'Established in 2009, Russia's Green Building Council has been instrumental in promoting energy efficiency and low carbon building, as the country continues to experience a boom in construction'
Within the past decade, environmental issues and energy efficiency have slowly emerged as relevant concerns for the Russian government. Years of low energy prices, an abundance of natural resources and raw materials, and non-uniform building codes in Russia have contributed to a general lack of urgency regarding the improvement of energy efficiency. Russia also remains an internationally competitive commodities producer, particularly in gas and oil.
While Russia's energy intensity remains high, recent increase in energy prices and rising electricity tariffs may cause this to change. The residential sector offers the highest potential for improving energy efficiency in Russia, particularly in terms of space and water heating. After manufacturing, homes are the largest energy consumers in Russia, with housing consuming 20% of the country's electricity use and 60% of its heating requirements.
However, environmental issues and improved energy efficiency have become more of a priority in the past decade, with intentions to improve environmental monitoring, implement advanced environmental technology and increase environmental fines. While many of Russia's goals for reducing carbon emissions remain in the planning stage, rapid development in recent years signals a shift in environmental and emissions standards in all sectors.
Swedish Krona , St Petersburg
Primorsky District, St. Petersburg
The 'Swedish Krona' multi-flat development, led by Swedish construction company NCC, is expected to be finished by 2014. The first phase of the project is expected to see the development of 7.7 thousand m2, and 128 flats and will be commissioned before the end of 2011. Investment value of the Swedish Krona project equals about 5 billion roubles (approximately £100 million). NCC has been a leader in green building in Scandinavia and has been involved in industrial construction and redevelopment in St. Petersburg since 1977.
The new development will be situated near Udelny Park in the Primorsky district. The scheme will have mechanical ventilation and water filtering systems, as well as high efficiency lift systems. The multi-use development will also include a kindergarten, security and shops. Already the project has won a number of awards with the Russian Green Building Council's first green building awards in 2010, including the top award for multi-storey housing.
Russia ratified the Kyoto Protocol as an Annex I signatory and in conjunction with the requirements of the treaty, President Medvedev committed Russia to improve its energy efficiency by 40% by 2020. The government has also committed itself to increasing renewable energy resources, with targets for renewable electricity generation of 1.5% by 2010, 2.5% by 2015 and 4.5% by 2020.
The federal government approved Federal Law No. 261-FZ On Saving Energy and Increasing Energy Efficiency, with the goal to promote widespread energy efficiency and sustainable development. The law will also stipulate various amendments to existing legislation, including technical regulation, housing, town-planning and taxation, in order to enforce energy-saving rules.
Green building as a whole remains in its infancy in Russia. However, the Heat Efficiency Leveraging Program was launched in 2000. With help from the US Agency for International Development, the program requires each region and territory to work with the Russian Centre for Energy Efficiency to develop energy programs in housing and communal sectors.
Established in 2009, Russia's Green Building Council has been instrumental in promoting energy efficiency and low carbon building, as the country continues to experience a boom in construction. The Council has sought international guidance as it continues to grow. Examples included a recent agreement with BRE to help foster the development of BREEAM in Russia. The Council has also signed an agreement with the Passive House Institute as an important step in promoting green building in the country and innovation in construction technologies.
New legislation in Russia includes provisions for increased support and incentives for green construction. These will include incentives for improved energy efficiency in apartment buildings, where individuals in charge of building maintenance or building owners will be responsible for improved energy efficiency in communal areas or face penalties if they fail to comply.
The International Finance Corporation, an organisation of the World Bank, has teamed up with Russian banks
to finance the energy efficiency modernisation of multifamily buildings. The organisation has also developed the necessary legal and regulatory framework for homeowners associations and housing management companies to access finance for improvements in energy efficiency.