Barriers to High-Performance Building (HPB) Incentivisation in Malta

Rebecca Emily Dalli Gonzi, Joseph Falzon, William Portelli, Simon Grima
International Journal of Economics and Business Administration, Volume XI, Issue 3, 39-55, 2023
DOI: 10.35808/ijeba/814


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to concentrate on the technical and non-technical hurdles to High-Performance Buildings (HPB) in Malta. As a result, the study aims to analyse a variety of non-technical barriers, with a focus on current policies and practices, stakeholder roles the demand for HPB, incentives, and economic aspects. It also identifies the traits of a high-performance building and highlights advantages for construction over traditional structures. Design/Methodology/Approach: Purposive sampling was employed as part of a qualitative data collection technique with input from policymakers, homebuyers, developers, and architects as well as local entity representatives. Findings: The major barrier to HPB, according to research, is the public's lack of awareness, which marks a lack of demand and a perception of high starting expenditures, having a direct impact on the developer's final profit. Practicality/originality: The findings of this study indicate that there is a clear need for information campaigns by local governments, the national government, and private businesses, including architectural firms, businesses that specialize in consulting on the topic, businesses that sell supplies, amongst others about this knowledge area. Other benefits besides cost and energy savings should be the emphasis of public comprehension if successful campaigns are to meet EU targets. It would assist the process to better publicise other advantages such as those connected to environmental, mental, and psychological health. Additionally, all pre-contractual project requirements for new construction should be focused on achieving acceptable levels of energy efficiency and the Planning Authority should enforce these requirements as a routine practice to get a building permit. To achieve the minimum standard energy efficiency, an independent third-party authority (non-governmental related) should conduct the assessments related to energy efficiency during the planning process. This certifying body should assist clients in spending time studying the site during the design phase. The energy performance certificate (EPC) procedure needs to be concentrated on the beginning of a project than on its conclusion, and both the seller and the homeowner should be obligated to follow the suggestions made in the EPC, with updates through a property logbook. Practical Implications: The building sector is one of the major global producers of greenhouse gases and carbon emissions. Given that construction is one of the main contributors to the local economic growth, this environmental concern is even more concerning in the local context. The EU directives and the national action plans push for sustainable development in all EU member states, with a strong focus on creating greener buildings, moving toward Nearly-Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) and Zero Energy Buildings (ZEB), and creating buildings that are more energy-efficient and self-sufficient. Originality value: The defined goals designed to reduce carbon emissions and greenhouse gases encourage this. It is also recommended that these emissions be minimized in building design.

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