How are you thinking to manage different and complicated building regulations in different countries? And also how to convince customers to pay extra for a smarter building as an investment?
Building regulations are historically and for different political reasons very “local” and it is also true that depending on geography , climate , economic development the needs to be dealt through regulations are different ( climate is not the same in Boston than in Orlando , needs are not the same in an historical town like Paris than in a highly developing city in China ….) so it is a fact that there is a lot of different and sometime complicated local building regulations
Another important point is that building regulation have historically been developed around rules to design building structure, rules to apply to the construction phase and construction material, and rules about safety.
However, thanks to technology development and to a more systemic approach of building which can now instead of being a passive source can integrate local generation, local storage , electric vehicle smart charging , it is key that building regulations encompass this new role of building and evolve towards a system performance approach as far as energy efficiency , flexibility and CO2 emissions over the whole life are concerned . Digital technologies and their benefits need to be included and for instance BIM.
So policies and then the cascaded regulations have to incentivize deployment of these new technologies and some times mandate use of economical proven solution (e.g. use of BACS in Energy Performance of Building European directive or Use of PV rooftop in California)
As far as investing to improve building performance and paying an extra for a smart building are concerned it is clear that some technologies have a quick pay back ( less than 3 years typically for a BACS) and that policies and regulation can definitely help to better monetize the value linked to smart and highly performant buildings (value not only in the OPEX savings but also in increasing the Value of the Building itself) ; Obligation to make regular energy performance certificate and energy performance labelling are good policy tools for that as well as work underdevelopment in EU on smart readiness indicator should help in valuing smart technologies use.
The role of the building sector towards achieving decarbonization goals cannot be ignored. The building sector accounts for approx. 40% of the CO2 emissions and depending on the region anything between 40% and nearly 75% of its energy consumption. The crucial role of the building sector in achieving decarbonization goals is increasingly being recognized.
Another important point is valuing flexibility which building can provide through smart and dynamic retail tariffs and development of flexibility market at retail-distribution level.
Finally working at both regional level ( EU institutions in Europe or Federal level in the US ) and local level ( Member states in EU and states in the US ) are necessary and international standards ( IEC , ISO , CEN , Cenelec ) have also to be worked in synergy with regulations so that Building Codes and Standards complement as strong tools to ensure deployment of new technologies in decarbonizing both new and already built buildings and its environment .
SVP Strategy & Innovation, Energy Management & Secure Power
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