From 2021, all newly built buildings will have to have nearly zero energy consumption (Efficient Romania)

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Since 2021, the new buildings in Romania, like in the rest of the European Union, will have to have almost zero energy consumption, largely provided by renewable energy sources, but also by a high degree of energy efficiency. In particular, buildings for which reception on completion of works is subject to a building permit issued from 31 December 2020 must comply with the nZEB standard. For public buildings, this obligation has already been in place since the end of 2018.

The end of the year brings a major change in the sector of new private buildings, whether we are talking about individual houses, multi-family buildings, office buildings or other types of spaces, underlines Efficient Romania in a press release.

Simply put, in a building with nearly zero energy consumption, “without any loss of thermal comfort, the amount of energy required to be consumed in the building is at least 60% less than a typical building, and a significant proportion of the energy consumption must come from renewable sources (photovoltaic or wind energy), heat pumps or thermal agent from the centralized heating system, in order to make it more efficient and decarbonized”, explains Radu Dudău, Director of Energy Policy Group (EPG) and coordinator of the project Efficient Romania.

In national legislation, the nearly zero energy building is a “building with a very high energy performance, where the energy demand for ensuring energy performance is almost zero or very low and is at least 30% covered by energy from renewable sources, including energy from renewable sources produced on site or nearby, within a radius of 30 km from the GPS coordinates of the building, starting in 2021.”

Energy performance means energy needs to meet the needs of normal building use – requirements that mainly include heating, domestic hot water, cooling, ventilation and lighting. For the periods 2031-2040, 2041-2050 and after 2051, the mandatory percentage of energy from renewable sources will be determined by government decision.

At the same time, mayors of municipalities with more than 5.000 inhabitants must draw up multi-annual local plans to increase the number of new and existing buildings with nearly zero energy consumption, where differentiated targets can be included according to climate zones and building functions.

“Renovation of old buildings to bring them to the nZEB standard is crucial, because they represent the largest part of the real estate stock, and most of them will be in use in 2050. In Romania, the extensive renovation is even more important, given that most of the buildings are old and in a much more precarious condition than in Western Europe”, adds Radu Dudău.

The construction sector will have to adapt quickly to new challenges, confronted with insufficient experience and human resources at the moment. “It’s an area where we need to train skills, qualified staff – be it designers, architects, engineers, workers, etc. So it’s an area that needs training and investment, but that can absorb a lot of labor. There will be large European funds available for education, qualification or professional retraining programs in this field”, concluded the coordinator of the project Efficient Romania.

About Efficient Romania

Efficient Romania is a private project of national public interest, carried out by the Energy Policy Group (EPG), in partnership with OMV Petrom, to run until 2022.

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