The Institute for Building Efficiency has recently issued a brief called; European Union: Cost Effective Energy Efficiency in Buildings. Among other things, the brief addresses an interesting issue between the implementation of energy efficiency at micro and macro level. In the executive summery it says:
“what is cost-optimal in terms of achieving energy and climate objectives may not be cost-optimal for an individual building owner seeking rapid economic return on investment in energy efficiency”.
In the conclusion it states that:
“Investing now can significantly reduce long-term costs; but short-term economic considerations and a variety of other barriers and factors keep investments from being made”.
There’s no denying that investments in energy efficiency has its initial costs and it takes a number of years for the payback to kick in. However, considering the costs involved in buying land and having an architect design a house, the extra costs involved should by far be outweighed by the advantages of living in a building that is much more comfortable and healthy than a conventional build.
Looking at architecture in the Costa del Sol area in Spain its surprising how little advantage is being taken of one obvious source of energy – namely the sun. Traditionally Spanish building pays little attention to energy efficiency and it’s a shame. Living on the Costa del Sol is a luxury in itself with one of the healthiest climates in the world. But it still gets chilly in winter and sometimes very hot in summer. Without adequately thought through designs, it takes massive amounts of energy to heat and cool these buildings, to the expense of the environment and the wallet of the inhabitants.
The brief quoted addresses the issue as a whole in the EU area, but especially here in Spain the gap between energy efficiency on a micro and a macro level is down to attitude. People need to be made aware of the massive advantages of living in a building, where energy efficiency has been applied in every aspect of the architectural design and not only offers a long term economical payback, but also an immediate payback though higher quality of life, a healthier indoor environment and obviously the benefit to the environment.
The brief can be read in its entirety here
Author: Pernille Lavgesen