The European Commission has published its plan to double renovation rate in the next 10 years and make sure refurbishment lead to higher energy and resource efficiency

The impact of buildings on the EU’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions is the larger one. The construction sector is responsible for about the 40% of the consumption and 36% of emissions. These figures, which are accompanied by the average of 1% of buildings undergoing energy efficiency every year, have impulse the Renovation Wave strategy published by the European Commission the 14th of October.

This plan has the main goal of improving the energy performance of buildings. To achieve this mission, the European Commission aims to at least double renovation rates in the next 10 years and make sure renovations lead to higher energy and resource efficiency.

Not only it will suppose a reduction on the European greenhouse gas emissions, but also this strategy will enhance the quality of life of the people living in and using buildings. In addition, the Renovation Wave will increase the digitalisation of the sector and improve the reuse and recycling of the materials used for construction. According to the European Commission, by 2030, 35 million buildings could be renovated and up to 160,000 additional green jobs created thanks to this new action.

The Renovation Wave initiative is one of the cornerstones of the European Green New Deal, which has the goal of making Europe climate-neutral by 2050. This strategy has been created based on the views of the key actors of the sector gathered in an open consultation between the 11th of June and the. 9th of July. The leading actions that will be taken in the following months can be seen in the European Commission’s website, including stronger regulations, standards and information on the energy performance of buildings or increasing capacity to prepare and implement renovation projects.

Started in 2017, REZBUILD Project, an initiative backed by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme, is in line with this Renovation Wave strategy. The project has the main goal of developing a refurbishment ecosystem based on the integration of cost-effective technologies, business models and life cycle interaction for a deep Near Zero Energy Building (NZEB) renovation to diverse residential renovation typologies and interconnecting both, building renovation stages and stakeholders.

The initiative is driven by a consortium led by Officinae Verdi Group (Italy). The project is also integrated by Vias y Construcciones (Spain), MAETRICS (Italy), CARTIF (Spain), ESTIA (France), Comunidad de Madrid (Spain), Saint-Gobain Placo Iberica (Spain), ONYX Solar (Spain), SINTEF (Norway), OBOS (Norway), University of Nottingham (United Kingdom), Rimond (Italy) and ZABALA (Spain).