May 12, 2015
by Wolfgang Pfefferkorn (CIPRA)

Service was the key success factor

MountEE project reflection by Wolfgang Pfefferkorn (CIPRA International and Leader of the project)
Kickoff-meeting of the MountEE-project in 2012.

Kickoff-meeting of the MountEE-project in 2012.

After three years of very successful work and collaboration between all project partners and stakeholders of the building chain in the six partner regions from Northern Sweden to the Pyrenees, the MountEE project came to an end in April 2015. Now it’s the time for a short conclusion on the project results:

The MountEE project has shown that sustainable construction and renovation in different climate zones, from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean Sea is possible. Almost 30 pilot buildings including the new town hall in the Swedish city of Kiruna, the office building of the National Park in the French municipality of Olette and a school in the Italian municipality of Sagrado have been realized.

The key to success was the service package from Vorarlberg (Austria) which was improved in the context of the MountEE project and transferred to the partners´ regions. In this service package experts provide advice and support from first concepts to the construction in the fields of energy, ecological building, procurement and quality control, and building management. The services offered have been adapted to local needs in the different regions. Continuous exchanges between the principals and the experts helped to further improve the services offered.

The Local Authority Service Package for Sustainable Construction comprises five modules. From the free kick-off counselling session to the implementation and follow-up stages, local authorities and environmental consultants receive advice in the fields of energy, ecological construction, procurement and quality assurance. A combination of intelligent planning, optimised building envelope, and efficient and continually monitored heating and ventilation systems delivers up to 80 percent savings in energy and running costs.

But it’s not only the service package and the realized pilot buildings, I personally have the impression that the topic of sustainable construction and renovation has been brought to a higher level of acceptance in the last three years, also due to other projects operating in this field. When we organized transfer activities like workshops, dialogue events or study trips, participants like mayors, officers on local level, stakeholders from the building chain, etc. were very interested on the topic and motivated to start their own implementation work.

With our project results they now get the knowledge to start, and avoid making the same mistakes others have already run through, again.

Finally let me mention some lessons learned:

  • Mountain municipalities can overcome the challenge of sustainable construction and renovation, they are able but they need guidance (e.g. Service Package).
  • Renovation is the big issue of the future, because nearly each municipality has an inefficient building stock.
  • Decision makers who are not yet convinced, can be convinced with cost analyses showing that their buildings are getting cheaper and cheaper over their lifetime.
  • Bringing all involved parties like architects, energy manager, building owners, handicrafts men together in regional platforms when planning a sustainable project helps a lot to resolve doubts or problems at early stage and during the building process.
Wolfgang Pfefferkorn (CIPRA)

Wolfgang Pfefferkorn (CIPRA)

Wolfgang Pfeffekorn works at CIPRA International as the project leader

April 3, 2015
by Apolline Faure

Beyond energy efficiency : the use of environmentally friendly materials

Within MountEE, the Regional Natural Park of Pyrénées catalanes has organized in march a workshop on eco-materials. The goal of this workshop was to focus on the other dimension of sustainable building, beyond energy efficiency.
But what are eco-materials? What are their benefits, how to use them in our territory and do we have local chains of supply?

About forty stakeholders participated to the workshop, and among them were several craftsmen.20150316_155947
A first presentation focused on the definition of environmentally friendly materials, and on their social and economic benefits, beyond environmental efficiency: life cycle cost, creation of local jobs, comfort, etc. On the environmental scale, it is easier to define some criteria to evaluate the efficiency of these materials, and this information can be obtained on several national websites (INIES, PEP ecopassport…), but it is not simple to choose the “right” material. Indeed, much of these data are made by self-report and are not controlled.

Jacques Anglade, a wood structural engineer, presented some of its realisations, to prove that it is possible and easy to use a environmentally friendly material plenty available in our territory : wood. 011

The discussion then focused on the local use of eco-materials. The issues of availability (it is not always easy to find ecological materials locally, even wood), price (professionals’ inexperience and lack of request could artificially lead to price increase), robustness (a environmentally friendly material is as robust as a classic one, and even more efficient), the link between project elaboration and local availability (need to adapt projects to what is available on the territory to integrate local resource use) have been discussed. Most of the people present has agreed that training courses, within the territory, dedicated to craftsmen and focused on eco-material were mandatory to train them on these specific eco processes.

