UN: Pandemic causes dip in building emissions
NAIROBI, Kenya, 19 October 2021: The economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic caused CO2 emissions from buildings and construction to fall significantly in 2020, but a lack of real transformation in the sector means that emissions will keep rising and contribute to dangerous climate change, according to the 2021 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction.
The report, published by the UN Environment Programme-hosted Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC), finds that in 2020, the sector accounted for 36% of global final energy consumption and 37% of energy related CO2 emissions, as compared to other end-use sectors.
While the level of emissions within the sector are 10% lower than in 2015, reaching lows not seen since 2007, this w333as largely due to lockdowns, slowing of economies, difficulties households and businesses faced in maintaining and affording energy access and a fall in construction activity. Efforts to decarbonize the sector played only a small role, the authors of the report said.
With large growth projected in the buildings sector, emissions are set to rise if there is no effort to decarbonize buildings and improve their energy efficiency, the authors said. In Asia and Africa, building stock is expected to double by 2050, they said, adding that global material use is expected to more than double by 2060, with a third of this rise attributable to construction materials.
“This year showed that climate change is an immediate direct threat to every community on this planet, and it is only going to intensify,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UNEP. “The buildings and construction sector, as a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, must urgently be decarbonized through a triple strategy of reducing energy demand, decarbonizing the power supply and addressing building materials’ carbon footprint, if we are to have any chance of meeting the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C.”
Some progress, but not enough
The GlobalABC’s Global Buildings Climate Tracker found that there have been some incremental improvements in action to decarbonize and improve the energy efficiency of the sector.
In 2015, 90 countries included actions for addressing buildings emissions or improving energy efficiency in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. This number has now hit 136, although ambition varie, the authors of the report said.
Since 2015, an additional 18 countries have put in place building energy codes – a move that is crucial to shift emissions downwards – bringing the total to 80, the authors said. Local cities and governments have also developed codes, they said. Investment in energy efficiency rose to over USD 180 billion in 2020, up from 129 billion in 2015. Green building certification has increased by 13.9% compared to 2019, they said.
Overall, however, the report finds that these efforts are insufficient, both in terms of speed and scale. Other key findings of the report include: Two-thirds of countries still lack mandatory buildings codes; most of the increase in energy efficiency spending came from a small number of European countries; too small a share of finance goes into deep energy retrofits, and there is a lack of ambitious decarbonization targets in NDCs.
What comes next?
Energy demand in the buildings and construction sector is likely to rebound, as economic recovery efforts take hold and as pent-up demands for new construction are realized, the authors said.
By 2030, to be on track to achieving a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, the International Energy Agency says that direct building CO2 emissions would need to decrease by 50%. Indirect building sector emissions will have to drop through a reduction of 60% in power generation emissions. To achieve these goals, the report finds, the sector has to take advantage of every lever.
While pandemic recovery spending has not sufficiently prioritized climate-friendly approaches to the level required, the authors said, there is still an opportunity to invest in decarbonizing our buildings while increasing their resilience:
- Countries need to harness the sector’s transformative potential for achieving the energy transition.
- Governments need to commit to further decarbonizing the power, as well as heating and cooling energy supply. This includes stepping up ambition in NDCs to include building decarbonization targets that contain the so-far largely overlooked embodied carbon and the emissions from the production of building materials.
- The rate of growth of investment in building efficiency needs to double to over 3 per cent per year, and must expand beyond direct government investment to private investors.
- Scope and coverage of building energy codes need to increase. All countries need to have in place mandatory building energy codes, and these would ideally address performance standards for building envelopes, design, heating, cooling, ventilation systems and appliances, and ensure links with integrated urban planning.
Buildings’ resilience needs to increase to futureproof our homes and workspaces. A typical building constructed today will still be in use in 2070, but the climate it encounters will have changed significantly.
- The necessary interventions to reduce the climate impact of existing buildings should be combined with investing in adaptation and resilience measures.
- In addition, both public and private sector need to seize the tremendous investment opportunities this sector offers – for example, through green bonds or through banks increasing green building construction and mortgage finance.
