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Making existing buildings more sustainable in a broader European perspective: new collaboration and revenue models

At a recent meeting of an implementing body of the European Commission, the measures that the Member States must take on the basis of the European Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU) were discussed. . It was interesting not only to compare the legal concepts, but also the concrete status of the projects in different Member States.

Energy performance contracts are a proven means in the countries around us to get a grip not only on energy costs, but also on maintenance costs and the residual value of the installations in a building. The business case must always be assessed integrally from a technical, financial and legal-fiscal perspective. Regional conditions also play an important role.


It is clear that, in addition to political ambitions, European laws and regulations – albeit with a delay – also compel us to become more sustainable. The implementation of the new Procurement Directive 2014/24 EU should have been implemented in our system by April 18, 2016. That has not happened and now the standards of this Directive can be directly enforced by litigants. Changes in national administrative law and private law follow each other in quick succession, require more enforcement by the government and entail more obligations for building owners and its users.


But it is not only politics and legal rules that force innovation and new forms of cooperation. Beleggers zijn geïnteresseerd in nieuwe technische standaarden zoals de Well Building Standard. Blue is het nieuwe green: het verbeteren of health and comfort in existing buildings is a greater good, and a better business model, than simply achieving energy savings. Reducing absenteeism leads to higher productivity of employees. A 'healthier' building literally yields more for everyone. Last year I gave a presentation about this at the Provada.


Part of the Well Building standard is comfort. The techniques to measure comfort, not only from the building but from the user himself, are already available. The 'Comfort Meter' from Factor4. The first projects with the aim of obtaining a WELL certificate  have already started. A healthier and/or more comfortable building is used by building owners and landlords to attract tenants, which is also a way to combat or transform vacancy.


In their search for new collaboration and revenue models, builders, installers, developers and their consultants are interested in innovation contracts and tendering models: how do I conclude an energy performance contract in which comfort also plays a role in addition to energy savings, maintenance and residual values? When can I negotiate under the new EU Procurement Directive 2014/24? Or, as was openly suggested recently in a GRESB meeting: can I, as a landlord, be held liable if I fail to keep the CO2 concentration in a building below the prescribed 800 ppm?

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