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2024-03-14 | Jules Oriol, Volodymyr Vladyka, and Mariangiola Fabbri
BPIE

Following the “build back better” principle, BPIE presents in this report six investment criteria to guide a sustainable reconstruction of Ukraine's heavily damaged built environment. The report calls on multilateral donors and the Ukrainian government to allocate funding to projects that meet ambitious energy efficiency, renewable energy, climate adaptation, and circularity criteria.

Download the report

2023-09-01 | Passive House Accelerator
Passive House Accelerator

The fall 2023 issue of Passive House Accelerator explores how the benefits of Passive House construction can turn buildings into islands of tranquility.

Case studies in this issue include an affordable apartment building in the Bronx, a warehouse in the Hudson Valley, a prefabricated classroom on a Spanish beach, and the world's first Passive House certified hospital in Germany.

This issue examines how the benefits of Passive House construction—particularly improved indoor air quality and protection from external noise pollution—can positively affect occupant health in addition to decarbonizing the built environment. This issue also highlights how the principles of Passive House design and construction can be applied to any building typology and in any climate.

Please read the full magazine here.

 
2023-07-31 | Metabolic
Metabolic

How does the large-scale application of biobased construction materials impact our forests? Are we not shifting the burden to another planetary boundary if we focus on the reduction of carbon emissions?

This report from Metabolic is a first step in a longer-term exploration to create clarity on these important issues.

This report delves into the current environmental impact of the construction sector in the EU27+UK; the potential scenarios to reduce the impact of the sector by applying timber alternatives to carbon-intensive materials; the implications that this increased demand for timber has on European forests, and what systemic barriers need to be taken into consideration during the planning and development processes.

Please read the full report here.

 
2023-10-01 | World Green Building Council (WorldGBC)
World Green Building Council (WorldGBC)

The factsheet introduces the Implementation of the EU Taxonomy in the built environment and the link between NZEB and the EU Taxonomy The EU Taxonomy for the construction, acquisition and ownership of buildings requires the disclosure of a building’s primary energy demand (PED) as per the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) of 2010.

It was suggested that the European Commission and Member States should agree on a more harmonized definition of a major and deep renovation. The EU Commission should add embodied carbon assessments for the construction of a building, the demolition and rebuilding of a building, and the renovation/retrofitting of a building to allow comparability. Member States should provide further incentives for investors to choose energy renovation over construction.

Check the full factsheet here.

2023-05-23 | United Nations Economic Commission for Europe(UNECE)
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe(UNECE)

When it comes to sustainability and circularity, wood as a natural raw material has several advantages over other building materials. As a bio-based resource, it has considerable benefits concerning greenhouse gas emissions, carbon-storing, thermal insulation as well as human health and well-being compared to other construction materials. New types of wood products, being the result of extensive research, enable the extensive use of wood in tall buildings. At the same time, innovative wood products provide less manufacturing waste, low carbon-emission alternatives and store massive quantities of carbon while new technologies speed construction processes, promote energy efficiency and minimize waste.

This study examines the benefits of wood as a construction material and discusses practices applied in the wood construction sector from the perspective of circularity, sustainability and climate change mitigation. It analyses how circularity concepts can be applied in the construction industry using different construction methods and at different stages of value chains. The study describes how different construction techniques and practices contribute to the renewal and sustainability of construction value chains. The analysis is supported by examples of good practice in UNECE member States.

Please read the full report here.

 
2023-09-11 | Local Governments for Sustainability(ICLEI)
Local Governments for Sustainability(ICLEI)

This resource delves into the circular initiatives and tools adopted by cities such as Apeldoorn (the Netherlands), Bodø (Norway), Mikkeli (Finland), Seville (Spain), Høje-Taastrup, and Roskilde (Denmark) over their four-year participation in the CityLoops project, coordinated by ICLEI and funded by the EU. The handbook provides a comprehensive, step-by-step overview for other cities and regions on how to replicate these initiatives within their own unique contexts.

