How we evaluate, reward or punish measurements, strategies, concepts and their results as a society, is going to influence the architectural trend significantly. That is why the development of methods for the evaluation of energy efficiency in the context of the built environment is an important and yet by architects undervalued factor for its further development.
Energy efficiency is the reduction of the energy demand of a building and creating optimal indoor conditions of its internal spaces at the same time. The term energy efficiency more often than not is unfortunately misinterpreted and the decrease of the energy demand of a building is generally seen as energy efficiency. Energy efficiency represents the relation between output (use) and input (resources). It is about how much value we get from the used energy. In this context of the climatic performance of buildings, the energy efficiency is the relationship between the quality of the indoor climate and the quality of the energy demand. Generally speaking, tools to regulate the energy efficiency of buildings usually only deal with the energy demand rather than energy efficiency. The BEEP (Building Energy and Environmental Performance) method was developed to identify the real energy efficiency of a building and to allow a thorough comparison between different design options. Results of case studies which were analyzed with this very method, clearly show that a low energy consumption does not equal a high energy efficiency. This complex evaluation method is able to lead to very different architectural solutions than common techniques or methods. This new method developed within the scope of the above mentioned research project was presented to the scientific community in Helsinki in June 2007 on an international congress. Results of further studies regarding different options for refurbishments of an office building was published in 2010.