GCP Europe’s President, Karl-Walter Schuster, participated in the event “#Build2050 – Green Energy and Heating for Buildings in Europe 2050” organised in Brussels by EHI – the European Heating Industry. The event took place on 25 September in the Permanent Representation of Hessen.
The event was a great opportunity to facilitate the debate on the role of buildings towards the energy transition for 2050. The speakers came from different backgrounds, reflecting the complexity and diversity of actors within the building supply chain. During the debate, many challenges and opportunities were raised towards achieving the goal of transitioning energy systems: different renewable sources of energy, the issue of supply from renewables, energy efficiency measures and simple changes to reduce consumption, financing for energy efficiency technologies, opportunities of digitisation and the role of smart buildings. The last session concluded with members from the European Parliament sharing their perspective for the upcoming 2019 elections.
Karl-Walter Schuster, intervened during the panel on “How to smarten up buildings in 2050?”. First, he addressed a question to the audience about the definition of smartness, reminding that the main “raison d’etre” for buildings is to ensure comfortable living, working and healthy conditions to occupants. Connectivity and energy related issues, even if not the primary function for buildings, might become valid tools to ensure such a comfort. New technologies are already available for installers to facilitate the transition, even if the installation sector remains a complex environment where experts and professionals are constantly needed. Nonetheless installers are only one actor to achieve the challenge, and the cooperation along all the value chain is key. Lastly, Karl Walter highlighted the importance not just of the installation of a heating system in a building, but also of the necessity for regular inspections. The uses of buildings evolve over time and inspections are fundamental to ensure that the installations properly work and are adapted to the use of the building.
GCP Europe was pleased to have the opportunity to share their perspective on the discussion. Installers are an important actor in bridging new available technologies and consumers, and in ensuring that buildings are energy efficient, have safe and effective technical installations, and protect human health through their indoor air quality. Together with the different members in the supply chain, the panellists provided an optimistic vision for the future where digitisation and more efficient energy sources helped Europe implement its decarbonisation strategy.