This handbook also places these activities in the broader context of the European circular transition, underscoring that circular construction is gaining traction across Europe. However, it emphasizes that the construction sector is just beginning its circular transition, despite being one of the most economically and environmentally resource-intensive sectors. It accounts for approximately half of all material extraction, half of energy consumption, a third of water consumption, and 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

By transforming the unsustainable linear approach of "take-make-dispose", the implementation of circular economies can mitigate the adverse environmental impacts of the construction sector while preserving and enhancing economic value. The handbook showcases practical examples of how cities put these tools into practice, the rationale behind their decisions, potential improvements, and how these efforts align with broader European circular strategies and policies.

Download the handbook

2023-09-20 | European Labour Authority(ELA)
European Labour Authority(ELA)

ELA published today a report concerning information provision, enforcement, social security coordination and cooperation between Member States in relation to posting of workers in the construction sector. The study, which findings are presented in the report, was conducted between October 2022 and May 2023.

The study shows that the most prevalent violations and abusive practices include the establishment of letterbox companies, non-compliance with working conditions, bogus self-employment, fraudulent PD A1 (Portable Document A1) usage and fraudulent posting of third country nationals. Labour inspectorates can inspect and sanction these violations and abusive practices, but they often lack sufficient financial and staff resources, and experience difficulties in identifying some factual elements in such posting contexts (e.g. place of registration of undertakings, number of contracts performed, whether or not the posted workers return to or are expected to resume working in the sending Member State) to properly carry out their inspection activities. Furthermore, imposition of sanctions and their effective implementation can be difficult in a cross-border situation.

The report identified several measures that could prevent non-compliance with the rules. These include the provision of social ID cards to posted workers, subcontracting chain liability schemes to make it possible to identify the actors in those chains, limitations on subcontracting and specific public procurement rules.

Please find more information here.

 
| EIT Climate-KIC; Lendlease; Built by Nature
EIT Climate-KIC

Although various timber buildings have been built globally but the industry is still in its infancy. There are still many challenges to overcome in order to improve the uptake of mass timber in the construction industry. This initiative aims to improve the perception of mass timber in the Milanese, Italian and EU context through collective learning and a strategic communication strategy involving key stakeholder groups, the so-called ‘Big Six’: developers, investors, cities, designers, insurers, and assets owners.

As a joint effort of Perception of Timber at MIND project led by Climate-KIC and Lendlease, supported by Built by Nature, the report illustrates the Timber Perception Lab, an initiative that aims to promote the use of mass timber construction in Italy, and it outlines the next steps and goals for the second year of the initiative, such as expanding the network, scaling up the prototype, and influencing policies and regulations.

Read the full Report Here.

 
2023-07-01
United Nations

Although access to electricity and the use of clean fuels for cooking, heating and lighting is widespread in the UNECE region – and deployment of renewable energy had been increasing and energy efficiency had also been improving – the rate of progress has not been high enough to make the energy targets of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (affordable and clean energy) achievable. An acceleration of effort is therefore critical to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

This report highlights the gap between actual progress and what is required to achieve SDG7 targets. Closing the gap requires integrated thinking by energy system actors, coupled with enabling policy frameworks and good governance. It also requires increased cooperation and financing 

The report is part of a series of policy briefs compiled by the multi-stakeholder SDG7 Technical Advisory Group (SDG7 TAG) in support of the review of SDG7 at the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) 2023.

2023-07-04
FIEC

Each year, FIEC publishes its Statistical Report, which gives an insight into construction activity and demonstrates its significance for the economy as a whole.

The report analyses 22 countries individually, as well as the European Union as a whole on the basis of the following elements:

  • General overview (general economic situation, general economic policy, public policies in relation to the construction industry);
  • Investment in total construction, new housebuilding, renovation and maintenance of residential buildings, non-residential building and civil-engineering;
  • Employment in construction and its share in overall EU employment;
  • Building permits.

For the first time, the report also provides an overview of the evolution of prices for certain construction products. The texts and data contained within the report are drawn up on the basis of the national reports provided by the FIEC Member Federations.

Find the report here