The “Green” concept is taking the world to a new level of sustainability. The last environmental threats of global warming and the idea of running out of energy resources are pushing the globe to exert more effort to reduce the effects of such problems. One of the main challenges facing sustainability is continuous urbanization. A continuous urban sprawl is invading the non-developed land and consumes most of its natural material and resources. It was found that the building industry consumes 35% of world energy.

Man standing in a skyscraper watching the city through a window
Realizing this situation stresses the importance of adopting sustainable green building approaches to reduce the energy demand of projects. However, the best way to market for the energy efficient buildings is by introducing it as a solution for the energy costs problem. Owners of large business construction projects are facing challenges managing the facility budget. Hence, buildings must take new creative steps that put energy costs in check to maintain a sustainable business.

Builders are starting to go green by planning and designing international energy agency certified buildings. Find in the upcoming the IEA checklist and how PlanRadar follows your steps to reach an energy efficient building certificate.

Why energy efficient buildings matter?

While there are environmental sustainability benefits from the energy efficient building design there are less-obvious economic rewards too. Experts spend a lot of time identifying deciding factors to solve this debate, but too often they forget about cities’ most iconic landmarks “buildings”. Globally buildings and construction are responsible for 60% of electricity use, 12% of water use, 40% of waste, and 40% of material resource use. In cities, buildings occupy 50% or more of the land area. The numbers are rising as the world’s population grows and urbanizes. There is an urgent increasing need to reduce these numbers significantly and reverse the total process to make the buildings environmentally friendly while still livable. Investments in the building sector are less risky and create better returns when directed toward energy-efficient buildings. Lighting, air conditioning, and power supply, in general, generate the highest running costs. The search for more effective and energy saving alternatives becomes more and more popular.

Bar chart about the most affordable ways to cut emissions
Source: Building Efficiency

A Checklist to successfully receive a certification for energy efficient buildings

Evidence gathered by the International Energy Agency  (IEA) identified a four-step checklist to guide policymakers, stakeholders and any involved partner in the process of designing energy-efficient buildings. The upcoming is a checklist done by the IEA you can follow to deliver energy efficient buildings.

PLAN: Define the objectives and associated terms of reference for the energy performance certification scheme within the overall buildings energy policy. Engage with stakeholders to develop an appropriate action plan that enables practical and effective implementation.

  • Define the objectives, scope and appropriate method of assessment of energy use, and whether to include other environmental issues.
  • Decide on either a voluntary or mandatory approach and develop realistic, detailed implementation plans in consultation with stakeholders.
  • Create administrative and data collection systems within institutional capabilities. Secure sufficient financial and human resources.


IMPLEMENT: Ensure efficient data collection and processing procedures are in place and sufficient qualified building assessors are available. Raise industry and public awareness of scheme requirements and benefits.

  • Develop and search for additional training programs to strengthen existing accreditation systems and the capabilities of industry professionals.
  • Ensure all stakeholders have access to relevant information. Deliver ongoing information campaigns targeting building purchasers and users.
  • Centrally collect data for analysis and share with stakeholders to refine the program and foster greater overall energy efficiency. Remember: Lighting, air conditioning, and power supply in general result in enormous running costs.


MONITOR: Establish quality control mechanisms to monitor the performance of the certification scheme and of the assessors. Communicate results and outcomes openly to develop stakeholder trust and expand knowledge.

  • Establish a comprehensive quality assurance system including validation of certificates and auditing processes. You can also use a cloud-based facility manager software like PlanRadar to help you with defect-management and the project monitoring process. The software allows you to ticket any defect even on the offline mode. Afterward, you can forward it to the responsible project member, add the completion expected date, add an extra voice note or attach a picture to the defect. PlanRadar bundles all information on project status, construction documentation, and fault management for you. Try it Now!
  • Openly communicate positive and negative compliance results including errors or weaknesses uncovered through auditing.


EVALUATE: Analyze whether building certification is achieving defined goals and adjust as needed to increase impact. Consider scheme effectiveness in relation to supporting (and being supported by) other policy measures.

  • Continuous evaluation of the scheme to ensure ongoing alignment with original goals and with national buildings regulations.
  • Consider linking the certification scheme to other energy efficiency policies for buildings, environmental impacts, and human health.

How does it work?

Energy efficiency is defined by Energy Performance of Buildings Directive of the European Union (2010) as:

“The energy performance of a building shall be determined on the basis of the calculated or actual annual energy that is consumed in order to meet the different needs associated with its typical use and shall reflect the heating energy needs and cooling energy needs (energy needed to avoid overheating) to maintain the envisaged temperature conditions of the building, and domestic hot water needs.”

