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Dear reader,

COP 26, the global climate negotiation in Glasgow, ended with mixed results. Political leaders repeated the urgency to act and the final document asks governments to increase their mitigation efforts. Now we are looking for evidence that action is following these words. Introducing a standard for deep renovation in EU legislation would provide some of this evidence. We are suggesting the why and how in our new paper, and hope that the revision of the Buildings Directive will include this important step.

Another type of action is described in a new report which we co-developed with the retail real estate industry. Zooming into this very specific part of our building stock, we are publishing a vision and strategy to decarbonise the sector. That the urgency for real action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings and construction remains high is also the result of the Global Status Report by the UN hosted Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC). BPIE contributed its second edition of the Buildings Climate Tracker which found that progress in decarbonisation is stagnating if we take the short-term effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic out of the analysis.

Finally, I am proud to say that the RenOnBill project in which BPIE is active won the Citizen’s Award of the EU Sustainable Energy Week, a clear indication that citizens are looking for workable solutions to trigger renovation.

As always, I invite you to have a good read of our news and to check out the many invitations to online events which we are hosting or contributing to.

Kind regards,

Oliver Rapf
Executive Director
New Report: Deep renovation’ of buildings must become gold standard for all renovation decisions

BPIE (Buildings Performance Institute Europe)'s new report, released today, argues that that deep – as opposed to shallow – renovation of buildings, must urgently get a legally binding definition at EU level and become standard practice in order to reach climate goals and combat rising fuel prices and energy poverty. This should be included in the European Commission’s revised EPBD, expected before the end of 2021, and should be considered the ‘gold standard’ for any investment decision to upgrade a building.
To date, no binding definition of deep renovation exists at EU level. Several close concepts have emerged in other legislative and non-legislative files, opening the door to misinterpretation and lack of shared understanding on the rate and depth required to decarbonise the building stock and bring it in line with climate-neutrality.

The report argues that deep renovation should minimise energy needs by capturing the full potential of the building to reduce its energy demand, while delivering adequate comfort levels to occupants. The remaining low energy demand should be supplied by renewables, progressively increasing their share within the total supply, towards reaching 100% at the end of the deep renovation process and by 2050 latest.

Beyond introducing a legally binding definition of deep renovation in the EPBD, the report urges the EU to recalibrate its renovation ecosystem of policy, advisory and financing measures in order to trigger the shift to a ‘deep renovation first’ approach, embedding deep renovation into the EPBD and ensuring a consistent approach across all policies.
Download the deep renovation report
A Paris-Proof Retail Real Estate Sector: A Vision and Roadmap for a decarbonised retail property

Missing the opportunity to achieve Paris-Agreement goals fo the retail real estate sector creates the threat of higher overall costs for both business and society. Given the long lifetime of most RRE sector investments, action should be taken now. This document provides a shared vision and step-wise roadmap for retail real estate to collectively reach 2050 net zero carbon emissions, in line with the Paris Agreement.  

BPIE's vision and roadmap is the result of over one year of engagement with 14 retail European and global property developers, investors and managers. A first-of-its-kind effort, it provides detailed guidance for the entire retail property value chain to reach net-zero carbon, which includes the property sector, policymakers, commercial tenants, the construction sector, and financial institutions, by 2025, 2030, and 2040. 

BPIE's vision and strategy document provides detailed guidance for the entire retail property value chain to reach net-zero carbon. This includes the property sector, policymakers, commercial tenants, the construction sector, and financial institutions, by 2025, 2030, and 2040. 

The vision is a signal to the market and to policymakers that industry is ready and supports carbon neutrality. The ambition is to align with the Paris Agreement, not only through climate risk management initiatives but through a more explicit and targeted set of actions. Individual efforts and strategies will need to be articulated, developed and scaled across the RRE sector. 
Read the decarbonisation vision and strategy
Global ABC published the 2021 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction
The Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC) published its Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction. This year's edition finds that in 2020, the sector accounted for 36 per cent of global final energy consumption and 37 per cent of energy related CO2 emissions, as compared to other end use sectors. While the level of emissions within the sector are 10 per cent lower than in 2019, reaching lows not seen since 2007, this was largely due to lockdowns, slowing of economies, difficulties households and businesses faced in maintaining and affording energy access and a fall in construction activity. Collectively, stakeholders in the sector must seize the opportunity that the COVID-19 economic recovery period offers to foster transformation for decarbonizing the sector.
Read the report
RenOnBill wins the Citizen's Award of the EU Sustainable Energy Week
Our project RenOnBill was awarded the prestigious Citizens' Award at the EU Sustainable Energy Awards 2021. European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, was on hand to congratulate the winners at the online awards ceremony which kicked off Day 1 of the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW). 

Following European building renovation objectives, RenOnBill looks at all the ways to save energy in buildings and brings financial institutions and utility companies together. Business model guidelines for on-bill schemes, which could extend the replicability of the project, are also one of the main results of the project that will soon be published. 

RenOnBill was between the twelve outstanding individuals and projects that were highlighted at the EUSEW 2021 for their innovation in energy efficiency and renewables. The awards have four categories - Engagement, Innovation, Woman in Energy and Young Energy Trailblazer – as well as the Citizen’s Award. Prizes were awarded by an expert jury (for Engagement and Innovation), and by citizens via a public vote. 

Meet the EUSEW 2021 Award winners
12 recommendations for the roll-out of one-stop-shops across the European Union - first lessons learned from the Turnkey Retrofit project

To accelerate decarbonisation of the building stock, the Renovation Wave strategy highlights the need for standardised one-stop-shops that can be deployed quickly.

One-stop-shops can play roles as facilitators in the Renovation Wave, by interconnecting funding opportunities, incorporating solutions to new regulatory requirements, organising training and apprenticeship programmes and supporting various awareness-raising activities.

