Statement by Dr. Zuzanna Paciorkiewicz from DTZ in Go4Energy debate

How could ener­gy-sav­ing build­ing be com­bined with eco­nom­ic grounds and how to over­come obsta­cles faced by devel­op­ers? What solu­tions does the con­struc­tion sec­tor need and what Pol­ish gov­ern­ment and the devel­op­ers can do about it?


First­ly, ener­gy-sav­ing build­ing must be as func­tion­al and com­fort­able for users as tra­di­tion­al build­ing, or even maybe more com­fort­able.

The exist­ing prac­tice and expe­ri­ences from the com­mer­cial mar­ket in Poland show that grass-roots ini­tia­tives are the ones that work best. A good exam­ple of this is the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of com­mer­cial build­ings — with­out any incen­tives or orders of the gov­ern­ment, the mar­ket saw the need of “green cer­ti­fi­ca­tion”. This results from the need of mar­ket play­ers to build their com­pet­i­tive edge, as well as from the grow­ing aware­ness of the cus­tomers — lessees and oth­er users in this case. There­fore, in my opin­ion, the dri­ver is the user aware­ness, and thus the activ­i­ties of the gov­ern­ment, devel­op­ers, build­ing sec­tor should be direct­ed towards cre­at­ing this greater aware­ness. This will also cause a depar­ture from com­pet­ing with only price to com­pet­ing with qual­i­ty and envi­ron­men­tal impact. One of solu­tions also includes the life cycle costs analy­sis of real prop­er­ties, includ­ing in par­tic­u­lar applied solu­tions, sys­tem and equip­ment. Thanks to it, end users may be made aware of how the giv­en project will “behave” and what the result of pos­si­ble ini­tial sav­ings and choic­es made may be. Such changes are already occur­ring in oth­er sec­tors — for instance, home appli­ances, where the cus­tomers are look­ing at long-term costs of use and not only at the pur­chase price.


The Pol­ish gov­ern­ment should also pro­mote, by appro­pri­ate reg­u­la­tions, the desired atti­tudes — the point is to make pub­lic admin­is­tra­tion a dri­ver of changes, like it was in the case of the UK, where pub­lic build­ings were the first to under­go such changes. I would cer­tain­ly rec­om­mend avoid­ing a pre­scrip­tive approach and sanc­tions in form of addi­tion­al tax­a­tion of real prop­er­ties which are less ener­gy-effi­cient.


What will be the con­se­quences of the direc­tives of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and the Coun­cil and how to adapt our coun­try to EU ener­gy effi­cien­cy pol­i­cy?


What awaits the con­struc­tion sec­tor with rela­tion to the upcom­ing changes and what will the con­struc­tion ser­vices sec­tor look like after 2020?


Prices of designs will rise, as well as prices of exist­ing build­ings which leave it to their own­ers, unless restric­tions, tax­es and oth­er per­se­cu­tions are imposed on them too — all that in case of res­i­den­tial build­ings. I am afraid that until that time, there will be no inven­tions that would allow to main­tain a high liv­ing com­fort (indi­vid­ual pref­er­ences of peo­ple — pas­sive build­ings lim­it the pos­si­bil­i­ty of open­ing win­dows, as they have forced mechan­i­cal ven­ti­la­tion) with the zero ener­gy regime.


As a para­dox, if the share of renew­able ener­gy increas­es, for instance to 100%, why build­ings should be zero-ener­gy?


Here too, economies of the south are indi­rect­ly pro­mot­ed at the expense of economies of the north — due to cli­mat­ic con­di­tions.


In case of sin­gle-fam­i­ly build­ing, this may be a fic­tion, as build­ings will be zero-ener­gy only on paper, and in real­i­ty, it will be the same as with ener­gy cer­tifi­cates. Things will be look­ing dif­fer­ent in case of com­mer­cial build­ings, where eco­nom­ic aspects pre­vail and where all this has more sense.


Zuzan­na Paciorkiewicz, Ph.D., DTZ Direc­tor, Prop­er­ty Man­age­ment Busi­ness Space


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