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Slovaks are slowly beginning to address energy performance in building design

RISING energy prices and concern about the fate of the planet are affecting the real estate market. Users of real estate, whether residential, office or industrial space, are trying to reduce energy consumption by better use of insulation; and builders of new developments are using the latest technologies and materials as well as new designs to cut heating bills while keeping or even increasing the comfort of the properties themselves. The idea of low-energy or passive houses is not yet widespread in Slovakia but increasingly stringent standards set by law for new buildings, as well as rising energy prices, offer real hope that such properties will become more common in Slovakia despite their higher initial cost.

Buildings account for 40 percent of the European Union’s energy use and a third of its greenhouse gas emissions. To address this issue and improve the energy efficiency of buildings the European Union has adopted ambitious directives on reduced energy consumption and improved energy performance for buildings. It is requiring that all new buildings must be nearly zero-energy, i.e. have very high energy performance, by December 31, 2020. Member states are also expected to stimulate the transformation of buildings which are refurbished into nearly zero-energy buildings.

But as architect Darina Lalikova wrote in Eurostav magazine in September, energy consumption in many Slovak buildings is still very high.

“Even though the need to reduce the energy consumption of buildings of all kinds has been stressed for some years, buildings are still being designed and built in Slovakia usually with a very traditional energy concept,” Lalikova writes. “Interesting energy concepts for buildings which use not only technologies and materials but especially the wit and creativity of architects and designers to reduce the energy [consumption] of buildings are few and far between, especially when compared with abroad.”

The experience of sellers of residential real estate

Higher energy bills have made residential real estate with lower energy consumption more attractive to buyers. But while they often ask how much they will pay for energy in their new homes, buyers still tend to prefer traditional real estate.

“Slovak clients are conservative,” Daniela Danihel Razova, director of real estate agency Bond Reality, told The Slovak Spectator, adding that…viac…


Zdroj: Business Focus, November 1-7, 2010

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