This report discusses the replicability of the renovation journey and highlights 12 key recommendations for how the European Commission can support an effective roll-out of one-stop shops across the European Union.
The report is based on the experience of the TURNKEY RETROFIT project, which has expanded existing one-stop shop services – HEERO and Operene – and initiated a replication process of certain elements in Spain and Ireland.
Read the report
How renovation measures fight energy poverty: new ComAct report helps energy advisors master energy efficiency

Together with its Knowledge Sharing platform, this new ComAct report provides a basis for training energy advisors on energy efficiency and renovation measures. This material intends to allow frontline staff in local municipalities and energy efficiency advisors engaged with the pilot cases of multi-apartment buildings in the ComAct project to master energy efficiency and disclose all the multiple benefits to fight against energy poverty.
This report is divided into several parts: at the beginning, it provides the basis for a legal and engineering background, where energy pricing is also explained. The other chapters are then divided by measures: simple measures, measures for the building envelope, heating system, preparation of domestic hot water, and for electric energy. For each group, we give both the basics, including the current state and possible improvements of energy efficiency, and more details, where deemed necessary. The level of detail aims to enable participants to fully understand the mentioned advantages and drawbacks of each measure, but without confusing or oversaturating them with data.

The report is available in English, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Ukrainian and Lithuanian.

Read the report
New calculation tools allow assessors to improve existing energy performance certificates schemes across Europe
After defining the scope of the smart readiness, comfort, outdoor air pollution, real energy consumption and district energy, X-tendo analysed and developed existing and new methods to assess these innovative features for next-generation energy performance assessment and certification schemes, taking into account the boundary conditions of an EPC assessment.
The developed methodologies are being tested based on a set of reference buildings and on actual buildings in field testing.

First, X-tendo looked into the existing knowledge on features and then it focused on their further elaboration. The consortium investigated the desired level of integration of these approaches within existing EPC schemes, which then resulted in a selection of spreadsheet tools to assess measured energy consumption, outdoor air pollution, district energy network connection, comfort and smartness levels.

The spreadsheet tools can be used by assessors to make the transition to better EPCs. The X-tendo implementing partners are already testing these tools in Austria, Estonia, Greece, Romania, Portugal, Poland, Italy, Denmark and UK and first results will be published by the start of 2022.

Download the calculation tools
ENEFIRST presents a methodological concept for a model-based analysis of the E1st principle for the EU-27

ENEFIRST’s latest report presents an energy system analysis that investigates what level of demand and supply-side resources should be deployed to provide the greatest value to the EU’s society in transitioning to net-zero GHG emissions for the building sector by 2050.

On the demand side, the analysis focuses on the resource option of end-use energy efficiency in buildings, investigating the contributions of thermal retrofits, efficient appliances, and other measures towards the net-zero target. On the supply side, the analysis quantifies the possible deployment and costs of various generation, network and storage options for the provision of electricity, district heat and gas products for the building sector.

Read the report
November 26, 9:00 - 11:50 CET

Third workshop in the EU-Russia Exchange - “Sustainable Life Cycle of buildings: a holistic approach to deliver sustainable buildings and reduce waste

During the third and final workshop of the EU-Russia exchange, representatives of local authorities, resource efficiency experts, companies, and industry associations active in circular construction will share their experience and present their views on circularity, real-life projects, and industry-led initiatives supporting the transition towards a sustainable built environment in Russia and the EU. 

Watch the first and second workshop in case you missed it. 

Register here
30 November 2021 |15:00- 16:30 CET

[Webinar]  Energy Efficiency First in practice: implementing integrated approaches

On 28 September 2021, the European Commission published a new recommendation and guidelines entitled “Energy Efficiency First: from principles to practice”. The third webinar of the ENEFIRST project will complement these new resources with two examples from Croatia and Sweden, discussing how implementing Energy Efficiency First (EE1st, or similar concepts) is about adopting more integrated approaches, for both investment decisions and local energy planning.

This webinar will also present the latest outputs from the ENEFIRST project that provides implementation maps and policy guidelines to support the design and implementation of integrated approaches for EE1st. Finally, there will be an overview of how Member States are implementing EE1st will be presented from the brand new EE1st facility of the ODYSSEE-MURE project. Ahead of this webinar, attendees can have a look at examples from Ireland and UK presented at the first ENEFIRST webinar, and from France and the US at the second ENEFIRST webinar.
Register here
December 2, 16:00 - 17.30 CET 

[Webinar] Job creation and workforce development for building renovation

Both the new US administration and the European Commission repeatedly point out that an investment in green technology (including refurbishment of the building stock) is a job creator. What are the actual numbers? What kind of jobs are created? Which types of jobs are replaced? How sustainable is this job creation? 

The webinar will focus on energy efficiency as a jobs multiplier to create more and better jobs in multiple sectors of the economy. Speakers from both sides of the Atlantic will discuss training opportunities and initiatives greening the job market. Speakers and full agenda here
Register here
The next generation Energy Performance Certificates: making buildings fit for the energy transition
In October 2021, with the EPBD revision close to the official adoption by EC services, insights and state-of-the-art information about the European Energy Performance Certification Schemes in use now for little over 10 years at Member State level are condensed in one shot. This provides at the same time the outlook for a holistic and future proof framework and related processes across the EU for the benefit of all stakeholders and also supports the transition to an overarching digitally transformed EU building stock as means for healthy, affordable, efficient and green buildings.

REHVABPIEFEDARENE and Sympraxis Team, hosted by the BuildUp Portal, brought together key actors from the Next Generation Energy Performance Certificates for buildings Horizon 2020 cluster of projects for a lively and informative moderated panel discussion between the project's representatives with 2 prior short 'setting the scene' keynotes from DG ENER and BPIE to benefit all EPBD stakeholders, with a slightly enhanced focus on EU Member States and specifically decision-makers and influencers of the EPBD revision process. 
New Renovation tool will help cities tackle climate, economic and health crises
The BUILD UPON2 Framework - trialed by over 30 cities across Europe - is a tool that helps local governments measure the full benefits of building retrofit, including environmental, social and economic impacts such as carbon savings, energy poverty alleviation and job creation.

These include a set of 13 ‘indicators’ that should be tracked as part of successful renovation programmes. For example, CO2 emissions reductions, percentage of households lifted from energy poverty, improvements to indoor air quality and jobs supported due to energy renovation works. This framework of indicators is complemented with resources to help cities collect data and report results effectively.

