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Last Updated: 2-2016
The building sector contributes up to 30% of global annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and is responsible for approximately 40% of the total energy consumption. Unless actions are undertaken, GHG emissions from the building sector this will be more than doubled in the next 20 years. As a result, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union created an action plan for energy efficiency which identifies the significant potential for cost-effective energy savings in the building sector. In this plan it is stated that all member states need to ensure that by the year 2018 new buildings occupied and owned by public authorities have to be nearly zero-energy buildings. Also, by the year 2020 all member states have to make sure that new buildings are realized as nearly zero-energy buildings. In addition, tighter budgets and higher customer expectations are responsible for more pressure on project participants to control the life cycle costs (LCC). This results in an increasing attention for methods which are able to create proper trade-offs between LCC and an improved sustainability of the building sector.