The mission of the IEA Energy in Buildings and Communities Programme is: ‘To facilitate and accelerate the introduction of energy conservation and environmentally sustainable technologies into healthy buildings and community systems, through innovation and research in decision making, building assemblies and systems, and commercialisation’.
In recognition of the significance of energy use in buildings, in 1977 the International Energy Agency has established an Implementing Agreement on Energy in Buildings and Communities (EBC-formerly known as ECBCS). The function of EBC is to undertake research and provide an international focus for building energy efficiency. Tasks are undertaken through a series of ‘Annexes’, so called because they are legally established as annexes to the EBC Implementing Agreement.
These Annexes 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.
The EBC website (www.iea-ebc.org), for example, provides links to associated research organizations. Participants in each project are frequently associated with non IEA activities and can thus ensure a good crossfertilization of knowledge about independent activities. Information exchange additionally takes place through regular technical presentation sessions and ‘Future Buildings Forum’ workshops. Information on independent activities is also exchanged through the EBC newsletter which carries regular reports of energy policy development and research activities taking place in various countries.