Avenir has won an assignment to develop a public sector internet service for energy efficiency rating of buildings. Starting in 2009, information on all houses, holiday cabins and commercial properties will have to be submitted via the internet. Properties will then be rated for energy efficiency in the same way as white goods.
Norway is implementing the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. This is an EU directive that aims to improve the energy performance of buildings. Improving the energy efficiency of buildings will help to reduce emissions that cause climate change, improve the balance of energy supply and demand and improve energy sustainability.
Avenir is one of the oldest and leading IT consulting firms in Norway, and became part of EDB Business Partner in January 2006. The company has now been awarded an assignment by the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) to develop an electronic self-service solution that will be made available on Minside.no and AltInn.
Affects the entire real estate market
The self-service solution will allow property owners to input data on energy use, calculate their building's energy consumption, receive an energy efficiency rating and access proposals to improve energy efficiency.
Property owners will receive an energy efficiency rating on a scale of A to C. The rating can be used as documentation for purposes such as property sales, and it must be clearly displayed in the entrance to all commercial premises over 1,000 square metres.
"Norway will now have a register that shows the environmental status of all its buildings. We believe that this system will be very important for the property market. The better a building's energy rating, the more attractive it will be to buyers or tenants", explains Lars-Erik Johannessen, Managing Director of Avenir.
Mr Johannessen points out that the information produced by the new system can be used for a wide range of analyses to improve the environment. Reporting energy consumption will also help to make the owners and users of buildings more aware of energy issues.
Technical solution to be used for the first time in Europe
Avenir has elected to use the new Microsoft technology known as Excel Services, which delivers interaction between SharePoint and Excel. This solution is widely used in the USA, but this will be the first application in Europe.
"The system will be used by everyone from private individuals to real estate professionals. The challenge will therefore be to develop an information architecture and design with logical structures that are intuitive to use but satisfy the demands of all users. In addition, the system must be scalable and simple to manage", adds Mr Johannessen.
The solution must also interface with the Matrikkelen system (the national register for land, addresses and buildings, formerly known as the GAB Register).
In parallel with the development assignment for the internet solution, NVE has entered into a contract with Multiconsult AS to develop the necessary library of technical construction and energy values that will be used in the calculations.
About energy performance ratings
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (OED) and the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development (KRD) are jointly responsible for implementing the directive in Norway. OED has given NVE the task of producing proposals for the arrangements needed for energy rating of buildings and inspection of technical facilities. OED is currently working on proposed legislation as an addition to the Energy Act.