Although there are certain positive indicators, the general situation in Serbia when it comes to the application of the principles of green building is not at a satisfactory level, as stated by the participants of the panel discussion “Future of green building in Serbia” held on Tuesday, October 26th, organized by the Climate Forum.
According to the regulations, every new project in Serbia must have an energy passport, however, only about 5,000 of them have been officially registered. There are even fewer facilities with sustainability certificates such as BREEAM and LEED, only around thirty of them, said Martin Elezovic, director of REENG and a member of the Board of directors of the Serbia Green Building Council, noting that the percentage of energy efficient and sustainable buildings in our country is very small in relation to the entire fund measured in millions.
“Half of the buildings with green building certificates in Serbia is located in only two streets in Belgrade,” Elezovic revealed, emphasizing another problem in the green building sector in our country – the localization of positive projects.
In the conversation about the importance of green building and concrete methods for reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the construction sector also participated Assistant professor Jelena Dragas, PhD, from the Faculty of Civil Engineering, and professor Natasa Cuković Ignjatovic, PhD, from the Faculty of Architecture. The discussion was moderated by Nemanja Milovic, founder and editor of the klima101.rs portal.
Jelena Dragas, stated that the situation is a bit worse in terms of construction materials. “Concrete from those thirty or so certified facilities was not made with a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. It is probably made of cement and natural aggregate, and not by some method of recycling. I’m not sure what the motivation is for building such facilities. I would not say that the goal is green building, as much as prestige, and maybe it is also a question of foreign investments “, Dragas stated.
“It is commendable that there is a growing interest among students in topics related to green building. For years, we have had specialist studies of energy efficient and green architecture. When it comes to implementation in practice and progress that a citizens would experience, we are still, unfortunately, quite far away”, said professor Natasa Cukovic Ignjatovic, PhD .
According to her claims, engineering knowledge in the field of green building exists, but it is needless if there is no practice. “If you ever asked anyone on the street if they would like to live in a healthy, green building, spend less money on heating and not need air conditioning in the summer, I guess they would answer with, ‘Yes.’ “Enthusiasm declines when the time comes to put words into action,” she explained.
“Who wouldn’t want more daylight, better comfort, energy efficiency, more greenery, lower water consumption?” Everyone would like that, but today you do not have time to deal with it”, said Martin Elezovic, explaining how investors often observe this issue. He pointed out that the purchase of energy-saving appliances and the use of LED lights can reduce bills, and that it is important for citizens to start from themselves. “Reduce energy consumption, recycle, turn off the lights” –said Elezovic, a member of the Board of directors of Serbia Green Building Council.
In order for the construction sector in Serbia to become more sustainable, better application of regulations and certain incentives from the state are needed, as well as education of citizens and investors – this is the conclusion of the participants in the panel discussion “The future of green building in Serbia.”