Walking round a neighbourhood in any Bulgarian city, you will notice the colourful "patches" decorating the façades of many residential buildings. This is the result of some of the owners' efforts to save energy, by installing insulation onto their prefabricated apartments.
The understanding of efficient energy use in Bulgaria often begins and ends with investing in new insulation and new window frames for an apartment. The idea of optimised use of natural resources is still far from widely understood. That's why the term "green building/ construction", so popular in Europe, Asia and the United States, still sounds odd in Bulgaria, where some companies are just beginning to enter the market.
Increasing energy efficiency, saving natural resources and creating a healthy living environment – these are only part of the goals green building is trying to achieve. Green buildings are designed to use mainly renewable sources of energy such as the sun and wind. They are built from ecologic and recycled materials, which don't have a negative impact on the environment and they are well insulated, so that the use of energy for heating or cooling is reduced to a minimum.
Most residential and administrative buildings in Bulgaria were built in the socialist period, often using sub-standard materials, and with little idea of sustainability over time. The good news is that the idea of a responsible attitude towards the environment and natural resources is gradually gaining ground. Examples of companies oriented towards green practices and sustainability can already be found on the Bulgarian market.
Energy efficiency is one of the most important tenets in the philosophy of Alukönigstahl, an established company in construction and technical materials and the exclusive distributor of the Schüco, Jansen and Corus brands. Alukönigstahl is a leader in the field of aluminium and plastic profile systems and glazing technologies for façades, windows, doors, winter gardens and roof construction. It provides numerous options for optimising the energy potential of a building, such as the use of solar electricity and solar heating systems.
The Bulgarian company Risk Engineering plc is one of the first local businesses working in the field of scientific and technical consulting and engineering services. It has won a number of tenders from the European Commission PHARE programme. Renewable energy, energy efficiency and environmental protection are among the areas that this company specialises in, and it is preferred by clients who aim for sustainable development and green practices in their business.