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Paul Fenech: Towards a low energy building

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Achieving climate neutrality is a goal that requires collective effort from all parties, be it governments, NGOs, small businesses, private households, public or private individuals. For this reason, the EIF and the Maltese government have teamed up to put together a pilot financing programme to incentivise investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, offering loans with very attractive terms.

One such investment was made by Ing. Paul Fenech, from Ta’Xbiex, Malta, to improve the energy efficiency of his new build. His goal is that his residence will be the first certified low energy building on the island. A mechanical engineer by profession, Paul has taken a keen interest in energy efficiency and spent time getting certified as a Passive House Designer with the PHI institute in Darmstadt, Germany.

“We wanted to make our penthouse as energy-efficient as possible,” he explains. “I went the extra mile to ensure that we could achieve a constant comfortable temperature inside all year round. Such measures included a continuous high quality thermal envelope with excellent insulation and air tightness, thermal bridge free construction, highly efficient windows with overhangs to protect from direct sunlight at peak hours and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery and humidity control. In Malta this is definitely not the norm in private residences, but I believe it is a matter of time before buildings start to be built on these principles.” Paul insists that education and sharing of knowledge is key: “It is critical that architects, engineers, building and finishing contractors update themselves on how to build in a sustainable manner.”

“These interventions last a long time. The first high energy efficient building in Darmstadt is still performing like it was on day 1, over 30 years ago,” he added.

Stable climatic conditions allow for more predictable energy consumption, reduced or practically no energy bills, but also make it easier to manage the space in terms of comfort. As a pianist, Paul sees benefits: “Typically, you need to tune an acoustic piano from one season to another. With stable temperature and humidity conditions, I’m expecting that it will remain in tune all year round!”

To bring the project to fruition, Paul secured a loan from the Bank of Valetta, backed by the EIF. “I’m very proud of the project and I’m excited to fire up the ventilation unit, after all the hard work put into it. The works will soon be completed and we look forward to moving back in – especially my wife.” We’ll be checking back with Paul on that piano in a couple of years.

Beneficiary: Paul Fenech (Malta)

Financial intermediary: Bank of Valetta

Financing purpose: energy efficiency

Sector: individual

EU financing: EERE Malta

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Malta, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/mt/index.htm

 

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