The ratio of energy input to the calculated or estimated amounts of energy required to cover the various requirements relating to the standardized use of a building serves as the measure of energy efficiency. According to “Energy Performance of Building Directive” (EPBD), the following thermal and electrical forms of energy are considered when determining the energy efficiency of a building:

  • Heating
  • DHW (domestic hot water)
  • Cooling · Ventilation
  • Lighting
  • Auxiliary energy.


Thermal and electrical energy should be kept to a minimum to achieve a high degree of energy efficiency. The energy efficiency value for an individual building is determined by comparing it to reference according to different countries values.

Barriers and solutions face energy efficient buildings industry

There are a number of barriers and challenges inherent in improving energy efficiency in buildings. Some barriers are specific to certain stakeholder groups. For example, high transaction costs relative to returns and the unreliability financing for energy efficient building projects. Other barriers are sector-wide, such as energy subsidies and a widespread lack of data and information on energy efficient opportunities, costs, and benefits. Addressing systemic problems such as these typically requires strategies and policies to be implemented. Next is a list of the most common barriers followed by the solutions required to support the energy efficiency sector.

Contractor Education and Certification

Education and certification strategies to ensure properly trained professionals are a key issue in high-performance housing. A group of training and quality assurance strategy implementation has to precede the construction project.

Financing Energy Efficient Housing

Quantification and financing of energy efficient features are critical to market penetration, efficient financing mechanisms have to be modified to cope with the current market situation.

Retrofit Safety Requirements.

Energy retrofit projects pose unique and significant risks that must be addressed effectively before, during and after construction.

Quality Assurance

Complete quality management strategies, systems, and tools must be in place for builders and contractors to ensure efficient and effective high-performance construction and remodeling projects. Quality assurance success key is to fix any rising defect without delay this can be accomplished using PlanRadar which provides an easy ticketing method to record defects. Tickets are created with the mobile app directly on the spot, or via the web application in the office. If you create a ticket, you can assign them to a contractor and add details such as title, priority, and completion date. Furthermore, you can add the plan position, pictures, text, or voice memos to each ticket. This way you have all the information needed to achieve the highest quality assurance level. Try it now for 30 days free of charge

Neighborhood Scale Retrofit Strategies

Successful retrofit strategies must be scalable and applicable to great numbers of homes. However, the variability in our nation’s housing poses a challenge to creating these “neighborhood” or “community-scale” strategies.

Key Market Player Motivation in Energy Efficiency Investments

In addition to consumer motivation, key market players such as the real estate industry, trade contractors, and energy raters must be motivated to move forward with high-performance housing.

Incentive and Partnership Programs

Utility program demand-side management stimulus and state-sponsored programs provide significant motivation for investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Equipment Standards

Significant progress has been made in improving efficiency standards. High technology strategies have to be on the plan as, using new appliance standards (recent and future) and implementing suggestions for dehumidification and cooling equipment standards.

Solutions to face these barriers

The most common policy and regulation instruments to increase energy efficiency in buildings are listed below according to Improving Energy Efficiency in buildings report done by ESMAP. These measures tend to be accompanied by specific support programs, and as a group is generally more effective than a single, standalone energy efficient intervention.

  1. Formulate energy regulatory policies in energy markets
  2. Develop mandatory standards and codes on the national and regional level
  3. Recognize and encourage energy efficient voluntary labels and certificates
  4. Encourage investment in energy efficiency and support financial facilitation schemes.
  5. Provide the requirements needed for energy management in the construction sector
  6. Develop public sector financial management and procurement policies
  7. Raise public awareness and support capacity-building initiatives.


How building software affect the energy efficient buildings business now

There have been developments in the promotion of energy efficiency in the private construction sector. Large construction companies tend to produce more “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System (LEED)” certified buildings. New well-designed and well-constructed buildings represent the best opportunity for reducing heating, cooling, ventilating, and lighting loads. The most effective way to ensure that energy efficiency is factored into the design and construction process is by introducing and enforcing Building Energy Efficiency Codes.

Following up a basic construction project is full of hard tasks so, what about adding more codes and values that have to be implemented. Going through this complicated process alone is not easy you have to keep every detail in your mind and manage any defect that arises in your project instantly. Avoid this mess by using PlanRadar and take advantage of the 30 days free trial to experience a smooth construction process. You will have access to a platform which provides a full, safe documentation cloud in your hands and category filters for your projects to allow you to ticket the defect in less than a minute.