Council. This is the seventh time that the SrbGBC marks the World Green Building Week, an annual worldwide thematic event organized by the WorldGBC. This year’s theme is #OurHeroIsZero.

Worldwide, buildings account for 30 percent of total energy consumption, 35 percent of natural resources and 12 percent of drinking water consumption, and over 30 percent of CO2 emissions, Dragana Korica, the Serbia Green Building Council Executive Director, said.

“The climate change makes us think how to live today and how to survive tomorrow. The Council’s vision is to support green construction, improve energy efficiency and make efficient use of natural resources,” Korica said.

She pointed out that Serbia has enormous potential, and that its construction sector is developing, but that the measures should be taken to make this development sustainable.

Korica recalled that European regulations foresees that all new buildings are to be nearly zero-energy buildings (nZEB) by 2020, while by 2018 all new public buildings have to be nZEB.

Nearly zero-energy buildings need minimum energy which is produced from renewable energy sources, Nataša Ćurković Ignjatović, assistant professor at the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade, explained. She added that in Serbia, the first steps are taken in this field.

Harmonization with EU Construction Products Directive

Serbia is in the process of aligning with the EU laws in the field of construction products.

Jovanka Atanacković, Assistant Minister of Construction, Transportation and Infrastructure of Serbia, said that the law on construction products is under preparation, and that in this way the European directive will be transposed in Serbian legislation. The law will introduce requirements for construction materials in order to make buildings energy efficient and safe, she said.

She singled out the preservation and improvement of the housing stock through energy efficiency, environmental protection and conservation of natural resources as one of Serbia’s priorities.

This law is important for market stakeholders, as well as for green construction, Nina Vukosavljević from the Ministry of Construction, Transportation and Infrastructure said. She expressed hope that the law will be passed by the end of this year or early next year.

Seven requirements for products are proposed by the draft law, including mechanical resistance, efficient energy, low environmental and climate impact.

Plans for establishing Energy Efficiency Fund

In addition to the introduction of new standards in construction, Serbia faces challenge of rehabilitation of the housing stock, which is mostly in poor condition, and many buildings are not safe and energy efficient. The amended Law on Planning and Construction which introduced energy passports, as well as the Act on Housing and Maintenance of Buildings should help efforts in this field.

Serbia has been also working, in the consultations with the EU, on the creation of an Energy Efficiency Fund, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Mining and Energy Stevica Dedjanski said, adding that a meeting on this issue is scheduled for November.

“We expect as soon as the next year to have the fund in place… we hope that we will secure the funds from other sources of financing, too”, he said.

Bojan Bogdanović from Belgrade district heating company Beogradske elektrane, presented at the conference MOEEBIUS project for improving energy efficiency. The project is financed by the EU fund Horizon 2020. United Kingdom, Portugal and Serbia participate in the project aimed at monitoring and comparing energy users behavior and offering solutions for energy savings.

Serbia has proposed to test an ESCO model that implies only raising awareness of residents, Bogdanović said. He also said that an application has been developed to provide data and advice on energy consumption to the residents of Belgrade’s neighborhood Stepa Stepanović who participate in the project.

Bogdanović pointed out that the European Commission has been keen to enhance the use of ESCO and Demand-Response business models in the field of energy efficiency.

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