The Passive House: ISOPA’s contribution to meeting the EU climate and energy goals

Over the past years, Europe has strived to become a global leader in the fight against the climate change. This   is particularly true in 2015 in light of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. In the coming months the European Parliament and the European Commission will discuss the 2030 Climate and Energy package’s implementation.

For ISOPA the fight against climate change constitutes a unique opportunity to highlight how much innovation can contribute. From buildings’ insulation to footwear, innovative Polyurethanes are indeed at the core of environmentally friendly practices.

ISOPA welcomes European energy policy initiatives

Europe is currently at a critical turning point, as the institutions are assessing the future of Energy Policy. Meanwhile, the same institutions are also keeping a close eye on Member States’ energy efficiency progress. Meeting energy efficiency targets is not only an environmental imperative but also the key to turning economic and geostrategic challenges into opportunities. For example, security of energy supply and the cost of energy are part of the European energy policy.

To achieve Europe’s ambitions it is also paramount for regulation to align to the European Commission’s objective for jobs and growth and to the European industry’s ambition for innovation. Ahead of these changes, ISOPA has been striving to make this transition smoother and more efficient. In 2011 ISOPA started its Passive House project in an effort to show that today’s innovation is the solution to tomorrow’s challenges.

Wondering what is a passive house? Let us refresh your memory.

ISOPA’s Passive House brought in a new wind in the art of construction. It was built using polyurethane materials from floor to ceiling: the heat-reflective polyurethane windows frames contribute to heating of the rooms during the winter while making the house a pleasant place to hide from the summer heat.

Furthermore, polyurethane insulation systems create precautionary air barriers in attics, walls and under floors, effectively allowing low energy use. In spite of its smaller than usual heating system the Passive House manages to maintain stable internal temperature throughout winters and summers.

A house built using polyurethane materials consumes up to 85% less energy than a conventional building! This means that innovative materials, such as polyurethanes, can help you save on energy bills from the very first day of installation while contributing to adding comfort to your life.

Polyurethane in the construction sector: Changing European lives since the 1980’s

Since the first Passive House was built in the 1980’s, 40,000 passive house buildings followed worldwide with over 20,000 in Europe alone. This statistic shows that the world has discovered the high potential of polyurethanes in reducing CO2 emissions, rationalising the use of fossil fuels, increasing energy savings and improving living standards.

Kristine Dewaele and ISOPA Secretary General Jörg Palmersheim at the Passive House's opening

Kristine Dewaele and ISOPA Secretary General Jörg Palmersheim at the Passive House’s opening

Since the first EU package of climate and energy targets was adopted in 2007, significant improvements have been made in the intensity of energy use thanks to more efficient construction and buildings. Acknowledging the potential of polyurethanes, ISOPA strives to fulfill present and future society’s needs. We share the responsibility for reducing environmental impacts of products and take a product-centered approach to environmental protection.

In turn, we welcome a sustainable regulation and wish to communicate the high potential and benefits of polyurethanes to both users and regulators in this transition period. Our ‘passive’ model of housing illustrates the important role of chemistry in general and polyurethane in particular in achieving European and global energy goals while improving the quality of life at home.

Climate change is everyone’s responsibility!

Do you still think that individual contribution does not matter? Contrary to what we may think, we can all make a difference by changing the way we consume energy and encouraging our neighbours to do the same. We may all be surprised by the outcome.

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