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2023-04-06 | OECD
OECD Regional Development Papers

About 90% of homes in the Netherlands depending on natural gas for heating, the Netherlands has made a commitment to phase out natural gas by 2050. To achieve the goal, the Netherlands has rolled out a natural gas-free pilot programme in 66 neighbourhoods. These neighbourhood pilot projects enabled municipalities to learn what it takes to start energy transition.

Based on a city survey carried out across 26 local governments, key findings from this report call on national and local governments joining up their efforts to take place-based measures.

This paper is the first case study applying the policy framework presented in the OECD report Decarbonising Buildings in Cities and Regions published in March 2022. The present case study provides a deep dive into the Netherlands’ experience to demonstrate the potential of cities and regions to advance the decarbonisation of buildings.

Read the paper here.

2022-11-10 | Stéphane Quefelec
European Environment Agency

This briefing by the European Environment Agency explores the nexus between climate change adaptation and mitigation, and the health and social justice aspects of cooling Europe’s buildings. It focuses specifically on residential buildings. The briefing is based on a literature review by Ramboll commissioned by the EEA, discussions held with members of the European Environment Information and Observation Network (Eionet), input from individual experts and information from other EEA publications.

Read the briefing here


2023-04-18 | Victoria Taranu, Vivian Dorizas

Written as part of the EU-funded project syn.ikia, these factsheets from BPIE provide an overview of existing gaps and barriers in the development and market uptake of SPENs, and provides policy recommendations for Austria, the Netherlands, Spain and Norway.

They also map their progress in implementing provisions of the 2018 Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Renewable Energy Directive, and Electricity Market Design. Looking at the latest developments in national, regional and municipal policies, three main aspects are included: i) energy performance, ii) renewable energy and energy communities, and iii) digital technologies and demand-side flexibility. The factsheets also list the drivers, potential business models and policy support measures that enable investments and wider uptake of SPENs. The policy mapping and recommendations are based on desk research, ten interviews and two workshops with experts from the private and public sectors, including developers and local authorities involved in projects of SPEN and energy communities.

Read the factsheets here.

European Commission

The report comprises two parts, published separately: broader technical guidance and a best practice guidance for concrete applications.

The technical guidance starts with an overview of existing EU-level policies and standards relating to adaptation in buildings. This is followed by a summary of the current state of structural design building standards at a European and national level, with a focus on climate resilience in buildings. It then provides an overview of climate vulnerabilities and risk assessment for buildings, and a possible method for rating the climate resilience of buildings.

The best practice guidance:

  • Provides technical guidance on climate-adaptation measures that are relevant for both new and existing buildings across the different climatic zones of Europe;
  • Presents adaptation solutions for the climate risks that affect the built environment most;
  • Demonstrates the actions that can be taken to improve building performance. This offers strategies for owners, operators, users, policy makers, engineers, architects and insurers.

Download the technical guidance here and the best practice guidance here!

2023-03-21 | Miles Rowland, Audrey Nugent, Stephen Richardson
World Green Building Council

The World Green Building Council’s (WorldGBC) Europe Regional Network (ERN) has released a policy briefing which provides detailed guidance on Whole Life Carbon (WLC) reporting and target setting in the built environment.

Buildings account for around 40% of energy consumption and 36% of carbon emissions in Europe, which includes both the operational carbon of buildings from when they are in use, as well as the carbon impact of the manufacturing, transportation, construction, and end-of-life phases of built assets, often called embodied carbon. Meeting the EU Green Deal’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 will require policymakers to introduce measures that address the Whole Life Carbon (WLC) impact, both operational and embodied carbon, of buildings.

WorldGBC’s policy briefing gives recommendations on how the European Commission and EU member states should implement three key aspects of WLC policy when it is formally introduced into key legislation such as the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

The three main sections of the paper cover recommendations on how to harmonise and standardise WLC reporting, plus how to define the physical scope of a building for WLC assessments, and how to construct WLC targets (known as the ‘architecture’ of WLC targets).

Download the policy briefing!