A total of 32 cities are now using or building capacity to implement the BUILD UPON2 Framework. This is a crucial tool to deliver the EU’s Renovation Wave, an ambitious plan to at least double the bloc’s renovation rate by 2030, on the local level. In this way, participant cities can help meet the EU Green Deal’s goal of climate neutrality by 2050.

Read the full press release
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Dear reader,

Yesterday the European Commission published its proposal for the future energy and climate legislation for buildings, the EPBD (Energy Performance of Buildings Directive).

Our first analysis finds that many policy tools to reduce energy waste and CO2 emissions will be strengthened, but the rail guards supporting the transformation of the building stock have too many holes. We will have to close them in the political agreement process next year, to avoid that the renovation wave turns into a renovation jam in which buildings literally get stuck on a very low performance level. Dropping the renovation wave would perpetuate Europe’s energy import dependence and would limit its geopolitical diplomatic power which cannot be in the interest of Europeans. The European Parliament and national governments will have to work hard next year to strengthen the Commission’s proposal so that the interests of citizens are reflected. Further, we also need to ensure that the new legislation addresses the full climate impact of buildings. Our new paper on Environmental Product Declarations summarises how much (or how little) is already known about the impact of construction materials.

It is a well-known fact that policy making is not an easy job. Therefore, it is even more important to provide support and assistance to the many people and institutions in Member States in charge of putting effective policies in place. We identify the needs expressed by public authorities and the technical assistance offers in place in our new paper produced in the context of the Build Upon2 project.

An equally important tool to support renovation are Energy Performance Certificates. In our new publication on the topic we describe the needs of users and make suggestions how to evolve this important labelling scheme for buildings.

Closing the circle to the revision of the EPBD, our new guidance document shows how the Energy Efficiency First principle should be enshrined in energy policy making across the board. Without stopping energy waste, the zero-carbon energy system will be much more costly and will have more environmental impacts than necessary. EE1st must be core and center of our energy policy, both in member states and on the pan-European level.

While this is our last newsletter of the year, I am confident that 2022 will be as intense as 2021 was. We all live in a time which is throwing enormous challenges at us to create a better world, on many fronts. The tasks ahead may seem daunting, but I am sure that with constructive collaboration, intense exchange and forward looking thinking and decisions all of us will be able to make a positive contribution to the many solutions. I would like to thank you for your collaboration, support and interest in our work during this year, and wish you a relaxing holiday and joyful new year,  so that you can re-energise yourself for what lies ahead.

Warm regards,

Oliver Rapf
Executive Director
Addressing the hidden emissions in buildings: Status quo, gaps, and recommendations for Environmental Product Declarations and Whole-Life Carbon
Buildings are not only responsible for emissions during their use phase, but also for emissions arising from manufacturing and processing of building materials. Achieving climate-neutrality goals will require urgent emissions reductions across the entire building lifecycle. 

Assessing the whole-life carbon (WLC) footprint will help better understand the full impact of new constructions and renovations and how these can be reduced, as well as enable the design of meaningful policies that align the operational and embodied carbon trajectories.

EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations) are descriptive summaries which product manufacturers publish to provide an overview of the environmental impacts of their products. EPDs usually cover the complete lifecycle of a product, from material extraction to final disposal, and therefore are one of the key tools that could help us generate reliable WLC data.
However, there is currently a crucial need for a harmonisation of EPD standards, which is lacking at EU level. This lack of harmonised EPDs has a direct impact on our ability to measure the carbon footprint of materials and products used to create buildings, and to effectively account for embodied emissions.

Regulating the WLC footprint of buildings will require measures targeting both products and buildings. Introducing WLC considerations in the EPBD and building regulations should start with reporting requirements and improving carbon data consistency. Once comparable data and reliable measurement are available, minimum thresholds and target values could be introduced.

Ultimately, assessing the WLC footprint is inextricably linked to our ability to implement other policies effectively, such as NZEB standards, for example.

Read the factsheet
Bridging the gap: linking local level needs with Technical Assistance in the EU
Building renovation is key to achieving EU and national climate targets. Fortunately, the importance of achieving a highly energy efficient and decarbonised building stock is becoming more widely understood. However, several gaps remain. Despite more financial resources becoming available for municipal renovations, challenges exist for public authorities in convincing policy makers and the public of the overall socio-economic benefits of renovation.

The Build Upon² Framework provides a multi-level renovation impact framework to help European cities decarbonise their building stock, and measure the full benefits of building retrofits, including environmental, social and economic impacts such as carbon savings, energy poverty alleviation and job creation.
The report provides recommendations for technical assistance, both in terms of current programmes available for pilot cities to engage with and how, as well as recommendations for providers at the European level on how they could better connect with municipalities. While there is no perfect solution, programmes can be tailored to fit specific needs.
Read the report
Download the infographic
Guidelines on policy design options for the implementation of the E1st principle in buildings and the related energy systems
The latest report from the H2020 project ENEFIRST adds a holistic perspective to the concept of Energy Efficiency First (E1st) and provides guidelines to promote integrated approaches for implementing E1st across different policy areas within the energy system. It aims to break the silos in policymaking and implementation, with a focus on energy planning and investment schemes in the buildings and related energy sectors, where supply-side and demand-side options can be considered jointly to provide long-term benefits to society and the energy system as a whole.
The report also provides a targeted review of the Fit-for-55 package proposed by the Commission in July 2021, analysing the new or revised provisions that can be connected with the implementation of the E1st principle. 

In case you missed it, on November 30, 2021 ENEFIRST organised a webinar where the project’s latest outputs were presented, along with two examples from Croatia and Sweden of how implementing E1st or similar concepts is about adopting more integrated approaches and an overview of how Member States are implementing EE1st from the brand new EE1st facility of the ODYSSEE-MURE project. The recording and the presentations are available here.
Read the report
Next-generation energy performance certificates: End-user needs and expectations
What will the next generation Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) look like? Will they help 🇪🇺 Member States to meet the upcoming revised EPBD requirements?

