To serve the public and support shaping & implementing national energy and environmental policies through applied research on energy conservation in buildings and sustainability of the built environment.
b. Research Focus
Research activities focus in the areas of rational energy use, high performance and decarbonization of buildings, sustainability assessment of buildings-neighborhoods-cities, building typologies, building stock modeling, life cycle analysis and environmental impact of buildings, thermal solar building applications, building energy audits-diagnosis and retrofitting, EPBD transposition, indoor environmental quality, thermal energy systems and simulations. c. Main Scientific Directions Over the years, the main GREC scientific directions have been aligned with EU and national policies and are currently positioned to further support the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and shape the strategies for renovating existing buildings to meet the 2030 targets and decarbonize the building stock by 2050. This is a key element of the solution since the buildings sector uses about 40% of the final energy and contributes to 36% of the greenhouse gas emissions in Europe. Furthermore, GREC is actively engaging in work to support the EU efforts that have shaped the global 2030 Agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this context, the directions of interest include the efforts related to the built environment with SDG-11 aiming to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable; energy and climate, with SDG-7 focusing on increased energy efficiency and the use of renewables, and SDG-12 promoting efficient use of natural resources, among others.
Since 2009, GREC has been instrumental in the national transposition of EPBD, supporting the Ministry of Environment and Energy, along with the Technical Chamber of Greece, to develop and continue to maintain the national calculation engine for performing building energy audits and for issuing energy performance certificates, along with the national regulation (KENAK) and the supporting technical guidelines. GREC exploited its knowhow generated from European projects to develop, enhance and expand a bottom-up building stock model (BSM) of Hellenic buildings to assess short and long term energy renovation strategies towards achieving the national targets. A supporting multimedia tool for policy makers is also continuously evolving. The key features of this model are the Hellenic building typologies defined by GREC according to the TABULA concept and the adaptation of the calculated energy use with simple correction multipliers for obtaining more realistic actual energy use, energy savings and emissions for building types. The latest research activities of the group involve providing new knowledge on baselines for the energy use intensities in residential and non-residential buildings, addressing the emerging issue of embodied energy in buildings and optimization of building renovations through lifecycle analysis.
GREC has also been expanding the work on a holistic method and system for accessing sustainability of the built environment at building, neighborhood and city scales. The developed decision making method and tools address a multitude of issues, including key performance indicators on site and infrastructure, urban systems, energy and natural resources, emissions and environment, service quality, social aspects, economy. The open system, tools and material have been adapted in Greek and promoted to Hellenic municipalities.