A range of energy-saving solutions are currently being tested by a EU-funded project called A2PBEER, which has set out to reduce the energy being consumed by public buildings
Older public buildings in Europe are less efficient than those built today. Those built before 1980 consume around 95% of energy used by buildings, and they make the perfect target for retrofitting solutions that will help reduce this consumption. Some of the solutions being looked at A2PBEER include windows that warm a building in the winter and cool it in the summer, devices that literally bring the sunlight into darkened rooms and solar collectors that provide heat and cold for 15 years using metal tubes with no moving parts and filled only with inert materials.
The project is a four-year research effort, aimed at addressing the issue of energy efficiency as a means of reaching the EU’s energy targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, raising the share of energy produced by renewable sources and improving energy efficiency, all by 20% by the year 2020. One of the main aims of the project is to show that affordable solutions are available to make buildings nearly-zero energy. Using demonstration buildings in Malmo, Bilbao and Ankara, A2PBEER will install the various devices needed to prove their theory using technologies currently available on the market. A ‘Train the Trainer’ initiative will also be developed which will include online courses and training workshops to assist building owners in best-practice approaches to retrofitting.