Buildings are significant consumers of energy globally. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), buildings account for approximately 28% of global energy use. This figure includes both residential and commercial buildings.

The energy consumption of buildings is attributed to various factors, such as heating, cooling, lighting and equipment operation. The demand for energy in buildings is influenced by factors such as climate, building design and construction.

Recognizing the substantial energy consumption in buildings, government funding and private investments are being made to increase the use of sustainable building practices and renewable energy sources to reduce the environmental impact and energy consumption associated with buildings.

Significant opportunities exist to improve how buildings function, and the mounting pressure on our energy resources and environment has necessitated strategic efforts to maximize them.

Specifically, “Green” buildings combine various approaches—to practices, technologies, and materials—across all stages of a building’s lifecycle. The set of measures applied to a building is customized to its unique situation and works together to reduce its impact on the human and natural environment optimally.

The draft law on buildings, accompanied by plans for greener transport, cutting methane and revising EU energy rules, form part of the EU’s green deal to transform its economy in less than three decades.

Here are some key features and principles associated with green buildings:

Energy Efficiency: Green buildings prioritize energy efficiency by incorporating design elements such as improved insulation, energy-efficient windows, efficient lighting systems, and advanced HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) technologies.

Water Conservation: Green buildings employ various strategies to conserve water, such as using low-flow fixtures, rainwater harvesting systems, and greywater recycling. These measures help reduce water consumption and promote sustainable water management.

Sustainable Materials: Selecting sustainable and environmentally friendly materials is crucial in green building construction. This includes using recycled, reclaimed, or locally sourced materials with a low environmental impact. Additionally, green buildings aim to minimize waste generation during construction and encourage recycling and reuse practices.

Certifications and Standards: Various certification programs and standards exist to evaluate and recognize green buildings, such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method). These programs provide guidelines and benchmarks for sustainability.

The value of investments in energy-efficient buildings worldwide reached its peak in 2022. However, to meet the net zero by 2050 goals, the value of those investments would need to amount to over half a trillion U.S. dollars annually between 2026 and 2030. The level of assets would have to increase sharply for that scenario to occur.

Government Initiatives: Many governments have implemented policies and regulations to promote green buildings and provide incentives for investments. These initiatives can include tax benefits, grants, subsidies, and streamlined permitting processes, contributing to increased investment in sustainable building projects. In Greece, the Recovery and Resilience Fund supports the green transition projects with low-interest rate loans up to 50% of the project’s cost.

Dionissis Alissandratos commented:”

Sirec Energy has a solid strategy to allocate capital into projects in developing, owning, or operating environmentally friendly buildings.

The fund invests in renewable energy solutions that include solar, wind and other environmentally friendly technologies and systems that could be integrated into buildings with a scope to address climate change and promote sustainability. We go through extensive research and due diligence to identify building opportunities that are an excellent target to transform and yield returns”.

About Sirec Energy Capital Partners

Sirec Energy is an independent Private Equity Firm, managing the European Sustainable Investment Fund (EUSIF) with €70m assets under management and a focus on investing in environmental sustainability and energy efficiency projects.

Sirec’s team has managed projects of more than €400m in energy efficiency and renewable energy production across seven European countries.