ES-SO newsletter December 2018

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ES-so newsletter DECEMBER 2018


Climate change and the effect on buildings

At this very moment the COP24 Climate summit is taking place in Katowice, Poland from 2 till 15 December. This years’ COP is considered the most important one since the member states signed the Paris Agreement 2015, to provide new actions for 2020, when the previous Kyoto Agreement is due to end.


The challenges are big: the World Meteorological Organization pointed out that the 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years, and that "2018 is on course to be the fourth warmest year on record".


A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees is achievable – as long as we act urgently and use every tool at our disposal.


The European Union recently reinforced its ambition to become climate neutral by 2050, while resetting its intermediate targets by 2030 for renewable energy to 32% and improve energy efficiency by at least 32.5%. The new EPBD - Energy Performance Buildings Directive revision, July 2018 is a supporting instrument for member states to help people renovating their homes and buildings - where they spend 90% of their daily life - with cost optimal solutions to become energy efficient and healthy. What’s new to consider?


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Climate change shifts energy focus in buildings from heating to more cooling


As climate change becomes more and more tangible, in this summer people everywhere in Europe were buying cheap priced fans and air-conditioning units to keep their homes cool. However, scientists warn that the use of active cooling will increase the energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 2050 dramatically between 150% and 600% globally. This is the opposite effect of what we want to achieve i.e. making our buildings more energy efficient and climate neutral. How can we do better by implementing the revised EPBD?


Windows’ assessment needs an urgent change when it comes to cost optimal solutions for the energy performance of the building envelope. Why?


The assessment of the energy performance of glazed areas in the building envelope is now often based on insulation properties, i.e. the thermal transmittance (U-value) of windows. However, the U-value alone does not include for the significant impact of solar gains through windows.


Windows in the building envelope are exposed to free heat gains, which is a significant advantage in the heating season, but presents a risk of overheating in summer. Dynamic (moveable) solar shading applied on windows can keep more than 90% of the heat outside before it hits the window. That’s why it is a very energy efficient measure that prevents or decreases dramatically the need for active cooling.


Dynamic shading smartly used in closed or open position responds to the local solar exposure conditions of windows. It can maximize the benefits of heat rejection in summer while in winter minimizing the heating needs as it permits the heat gains and natural daylight during daytime and to give an additional insulation layer during the night. See


Thanks to the use of the energy balance methodology, shading on windows in Europe can achieve 22% energy savings and reduce 137.52 Mt/yr of CO2 emissions in new and renovated buildings.


Download here the paper.




ES-SO is the voice of the European solar shading and roller shutter industry. The shading industry employs over 500.000 people, mainly in Europe-based SME’s, and has annual sales approaching 50 billion euros. Its high growth potential in energy savings and comfort in buildings can provide thousands of new, green jobs, widely spread over the member states, with offering of made-to-measure, smart solar shading to local markets.


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