Approximately one third of primary energy is consumed in non-industrial buildings such as dwellings, offices, hospitals, and schools where it is utilised for the heating and cooling, lighting and operation of appliances. In terms of the total energy end-use, this consumption is comparable to that used in the entire transport sector. Hence the building sector represents a major contribution to fossil fuel use and related carbon dioxide emissions. Following uncertainties in energy supply and concern over the risk of global warming, many countries have now introduced target values for reduced energy use in buildings. Overall, these are aimed at reducing energy consumption by between 5% and 30%. To achieve such a target, international cooperation, in which research activities and knowledge can be shared, is seen as an essential activity.
The IEA (International Energy Agency) Energy in Buildings and Community (EBC) Programme carries out research and development activities toward near-zero energy and carbon emissions in the built environment. These joint research projects are directed at energy saving technologies and activities that support technology application in practice. Results are also used in the formulation of international and national energy conservation policies and standards.
High Priority Research Themes
- Refurbishment of existing buildings: Finance, stakeholders and co-benefits
- Planning, construction and management process reducing the performance gap
- Low tech, robust and affordable technology
- Energy efficient cooling in hot and humid, or dry climates
- Holistic solution sets on a district level