Energy Efficiency in Buildings as a Basis for Achieving Sustainable Socio-Economic Growth in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Energy Efficiency in Buildings as a Basis for Achieving Sustainable Socio-Economic Growth in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The general scope of this project, initiated by Green Council in partnership with Burch International University is to stress out the importance of the existing researches on potential of local, renewable materials and insulating products to all active participants in the energy efficiency and climate change sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to educate them how to recognize and implement these products in the on-going reconstruction projects and new construction.

energetska-efikasnostIn order to develop joint strategy of collaboration including operating plans to help country’s transition towards smart, sustainable and locally produced renewable building materials and technologies. This initiative, supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina relies on cheap, natural and locally produced insulating materials (such as wood waste, sheep wool, straw and  other agricultural waste) to create conditions of growth, stability and energy efficiency, as an alternative to the imported ones – unsupportive to local economy and potentially harmful to the environment (such as polystyrene based thermal insulation) on one hand. On the other hand it insures collaboration between all stakeholders, inclusiveness and transparency. Proposed solutions, even though still considered unusual, are easy to reach as they have the potential to scale up across markets and impact the country on the triple bottom line of sustainability: environmental, economic and social. Project beneficiaries are multiple starting from specific beneficiaries such as local producers of insulating materials getting highly professional and immediately applicable information on all aspects of production, resources and certification (CE marking and certification would increase the possibility to export this new, natural insulating product towards European countries with high demand for this type of natural product such as Germany or Norway), local communities seeking to benefit from job creation, enhanced energy efficiency in the existing buildings and more balanced and sustainable environment, local agriculturalist seeking to benefit from the agricultural waste, to the general beneficiaries such as national and regional policy makers working towards EU integration processes, academics developing further research on this topic, and government representatives seeking to address job gap and economic stability.

Specific objectives are: a.) to create and introduce an EE platform in the building sector that would gather all active and potential stakeholders involved in the sector of energy efficiency, sustainable development, building construction and development and industry, and b.) Prepare and implement a set of guidelines related to the production, use and various benefits of natural, locally produced insulating materials in the building sector. Implementation of the existing research in this field could create growth, jobs and responses to EU integration recommendations. Achieving these objectives requires collective comprehensive action and cooperation across different industries initiated from the research communities with valuable expertise in the field and further on from the government, building sector, civil society and strategic partners. In case of Bosnia and Herzegovina it is not enough to focus on standard energy efficiency instruments – we should provide another, equally important dimension – economic sustainability. This project will address and connect all three headline targets proposed by the Europe 2020 Strategy (supported as well through Compact for Growth B&H): smart growth (developing a new, innovative and locally produced insulating product), sustainable growth (promoting a resource efficient, ecologically sustainable economy) and inclusive growth (strengthening the labor market and creating new jobs as a basis for social and territorial cohesion).

Project framework is expressed in four stages. The first one is a preparation stage and a basis for the following stages. It includes background information and research on the topic of energy efficiency in B&H (participants, legal framework, obstacles, current situation in building sector, requirements, training curriculums, logistical support etc.), preparation and organization of the introductory conference (with the scope of connecting all stakeholders in the field and understanding their current position), four day training sessions (be-spoke training workshops held by international and national experts on four major topics) and final conference (including promotion of the final document – a set of guidelines produced by the international and national experts in cooperation with workshop participants which will be disseminated among all relevant institutions).