The Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE).

BPIE is a not-for-profit think tank with a focus on independent analysis and knowledge dissemination, supporting evidence-based policy making in the field of energy performance in buildings.

A centre of expertise on all aspects of energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy performance of European buildings, the Institute focuses on policy analysis and advice and shares knowledge through studies, policy briefs, presentations and events. BPIE is promoting best practice approaches to improve the energy performance of buildings.

BPIE’s goal is to make a sustainable and low carbon built environment a reality in Europe. The cost-effective potential to reduce energy consumption and associated CO2 emissions has been estimated in many studies to be between 70 and 90% by 2050, using known technologies. The challenge lies in creating and implementing a policy and investment framework that delivers the potential, as well as the many other societal benefits that are linked to well-performing buildings.

BPIE supports a multifaceted approach to achieve efficiency improvements and to integrate renewable energy in buildings, and promotes regulatory measures and financial incentives that lead to the construction of net-zero or plus-energy buildings and the renovation of existing buildings to comparable levels. The focus of work is on ensuring the effective implementation of the 2010 EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and the 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive (EED); as well as the financing and delivery of energy efficiency retrofits to existing buildings.

BPIE also supports evidence-based policy making by providing data and knowledge through its reports, as well as partnering in several European projects.

Europe aims for a nearly-Zero Energy Building standard (nZEB) by 2020. BPIE’s research supports the development and implementation of such a standard, alongside monitoring the legislative progress and support programmes in the EU. The next milestone includes positive energy buildings (PEBs), which produce more energy than they need, playing a crucial role in speeding up the integration of renewable energy systems and turning buildings into energy sources.

The 2012 Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) furthered the importance of ensuring that a new construction continually improves its energy performance.

The EPBD for new buildings require nearly Zero-Energy Buildings by 2019 for public buildings (2021 for all buildings), as well as that the concept of cost optimality be integrated into building codes.

Moving towards nZEBs will ensure the highest levels of energy efficiency, with the rest of the energy requirements coming, as much as possible, from renewable energy. The EPBD contains the requirement for Member States to ensure that minimum energy performance standards for buildings and building elements are set “with a view to achieving cost-optimal levels”. While it does not require a harmonisation of the different Member State performance requirements (i.e. EU-wide performance requirements), it works to streamline the levels of ambition through benchmarking existing performance requirements against a common approach to standard setting.

BPIE was also part of EU consortia of the ZEBRA2020 project working on tracking the market transition to nZEBs. The goal was to derive recommendations and strategies for the building industry and policy makers and to accelerate the market uptake of nZEBs.

BPIE was part of the ENTRANZE project, actively supporting EU policy makers preparing for the era of nearly Zero-Energy Buildings.

Original info by BPIE

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