The specific case of public projects was highly debated as, compared to the private ones, they must respect additional rules like public market and fire risk ones. 20150316_144806

Sustainable projects remain today a compromise between several variables (price, safety, willing, availability, know-how) and, if the ideal solution is not (yet) known, the expérimentation through various projects like MountEE paves the way for the furture.

Au-delà de l’efficacité énergétique : l’utilisation d’éco-matériaux

Dans le cadre du programme européen MountEE, le Parc naturel régional des Pyrénées catalanes a organisé à la mi-mars un atelier d’échanges et de réflexions sur les éco-matériaux.

L’idée était de se pencher sur l’autre dimension de la construction durable, au-delà de la performance énergétique.
Mais que sont ces éco-matériaux ? Quels sont leurs avantages ? Comment les utiliser au sein du territoire et existe-t-il des filières locales ?

Une quarantaine d’acteurs du territoire, dont plusieurs professionnels, étaient présents pour discuter de ces questions.
Une première présentation a permis de mieux définir le concept de matériaux écologiques, qui en plus d’avoir des performances environnementales, peuvent également avoir un impact positif sur les sphères économiques et sociales : coût global, création d’emploi, confort d’utilisation, … Sur le plan environnemental, même si les critères d’évaluation sont plus faciles à définir, et qu’ils peuvent être obtenues sur de nombreuses plates-formes d’information (INIES, PEP ecopassport…), il n’est pas toujours facile de choisir le « bon » matériau. En effet, la majorité des données sont issues d’auto-déclaration et ne sont pas contrôlées.

Afin de montrer ce qu’il est possible de faire avec un éco-matériau facilement utilisable et présent localement : le bois, Jacques Anglade, ingénieur structure, a présenté plusieurs de ses réalisations.

Le débat s’est ensuite intéressé à l’utilisation des éco-matériaux en local, dans le territoire du Parc. Les questions de ressources (il n’est pas toujours facile de trouver des matériaux écologiques en local, même quand il s’agit du bois), de prix (la demande encore mesurée et l’inexpérience des professionnels peuvent gonfler artificiellement les prix), de durabilité (un éco-matériau est aussi durable qu’un matériau classique, et est même plus performant), de corrélation entre la conception des projets et la disponibilité locale (il faudrait adapter les projets à ce qui est disponible dans le territoire afin de favoriser l’utilisation des ressources locales) ont été débattues. La majorité des personnes présente s’est accordé à dire qu’il était nécessaire de mettre en œuvre des formations au sein du territoire, afin de faire connaître aux artisans ces éco-matériaux, et afin de leur apprendre les techniques pour les utiliser.

La particularité des projets de construction publique, qui doivent respecter plus de règles que les projets privés, notamment en termes de respect de mise en concurrence (règle des marchés publics) et de normes incendie a été longuement débattue.

La construction durable reste aujourd’hui un compromis entre de nombreuses variables (prix, sécurité, volonté, disponibilité, savoir-faire), et si la solution idéale n’existe pas (encore), l’expérimentation au travers de différents projets, notamment dans le cadre de MountEE, fait avancer les choses.

March 25, 2015
by Jakob Ebner

MountEE results from Dalarna, Sweden

During three years MountEE has been working with municipalities in the region of Dalarna in Sweden. Did we learn anything new? YES, we did! Some results were surprising, others emphasize what we already knew. Here some results:

1) There are big differences between municipalities: Bigger municipalities and municipalities that are used to build energy efficient buildings seem to achieve sustainable buildings at lower costs than others. We were surprised by the big capacity differences and are now working to establish an advisory service for smaller municipalities. A builder-network for smaller municipalities has been established.

2) It is no problem to build 30-40% below national energy requirements. Even smaller municipalities could without major problems and major extra costs build public buildings considerably below national requirements of 100 kwh/m2. An energy standard of 70 kwh/m2 is now being generally accepted by the building chain in Dalarna.

3) The region has competence to build nearly zero energy buildings! The region has manufacturers and enterprises capable of constructing buildings with very low energy emissions and high air thightness. The knowledge and skills exist in the region, dissemination and making it mainstream is the challenge for the future.

4) Assessment tools are needed! The pilots showed that municipalities quickly can build up competence. However competence is not institutionalized and is easily lost when key persons change their working place.  We fully support the CESBA initiative and will in the years to come promote the regional use of a Swedish assessment tool.

