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How does sustainable renovation of buildings impact life quality?

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*Romania Green Building Council and the leaders of change in the Build Upon project launch the recommendations for the updated version of the National Renovation Strategy in Romania

Following the European project BUILD UPON, Romania Green Building Council launches a set of 10 recommendations for Romania’s new National Renovation Strategy, that the Romanian Government should present to the European Commission by end of April 2017. Assuming an ambitious building renovation strategy by the Romanian Government would benefit Romanians with significant economic, social, health and environmental benefits.

The 10 recommendations on which the National Renovation Strategy must focus address the following issues:

  1. Treating Safety and Health in buildings as main parameters of measuring the quality of life, by:

    • eliminating people's exposure to toxic materials

    • respect comfort parameters regarding temperature, humidity, oxygen and air quality

    • improve fire safety

    • ensure building resistance in case of earthquake

  2. Ensuring renovation works quality and creating defined legislation, stronger building codes and clear rules and precise criteria for energy efficient / green renovations.

  3. Creating a public, independent, non-political body to test building materials compliance with the technical specification sheet

  4. Supporting vulnerable citizens to energy poverty, by prioritizing costs reductions through energy, repair and health savings,

  5. Incentives from the government for deep green renovations in the private sector.

  6. Launching innovative financial tools, such as supporting green loans and green mortgages and mobilizing private funds, mobilizing private funds, by creating a legal frame for Energy Service Companies (ESCOs)

  7. Introduction of "circular economy" concept and requesting analysis over the entire life cycle of buildings.

  8. Investing public funds in exemplary projects and implementing the highest standards for renovation of public buildings, making them examples of best practices that can be replicated.

  9. Conducting national and local communication campaigns, to raise awareness about deep green renovation

  10. An inter-Ministerial, interdisciplinary and holistic approach of the issue, in line with the Sustainable Development, Climate Change strategy, the new National Energy Strategy of Romania, as well as partnerships at national and European level.

”The recommendations following the BUILD UPON project come to encourage an ambitious commitment of the Romanian Government. Implementing the 10 recommendations would help market transformation, together with number of significant benefits, from reducing energy poverty, to increasing the quality of life, sustainable devolvement, the transition to a eco circular economy, to ensuring energy safety and helping the transition to Net Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs)”, Monica Ardeleanu, RoGBC Executive Director and Project Manager for BUILD UPON.

BUILD UPON: “Co-creating Europe’s National Renovation Strategies”, a European project run by 13 Green Building Councils in Europe, is aimed at helping European countries design and implement strong, long-term national strategies for the renovation of their buildings. The project defined a set of recommendations for each country involved, as to help reach significant social benefits for European citizens: health benefits, safety, increased quality of living, affordable housing, sustainable development, new jobs, innovation, preservation of cultural patrimony, and social inclusion for current and future generations. The project enabled a series of public consultations involving more than 2000 stakeholders and organisations interested in sustainable building renovation and issued a set of recommendations for the national renovation strategies of countries involved.

Romanian Green Building Council represented Romania in the project and lead the public consultation events consisting of 10 consultation sessions, in 7 cities in 6 regions of Romania, getting engaged more than 350 stakeholders – Government officials and central and local authorities, business and academic environment representatives, professional associations, NGOs, residential landlords’ associations and other members of the civil society.

The consultation process lead to the general confirmation that extended renovation1 should be Romania’s objective in the next 3 years. In the new version of the strategy, Romania must choose the renovation scenario it intends to implement. Stakeholders RoGBC consulted agreed that Romania should implement the “Deep market transformation scenario”2.

Romania’s national renovation strategy should go beyond basic measures for energy efficiency as to ensure massive and sustainable renovation works, while considering safety, health and comfort as main parameters for measuring the quality of life.

“Romanians are often faced with residences and buildings that don’t provide them with the safety, comfort, pleasing aesthetics, quality, and value they deserve. Given the extensive and personal interaction we have with our buildings every day - buildings in which we live, rest, work, study, play and spend more than 80% of our time - a significant improvement to our country’s structures can dramatically improve the quality of people's lives.

The biggest challenge, acknowledged even within the consulted community is drawing up an effective implementation plan with concrete measures and actions to achieve the target of extensive major renovation. The organizations were part of these consultations, are committed to supporting the Romanian government in the strategy’s development and implementation.

We are all responsible for transforming the built environment into a better place to live and we must assume this responsibility. The Government may set a direction through this strategy, but all other stakeholders should contribute for its effective implementation", stated Monica Ardeleanu, RoGBC Executive Director and BUILD UPON Project Manager.

"The National Energy Strategy’s objectives come to support the Deep market transformation scenario from the National Strategy for Restoration. If we consider the residential area that needs to be rehabilitated by 2030, as required by the most ambitious of the National Energy Strategy’s proposed scenarios, a surface of approx. 100 million square meters, we see that the project recommendations BUILD UPON become clear, " said Serban Danciu Manager for Romania at the Building Performance Institute Europe – BPIE.

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The National Renovation Strategy (also called “The strategy for mobilizing investments for the national, public and private, residential and commercial buildings renovation fund” in Romania) was initially presented in 2014, with April 30th, 2017 being the deadline when EU countries’ governments must present an updated version. http://buildupon.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Romanian-National-Renovation-Strategy.pdf

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BUILD UPON is the largest collaborative project in the world on the topic of building renovation. It brought together approx. 2000 organizations from 13 countries, who gathered at over 80 events during 2016 - 2017. This project aims to create a revolution of renovations throughout Europe, helping countries to deliver strategies for renovating existing buildings by 30 April 2017. These strategies are critical to reducing the energy consumption of Europe, climate change mitigation and to create buildings that provide a high quality of life for everyone. BUILD UPON is a European project funded though the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research program.

International Context

As a member of the United Nations and the European Union, Romania must strive to limit global warming to 2° C by the end of the century, according Paris COP21 agreement.

At European level, buildings account for more than 36% of CO2 emissions, one of the main causes low energy efficiency. Thus, improving the energy performance of buildings would significantly contribute to achieving the EU targets of 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and 27% of energy consumption in the EU package on the 2030 energy and climate pointer.

 

 

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