The Big 5 Construct Egypt returns in 2021
CAIRO, Egypt, 7 June 2021: The third edition of The Big 5 Construct Egypt will take place from June 26 to 29 at the Cairo International Convention Centre (CICC), to facilitate business opportunities in Egypt’s growing construction project market, dmg events, the organiser said through a Press release.
Making the announcement through a Press conference, dmg said Egypt is the third largest construction market in the MENA region, and that activity remains a bright spot for the Egyptian economy with a pipeline of known and un-awarded projects worth USD 354.8 billion in the country*.
Present at the press conference was Khaled Abbas, Deputy Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities for National Projects; Matt Denton, President, dmg events; Mohamed El Dahshoury, CEO, Hassan Allam Construction (HAC)’ Heike Harmgart, Managing Director, Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Region, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Mohamed Tarek, Area Managing Director of North Africa for Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC).
dmg said powerful face-to-face connections between industry stakeholders will be significant for the sector’s sustained development. It is more important than ever for us to offer a safe environment for the community to come together, where they can boost business activities, rebuild partnerships and apply lessons learnt to future projects all in one place, dmg said. To that end, in addition to offering vital trading opportunities this year, The Big 5 Construct Egypt will launch new high-level features focused on strategic industry development and innovation, making it an unmissable business event for the construction sector in the wake of Covid-19 disruption, it added.
The event will launch The Big 5 Egypt Impact Awards, which dmg described as designed to recognise the businesses and people driving innovation in Egypt’s industry, in addition to The Big 5 Egypt Leadership Conference, a three-day event scheduled to gather regional ministers and international leaders to explore the construction sector’s contribution towards economic growth and diversification in Egypt.
Harmgart, who is set to speak at the conference, said: “The Big 5 Egypt Leadership Conference is a great opportunity for policy makers, financial institutions and investors to discuss the priorities for Egypt and to promote sustainable green infrastructure and construction sectors.”
Mohamed El Dahshoury
Beyond the conference, the event also will offer free-to-attend, CPD-certified talks and the exhibition area, which dmg said, will gather hundreds of leading brands from more than 15 countries, such as Canada, Germany, Greece, Russia, Italy, UAE and Saudi Arabia, to name but a few. Heavyweights signed up to exhibit include the likes of Hassan Allam Holding, Orascom Construction, El Soadaa, ASGC, Hanimex, Al Zamil, Al Ahram, Wellbond and Al Amal, dmg said.
Speaking on the upcoming exhibition, El Dahshoury said: “The Big 5 Construct Egypt represents a great place for business leaders to discuss, sign agreements and present investment opportunities, at a time when infrastructure projects play a decisive role in the economic recovery, not only in Egypt but around the world.”
dmg on track with The Big 5 Construct Egypt
DUBAI, UAE, 31 March 2021: The Big 5 Construct Egypt is on track to take place in person from June 26 to 29 at the Cairo International Convention Centre (CICC) in a safe environment, event organisers, dmg events said through a Press release. Construction activity in Egypt has continued at pace, despite the coronavirus pandemic and has shown great resilience over the last year, dmg said. In fact, according to GlobalData, construction in Egypt is expected to have grown at 7.7% in 2020 and looks forward to 8.9% growth in 2021, it added.
Muhammed Kazi, Vice President, dmg events, said: “We are delighted to confirm that preparations for The Big 5 Construct Egypt are well underway for our June event, and I am happy to reveal that re-opening this year comes hand in hand with a wealth of new impactful features designed to provide opportunities for the industry to network, learn and do business.
“It is more important now than ever to bring the community together to boost business activities and build strong partnerships for the post-pandemic era, and it is our belief that there is no better way to do this than through powerful face-to-face connections.”
According to dmg, The Big 5 Construct Egypt will showcase the latest construction products and technologies across an extended offering of specialised events. International brands committed to the event despite travel restrictions will join all major Egyptian contractors at the event, including Hassan Allam Holding and Orascom Construction, El Soadaa, ASGC, Hanimex, Al Zamil, Al Ahram, Wellbond, Al Amal and more, dmg said.