5) More focus on emission free building materials. The region is doing fairly well on energy efficient buildings but has focused too little on building material.  The next step is to promote emission friendly building materials such as wooden constructions and cellulose based insulation material. The use of certification criteria and newly developed systems for LCA-comparisons between building materials will be useful.

6) Use pilots for training! We have found that discussing pilots and the choices they made during construction process was a very engaging way to discuss key building issues with the regional stakeholdes of the building chain. We will use this set up in future trainings.

In general terms we are very happy with the MountEE results. We found new knowledge, initiated new processes in the building chain and got valuable international contacts. Thank you all for the good colaboration!

Comparison of performance and building costs of three MountEE-pilots in Dalarna:


March 9, 2015
by Jakob Dietachmair (CIPRA)

Last Partner-Meeting in Polcenigo/Italy

Last week the members of the MountEE-Team travelled from Sweden, France (Pyrenees and Alps), Germany and Austria to the small village of Polcenigo/Italy for the last partner meeting. The first day started with a very interesting input from stakeholders working in the field of sustainable construction. Especially the ITACA-Protocol and the CESBA-Initiative are very interesting ones:


The Protocol ITACA is a tool for the certification of the level of environmental sustainability of buildings of different uses. It is ‘promoted by Italian regions and managed by a specific committee with representatives of the regions and participation of association iiSBE Italy and ITC-CNR. The protocol is based on SBMethod, chosen in 2002 as a reference by the Italian regions. We’ve already had an article on this tool in the Blog, for more information click here.


CESBA (Common European Sustainable Building Assessment) is an initiative for promoting the European wide harmonization of sustainable building assessments for public buildings. The inducement of CESBA is the perception of the variety of sustainable building certification systems in European regions and the need to find a common framework for building assessments. For more information please click here


During the partner meeting, we closed the work packages and had a reflection session on the MountEE project. Seen from our perspective the cooperation was very fruitful, and the consortium is proud to have realized more pilot buildings than planned (35 pilot buildings). Nevertheless 3 years is not much time in the field of sustainable construction and renovation and there is much left to do, due to the building stock in European countries. Therefore a follow-up project continuing seamlessly would make a lot of sense.


There are still lots of political decision makers, architects or construction companies hanging on the status quo regarding the construction or renovation of houses (public and private ones). This is to say it in short: quick, cheap, short-sighted. We’ve collected some recommendations for different target groups why sustainable construction and renovation is much more effective in the long term and how they can start the process (regulations, measures):


Decision makers on national level

  • Building owners have to have mandatory consultancy
  • Implement laws for
  • Quantitative objectives regarding energy demand for every new construction/renovation project
  • Use of certain percentage of local and ecological construction materials
  • Restriction of freestanding family houses
  • Implement a bonus-malus system for sustainable construction
  • Focus on the renovation of existing building stock instead of new construction

Decision makers at regional/local level

  • Energy efficient buildings are allowed to consume more space
  • Every political decision maker has to attend a study trip at least once a year to see what other regions are doing
  • Calculate how much money is spent on energy consumption by each member of the community and how much money can be saved
  • Awareness raising measures


  •  Think global at the long term
  • Good publicity for your business
  • Ethic view on architecture
  • Health issues (quality of life)
  • More subsidies when building green
  • New and emerging market

Construction Companies

  • Adapt now or you want access the market anymore
  • Sustainable construction is an EU-directive, so adapt now before you get forced
  • Once learned it’s as easy as “conventional construction”
  • Health reasons (eco-products better for employees)
  • Ecological renovation is a huge market you can gain access to

What do you think? Which more arguments can convince the above mentioned target groups too? I’m looking forward to read your arguments!

February 24, 2015
by Wolfgang Mehl (Nenet)

The “CRYSTAL”, Kiruna´s new town hall: a lighthouse project for the city transformation

The new Kiruna Town Hall is a lighthouse project within the comprehensive city transformation due to extended mining areas. In the coming 20-25 years, the mining will affect approximately 2 500 apartments as well as approximately 200 000 square meters of commercial, office, school and health care premises.

Kiruna Municipality is moving the existing city hall and surrounding buildings, because of the effect of the excavations on the city’s underground. A total of 2,500 flats and 200,000 m2 of commercial, office, school and healthcare buildings will have tNyastadshus_webbildo be moved by 2035. The city hall is the first large building to be affected by the excavations. Thus, the new city hall becomes the starting signal for the new city center in Kiruna. According to plans, it is to be inaugurated in 2016.

