Is it enough just going passive?

What is an energy sufficient building? How far from this are the buildings we currently live and work in? How can we encourage more sufficient buildings that enable us to live better? Our report, due to be published in the next few weeks, will explore these questions and offer suggestions for the way forward.

There are many ways to move towards greater energy sufficiency in our buildings.  We can choose to use less space.  We can also choose to use our space more effectively, constructing more flexible buildings that can be used differently as our needs change.  This forthcoming Concept Paper will examine the types of building we need to build, and also the way we build them, the equipment we use to heat them and our behaviour as we use them.

It will examine trends in the size of buildings across Europe, and compare and contrast different countries to explore the potential for more energy sufficient building sizes.  It will also highlight examples of innovative building design that allow spaces to be used more flexibly and potentially in a more energy sufficient way.  Looking at these examples, and also the potential for us to change the way we design and use heating systems, the paper will estimate the potential for energy savings that could, in theory, result from a focus on energy sufficiency in buildings.

If we are to move to more energy sufficient buildings, policy makers need to enable and encourage us to make the right choices.  The paper will finish with an analysis of energy sufficiency policies in this sector.