In the latest publication from the X-tendo project, more than 2500 end-users in five 🇪🇺 countries (Denmark, Greece, Portugal, Poland, and Romania) were surveyed to investigate their needs on the new EPCs features. The results highlight that the features are viewed most positively if homeowners or tenants are energy conscious and energy performance is an important aspect when buying or renting property. Furthermore, the insights gathered through the analysis of the survey provide suggestions for public authorities on how EPC methodologies could be customised to support the advancement of EPC schemes.
Read the article
11 January 2022, 16:00 - 17.45 CET 

[Webinar] US-EU Exchange: Building standards and codes to drive renovation

To date, renovations largely take place on a voluntary basis – there is no uniform obligation on member states and local authorities to renovate buildings, and engaging both building owners and the financial sector is a lengthy and uneven process. However, building standards and codes, which can be defined as a comprehensive set of interconnected regulations that are designed to govern new construction or renovations, are potential paths to support and boost renovations. 

Join us on January 11th for the final US-EU Exchange webinar to discuss the status of standards and codes in the EU and the US and how they can be key for achieving highly energy-efficient buildings, new and renovated. Speakers and full agenda here
Register here
17 January 2022 |15:00 CET

[Webinar] The RenOnBill tool: Evaluating energy efficiency interventions with a probabilistic approach 
The evaluation of energy efficiency interventions is affected by numerous parameters and variables and most of them are uncertain. On the other hand, most analyses do not include the estimation of the risk connected with the energy efficiency investments. This approach has led to perceiving energy investments by financial institutions as high-risk and thus limited their commitment. 

Utilities also need to evaluate a portfolio of interventions in different parts of a country with different climatic conditions. This can impact the risk profile of the investment and the possibility to analyse many interventions at the same time. 

The newly released RenOnBill tool tackles these issues by providing a simple and effective instrument directed to both financial institutions and energy utilities. The webinar that will be held on January 17 at 15:00, will demonstrate the applicability and usefulness of the tool in its aim to derisk and increase uptake of energy efficiency interventions. 
Register here
January 20, 9:00 - 11:30 CET

EU-Russia Exchange Final conference

The Final Conference of the EU-Russia exchange on sustainable building policies and measures will reflect on the entire workshop series that was carried out in 2021, summarise the key takeaways and lessons learned regarding differences and similarities, and foster future collaboration and experience exchange between the key stakeholders. Registration is now open and the agenda is coming soon.

The third workshop (26 November, 2021) saw experts share experiences of circularity, real-life projects, and industry-led initiatives supporting the transition towards a sustainable built environment in Russia and the EU. The first and second workshops are also available online.
Register here
January 20, 9.30-12.30 CET

BuiltHub webinar “Building a sustainable and meaningful data flow of the EU Building stock” 

The European building landscape is transforming, and big data is leading the way. During BuiltHub’s first webinar, participants will follow this journey through the lens of practical and tangible examples. Discover how building-related and energy-related data can serve as a transmission piece between building and renovation policy, and implementation at all building levels, and learn how you can become involved. 
Register here
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Dear reader,

Energy prices have soared in recent months, and while this might be good news for the return on energy efficiency investments, it is bad news for people already struggling to pay their energy bills. The required policy response is clear: Invest in initiatives which renovate buildings and eliminate energy poverty at the same time. In an upcoming webinar we are showing how such an initiative could look like in “real life”, presented by the ComAct project. 

This newsletter is focusing on “how to make the transformation happen”. We are showcasing successful financing models, highlighting tools to support sector innovation and are inviting you to a range of webinars to learn and discuss strategies and solutions to reduce the climate impact of buildings now. I am convinced that evidence of successful initiatives can encourage policymakers to be bold in their response to climate change, whether globally at the forthcoming climate negotiations, or at home when designing the details of European building legislation. I invite you to join in our call for “boldness to fight climate change”, no time to waste. 

Kind regards,

Oliver Rapf
Executive Director


Taking back control: Reducing Europe's vulnerability against energy price volatility by fast tracking deep building renovation

This policy briefing argues that buildings are a necessary strategic pillar which must considered as part of a long-term solution to the problem of rising gas prices, especially as the stark price hikes are now (and may continue) to affect Europe’s most vulnerable, energy poor populations.


The briefing argues that short-term solutions such as increased financial support for vulnerable groups are an appropriate and necessary political response in a time of crisis, but should not dilute attention and commitment to pushing long-term sustainable solutions. Improving the energy performance of European buildings is the most reliable  and safest strategy to reduce EU’s exposure to future energy cost spikes, and policy making should move from serious words to serious action and serious political support.

The current energy price crisis should fast track efforts to deploy deep energy renovation. It requires committed national strategies to reduce energy consumption of buildings. Significant funds are available in Europe, both from the increasing revenues of the European Emission Trading System as well as from the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

Read the policy briefing
Supporting and analysing energy efficiency measures in the residential sector: more insights in the new RenOnBill scientific papers

Two new arcticles were recently published by RenOnBill partner UNIGE in the Energy journal. The first presents a methodology to effectively address the evaluation of building energy retrofitting projects in a highly uncertain context. The second gives an in-depth description of on-bill mechanisms as a tool to support energy renovation in the residential sector, which should be tailored to different contexts.
Read the articles here
New Resource Centre for energy consultation opened in Odessa, Ukraine, aims to lift citizens out of energy poverty 

The Odessa Housing Association, ComAct’s Ukraine country partner, hosted the opening ceremony of the Energy Consulting Resource Centre last August. The Centre aims to support the refurbishment of five multifamily apartment buildings in the Odessa region, benefitting 780 residents. Residents will be able to access support carry out technical examinations of their home and to implement thermal modernization. An energy auditor will guide residents through their decision making process, providing insights on measures to implement and how much it will cost.

The opening of the centre will be followed by energy audits, trainings, surveys and more practical activities to help citizens from the CIS and CEE regions fight energy poverty.

