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i24c and BPIE publish memo on boosting renovation through innovation and industry

Together with the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE), i24c publishes a memo on how to achieve healthy, comfortable and sustainable buildings for all. It emphasizes that ramping up deep energy renovation can boost the economy (competitiveness and jobs), improve living conditions (better and smarter homes) and mitigate climate change.

At present the European construction industry is confronted by an economy that is undergoing a rapid and fundamental change, shaped by megatrends such as greater urbanisation, disruptive new technologies and digitalization and globalised value chains. At the same time, the European economy faces the profound challenge of meeting the climate mitigation goal set out in the Paris Agreement of keeping average global warming to well below 2 ̊C. A successful achievement of the Paris Agreement goals implies low- or no-emissions from the European building stock by 2050, and materials to be used efficiently and with a minimal carbon footprint.

Today, the construction industry is lagging behind other sectors in terms of innovation. Increasing the scale and pace of its transformation would create significant opportunities for Europe – whether in terms of economic growth, employment creation, or emission reductions. In particular, innovations in the construction value chain can boost extensive building improvement work that substantially increases energy efficiency and reduces energy consumption by 75% or more. The renovation of Europe’s old building stock has a vital role to play in ensuring economic success and can help achieve environmental, social and other public policy goals. It is also key to enabling healthy, comfortable and sustainable buildings for all European citizens.

Frontrunner projects in Europe have demonstrated that innovation in all aspects of the process – products, services, business models and policy – offers great opportunities, such as the Dutch Energiesprong project or the Danish Project Zero project.

The memo proposes policy recommendations for the upcoming Winter Package to increase the historically low retrofitting rates in Europe such as incorporating a harmonised energy renovation target in the Energy performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD); it urges the need to establish a dynamic legislative framework; it calls for the introduction of the concept of renovation passports in the EPBD; it encourages renovation programmes to adopt a systems approach; it calls for unleashing the financial flows targeting energy efficiency; the energy performance certificate should include the aspect of a buildings’ smart-readiness, and that public authorities need to lead by example.

This memo is based on a longer report i24c has published in collaboration with BPIE. Access the full report here.