The municipality of Aarhus, the host-city of the “Beyond Kyoto” conference, is impatient when it comes to fighting global warming. From 2015 Danish legislation will demand that buildings consume only half of the energy that they do today. But Aarhus doesn’t want to wait that long and is likely to implement the new procedures this spring. The city council is s currently discussing the necessary changes to the building regulations.
Last year the city council launched a campaign for changing people’s energy habits. The authorities responsible for municipal heating are attempting to convince the citizens to use energy in more efficient ways, e.g. by changing windows to double glazing, insulating their houses and so on.
Keeping people in mind
Jorgen Krogh, city hall media manager, assures that these effort will be intensified in the future and states that “there is an understanding among citizens that we have to do something with energy reduction”. What he also adds is that right now it might be little harder because of the financial crisis.
At “Beyond Kyoto”, Poul Eriksen of industrial designers Develco A/S discussed how to improve energy efficiency in private dwellings through better monitoring, using newly developed electronics. “People must know how they consume energy and how it can be changed”.
Companies can also help
Part of the private sector is as eager as Aarhus to make a difference and is planning to build low-energy houses on its own initiative, long before it becomes law. SHE Project is an example: Private companies are going to build 50 energy-saving cheap houses in Ringgaarden, in northern Aarhus. This project is partially refunded by EU as a part of “Sustainable Housing in Europe” project.
Influence on the sector
Aarhus benefits from the experiences of other cities like Kolding or Egedal where 750 energy friendly dwellings are going to be built. However, Aarhus is second biggest city in Denmark and implementing new building guidelines may have significant impact on the sector. “Building sector will have to rethink its way of using energy” – adds Hanne Storvang Nielsen, head of the Technology and Environment Department in the city hall.
By Marek Piasecki