Energy performance in buildings – EcoXpert Podcast

This audio was created using Microsoft Azure Speech Services

In this episode of the EcoXpert – Enabling Buildings of the Future​ podcast myself and my two co-hosts, Kevin Morin and Dusan Janjic virtually meet with Jules Cordillot from Schneider Electric. Jules takes us through how the Energy Performance in Buildings Directive (EPBD) has been updated and what this means for both building owners and technology providers when it comes to energy management, control and monitoring of the system. We also get to learn about the European Green Deal and how this will affect the standards and designs of infrastructure in the future.

Representing Schneider Electric, Jules works with the European commission, parliament, and consulate of the EU to provide recommendations regarding Buildings of the Future and how we can move to fully decarbonize buildings, increase hyper-efficiency, among many other important things. The EU is adopting regulations and policies which impacts European cities.

Energy performance in buildings directive

Energy Performance in Buildings Directive - EcoXpert

For those unfamiliar with the EPBD, this directive is an EU legislation to set minimum standards in terms of energy performance in buildings. The new directive adopted in 2018 proposes a renovation strategy to accelerate the rate of renovation in Europe and the rollout of active energy efficiency solutions and smart technologies having an important impact on buildings. As the EU commission is looking more and more into the overall energy management in buildings along with the role of active energy efficiency solutions this new directive could be a game changer for the BMS world especially after proposing mandatory Building Automation Systems in all commercial buildings above a certain threshold, if economically and technically feasible according to member states. The 27 member states presented their national energy climate plans in early January 2020.

How can this be measured? Jules explains that a tool known as the Smart Readiness Indicator (SRI) will be used as a common framework to rate the ability of buildings to integrate ICT in the light of 3 main elements:

  1. Maintaining energy performance
  2. Improving the comfort of occupants
  3. Creating flexibility in regard to demand response, onsite renewables integration, and EV charging deployments

Use of the SRI is an incredible opportunity but does present a gray area because it only produces a qualitative assessment of the building’s smartness, not on the full performance. However, it is exciting to see how the SRI develops and how it will be adopted as a standard since it is already seen as a value to end-users.

The EPBD is seen as the first step moving towards fully decarbonizing buildings. Buildings represent around 36% of energy consumption in EU and more than 40% of EU emissions (not including embedded emissions from the construction sectors). The commission plans to review a lot of legislature and propose many initiatives and policy measures in the coming years. Even though these standards are currently only for the EU, we will hopefully see these regulations affect the way we look at buildings across the globe.

EPBD seen in EcoXpert

Dusan, who manages the Light & Room and Home & Small Business badges of the EcoXpert™ Partner Program is already able to see the regulations driving the business all the way down to residential buildings. As energy efficient buildings are not enough, we’re starting to think more about ultra-efficient buildings by accelerating electrification, reusing CO2 emissions, integrating on-site renewables, improving connections with the grid.

Kevin, shares that he has noticed many EcoXpert business partners in Critical Power looking to develop prescription activities with customers including how to adopt technology like ISO50001 to help deploy energy management. It’s interesting to see where this sort of regulation influence is driving from.

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