March 25-27, 2020
The EBC Research Programme
Approximately one third of primary energy is consumed in non-industrial buildings such as dwellings, offices, hospitals, and schools where it is utilised for the heating and cooling, lighting and operation of appliances. In terms of the total energy end-use, this consumption is comparable to that used in the entire transport sector. Hence the building sector represents a major contribution to fossil fuel use and related carbon dioxide emissions. Following uncertainties in energy supply and concern over the risk of global warming, many countries have now introduced target values for reduced energy use in buildings. Overall, these are aimed at reducing energy consumption by between 5% and 30%. To achieve such a target, international cooperation, in which research activities and knowledge can be shared, is seen as an essential activity.
The IEA (International Energy Agency) Energy in Buildings and Community (EBC) Programme carries out research and development activities toward near-zero energy and carbon emissions in the built environment. These joint research projects are directed at energy saving technologies and activities that support technology application in practice. Results are also used in the formulation of international and national energy conservation policies and standards.
The EBC Research Strategy
The IEA 'Energy in Buildings and Communities' Technology Collaboration Programme carries out research and development activities toward near-zero energy and carbon emissions in the built environment. The R&D activities focus on the integration of energy-efficient and sustainable technologies into healthy buildings and communities. EBC's mission is to support the acceleration of the transformation of the built environment towards more energy efficient and sustainable buildings and communities, by the development and dissemination of knowledge, technologies and processes and other solutions through international collaborative research and open innovation. Download the EBC Strategic Plan 2019 - 2024 (PDF 2.9MB)
Many current and former researchers from EBC projects are often directly involved in formulating standards, regulations and codes and will use the knowledge gained in their work for EBC to inform and improve them. This indirect form of deployment can be one by which the Programme has a strong although less obvious impact.
EBC projects and activities have produced long-lasting decision-making tools and integrated systems technologies. Outcomes from the Programme are publicised through many seminars and conferences.
The R&D strategies are derived from research drivers, national programmes within IEA countries, and the IEA FUTURE BUILDINGS FORUM Think Tank Workshop, held in April 2013. The R&D strategies apply to residential, commercial, office buildings and community systems.
EBC is one out of eight Building Related Technology Collaboration Programmes (BRTCPs) within the IEA's energy technology network.
The EBC Research Projects (Annexes)
The EBC Research Programme is mainly undertaken through a series of research projects, so-called 'Annexes'. Typically each Annex has a life span of 3-4 years, although extensions are possible if a continuing need for the activity is identified. Clear goals are set for each activity so that well defined products are generated. Publications are available for several ongoing and most completed annexes.
High Priority Research Themes
- Integrated planning and building design
- Building energy systems
- Building envelope
- Community scale methods
- Real building energy use