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: