Driving energy efficiency in residential housing
Göran Werner in our team in Sweden acts as a Co-ordinator to BeBo, an association of real estate owners and procurers of housing, helping this group make effective investment decisions to drive improved energy efficiency in residential housing.
Established in 1989, BeBo's objective is to improve energy efficiency and provide better indoor climate and economy for owners and end-users. Many of the members are municipality owned companies and there is close collaboration with the Swedish Energy Agency who allocated BeBo a budget of SEK 21m to use between 2009-12 on energy efficiency improving measures.
In the role of Co-ordinator, Goran reports to the Board of BeBo and helps them make the right choices in their investment. Some of the funds are being invested in understanding energy efficiency techniques in new buildings, such as the concepts of Passiv House and 'zero energy homes'.
However, the main focus is on current energy use in existing housing stock. Using the funds available, BeBo has started some demonstration projects to illustrate best practice to all members. Initiatives include using heat recovering ventilation systems; changing windows; and using different forms of insulation on roofs and walls to reflect different levels of external heat loss.
Funds are also being used to encourage manufacturers to produce more energy efficient household equipment and to then ensure members use the same, approved, equipment in their houses. Informing members of new techniques and how to use them and get the most from them, is a key part of our role.
The funds granted to BeBo, which WSP is managing, are available to co-ordinate initiatives, source required expertise and evaluate the success of different ideas. The demonstration projects now running are showing, in comparison to 'normal' renovations, that energy efficiency measures can reduce energy usage below the levels stated in new building codes.
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