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SMART BUILDINGS – SMART WAY TO DECARBONISATION

Updated: Jun 1, 2023



As we confront the climate crisis, smart buildings have emerged as a critical piece in the puzzle of decarbonisation. Buildings are responsible for 40% of the final energy consumption and approximately 38% of energy-related CO2 emissions in EU countries.

That's where the Smart Readiness Indicator (SRI) comes in. Introduced in 2017, the SRI rates a building's smartness level, its sustainability, and its adaptability to climate change. However, its application is still in its early stages, with just seven EU countries actively engaged with the framework.


Blueprint is proud to be an integral part of the SRI-ENACT Project, funded by the EU LIFE Program. We are responsible for Austria’s SRI implementation, increasing cooperation among stakeholders, training auditors, and conducting SRI assessments in 750 residential and 1900 non-residential buildings. Our mission? To turn smart buildings from a novelty to the norm.


Smartness is linked to higher energy savings and as such, it should be contextualised, in response to the local climate conditions, different types of building typologies and specific needs of urban areas. Having said that, the smartness level of a building is considered to be among the key enablers of a building’s sustainability and is strongly associated with a building’s ability to adapt to the ongoing climate change as well. Aiming to enhance the materialisation of Smart Ready Technologies (SRT) in buildings and the consequent overall "smartification" of the building stock, a European scheme for rating the smart readiness of buildings was eventually launched called the Smart Readiness Indicator (SRI).


The concept of SRI was introduced back in 2017 where a definition of the SRI was attempted and a draft methodology for its calculation was developed. However, the crowning stone in the SRI establishment stemmed from the recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive in 2018 (Directive 2018/844/EU), where the SRI was formally deployed as an optional EU scheme for rating the smart readiness of buildings. Subsequent regulations (Commission Delegated Regulation 2020; Commission Implementing Regulation 2020) initiated the SRI testing phase.



The SRI scheme is still in its infancy and only seven countries have been formally engaged with the SRI framework, either by implementing an ongoing SRI test phase (i.e., Denmark, Czech Republic, France, Finland, Croatia, Austria) or by volunteering for conducting an SRI test phase that is expected to initiate in the near future (i.e., Spain).


The realisation and uptake of SRI from EU countries induces a number of open challenges related to the SRI definition and tailoring to different national contexts, the lack of SRI expertise among the energy auditors, the need to address scalability and reliability issues for large-scale deployments, the low engagement of relevant stakeholders in the different EU countries and the difficulties in informed decision making for energy smartness upgrades. In response to these challenges, SRI-ENACT Project (funded by the EU LIFE Program) provides a holistic solution to facilitate the SRI uptake in Europe, by engaging stakeholders in the co-creation of national-tailored SRI implementations and the development of the SRI-ENACT toolkit, encompassing SRI assessment and decision support tools to promote informed decision making for smartness upgrades.


Beyond specific methodology and technological outcomes, SRI-ENACT will deliver a package for the training and certification of the prospective SRI auditors. The resulting solution will be applied in 8 EU countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Latvia, Romania and Spain) involving 120 SRI auditors for the SRI assessment of large portfolio of buildings.


Blueprint team is included in the SRI-ENACT Project with responsibility in Austria to increase cooperation of the main stakeholders for the SRI implementation, train new auditors and conduct SRI assessments (in 750 residential and 1900 non-residential buildings). Although the Austria is among six frontrunner countries, where a formal test of the SRI scheme is being implemented, our work is not without challenges, and we will be tackling issues such as privacy, confidentiality and cybersecurity head-on to ensure a smooth transition to smarter, greener buildings.


The SRI-ENACT project aims to save 54 GWh/year of final and 108 GWh/year of primary energy use by 2025. We're also looking at substantial investments in sustainable energy (62 million EUR by 2025) and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 31,466 tCO2eq/year.


Blueprint is proud to be part of this monumental effort in moving towards a more sustainable and energy-efficient future. Let’s build a smarter, greener future together! 💡🌍🏢


The LIFE21-CET-SMARTREADY SRI-ENACT project has received funding from the European Union’s LIFE Programme under grant agreement N°101077201

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