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Three energy-efficient multistory houses for Belarus with UNDP/GEF assistance

MINSK, 26 September (BelTA) - Three energy-efficient many-storied houses will be built in Belarus with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), head of the UNDP/GEF project for increasing the energy efficiency of houses Alexander Grebenkov said at a press conference on 25 September, BelTA has learnt.

The houses will be built in line with the project designed to improve the energy efficiency of residential buildings in the Republic of Belarus. The project is funded by the GEF and the UNDP. The first building in Minsk will be a standard large-panel nine-storied house with four entrances. Another one with three entrances will be built in Grodno. It will be a building with supporting cross walls made of bricks and outer walls made of cellular concrete blocks. The third house will be a twenty-storied skeleton-type building.

We would like to prove that the construction of social housing can be coupled with efforts to increase energy-efficiency. Such efforts are affordable and are repaid quickly as rent bills in such houses are much lower. Our goal is to introduce as many new technologies as possible in order to considerably reduce energy consumption in these buildings,” Alexander Grebenkov said.

The press conference participants also touched upon EU’s legal experience in terms of energy saving. “The most famous legislative initiative in the EU is the Energy Efficiency Directive which sets a single 20-20-20 principle as a target to be achieved by 2020. This means a 20% increase in energy efficiency, the increase in the share of renewable energy sources in energy consumption to 20% and the lowering of greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20%. There is no sense in hesitating, this system should be introduced here, too, taking into account national peculiarities,” said Leonid Sokolovsky, the project’s expert on normative documents and construction standards.

Expert on the energy audit of buildings Andrei Molochko said that a mandatory certification of houses based on energy efficiency classes will be introduced in line with the project the way it has been done in Europe. The project designed to improve the energy efficiency of residential buildings in the Republic of Belarus aims to reduce energy consumption during home construction and operation in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The project is implemented with the assistance of the UNDP and the GEF. The national executive agency is the Energy Efficiency Department of the State Committee for Standardization of Belarus. The major partners are the Architecture and Construction Ministry, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, the civil engineering company OAO MAPID and the unitary enterprise Institut Grodnograzhdanproyekt.