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Energy efficiency requirements in building codes, energy efficiency policies for new buildings

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Extract: "The aim of this paper is to describe and analyse current approaches to encourage energy efficiency in building codes for new buildings. Based on this analysis the paper enumerates policy recommendations for enhancing how energy efficiency is addressed in building codes and other policies for new buildings. This paper forms part of the IEA work for the G8 Gleneagles Plan of Action. These recommendations reflect the study of different policy options for increasing energy efficiency in new buildings and examination of other energy efficiency requirements in standards or building codes, such as energy efficiency requirements by major renovation or refurbishment. In many countries, energy efficiency of buildings falls under the jurisdiction of the federal states. Different standards cover different regions or climatic conditions and different types of buildings, such as residential or simple buildings, commercial buildings and more complicated high-rise buildings. There are many different building codes in the world and the intention of this paper is not to cover all codes on each level in all countries. Instead, the paper details different regions of the world and different ways of standards. In this paper we also evaluate good practices based on local traditions. This project does not seek to identify one best practice amongst the building codes and standards. Instead, different types of codes and different parts of the regulation have been illustrated together with examples on how they have been successfully addressed. To complement this discussion of efficiency standards, this study illustrates how energy efficiency can be improved through such initiatives as efficiency labelling or certification, very best practice buildings with extremely low- or no-energy consumption and other policies to raise buildings’ energy efficiency beyond minimum requirements. When referring to the energy saving potentials for buildings, this study uses the analysis of recent IEA publications, including the World Energy Outlook 2006 (WEO) and Energy Technology Perspective (ETP). Here, we based the estimates of potentials on the scenarios presented, in particular on the predictions of consumption in the residential and commercial sectors in the WEO 2006. Finally, this paper recommends policies which could be used to realise these large and feasible energy saving potentials in new buildings, and the use of building codes by renovation or refurbishment. The paper addresses as well experts as policy makers and interest groups with particular interest in energy efficiency in new buildings. Some parts might hence seem simplified and known for some experts, such as the discussions on barriers or the climatic impact on efficiency. Other parts might on the other hand seem a little technical for the policy oriented reader or for some interest groups. But there are large and compelling opportunities, this is recognised by many experts as well as there is a will to act by many policymakers and governments. But still too little happen because there are barriers and low understanding also in the institutional parts or little communications between different layers of the implementation process. The paper hence aims to bridge these gabs by addressing several different groups at the same time. So hopefully the reader will accept these inconveniences."