Paths of regulation
Looking at public environmental regulation, six main paths of energy-environmental-climate response have contributed to the build up of a transitory push:
- An energy path: Kicked off by the energy crises and the rising prises on energy, an energy path was developed in the 70’ties. Within this path reduction goals on CO2 have become increasingly more decisive. For this reason, the government’s energy plan, Energi 21, focused on both reduction and change of energy sources. The energy path has resulted in a massive rise in the use of insulation materials both in new houses and upgrading of the existing housing.
- A recycling path: From the mid 80’ties a recycling path focussing on the reduction of waste disposal has developed. In 1985 a set of targets were defined on the recycling percentages on construction waste. In 1987 this was complemented with fees on the waste from construction. Within construction the governments waste plan for the period 1998-2004, Affald 21, states that the effort has to be focussed on maintaining a high level of recycling, reducing environmental load from construction waste, and ensuring that life cycle assessments are implemented in future construction projects. In addition, new demands is going to be issued, requiring that a number of fractions containing environmental harmful agents is going to be removed from the construction waste stream (Miljø- og Energiministeriet 1999, Mortensen 2000).
- A chemical substitution path: Substitution of hazardous chemicals has been addressed by the government’s action program on chemicals (Kemikaliehandlingsplanen, 1999). In relation to the construction sector this path primarily has influenced the waste handling and the product oriented environmental effort.
- An eco-products path: The product oriented program(1996) represents a general strategic approach referring to ‘a strategy of a sustainable development. Concerning the construction sector, this program is about to ensure development and marketing environmentally more friendly construction goods, focussing on substitution and eco-labelling as means (Miljø og energiministeriet 2000).
- An eco-planning path: The initiative of environmentally sound projecting (Miljørigtig Projektering, 1998), deals with ways of implementing life cycle assessment already in the early stages of the projecting. This work was initiated in the first part of the 90’ties, where DEPA funded 120 projects (total ECU 13 mill.) examined a large number of individual environmental factors related to construction of housing (Mortensen, 2000). The problem was however, that the knowledge obtained was too fragmented. In 1995-1998 DEPA funded the project on ‘environmentally sound projecting’ to get a comprehensive instrument enabling a systematic account of environmental issues throughout all stages in the projecting and building process. The outcome of this work was a ‘manual on environmental sound projecting’. SBI and DTI elaborated the manual, but a number of stakeholders left their mark on the content. Danish Industry (represent the main part of major industrial companies) and Foreningen af Rådgivende Ingeniører (FRI) (Association of consulting engineers) in particular influenced the mandate and the result.
- A climate path: Kicked off by the climate changes and energy wars and the rising prises on energy, a second wave of energy path was developed since 2006. Within this path reduction goals on CO2 have become increasingly more decisive and retrofitting and low-energy standards have been searched for in different projects and regulations on building standards for new buildings.