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2023-09-29 | The Passive House Network
The Passive House Network

In the quest to establish and enforce Passive House building codes that align with sustainability and energy efficiency goals, a comprehensive guide has been developed by The Passive Housing Network to shed light on the best practices in the implementation process. This report presents a roadmap for achieving the desired codes, emphasizing the critical need for market confidence, professional competence, and a robust supply chain to support their successful integration.

The findings of this research reveal a structured, four-step approach that, when executed in the proper sequence, can consistently bring Passive House building standards into practice:

  • Alternate Pathways: Eliminate the hindrances created by the necessity of developing two distinct energy models. Advocate for the approval of Passive House models as an alternative compliance pathway.
  • Passive House Incentives: Institute incentives aimed at bolstering industry capacity, expanding product supply chains, and reinforcing market confidence in Passive House construction.
  • Add PH Reach & Stretch Codes: Introduce OPTIONAL reach or stretch codes for local jurisdictions, offering them the flexibility to adopt and implement these codes.
  • Transform Baseline Codes: Once a substantial foundation of market confidence, professional competence, and a robust product supply chain is firmly established, revise the baseline codes to deliver desired Passive House outcomes.

It's worth noting that this process, from inception to completion, was successfully executed in Brussels within a span of just seven years. Additionally, Scotland is on the verge of accomplishing a similar feat. Massachusetts is following suit, with a strategic plan mirroring this trajectory. In cases where energy codes are locally governed, cities such as Denver find themselves in a favorable position to implement these steps ahead of state and national codes.

For more in-depth insights, practical examples, and a thorough breakdown of these four essential steps, we encourage you to delve into the full report. It offers a comprehensive guide for those committed to advancing Passive House building codes and fostering a more sustainable and energy-efficient future.

Please read the full briefing here.

2023-07-31 | Meta Thurid Lotz; Andrea Herbst
Institute for Energy Efficicency and Climate Policy (IEECP)

This policy brief covers the following key messages:

  • A circular economy can contribute significantly to reduce carbon emissions and achieve the climate targets in the hard-to-abate sectors
  • Buildings are a key value chain related to a high demand for energy-intensive materials and characterised by high circularity potentials
  • Within the EU-funded project newTRENDs, a modelling approach and data basis were developed and applied, that quantify the contribution of circular buildings to the industry decarbonisation
  • Besides the cycling of materials, actions addressing building design and use can reduce steel and cement demand for buildings by up to 38% respectively 26% in 2050
  • The current EU policy mix is not sufficient to exploit these material demand emissions reduction potentials
  • newTRENDs recommends to focus on 5 key points to improve the policy mix, highlighting the central role of green public procurement in the early stage of a circular economy:
    • A life cycle perspective: The policy mix should address all stages of a building’s lifecycle well-balanced and without contradictions.
    • Broaden the scope: An understanding of the circular economy beyond the cycling of materials is necessary to fully exploit its potentials.
    • Push and pull: The instruments should support both – a market push and a market pull, to equip the EU market for a circular economy.
    • From voluntary to obligatory: Instruments such as green public procurement can be used to roll out obligatory requirements to all consumers.
    • Stay focused: Product-specific requirements are necessary to meet the special requirements for buildings (affordability, liveability and sustainability).
2023-07-14 | Annisa Sekaringtias, Larissa Gross

A new generation of energy system is emerging. Our supply-side focused systems, dependent on centralised power plants, now increasingly include a myriad of distributed, smaller-scale solutions with consumers taking more active roles. This new way of seeing energy system can help meet our climate and social targets, if managed well. However, barriers remain in our financial, legislative, and political systems. Collaborative action from advocates of the new systems can provide the breakthrough we need.

Read E3G's latest briefing here


Cities across the world have been battling a housing crisis in recent decades, with many residents increasingly struggling to find affordable homes, and broader issues arising around tackling homelessness, improving housing quality, and harnessing the role of housing in climate change mitigation. This housing crisis has been exacerbated by the cost-of-living crisis that saw inflation reach record highs in 2022. City mayors can take critical action through their powers over housing, land use, and infrastructure.

This paper highlights the systemic issues underlying the housing crisis in cities, and offers inspiring examples of how cities in OECD countries and beyond have been addressing these challenges. It aims to inform the 6th Meeting of OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth and drive positive change towards more affordable cities and homes for all.

Download the paper here

2023-05-31 | Hélène Sibileau
BPIE (Buildings Performance Institute Europe)

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is entering the last phase of the EU legislative process with the start of trialogue negotiations between the Council and Parliament. Against this backdrop, this briefing by BPIE provides an overview of where institutions stand at the start of the process and highlights where there is still room for improvement.

Download the briefing here.

ASHRAE & U.S. Department of Energy

The newly released Building Performance Standards (BPS): A Technical Resource Guide was created to provide a technical basis for policymakers, building owners, practitioners and other stakeholders interested in developing and implementing a BPS policy. The first in a series of seven guidebooks by ASHRAE on building decarbonization, this guide focuses on reducing building operating energy use and resulting emissions in existing commercial and multifamily buildings, as established by leading U.S. cities and states. Jointly developed by ASHRAE, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its national laboratories, the BPS guide is meant to provide the information needed to make informed policy design decisions that drive deeper existing building decarbonization and provide equitable outcomes for all involved.

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



The EU-funded project BUS-GoCircular has developed two tools to stimulate demand for skills in circular construction. These are a policy guidance brief and a slide deck of training material. Both documents are aimed at public authorities in local and regional governments and seek to boost demand for skilled energy efficiency professionals in the construction sector.

The policy guidance brief, written by project partner ICLEI Europe, highlights good practices and replicable examples across Europe to raise awareness among practitioners and policymakers about their ability to promote a more circular construction sector and upskill professionals. It also highlights the various levers at their disposal to support this transition.

The training material aims to help public procurers and policymakers better understand how they can stimulate demand for circular construction skills through public procurement. This slide deck can be used as a self-learning tool, with links to other resources to learn more about the topic. It can also be used and adapted as needed to help to raise awareness among colleagues and partners on how they can promote circular construction skills.

Download the policy guidance brief here and the training material 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!

2022-09-19 | Gautam Nagar, Shatakshi Suman

GBPN, in collaboration with a group of experts from India, has prepared a report assessing the current state of building policies in India to develop an understanding of the way forward in terms of achieving zero carbon emissions in the building sector.

There are a number of the guidelines, codes, schemes & programmes in India to improve the building sector's energy consumption levels in India which align to the country’s National commitments. However, there are a number of strategies that could be adopted to improve their implementation like improvement in administra- tion processes, creating incentives, revising and ensuring implementation feasibility and more. Such strategies can help address national issues like water efficiency, energy efficiency, fossil fuel use, consumer waste and natural resource use while also enhancing occupant health, productivity, and wellbeing.