This past March 31st, Dragos Milotin, Epstein's Bucharest-based architect & LEED analyst, was one of the featured presenters at Arena Constructilor's (AC) Energy Efficiency Conference. AC is one of Romania's leading real estate publications and this industry symposium was focused on how energy efficiency is not only a priority imposed by the European Union, but how there is an opportunity for receiving EU funds that are being allocated for Romania's construction sector. Dragos and the other speakers at this AC conference brought new and updated information on the subject of increasing energy efficiency and promoted new opportunities for Romania's construction industry.
For those of you not familiar with Romania, it's now part of the EU and one of the components of its relatively recent acceptance into this economic and political union is that around €1.2 billion has been set-aside for the country under an EU program to help increase energy efficiency in residential buildings, civic structures as well as public lighting. And the AC presenters, like Dragos, were tasked with educating attendees on energy efficiency and opportunities in the Romanian AEC industry & real estate services.
In Romania, buildings have the highest share of energy consumption, roughly 34%, outpacing the manufacturing and transport sectors. Meaning that Romania's built environment presents a grand opportunity for reducing energy consumption, but what's generally lacking is an understanding of how to achieve this reduction. Therefore, the information that Dragos presented about the Epstein designed Bridge Office Development, a project that is pursing LEED-CS Gold certification, was extremely helpful to the various developers and/or building management firms in attendance.
Specifically, Dragos' Bridge Building presentation dealt with how by analyzing a multitude of solutions for a building concept in relation to the cost of construction, you can increase the energy efficiency and material efficiency, thereby reducing maintenance costs by up to 50%. This type of efficiency can be obtained during the design phase, like it was on the Bridge Building, by performing building energy simulations. As Dragos stated high-performance buildings use far less energy, water, and money to operate, but this is only possible to 'prove' by comparing energy and lifecycle costs of similar facilities. And by using energy analytical models to illustrate different design preferences an architectural and sustainable concept can be produced that provides answers to these real-life comparisons and further help develop overall green building goals.
Lastly, the overall process and strategy behind this type of design is not just to reduce an architect or engineer's production costs, but is to deliver healthier and more comfortable places to live and work. And best of all, produce buildings that are more cost effective and efficient to operate. A win-win for everyone!
Dragos' presentation received significant praise by the attendees and over the past few weeks he has been fielding numerous calls and e-mails from industry professionals requesting additional information. Congratulations Dragos on a job well done and we can't wait to see The Bridge Building take shape!