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EU issues ‘smart’ construction rules

European Union

The EU has issued a new directive designed to make buildings smarter and more energy efficient.

The European Parliament approved the new rules saying that they will save money and create jobs within the sector.

The changes to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive are designed create efficiency gains in the building sector, by introducing smart technology at the construction stage.

Vice-president responsible for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič said: “By renovating and making our buildings in Europe smarter, we are attaining several simultaneous objectives: lower energy bills, better health, protection of the environment and reduction of our emissions in the EU, given that over a third of these are produced by buildings.

“And as technology has blurred the distinction between sectors, we are also establishing a link between buildings and e-mobility infrastructure, and helping stabilize the electricity grid. Another building block of the Energy Union has been laid today, let us continue ahead.”

The new directive includes measures such as the use of smart technologies to ensure buildings operate efficiently via increased automation and control systems.

Smart readiness indicators will also be rolled out to measure a building’s capacity to take on emerging technologies, optimise its operation and interact with the grid.

The overall aim of the measures is to create a zero-emission building stock in the EU by 2050 underpinned by national roadmaps to ‘decarbonise’ buildings.

Commissioner for climate action and energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “This is the first final agreement on a proposal of the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package, a signal that we are on the right track and we will deliver on our pledge made at the beginning of the mandate.

“Our ambitious commitment to clean energy in Europe and the Paris Agreement will be made a reality by laws like the one voted today: the revised buildings directive will help create local jobs, save consumers money and improve Europeans’ quality of life.

“It will also help combat energy poverty by reducing the energy bills of older buildings which will be renovated.”

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