Natural Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (NEES )
Natural Energy Efficiency and Sustainability
Date du début: 28 févr. 2011,
Date de fin: 27 févr. 2014
The NEES Project will identify and promote products and services which aim to improve energy efficiency in existing domestic buildings, which make use primarily of renewable or recycled materials and services based on natural processes, which originate and are normally accessible in the Northern Periphery Programme region. These products and services should have the potential for being mainstreamed and commercially disseminated inside and outside the region The NEES Project differs from other previous NPP projects dealing with sustainable energy in that it is focused on energy efficiency rather than the development of renewable energy supplies. Aim & Objectives: 1. To review and map the current situation with respect to products and services aimed at improving energy efficiency in existing domestic buildings that use renewable materials and natural processes, to identify the barriers and bottlenecks to their dissemination and to gauge the potential for widespread marketing inside and outside the NPP Region. 2. To develop comprehensive sustainability criteria (environmental, economic and social) for the identification, selection, assessment and evaluation of these products and services, on the basis of a triple bottom line (TBL) criteria. These products and services will be profiled and documented as best practice case studies and life-cycle evaluations will be carried out. In addition the human dimension will be investigated to determine what impacts human interface can have on final energy use reduction. 3. To investigate, through dialogue and consultation, the transferability of these products and services to other Partner regions, through exchange visits, strategic partnerships and practical demonstration. 3. To develop, monitor and evaluate a number (5) of practical demonstration projects based on exchange between the different regions, which demonstrate the transferability of the products and services identified. 4. To identify, validate, and establish the transferability of a number (15) selected products and services that best reflect this approach and are considered most appropriate for the different environments in the NPP Region. 5. To identify, link with and promote appropriate supports in terms of professional, advisory and training services, for enterprises delivering these products, and services, for the regional agencies that promote and support them and for the communities who might make use of them. 6. To generate a quantifiable increase in awareness and the uptake of these products and services in all NPP partner regions, and quantifiable benefits (environmental, economic and social) arising from the activities, the online portal, social media and local and European dissemination of this approach. 7. To generate tangible social and economic benefits from the promotion of these products and services, including improvements to existing dwellings, reduction in energy use and carbon footprint, development of local skills, jobs and enterprises, diversification of agricultural production and rural manufacture and service delivery by private and social enterprises, and the development of local and transnational markets for NEES products and services. 8. To identify funding streams and models that will allow the continuation of the work of the Project after end of the NPP Project.  Taking into account eenvironmental, social and economic indicators Achievements: IMPACT ON REGIONAL AND EUROPEAN POLICIESThe NEES Project has tried to have some impact on both Regional and European Policies relating to sustainable construction and energy efficiency. Results have been patchy, with some regions showing a lot of interest, and others very little. Notable is the verbal submission made to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sustainable Construction in the UK. UK NEES Partners made the case for more support from the use of renewable and recycled materials as part of a green construction approach.In Ireland the NEES Best Practise, Mud and Wood, Sligo made a detailed submission to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) in September 2013, recommending the incorporation of life-cycle thinking into the BER Assessment. Further presentations were also made to the Scottish Parliament. NEES also participated in the consultation held by the Northern Periphery Programme regarding the proposed objectives of the 2014-2020 Programme. Here we emphasised the regional importance of energy efficiency in the region, to go side by side with the current focus on renewable energy sources. This issue has now been given prominence in the Programme. In addition to this the various public events and presentations made have strongly highlighted key issues at regional and European levels.PROSPECTS FOR THE FUTUREThe NEES Project approaches its official termination date, Partners have been active in identifying sources of support for continuing the work of the Partnership. A submission for a Preparatory Project to the Northern Periphery Programme for the new 2014-2020 Call was, surprisingly, not successful. This has not deterred the Partnership from continuing to develop proposals to take the project to a new level and a comprehensive proposal has been submitted to the Horizon 2020 Programme, under Call EeB1 – 2014 Materials for the Building Envelope. The Proposal is titled NATLOW CO2 (Achieving naturally low embodied carbon and energy over the life-cycle of Buildings), was submitted in March of 2014. This new Project aims to continue and consolidate the work of NEES by identifying a further 15 renewable and recycled materials that contribute to energy efficiency in buildings (this time from the whole of Europe) and which can achieve targeted reductions in energy use and carbon emissions during their life-cycle, as well superior energy efficiency in use and other sustainability benefits. The NATLOW CO2 Partnership comprises 14 organisations, including 4 current NEES Partners. The Project is currently undergoing evaluation and a decision is expected in August 2014.CONCLUSIONSActivity has been intense during the 3 years of the Project, aiming at achieving the objectives of the Project. We have had our ups and our downs. Partners have been surprised at the low level of official support currently given to the use of renewable and recycled materials in most regions, and the difficulties involved in securing accreditation and recognition for products and services. However, we have also been impressed at the committed and consistent work carried out by producers and service providers, and some grass roots organisations and lobby groups, to promote this important alternative.Partners are satisfied that we have achieved what we set out to do in terms of demonstrating the viability of products and services of this type in the NPP region, and of the kind of mechanisms that could be put in place to support these. We have concluded that much work is still needed to make this sector economically sustainable and technically advanced. We believe that both these factors are necessary for the mainstreaming of a more sustainable approach to construction, based on organic architecture and circular economy principles. Partners share the conviction that the best way to ensure this continued development is by the resourcing and continuation of the work carried out in NEES, on the basis of future related initiatives.
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