Watch the video of the Resource Centre opening (in Ukrainian)
Check out the service broadcasted on the national television (in Ukrainian)

Read the full article here

BuiltHub  - harnessing the power of building data to make cities more sustainable, affordable, and people-friendly places. 
New GABC Report : The Buildings Passport Practical Guidelines
The new report by the Global Alliance of Buildings and Construction, Building Passport Practical Guidelines addresses the need for accessible and reliable data and information on buildings. Policymakers and market participants alike see the development and use of Building Passports as a way to overcome current data gaps and barriers, helping to capture, administer and manage building-related data and information across the whole life cycle. The overarching goals of these practical guidelines, which represent the collaborative effort of a global Task Force of public and private sector experts, are to illustrate the value of developing holistic, multi-dimensional Building Passports. At the same time, the guidelines reflect key aspects of past discussions about how to make them work in practice, drawing on the experiences of stakeholders and existing and emerging initiatives.
Download the report here

Available now

International experience in environmental performance assessment tools and policies for the construction sector

More about the EU-Brazil exchange can be found here.
We're looking forward to seeing you in one of our several events happening this month. Make sure to not miss this opportunity to get involved.
All registrations are open!
Our project RenOnBill was selected as finalist for the EUSEW2021 Awards:

Help us win with your vote!

RenOnBill is one of three finalists shortlisted for the EU Sustainable Energy Awards 2021 in the Innovation category. The award recognises outstanding EU-funded activities that show an original and innovative path toward the clean energy transition. Building renovations could experience a boom across Europe, as building owners may soon be able to leverage innovative financing that makes it easier to undertake energy renovations. Through the EU-funded RenOnBill project, utility companies are developing strategies to offer on-bill schemes. It is funded under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme and contributes to the EU’s Renovation Wave Strategy.
Vote for RenOnBill here

10:30 - 12:00
The EPBD revision: How to make the building stock decarbonised, energy-efficient and healthy through smartness 

This event will highlight how the review of the Energy Performance Of Buildings Directive (EPBD) can use smart technologies to make the EU’s building stock energy-efficient, decarbonised, future proof and more comfortable to its citizens. The revision of the EPBD creates a unique opportunity to deploy a broad range of energy-efficient and smart technologies. The event is aimed at fostering a discussion between policymakers, institutions and stakeholders (industry experts, NGO’s, investors, property owners, facility managers, citizens, authorities and others), that will be engaged in the review of the EPBD.

12:00 - 13:30
Next generation Energy Performance Certificates: Making buildings fit for the energy transition

REHVABPIEFEDARENE and Sympraxis Team, hosted by the BuildUp Portal, bring together key actors from the Next Generation Energy Performance Certificates for buildings Horizon 2020 cluster of projects for a lively and informative moderated panel discussion between the project's representatives with 2 prior short 'setting the scene' keynotes from DG ENER and BPIE to benefit all EPBD stakeholders, with a slightly enhanced focus on EU Member States and specifically decision-makers and influencers of the EPBD revision process.
Find more information here

15:00 - 16:30
How to make the Renovation Wave a success in Central and Eastern Europe in addressing Energy Poverty?

This session, where the ComAct project will be presented, highlights the importance of focusing on communities of homeowners in Central and Eastern European (CEE) region living in multi apartment buildings as a prerequisite for future renovation of these buildings. The session introduces specific challenges of the CEE region by providing EU policy background for building renovation. Speakers will present best practices from the region that successfully tackle energy poverty and lead renovation of residential buildings thanks to scaling up the financing for residential energy efficiency and provision of technical assistance to homeowner associations. Presentations will be followed by discussion with the audience. The session will be accompanied by two rounds of interactive exercises.
Find more information here
12:00 - 13:30
Next generation Energy Performance Certificates: Making buildings fit for the energy transition

This event will highlight the potential of energy service companies (ESCOs), notably by using Energy Performance Contracts (EnPCs), to support Europe in reaching the objectives of the Green Deal, Renovation Wave and, more specifically, the Fit for 55 package. To ensure EU legislation is on track with the renewed 2030 climate ambition, it is key not only to ensure that energy efficiency actions, such as building renovations, are fostered and massively rolled out, but also that the solutions in place maintain and even increase improved energy performance over time, through effective monitoring, management, and maintenance of relevant energy installations. EnPCs are a proven mechanism to deliver energy savings in the long-term; moreover, they can offer a viable financing solution for the implementation of energy efficiency projects. The event will foster active discussion between policymakers, institutions and stakeholders (ESCOs, technology providers, cities and citizen networks, think tanks, energy agencies and others), that will be engaged in shaping EU policies falling under the Fit for 55 package.
Find more information here
09:00 - 10:30
The three Horizon 2020 projects ENEFIRSTEERAdata and sEEnergies are jointly organising a session called “Energy Efficiency First: let’s walk the talk!” 

Energy Efficiency First (E1st) is a foundational principle of the Energy Union to achieve carbon neutrality with an energy transition delivering multiple benefits to the society. E1st is still a recent concept that has yet to move from theory to practice. This event aims to provide the participants with a concrete understanding of what implementing E1st means and can achieve, and to discuss difficulties encountered and how they can be overcome, from local to EU level. The session will discuss the potential that can be achieved by implementing the Energy Efficiency First principle, and examples of approaches illustrating how such potential can be achieved in buildings.

Find the agenda here.

Register here

US-EU exchange webinar: Finance for energy efficiency in buildings – the process

20 October 2021, 4:00-6:00pm CEST | 10:00-12:00am EST

What is the role of the financial sector in boosting energy efficiency investments? How does financing for energy efficiency projects work in practice? The EU and the US both committed to full society-wide decarbonization by 2050. Both have pledged to base the post-COVID economic recovery on green and sustainable solutions. The upcoming webinar: Finance for energy efficiency in buildings – the process, is the third in a 5-part series taking place as part of the EU-US energy dialogue, focusing on building renovation and in such a green recovery. The webinar will look at the role of the financial sector in boosting energy efficiency investments and explore business models that link funds to projects. The sessions will include a deep dive looking at the specifics of how financing for energy efficiency projects works in practice.
Register here
SPIPA Russia – recording workshop 1 and save the date for 2nd workshop 21 October
On September 14, we held the first workshop of the EU-Russia Exchange on sustainable building policies and measures. “Future-proof buildings for all: building regulations and renovation strategies in the EU and Russia” provided an overview of the current legislation both in the EU and Russia as well as innovative instruments to incentivise deep renovation, implementing the objectives of the EU Green Deal and Russian climate protection targets. You can find the presentations and the recording of the workshop here.
The second workshop titled “Scaling up the renovation of large apartment blocks: technological and financing solutions” will be held on October 21. Good practices in terms of innovative technological solutions, the role of digitalisation and financing for the refurbishment of apartment building blocks in countries with similarities in climate and building typologies with Russia will be presented.

