Energy Performance Certification and Green Building: A comparison between the Environmental Effect and the discharge of Carbon Dioxide

The major climatic problem has been worsening extremely rapidly over the last decades and if no measures are taken soon, we will experience severe consequences over the years to come. It is therefore imperative to take instant actions to slow down the climatic changes that are also causing crucial health problems in different parts of the planet.

The basis of this study is that both Energy Performance Certification (EPC), and Green Building (GB) aim to reduce carbon dioxide emission within the building sector which accounts for more than 40% of the total energy use both locally and globally.

This study discusses and compares the environmental impacts made by Green Building and Energy Performance Certification in order to evaluate how different or similar they are in terms of energy performance efficiency of buildings.

In order to accumulate as much facts and resources possible, research was done to find reliable internet sources and relevant books which took approximately two weeks. The rest of the ten weeks that were assigned for this project were spent writing this thesis while taking practical part in an Energy Performance Certification process and evaluation.

There are three questions that this thesis is aimed to answer, which are:
– How is Energy Performance Certification beneficial for our community welfare?
– Why should owners/occupiers choose to transform their houses/buildings to Green Building certified constructions?
– Is there a way of combining Energy Performance Certification with Green Building?

There are many benefits that our Swedish and European Community can gain from applying Energy Performance Certification of building according to the Directive, including reducing carbon dioxide emission and introducing alternative and renewable sources of energy.

As to whether GB is better than EPC or vice versa, there is ultimately a very fine line that divides the two. When comparing new constructions of EPC with new constructions of GB the only benefits that can be gained from GB are firstly that the buildings are guaranteed to be completely environmental friendly, and secondly that the owner/occupier may choose between four different levels of certifications. Other than that, they both have many similar beneficial factors which make it difficult to a state if one of them is better than the other.

Lastly, it is very possible to combine the two into one complete standard, but only for new constructions. The energy performance of old existing buildings is much more difficult to improve due to e.g. the high costs involved or the cultural value of the constructions.

Nevertheless, this may very well change in the further future when the rapidly improving technology within the building sector will hopefully contribute to finding cost- and energy-efficient solutions for existing buildings that will consequently contribute to GB and EPC being able to combine their regulations and make one single standard that can be applied in all the Member States, or if possible in the entire European Union Community.
Source: Linköping University
Author: Oraha Wardi, Reta

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