2023-01-19 | Lisa Graaf; Caroline Düvier; Sibyl Steuwer

Um Klimaneutralität 2045 in Deutschland zu erreichen ist es nötig, nicht nur die Betriebsphase von Gebäuden in den Blick zu nehmen. Es müssen darüber hinaus auch die Emissionen gesenkt werden, die über die Herstellung der Baustoffe, den Bau, Reparatur, Sanierung und dem Abriss oder Rückbau anfallen. Der Lebenszyklus-Fahrplan identifiziert zentrale politische Stellenschrauben sowie Schritte und Meilensteine für die verschiedenen im Bausektor relevanten Akteursgruppen.

Die Publikation sowie weitere Informationen finden Sie hier.

2023-03-15 | Ilektra Papadaki, Philippe Moseley, Pieter Staelens, Roman Horvath, Oscar Nieto Sanz, Marina Lipari, Pablo Gutierrez Velayos, Heikki Vaananen
European Commission

Construction is the second largest industrial ecosystem in the European Union in economic terms, employing around 25 million people. Planning the future of construction is not only about setting new actions and commitments, but also about aligning efforts and identifying and closing critical gaps. Many targets exist on how the built environment should transform in the future, but far fewer indicators exist on how the construction ecosystem should evolve to deliver on these objectives. 

This transition pathway describes the conditions and the necessary actions to achieve a resilient, competitive, greener, and more digital construction ecosystem. In addition, it proposes actions that support the transition towards safer buildings and affordable housing for all Europeans.

In the report's Annex II. National and Industry Commitments, the GlobalABC Global Roadmap for Buildings and Construction was mentioned:

The Global Roadmap for Buildings and Construction   sets out targets and timelines towards achieving zero-emission, efficient and resilient buildings, and construction between 2020 and 2050. The roadmap covers 8 themes, including urban planning, new buildings, existing buildings, building operations, appliances and systems, materials, resilience, and clean energy. For each of these themes, priority actions related to policy and technology are identified. This roadmap was developed in collaboration with the GlobalABC and UN Environment Programme.

2022-09-19 | Zero-emission Construction Sites working group
Big Buyers for Climate & Environment

The Joint Statement of Demand composed by the Members of the Big Buyers for Climate and Environment’s Working Group on Zero Emission Construction Sites contains a number of ambitions to move to fossil fuel free construction machinery by 2025 and gradually increase the use of emission free machinery to at least 50% by 2030. This statement, currently signed by Barcelona, Oslo, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Vantaa and Bodø, is a clear signal to the market that there is a demand for emission free construction machinery should it be made available by manufacturers. Signatories of the JSoD commit to:

  • Require fossil-free construction machinery in own public projects from 2025, with at least 20% emission free machinery, where available.
  • Require fossil-free construction machinery in own public projects from 2030, with at least 50% emission free machinery, where available.

Find out more about the activities of the Working Group and read the statement here.


2023-03-02 | Julie Emmrich, Stephen Richardson, Carolina Montano-Owen, Miles Rowland
WorldGBC, Europe Regional Network

A new paper, ‘Ahead of the Wave’, released by World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) on 2 March 2023, calls on the European financial and real estate sectors to take action as key players in the transformation wave to a sustainable built environment.

The finance sector is well-positioned to boost the transition to a sustainable built environment and take advantage of its leverage. Financial actors’ investment, lending, and insurance underwriting decisions shape tomorrow’s real economy. Investment decisions taken today will have repercussions for the built environment in years to come, so sustainability needs to be firmly at the top of the agenda.

Download the paper here.

2022-12-21 | Vlasios Oikonomou, Marco Peretto, Ivana Rogulj, Shima Ebrahimigharehbaghi, Mara Florina Oprea, Axelle Gallerand

In May 2022, to better understand how to measure and identify energy poverty and evaluate the adequate policies, IEECP established for the European Climate Foundation a study divided into 3 workstreams. The 3 studies provide deep insights into the 10 countries with the highest energy poverty levels in the EU (Bulgaria, Czechia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Spain) as well as Europe as a whole.

In December 2022, IEECP released the update of this work, focusing on 7 countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia). The updated study outlines how the changes in energy prices deriving from the market distortions in 2022 will influence the impact and implementation of three EU policies in the long term.

Download it here.