More than 400 of the leading passive experts in the Nordic countries are now gathered at the conference PassivhusNorden 2012.
Director from the Energy Efficiency Department at Enova SF Audhild Kvam from Enova stated that a lot has happened in the four years that have passed since the first Nordic passive house conference were arranged in Trondheim in 2008. There are more passive projects, and there are ambitions beyond passive house level, reflected Kvam.
Kvam opened the conference on behalf of the organizers, SINTEF, DiBK, NTNU, Lavenergiprogrammet and Husbanken
Participants in the conference represent a wide range of actors who work within the construction industry both in Norway and the other Nordic countries. Approximately one quarter of the participants belong outside Norway.
First out of the external speakers was EU MEP Fiona Hall, who for several years has fought for policy changes in terms of climate, building quality and energy efficiency in the European Parliament.
In her talk she picked up the diversity on how member states have followed the objectives and goals behind respectively renewables and energy efficiency directives. With a self-critical look Hall states that it takes longer than desired to improve the continent’s building stock, and she pointed out that the reason could be too vague, continued political ambitions in the area of energy efficiency.
- In retrospect, we see that the goals should be binding. It has been too easy for the individual countries politicians exploiting vague objectives, and be flexible in poorer solutions where this was appropriate for the individual government, including my own, she said.
Despite the more resistance than desirable by Fiona Hall’s standpoint, she was clear that the trend towards more climate-appropriate and energy efficient buildings will continue. 40 percent of energy use on the continent is linked to residential and commercial buildings, so the potential is huge for greenhouse gas reductions in the short and long term.
-It is important to recognize that it is a big challenge to do something with the existing buildings build in the last century in the various European countries. It needed both research and political will, which I look forward to discussing how the conference can be resolved, she said.
No details yet
The State Secretary at the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Government Dag Henrik Sandbakken talked about the situation in terms of climate proper construction, in a Norwegian context.
Sandbakken stated that the Ministry is in the process of firming the Norwegian targets on passive and near-zero energy building in relation to the future building codes, but he was not ready to disclose many details before the parliamentary process starts.
Sandbakken was positive that the building industry is proactive in terms of getting to market changes and development, and added that this was a good starting point for people who want change.
-We are not currently the best in the world when it comes to the number of passive houses, but we are well equipped to assert ourselves, said Sandbakken.
FutureBuilts Birgit Rusten closed the first session with a review of various model projects around Norway. Rusten stated that there are currently underway or completed approximately 25 projects with assistance from FutureBuilt, and the next few years should have experience of 25 new projects.
-There’s a lot going on, especially in the axis Oslo, Bærum, Drammen, she said.
Text: Arne Morten Johnsen, Enova. Photo: Birger Jensen, Husbanken