The City of Kiruna aims at becoming a sustainable city taking care of all dimensions of sustainability. Due to the harsh mountain climate, energy efficient buildings are an important part in that. The Town Hall will be a meeting point for citizens as well as the place for decision making, and it shall – like the former Town Hall – become a national recognized example for Northern sustainable building architecture.

Based on MountEE criteria for pilot projects, the call for bids for the Town Hall included as targets and criteria in terms of sustainability
– Recycling of parts of the old City Hall
– Target level: at least -50% reduced energy demand compared to building code
– Low CO2 emissions calculated for the whole lifecycle
– Matching criteria for Swedish Green Building Council’s Miljöbyggnad
– Use of environmental-friendly building materials according to Sunda Hus criteriaNew Kiruna poster

So far, there are few examples for highly energy efficient public buildings in the County of Norrbotten. The Town Hall will contribute substantially to a better understanding of technical questions, it will also be a highly visible example made to raise awareness.

After an architect competition, in which the MountEE criteria were part of the call for bids, the winning proposal “Kristallen” was selected. First, it did not meet energy criteria in their full extent, and a re-design has been demanded, which has been successful.

The new city hall consists of two building volumes. The inner building is shaped like a crystal inspired by the great deposits of iron ore in the area’s underground. The outer building floats like a ring around the crystal, protecting it against the rough weather conditions of the region.

“It has been important for us to get the best out of the rough weather and wind conditions and allow as much daylight into the building as possible”, says Peer Teglgaard Jeppesen, Director and Partner at Henning Larsen Architects. “Kiruna’s new city hall is a democratic building, open to everybody. Inside the building, the democratic process is supported by the interplay between offices at the periphery and public functions at the heart of the building.”

The round shape of the new city hall creates a better micro-climate both inside and outside. The shape allows 17 % more daylight to pour into the volume. The city hall has already been named The Crystal. It is inspired by the city’s special character, culture and history. Kiruna’s existing city hall is a unique piece of architecture from 1958, which was designed by Artur von Schmalensee. The new city hall refers to the old one in several ways. The bell tower from the listed city hall will be re-used in the square, just as materials and building parts will be re-used to the extent possible.Konstruktionsplan Kiruna stadshus

“The Crystal is a city hall that we can be proud of, and we are delighted to present this particular proposal as winner today. In the assessment, we have sought help from several experts and various reports. We have also had many comments from the public, and naturally, we have considered these in the jury work, too”, says Lisbeth Nilsson, Chairman of the Jury.

Total area: 9702 m2
Energy demand: 56 kWh/m2 (building code 132 kWh/m2).

The construction work will start – depending on weather conditions – between April and May 2015.

Wolfgang Mehl (Nenet)

Wolfgang Mehl (Nenet)

Wolfgang Mehl, coming from Austria, has worked as director for the Austrian Climate Alliance, a network of 800 municipalities working on climate protection from 1995 to 2009. Since he is 2009 working as project manager for environmental and energy-related programs for Nenet and the north Swedish municipality Jokkmokk.

February 19, 2015
by Etienne Vienot (RAEE)

Savoie in Vorarlberg!

Organized by the CAUE of Savoie and Metropole Savoie, the study trip SUSTAINABLE AND PARTICIPATIVE TOWN PLANNING gathered 24 people (elected people, managers of public services, architects, town planners and project leaders) for three visiting days in December, 2014.

The integration of the participative initiatives and the valuation of the local resources were in the center of the exchanges with the Austrian local authorities.

The program allowed to discover a big variety of projects, both by the size of the municipalities and by the typology of buildings (public places, multifunctional district, housing, school, waste reception center)
These various projects highlight three main teachings :

  • The necessity of a better cooperation
    • Beyond the skills already shared at the intermunicipal level, a widened cooperation allowed for example the realization of an exemplary building with a waste reception center
    • Generally speaking the strength of the ecoresponsible buying group increases capacities of communities, especially the smallest, thanks to the effects of the mutualization
  • The importance of the implication of the inhabitants
    • The met contracting authorities underlined the positive impact of the citizen’s implication , of the upstream in the approval of the projects
    • This dialogue, always framed by professionals, takes diverse forms : public meetings, workshops, drawing lots, allowing citizens’ largest number to find its place
    • The social and functional mix is approved by a large majority as common factor of success of the projects
  • The use and the valuation of local wood
    • Key Resource of a territory with 90 % of surfaces in mountain, the wood industry includes 3500 jobs.
    • The wood industry gets organized to cluster, around a high quality sign
    • Omnipresent in the visited buildings, the wood represents 40 % of the residential construction to Voralberg

