Background and Aim
The aim of the Build with CaRe (BwC) project was to mainstream energy-efficient building design. It took the necessary steps, in collaboration with the building sector, to develop a transnational strategy for increasing energy efficiency in building. The core message of BwC was that energy efficiency is no longer an ‘if-question', but a ‘how-question'.
BwC aimed to pave the way for a sustainable integrated international market for energy efficient building. Therefore, the project improved the competitiveness of the North Sea Region and stimulated different clusters to keep in a leading position on sustainable building techniques and technologies.
BwC engaged national and regional policy makers, influencing EU, national, regional and local policy developments and helped deliver regional energy-efficiency strategies.
BwC focused on the marketing of energy efficient buildings to meet carbon reduction commitments. It provided the partners the place and tools for importing and exchanging knowledge and experiences, including networks of professionals, new ideas, latest insights, best practices and critical reviews of local actions.
BwC aimed at a better horizontal and vertical integration and further coherence in policy and planning activities.
The challenge to reduce human impact on climate change is strongly prioritized by the EU.
In support of its efficiency goals, the EU issued in 2007 a Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) which states ‘we need to fully harness (...) public policy and market-based instruments to manage demand and create new markets', also ‘Low carbon technologies in general remain expensive and face market penetration obstacles'. Accordingly, the EU drafted a strategy for low or zero emission buildings and prepared to introduce new energy standards for buildings in 2009.
Buildings account for 40% of EU's energy consumption. Success in energy efficiency in this sector is key to achieving the EU's goals.
The North Sea Region is in the technological vanguard and there are many activities which specifically aim to increase energy efficiency in the built environment that have been tried, tested and proven over more than 15 years. Proven techniques have resulted in both lower energy consumption and higher comfort of living. The task of energy reduction in building is not new in the North Sea Region, but our challenge is large scale implementation.