The full agenda will be published soon here.
Register here
Despite laudable efforts, the retail real estate industry lacks a common vision and strategy to achieve full decarbonization by 2050. Shopping spaces must become ‘Paris-Proof by 2050’, which means that property developers and investors in retail spaces need to rethink the design, purpose and sustainability of their building portfolios, all while juggling complex relationships with tenants and the impacts of economic downturn.

What you’ll learn

  • What does ‘zero-carbon’ really mean for the retail building sector?
  • What are the strategies and best practices that retail asset owners are using now to decarbonise their portfolios?
  • How do leading industry experts envision the road to decarbonisation?
  • What are the principles and requirements for achieving zero-carbon outcomes?
  • What should be the roles and responsibilities of asset owners, tenants, financial institutions, buildings’ solution providers, and policymakers?
  • How to set clear boundaries for establishing carbon neutrality targets and pathways?

… And crucially, to ensure 2050 climate-neutrality of the retail real estate sector, who needs to do what, and by when?

Register here
e-SAFE solutions for the energy and seismic renovation of non-historic buildings, October 28 (time tbc)

The e-SAFE project will be part of the Policy Conference at the EU Sustainable Energy Week 2021. Prof. Gianpiero Evola (University of Catania) from the e-SAFE project was selected to present a talk on “The e-SAFE solutions for the energy and seismic renovation of non-historic buildings” on 28th October. Check back on the programme for the exact timing of the talk.

RenOnBill stakeholder roundtables on on-bill financing schemes – Autumn 2021  

The H2020 project RenOnBill, whose focus is on on-bill financing schemes is launching its second round of stakeholder roundtables this autumn. The roundtable is an exclusive opportunity to exchange with representatives from the energy, finance, housing, and policy spheres on the next steps for replicating on-bill schemes for the market of the project’s focus countries, that are Germany, Italy, Spain, Lithuania.   

Key topics that will be addressed during the roundtable are:    

  • How on-bill schemes can contribute to addressing EU’s energy renovation challenge  

  • Next steps at policy, regulatory, and market level to facilitate on-bill schemes for the German/Italian/Spanish/Lithuanian market  

  • Main insights from RenOnBill’s “business modelling development guidelines” (to be released in Autumn 2021)  

The next roundtables are the German and the Italian ones, that will be respectively held  on October 12th and October 18th. You can get in touch with our Spanish partner Crearawith our German partner adelphi or with our Italian partner Epta Prime, for more info and registrations and visit the RenOnBill events page to stay updated on the Lithuanian roundtable.  

Energy efficiency – full speed ahead! is the focus of the next European Energy Efficiency Conference on 2-4 March 2022 in Wels/Austria, part of the international World Sustainable Energy Days (WSED). The 2022 edition of the event presents the far-reaching transformation of policies, technologies and markets for achieving the EU's climate neutrality goals, and how to raise the pace of change. Learn and discuss how citizens and businesses can profit from this, how we can increase acceptance, trigger investments, and get things moving – full speed! Deadline Call for Papers and Speaker 12 October 2021.
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Dear reader,

Almost every day we are receiving disturbing news about the impacts of climate change, and the recent IPCC report summarising the latest scientific findings is a stark reminder that we have to act now. No more time for delay or hesitation, the time for meaningful action to reduce CO2 emissions is now. This decade is the make-or-break moment, and so we are calling for a comprehensive revision of  European legislation for buildings in our latest paper.

Legislation needs implementation to have an impact. We are continuing to present solutions, such as the opportunities of industrial scale renovation, or ways to implement in the Energy Efficiency First principle in policymaking. To foster exchange and mutual learning in policymaking, we will run a series of webinars this autumn, both with the US and with Russia, make sure you register for these exciting exchanges. And there are many other events which present solutions to accelerate the zero-carbon transformation so urgently needed.

As the summer is slowly coming to an end, we are seeing busy months ahead which should be used to make the right decisions, so that we have a realistic chance to avert more serious consequences of a changing climate.

Kind regards,

Oliver Rapf
Executive Director
EPBD revision marks ‘make-or-break’ opportunity for climate-neutral buildings

The keystone of European buildings legislation, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), will be opened for revision by the end of 2021. This new policy briefing highlights a make-or-break opportunity to make the EPBD ‘fit for 2030’, ensuring that the buildings sector contributes significantly to the overall EU-wide target of more than halving emissions by 2030, and crucially, that it is fit to respond to the climate emergency.

The EU must now deliver on announced targets by taking bold actions and showing results. The ambition of the EPBD revision should go beyond simply ‘aligning’ with the Renovation Wave, since the latter was published before the new 2030 climate target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 55%, was agreed. The revision should be comprehensive and not take a ‘cherry-picking’ approach to legislative revision.

Crucially, it must ensure the buildings sector will contribute to the achievement of the updated 2030 climate target; and second, to make the EPBD a milestone towards reaching climate-neutrality by 2050. This means reaching an annual 3% deep renovation rate and a 60% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030. It should do this while taking a people-centered approach that supports energy-poor, low- and middle-income households; the integration of whole-life carbon considerations next to the Energy Efficiency First principle; and building performance requirements guided by climate-neutrality rather than cost optimality.
Read the policy recommendations
Check out the new e-SAFE website, join the stakeholder community, and learn about the local platform in Catania

Over the summer, the e-SAFE project was busy revamping its website - have a look and discover the project’s innovative concepts and affordable solutions for deep energy and seismic building renovation. If this is something you’re involved in, we’d also like to invite you to become part of the e-SAFE stakeholder community  to receive relevant updates about the development of the technical systems, research reports, upcoming events and the pilot project in Catania, as well as networking opportunities.