And, for every visited building, a quality of exemplary conception and realization, the passive level is now the constructive standard on the territory (triple glazing, walls with skeleton wood with organic insulations, double-flow ventilation, thermal and/or photovoltaic solar energy).

In conclusion, let us resume the words of Dominique Gauzin Mûller, in The ecological Architecture of Voralberg:

“It is in the human relations more than in the technical innovations than it is necessary to look for the new models of society able to assure our future”.

Thanks to Laura JOLLY, from Metropole Savoie, for her synthesis work on this journey

Nathalie NOEL, ASDER

Etienne Vienot (RAEE)

Etienne Vienot (RAEE)

I am project manager in charge of european projects at the regional energy agency of Rhône-Alpes.

February 12, 2015
by Apolline Faure

Learn from the Rhône-Alpes’s experience on energy and sustainable buildings issues

Within MountEE, the Regional Natural Park of Pyrénées catalanes had organized in late December an exchange with some actors from the Region Rhône-Alpes, one of the most dynamic regions in France regarding sustainable building and energy issues.
The delegation, which included one elected representative and two technicians, had presented to the stakeholders of our territory (elected representatives, technicians from municipalities, partners) several experiences developed in Rhône-Alpes, which could be transferable to our territory, or which could serve as a model to develop new local actions.
The exchange was about two main subjects : the energy policy which can be adopted to promote the reduction of energy consumptions and the production of renewable energy, and the articulation between energy policy and urban planning.

* Sustainable Building in Métropole Savoie
From many years, Metropole Savoie has choosen to be guided by the Vorarlberg’s experience to develop sustainable construction. To achieve this goal, Métropole Savoie mobilizes stakeholders of the construction sector by :
– developing public procurement (call for projects to help municipalities which want to develop environmentally friendly building projects : technical support, funding for complementary studies, …), an important leverage effect on demand,
– developing capacity building actions (conferences, study trips, exposition on healthy materials, nergy consumptions monitoring, grey energy…)
– promoting know-how transfert and exchanges on experiences.
These actions have resulted in an evolution of working habits, a strenghtening of engineering team, the development of new skills and jobs.

* Examples of tools for the reduction of energy consumptions and the production of renewable energy
RAEE presented several tools used in Rhône-Alpes. These tools can be adapted and developed in rural territories.
– the “Shared Energy Council” (mutualisation of an expert between several municipalities) can be carried by different kind of structures (natural regional park, energy agency, association of municipalities, …). This cost is estimated around 1,5€/habitant. In the department of Loire, the energy savings made (8%) cover the cost of the expert.
– an energy association (SIEL : syndicat d’énergie de la Loire) which is providing support in energy issues : help to develop a strategy on these questions (energy audit, financial tools…), animation (annual report of consumptions, information…), support to develop actions (improvement works, measures), support of building projects, creation of a SEM (a society with a majority of public funds), the “SEM Soleil”, for the development of renewable energy production projects…
– the SPL for Energy Efficiency OSER (a public society which can act for the territory where it has been implanted), which realizes exemplary operations of sustainable renovation, and finances these operations with the third-party investment system.

* Examples of urban planning tools to promote energy consumptions control of the energy and production of renewable energy
How can we encourage the integration of sustainable development in urban planning projects or documents? The evolution from an old energy system et a newer one implies this integration, but it is not easy.
RAEE explains that you first have to look at your territory with a different view : travel, commutes, environmental and landscaped characteristics, energy efficiency of housing, potential exchanges between urban and rural areas… PLU and SCOT (prescribed documents which are governing land use planning) allow to define a vision of the territory and can integrate energy and climate issues. For example, PLU can be elaborate in order to reduce the impacts of climatic change of urbanized areas, by developing a town planning based on bio-climatic principles. Reducing urbanization is also a way to permit energy savings. It is also possible to impose high level of energy efficiency in some areas, or to promote the use of renewable energy…

With this presentation of examples used in Rhône-Alpes, the stakeholders of our territory had understood that it was possible, even in rural areas, to act for energy transition, by developing tools used elsewhere but adapted to our territory, or by creating new ones.

