On 15 Dec 2021, the European Commission tabled changes to its Energy Performance in Buildings Directive to bring it in line with the challenge of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
It contains a new provision on Data Exchange. Under the Commission’s proposals, “Member States shall ensure that building owners, tenants and managers can have direct access to their building systems’ data.”
More buildings will generate data and this data will be better organised. Under the EC’s proposals, from the middle of the decade non-residential buildings of about the size of a small office block must be “smart-ready”. Additionally, “Member States shall ensure that, when a technical building system is installed, the overall energy performance […] is assessed.” There would be monitoring of indoor air quality for zero-emission buildings. The notion of “digital building logbooks” is introduced, described as collections of “all relevant building data, including data related to energy performance such as energy performance certificates, renovation passports and smart readiness indicators.”
EUREC’s member EURAC leads the Horizon 2020 project BuiltHub. Energy Efficient Buildings research group leader and former project Coordinator Roberto Lollini said, “The data exchange rules will help projects like BuiltHub. We use data to monitor building stock decarbonisation and to drive building renovation investments. Getting access to data and a stable dataflow is hard. The new Article 14 could make collaboration with building owners and facility managers much easier.”
Monica Axell is a EUREC Board Member and Research and Business Developer at RISE’s Built Environment division. She said, “Huge efforts in building renovation will be made in Europe this decade, driven by this Directive and many other components of ‘Fit for 55’. A data-driven approach will help to achieve best value for money.”
EUREC Secretary General Greg Arrowsmith said, “EUREC had flagged the importance of sharing building data in its input to the public consultation on the Action Plan for the Digitalisation of the Energy System. We call for monitoring of building performance before and after major renovations, and for this data to be shared. We invite researchers to contribute to the Special Issue of Energies we are working on with MDPI for April 2022 including with examples of how they exploited large datasets from buildings.”
A further European Commission public consultation on the Action Plan is open till 24 January 2022.