Eng. Hassan Allam, CEO, Hassan Allam Holding said: “The massive transformation of Egypt through crucial infrastructure works and strategic megaprojects is set to further contribute to economic growth, whilst solidifying the country’s position as the leading trade hub between Europe, Asia, and Africa.
“As the population grows, it is critical to explore how the country can build on local, regional and international partnerships to realise the value that the infrastructure and construction industry has in sustaining economic development and diversification going forward.” According to dmg, new features set to launch at the 2021 edition include The Big 5 Egypt Leadership Conference, providing insights from Ministers and international leaders through keynote addresses and panel discussions, and The Big 5 Egypt Impact Awards, set to celebrate the people, organisations and projects driving sustainable development, innovation and transformation in Egypt’s construction industry.
The event, dmg said, also offers free-to-attend and CPD-certified Talks. It is supported by Strategic Partner, Hassan Allam Holding; Platinum Sponsor, Orascom Construction and Stone Sponsor, Gremic. The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) is on board as Supporting Association, dmg said, adding that Project Management Institute, MENA (PMI, MENA) is the Supporting Partner and ABiQ is the Research Partner.
Energy targets reshaping the built-environment
Italy currently houses 12.2 million residential buildings, featuring 31 million homes, 72% of which was built before 1980, at a time when there was no legislation on the energy saving of buildings. This is the figure that Andrea Guderzo, General Manager, Clivet Mideast FZCO, presents in an effort to highlight the importance the retrofit segment holds in the country’s energy-efficiency directives. He says: “The 2018/844 / EU Directive, published on June 19, 2018, requires European countries to develop a long-term strategy to support the renovation of residential and non-residential buildings, both public and private in order to obtain decarbonised and energy-efficient buildings by 2050, and to facilitate the transformation of existing buildings into almost-zero-energy buildings.”
This, Guderzo stresses, offers a great opportunity for the HVAC market, in view of the technological innovations in the fields of heating, cooling, air renewal and purification and domestic hot water production and the very compact units, which can contribute towards achieving high levels of global efficiency. “In Italy, modern construction technologies have brought great improvements in the insulation of building envelopes and a substantial reduction in the thermal requirements of buildings,” he says. Almost 70% of the energy needs of a building is used to regulate the indoor climate. The challenges real estate is facing are: reducing consumption to zero by working on the envelope, finding low-impact energy sources, ensuring comfort and guaranteeing economic sustainability of design choices. In this scenario, the HVACR industry has a great responsibility and must give its contribution to increase global efficiency and comfort of the buildings.”
Beyond compliance with public sector regulations to reduce consumption, Guderzo stresses that improving the efficiency and sustainability of existing buildings has an implication in terms of market value and absorbability of the property, which should not be underestimated. “A recent survey carried out by ReBuild, in collaboration with CBRE and GBCI Europe, showed how energy-efficient buildings with a LEED certification have a greater value on the real estate market,” he says. “In particular, the market recognises the Gold certification, with a premium of 7.4%, and Platinum, with a premium above 11%. The occupancy rate on the certified properties, within six months after the certification, reach about 80%, and the vacancy ratio, after two and a half years, is lower than seven per cent.”
Guderzo says the growing demand for comfort, while ensuring energy saving, has been driving design and production of companies. “Italian producers, like Clivet, are facing this challenge by focusing on research and innovation, in order to create products that guarantee maximum comfort by reducing the energy consumption and the environmental impact of comfort solutions,” he says. “This strategy is winning, as demonstrated, the last 2018 trimestral evaluations announced by Assoclima, the Italian Association of HVRAC producers, with a growth in Italy’s air conditioning sector.”
Guderzo says large part of the growth in the sector is represented by the heat pump technology, adding that inverter technology continues to be a popular choice in the residential sector and has evolved to address real-time demands of the plant, which increases the energy efficiency of the overall system.