Finally, on July 9, 2021 the University of Catania (the leading partner of e-SAFE) launched the local platform in Catania. It is a working group that involves both public and private actors in a co-design process to develop and implement a tailored strategy to make renovation projects a driving force of the local economy.
Discover the website
New ENEFIRST report shows that that the implementation of the E1st principle requires close cooperation between national and regional levels and more specific guidance on EU level

ENEFIRST’s latest research ‘Implementation Maps on Barriers and Success Factors for E1ST in Buildings summarises the main barriers and possible solutions to the implementation of the E1st concept as well as the related legislative and non-legislative changes required. These analyses emphasise that adaptation of EU legislation is needed to overcome the barriers but that many institutional barriers also require interventions by national and local authorities to enable capacity building and additional resources in regulatory agencies and implementing organisations to realise the concepts and policy approaches.  

Read the report
Comparative study of serial renovation solutions shows large potential of the industrialised concept in Germany

This report written by BPIE and Co2onlinemarks the end of a 2-year project funded by the German Federal Environmental Agency (Umweltbundesamt) which analysed the barriers and success factors of serial renovation approaches – based on the Dutch Energiesprong model – in Europe. The study examines the market potential of innovative renovation solutions through serial prefabrication, process innovations and digital tools and provides information on the transferability of the experiences of European countries with regard to a market introduction in Germany. 

Outcomes show that serial renovation models offer solutions to the persisting low refurbishment rate and the increasing shortage of skilled workers, while giving a significant boost to digitalising the construction industry. If new production capacities and business models are developed due to a high demand, dedicated financial support and a suitable regulatory framework, a market volume between 30 and 120 billion euros could be unlocked.

Read the report in German
Central & Eastern European Energy Efficiency Forum, 21-24 September 2021, Poiana Brasov (Romania)

The 2021C4E Forum in Poiana Brasov will offer an engaging blend of practical parallel sessions, workshops, high-level plenaries, a slot for DIY sessions and plenty of social and networking opportunities. 

BPIE will attend the C4E Forum with presentations of the Horizon 2020 project ENEFIRST and Our Buildings, funded by EUKI on September 21st and 22nd.
Programm outline

Build Upon2 webinar: Utilitising European technical assistance for municipal retrofits (September 8th, 5:00-6:00pm CEST)

This webinar will dive into European technical assistance and how it supports cities across Europe by giving them the tools to lead the change towards net zero carbon by 2050 and unlock the huge potential of their existing buildings.

Speakers from the European Commission, Climate Alliance and the Build Upon2 project will highlight what is happening at the European level, what is needed at the local level, and what synergies exist between the different levels of policy making to scale up renovation
Register here

EU-Brazil Exchange webinar: International Experience on Low Carbon Performance Assessment Tools and Policies for Construction (September 9, 15:00-17:30, CEST)

Efforts to decarbonise the building stock have so far focused mostly on the operational phase – on reducing energy demand and GHGs with energy efficiency measures. However, a large percent of GHGs is emitted while producing materials that are to be used in buildings, as well as during the construction phase. As part of the EU-Brazil Exchange, EU experts and stakeholders come together to share experiences and information of European institutions, initiatives and tools that tackle issues relating to lifecycle assessment (LCA) in civil construction. The overview includes examples of public policies related to the use of LCA and how LCA contributes to the Paris Agreement goals. 

The online event will be held in English and Portuguese, with simultaneous interpretation in both languages.
Register here

First workshop of the EU-Russia Exchange: Sustainable Building Policies (September 14, 9:00-12:15, CET)
Buildings account for 36% of COemissions in the EU, and 21% in Russia. As part of the EU-Russia Exchange, EU experts and stakeholders come together to share experiences and information on relevant EU building legislation for construction and renovation, and present good practices and exchange with building experts and practitioners in Russia.  

The first workshop (out of a series of three) will provide an overview of the current legislation both in the EU and Russia as well as innovative instruments to incentivise deep renovation, implementing the objectives of the EU Green Deal and Russian climate protection.

The event will be held online in English and Russian with simultaneous interpretation.
Register here
BUILD UPON2 Virtual Summit – September 20th

As a flagship event on the first day of World Green Building Week 2021, the Summit will bring together hundreds of leaders from industry, public sector and civil society in an online conference. The central theme is how leaders can work together to deliver the EU Renovation Wave and the EU Green Deal.

Throughout the event we will profile the work of the BUILD UPON2 project to empower cities as key enablers of the Renovation Wave through a unique impact framework for quantifying the holistic benefits of building renovation. The Summit will provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and inspiration on how public and private sector actors alike can scale up efforts to address the monumental challenge ahead to deliver the Renovation Wave.

Register here
How to achieve energy-efficient and affordable housing (September 23, 16:00-18:00 CEST) US-EU Exchange webinar

The second webinar of the US-EU Exchange series will focus on EU and US objectives and initiatives to achieve energy efficient and affordable housing.

Energy poverty is a growing issue at the global scale, and affordable and energy efficient housing is essential to combatting energy poverty while leading a just, green transition. Energy retrofitting of affordable housing therefore faces specific financial challenges, but also has the potential benefit to simultaneously improve energy efficiency, health, and well-being.  This webinar will provide an overarching view of the nexus between affordable, efficient housing and a just transition and share successful project examples.

Register here

Sustainable Places – 2021 Edition, September 28th to October 1st

Sustainability targets and climate change objectives cannot be met without addressing buildings and the built environment at the building, district and urban scale to include our transport and energy infrastructures. Each year, Sustainable Places gives the opportunity to cutting-edge research and innovation projects funded under the H2020 programme to showcase their results. SP2021 will be held over three days in a hybrid (digital + in-person) event format. Syn.ikia, Turnkey Retrofit, BuiltHub and ComAct are among the projects that will be represented.
More information here
RenOnBill stakeholder roundtables – Autumn 2021 

The H2020 project RenOnBill, whose focus is on on-bill financing schemes is launching its second round of stakeholder roundtables this autumn. The roundtable is an exclusive opportunity to exchange with representatives from the energy, finance, housing, and policy spheres on the next steps for replicating on-bill schemes for the market of the project’s focus countries, that are Germany, Italy, Spain, Lithuania.  

