Why most Swiss buildings are environmentally inefficient

Buildings account for about a quarter of annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Switzerland. But progress on making them more efficient has been slow, despite state subsidies.  “At first I only planned to replace the doors and windows of the house,” explains Luca Berini, the owner of a detached house near Lugano in southern Switzerland.  “But when I learned that I’m eligible for state subsidies I decided on a complete refurbishment. It is important to be environmentally friendly.”  Thick layers of rock wool insulation, triple glazing, an automatic ventilation system and the replacement of the gas heating with a thermal pump have transformed the 55-year-old building into a modern home. The renovation increased the value of the property by 30-40%, says Berini, who is surprised to learn that he is a rare exception in Switzerland.  Buildings use about 40% of the energy consumed in Switzerland every year, and account for over 25% of all CO2 emissions. They produce more ...
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