09 December 2015

BPIE presents renovation policy recomendations

BPIE presents renovation policy recomendations

On 2 December 2015, the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE) published a report entitled “Renovation in practice – Best practice examples of voluntary and mandatory initiatives across Europe”.  This document analyses a variety of approaches and solutions available to tackle the renovation challenge in terms of scale, financing, addressing non-technical barriers, level of ambition or achievement of social objectives.  in this regard, it includes 5 case studies which the authors believe could inspire and motivate policy-makers across Europe, and even globally.  These include tackling fuel poverty, and streamlining public building renovation through Energy Performance Contracting.

In terms of key findings, the authors highlight the fact that stakeholder engagement across the full range of participants and interested parties maximises buy-in, and that reliable and readily accessible expert support and guidance helps building owners make the right renovation choice.  Furthermore, it notes that financing needs to be tailored to the different building owners’ requirements, focusing on the quality of products as well as suitably trained installers & advisers to enhance property value through building renovation, and incentivising a holistic approach where deeper renovation is the preferred, or only, option. 

BPIE also lays out a series of policy requests in the report as follows:

  • Building on Article 5 of the Energy Efficiency Directive for Member States to renovate 3% of floor area of the Central Government estate every year, the requirement should be extended to ALL public buildings, including hospitals and educational establishments, so that the whole public sector leads by example;
  • Buildings in the lowest energy performance classes (which are often affected by problems such as mould growth, condensation and poor indoor air quality, in addition to being hard to heat) should over time be deemed unsuitable for occupation. By giving advance notice (say, 10 years as in the French case), owners will have time to make the necessary improvements. Financial support should be available for those with modest means;
  • Residential accommodation, such as social housing, should meet the highest energy performance ratings within a specified timeframe in order to provide comfortable, affordable housing, particularly for households at risk of fuel poverty;
  • Any building extension, addition or change of use should be conditional on the improvement of the overall energy performance of the original structure;
  • Exchanging of heating or cooling equipment, or undertaking maintenance work on the building, should be accompanied by a requirement to improve the building’s energy performance and an assessment of options for the introduction of renewable energy systems.

More information: Report

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