L’expérience de la région Rhône-Alpes en éco-construction et énergie : exemples de stratégies et d’outils développés

Le PNRPC recevait en décembre 2014 dans le cadre du programme européen MountEE des acteurs de Rhône Alpes, une des régions les plus dynamiques de France sur les questions d’écoconstruction et d’énergie.
La délégation, composée d’un élu et de deux chargés de mission de RAEE, est venue présentée aux élus, techniciens des collectivités et autres acteurs du territoire plusieurs expériences menées en Rhône-Alpes, qui pourraient être reprises ou inspirer de nouvelles démarches dans les Pyrénées catalanes.
Deux sujets principaux ont été abordés : la politique de maîtrise de l’énergie et de production d’énergies renouvelables et l’articulation entre politique de l’énergie et urbanisme.

* Construire Durablement en Métropole Savoie
Depuis plusieurs années, la Métropole a choisi de s’inspirer du modèle du Vorarlberg pour construire durablement. Pour atteindre cet objectif, la Métropole a choisi de mobiliser les acteurs de la construction, via :
– le recours à la commande publique (appel à projet pour l’accompagnement des communes sur des projets de construction prenant en compte la qualité environnementale du bâtiment, avec accompagnement technique, financement d’études complémentaire et animation de réseaux), véritable levier pour tirer la demande,
– la mise en œuvre d’actions de montée en compétences (conférences, voyages, expositions sur les éco-matériaux, les enveloppes et systèmes, le bois construction, suivi des consommations, énergie grise…),
– et enfin en favorisant le retour d’expériences.
Ces différentes actions ont permis l’évolution des habitudes de travail, le renforcement des équipes d’ingénierie, l’émergence de nouveaux métiers, et le développement des compétences.

* Les outils pour la maîtrise des consommations énergétiques et la production d’énergies renouvelables
RAEE a présenté plusieurs outils développés en Rhône-Alpes, qui permettent de favoriser la maîtrise des consommations énergétiques. Ces outils pourraient être adaptés et développés en territoire rural.
– le Conseil en Energie Partagé (mutualisation des compétences d’un technicien spécialisé, qui réalise un conseil auprès des communes), qui peut être porté par des structures très différentes (PNR, agence de l’énergie, intercommunalité, etc.). Le coût est estimé à 1,5€/habitant. Dans le département de la Loire, les économies d’énergie réalisées (8%) remboursent le poste.
– la mise à disposition de services d’accompagnement énergétique par un Syndicat d’Energie (le SIEL) : initiation à une stratégie d’énergie (par exemple audit énergétique, mobilisation des CEE) animation (bilan annuel des consommations, gestion des CEE, information), actions concrètes (petits travaux, mesures), accompagnement des projets de construction, la création d’une SEM (SEM Soleil) pour le portage de projets de production d’énergies renouvelables…
– La SPL d’Efficacité Energétique OSER qui réalise des opérations exemplaires de rénovation énergétique, et finance ces opérations via le tiers-investissement.

* Les outils d’urbanisme au service de la maîtrise de l’énergie et des EnR pour un projet de territoire à énergie positive
Comment favoriser l’intégration du développement durable dans les projets d’urbanisme opérationnel ou de planification ? Le passage d’un système énergétique à un autre implique cette intégration, qui n’est pas toujours simple.
L’idée est tout d’abord de regarder son territoire autrement, en termes de déplacement, de caractéristiques environnementales et paysagères, d’état énergétique du parc bâti, des échanges à avoir entre urbain et rural… Les PLU et les SCOT permettent par ailleurs aujourd’hui de définir une vision du territoire, et peuvent donc intégrer les questions énergie/climat. Il est par exemple possible de concevoir les PLU pour limiter l’impact climatique et énergétique des zones urbanisables, notamment par le développement d’un urbanisme bioclimatique, qui tire parti des conditions naturelles du site. L’économie de foncier est une maîtrise des dépenses énergétiques. Il est aussi possible d’imposer l’efficacité énergétique dans certains secteurs, ou de favoriser les énergies renouvelables…

Cet échange a permis aux acteurs de notre territoire de comprendre qu’il est aussi possible en milieu rural, d’agir pour la transition énergétique, en mettant en place des outils qui existent déjà ailleurs et qui sont adaptés à notre territoire, ou bien en en inventant de nouveaux.

