On 17 June 2015, the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE) made available online 4 papers on Indoor Air Quality, Energy Performance Certificates, renovation strategies and fuel poverty. These were presented during the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ECEEE) Summer Study conference held at the beginning of June.
The Concrete Initiative - energy efficiency
According to Habitat for Humanity’s 2015 Housing Review1, the cost of housing places a heavy burden on over 10% of European households. Of this 10%, more than 39% of families are also at risk of poverty. This is further backed by Eurostat figures which note that nearly 10% of EU citizens live in severe “material deprivation” – in new Member States this figure is almost double (18.6%). And it seems that the situation is not improving.
On 20 September 2016, the building sector joined forces in the launch of a new mortgage scheme offering lower rates to buyers opting for more energy efficient buildings. In order to be eligible, buyers would need to commit either purchasing more energy efficient homes or to carrying out energy-saving retrofits to the property purchased.
There is a growing need for more affordable, energy efficient, comfortable housing, especially in our cities. We need innovative new collaborations from key players with scalable responses to these pressing challenges. This event provided a shared space for a range of stakeholders to consider what more the construction sector can do to help deliver solutions.
The review of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) provides us with an opportunity to raise the bar in terms of reducing the impact of buildings across Europe by making them more energy efficient. Whilst stakeholders agree that the existing Directive, dating back to 2010, has increased awareness about the importance of this issue, experience in using the Directive has provided us with some food for thought as to how it could be further improved. With this in mind, the concrete sector has outlined the areas which it would like to see tackled and prioritised.
Energy poverty is an issue which is moving increasingly to the forefront of the wider EU debate on energy. Against this backdrop, the Commission is looking at ways in which it can support the Member States in protecting vulnerable consumers. Areas in which it plans to take action include identifying good practices and facilitating an exchange of information. But first of all it is important to understand what is meant by energy poverty and what the extent of the problem really is.
Increasing renewable energy uptake will bring the need for greater energy flexibility and storage in order to match supply with demand. What if buildings could play this role, by offering thermal storage capacity that is currently untapped? This event will explore this concept, and make the link between the different elements of the Energy Package, from energy performance of buildings (EPBD) to electricity market design.
On 3 December 2015, the preliminary results of the public consulation on the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) were made public by consultants Ecofys.
With the aim of boosting investment in start-ups and sustainable urban development, the European Commission has recently launched two new financial instuments. One of the aims of these is to encourage the regeneration of urban areas.
German College was built with architectural White Agilia concrete, exposed white Artevia pavement and Hydromedia.
Earlier this month, the Mayor's Adapt initiative published a brochure outlining good practices in terms of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures for European cities.