Key topics that will be addressed during the roundtable are:   
  • How on-bill schemes can contribute to addressing EU’s energy renovation challenge 
  • Next steps at policy, regulatory, and market level to facilitate on-bill schemes for the German/Italian/Spanish/Lithuanian market 
  • Main insights from RenOnBill’s “business modelling development guidelines” (to be released in Autumn 2021) 
The first two roundtables, the Spanish and the German ones, will be respectively on October 1st, 10:00 – 12:00 CET and October 12th 14:00-16:00 Berlin time. You can get in touch with our Spanish partner Creara or with our German partner adelphi for more info and registrations and visit the RenOnBill events page to stay updated on the Italian and Lithuanian roundtables.
Green Solutions Awards: discover the national winners of the 2020-21 competition
The suspense is over! The national winners were unveiled by the Construction21 network. The rewarded projects are both real and reproducible. They will inspire the construction industry to accelerate the transition to sustainable buildings, cities, and territories. 

Discover and share the winning case studies for a large-scale dissemination of the exemplary solutions they integrate. Also, save the date for the international finals in November in Glasgow, where BPIE will be part of the jury!

More information here
Energy efficiency – full speed ahead! is the focus of the next European Energy Efficiency Conference on 2-4 March 2022 in Wels/Austria, part of the international World Sustainable Energy Days (WSED). The 2022 edition of the event presents the far-reaching transformation of policies, technologies and markets for achieving the EU's climate neutrality goals, and how to raise the pace of change. Learn and discuss how citizens and businesses can profit from this, how we can increase acceptance, trigger investments, and get things moving – full speed! Deadline Call for Papers and Speaker 12 October 2021.
More information here
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Dear reader,

Getting the policy package in support of zero-carbon buildings right is not an easy task. Economic incentives and regulatory requirements should be in tune with each other. Today we are presenting two new publications which are providing ideas how to get it right in the imminent policy revision process.

Yes, introducing a carbon price for heating and cooling can provide the right economic signals and we argue in favor of it, but should avoid penalizing those which have no choice for an investment in a low carbon renovation. This is true for the millions of renters in the EU, and for those which must live with a low income. A new publication by the EU-funded project ComAct shows what support could be provided to citizens in energy poverty.

When building new, the investment should be made in a future-proof building. However, we found that building standards in many member states do not meet the nearly-zero energy requirements which were agreed already a decade ago. Our new policy analysis shows the good and the not-so-good examples and draws conclusions what to change.

And a not-to-be-missed publication is the comprehensive analysis about lessons which can be learned from national building policies. A year-long project for the European Commission led by BPIE with partners produced a comprehensive analysis which provides inspiration for the evolution for the European policy framework.

Finally, before heading for a summer break (well-deserved by the BPIE team I dare to say) we are hosting two more webinars and are sharing the recordings of two recent trans-Atlantic exchanges with the US and Canada. As always, please read to the very end for the full picture!

Wishing you a restful summer,

Kind regards,

Oliver Rapf
Executive Director

The European Commission is expected to publish legislative proposals to increase the ambition of the climate policy framework according to the updated climate protection target in the Fit-for-55 package in mid-July, including a reform of the EU Emissions Trading Systems (EU ETS) and the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR).

An introduction of an ETS for transport and buildings, either by extending the current EU ETS or by setting up a separate scheme for buildings and transport, is currently being discussed. 

BPIE’s new policy briefing on carbon pricing demonstrates that a carbon tax system with a steadily increasing price path is superior to an ETS.


Current discussions on carbon pricing are centred on introducing an ETS for transport and buildings, which could take the form of extending the current EU ETS, or introducing a new and separate scheme for buildings and transport emissions.

The briefing concludes that either as a carbon tax or a separate ETS system, a carbon price signal can only work as a complementary instrument to regulatory measures.

Read the full briefing
Nearly Zero: A review of EU Member State implementation of new build requirements 

BPIE’s latest policy briefing provides an overview of the status of implementation of Article 9 across EU Member States and insights into how nearly zero-energy buildings (nZEB) standards in Member States are aligned with the requirements of the EPBD. 
Based on the information presented in this factsheet, there is a wide degree of disparity across Member States in terms of the implementation of the nZEB provisions, and these are important considerations for EU policymakers as they look towards a revision of the EPBD, given the potential for nZEBs to contribute to the EU’s wider objective of a highly energy efficient and decarbonised building stock by 2050. The briefing concludes with a set of recommendations both for the European Commission and Member States.
Read the full briefing
Lessons learned to inform integrated approaches for the renovation and modernisation of the built environment

A better performing and smarter building stock is the cornerstone of a decarbonised EU energy system, and has a wide range of other benefits ranging from improved health and well-being and greener infrastructure. The recent study by BPIE, Creara, Ecologic and Climact, for DG Energy of the European Commission, provides lessons learned from existing legal and non-legal policy instruments in 15 European Member States, 3 non-EU countries and 5 European regions.

It formulates possible ways forward in informing integrated approaches for the renovation and modernisation of the building stock and the built environment. The study provides an in-depth understanding of how provisions within seven strategic areas and their interaction can be designed and amended to meet the European Union’s long-term target to be climate-neutral by 2050 while maximising synergies and benefits. 
Read the study
ComACT - The concept of energy poverty: from understanding to overcoming it

Energy poverty as a concept has a long tradition, and energy subsidies for low-income households have been a major part of social policy in West and Central and Eastern Europe as well as former Soviet Republics. Due to different political and economic circumstances, such as the higher homeownership rate in multi-family apartment buildings and the worse performing building stock, energy poverty rates in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics are much higher than in Western Europe.

The consortium of the H2020 project ComAct has taken a deep dive into five countries – Hungary, Lithuania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Ukraine – to look at their energy poverty rates, how the energy-poor are identified, and what programmes are in place to support them. Furthermore, existing financial schemes from all over Europe, which have proven to help alleviate energy poverty in multi-family apartment buildings are identified.
Read the report