February 9, 2015
by Angela Sanchini (ARES)

Protocollo ITACA is now UNI Practice Reference “Operational tools for the assessment of sustainability”

The Executive Council of UNI (Italian Organization for Standardization) approved the new UNI Practice Reference “Environmental sustainability in costructions- Operational tools for the assessment of sustainability” that allows to formulate a synthetic judgment on the overall performance of a building, assigning a score indicative of the level of sustainability.

The practice, also known as UNI/PdR 13:2015, has been prepared taking into account European standards on the assessment of sustainability in construction, in particular with the standards prepared by the Technical Committee CEN/TC 350.
The evaluation process defined by the practices of reference is based on the Protocol ITACA, a tool for the evaluation and certification of the level of environmental sustainability of buildings of different uses. The protocol is promoted by the Italian Regions and managed by a specific management committee that, in addition to representatives of the latter and ITACA, saw the participation of iiSBE Italia and ITC-CNR. The Protocol is based on the instrument SBTool ITACA, developed as part of the research process Green Building Challenge, coordinated by the non-profit iiSBE (International Initiatives for a Sustainable Built Environment), and chosen in 2002 as a reference by the Italian Regions .

The environmental assessment through this practice results in a score that is determined by following a process of evaluation criteria identified which refer to the following five areas: quality of the site, resource consumption, environmental loads, indoor environmental quality, quality of service.

The UNI/PdR 13:2015 is structured in two sections:
Section 0 which provides the general framework and methodological principles underlying the system of analysis for assessing the environmental sustainability of buildings for determining the performance score;
Section 1 that specifies the criteria, grouped by reference category, for the assessment of environmental sustainability and scoring performance of buildings with residential use.
The result of the calculation of the performance score is the “evaluation report”, carried out on a single building and its outdoor area of relevance, and containing the results of the evaluation with respect to the set of criteria considered.

“We are very satisfied with the result,” says Antonio Canzian, vice president of Itaca, “Having now the need to prevent further use of land, redevelop the existing building and to enhance strategic areas is extremely useful for technicians and administrators public, be able to use a tool such as the Protocol ITACA “.
“The practice of reference, which will replace the Protocol formally, I hope will soon become the reference tool for all domestic regions, so as to make homogeneous, on the whole country, the system of evaluation and certification” concluded Canzian.

Angela Sanchini (ARES)

Angela Sanchini (ARES)

I am an architect and i'm actually the Technical Director of ARES Regional Agency for Sustainable Building of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region (Italy). I am dealing with energy efficiency and sustainability in buildings, and in particular of energy performance certificates and energy-environmental assessment of buildings.

February 6, 2015
by Jakob Ebner

Cool Experts

It is not WHAT we say that makes people move, but HOW we say it. That was, roughly, the conclusion of a seminar held in the mountEE-municipality of Jokkmokk the north of Sweden, 2-4 of February 2015 on the topic  “Communicating Energy and Climate Science”.

Here some ideas on how we can do a better work on spreading the news of energy efficiency:

Cool headlines: “International environmental law on arctic resources” or “Who owns the arctic oceans”. Which of the seminars would you choose? Both have the same topic!

Seek primitive driving forces: E.g. The possibility to “collect” like a squirrel: Could it be that the production of the energy needed for your own household at your own roof is irresistible just because it appeals to a very primitive force to collect? Can you think of any other driving forces as effective as this?

Less of “what we know” and more of “how” we know. The “Fossil free” – campaign and the “Divestment” campaign are examples that make it easier to become an activist. Read more on

Include creative people. Science on energy savings often boils down to technical solutions – quite uncool for most of us. Mix energy experts with lots of creative people and challenge the system!

Spread the word: Put the science center where people move! How about building a lab in a shopping mall? Blogging is another great way to spread new science, but be aware that every entry has to be announced on twitter, facebook or other social media.

Use science communication to fund science! Do like the Arctic Center at the University of Lapland and use 1/3 of your budget on communication. Funds for communication are quite easy to access and give additional value to what you do. With 1/3 of the staff working on communication you get a realisitc chance to move people!



The Arcitic Center uses storytelling to make science enjoyable for everyone.