New Renovation tool will help cities tackle climate, economic and health crises

The BUILD UPON2 Framework - trialled 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.

11am CEST, 14 October 2021 – Today, partners in the EU-funded BUILD UPON2 project announce the launch of a new tool that will help cities deliver the EU Renovation Wave.

The BUILD UPON2 Energy Renovation Framework helps local governments measure the environmental, social and economic benefits of building renovation.

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. 

Impact at the national level

The BUILD UPON2 project is also having an impact at the national level. With this new holistic approach to measuring the benefits of renovation, local governments can now feed into national Long Term Renovation Strategies (LTRS), which are a legal requirement for all EU member states. Member states, by using the indicators of the BUILD UPON2 Framework as a standard template for tracking their LTRS, could ensure that they are addressing all requirements and harmonise their renovation objectives, making it easier for the European Commission to assess progress.

For example, the Irish Housing Ministry, which has been following the progress of the Framework as it was trialled in Dublin with support from the Irish Green Building Council, now requires data on four of the BUILD UPON2 framework indicators for retrofit (including CO2 emissions and energy efficiency) in order for projects to qualify for financial support.

The final version of the BUILD UPON2 Framework was presented at a Virtual Summit dedicated to the topic of building renovation on 20 September, the first day of World Green Building Week. The Summit attracted an array of prominent speakers, including Irish MEP Sean Kelly and Stefan Moser, Head of the European Commission’s Energy Efficiency Unit.

The event also featured presentations from the local governments of Padova, Valladolid, Velika Gorica and Budavár, showcasing how cities across Europe are benefiting from using the Framework to track their municipal renovation projects.

The cities and local authorities participating in BUILD UPON2


Velika Gorica, Zagreb, Sveti Ivan Zelina, Karlovac


Budaörs, Budavár, Kispest


Dublin, Kilkenny, Cork, Laois, Offaly


Padova, Brescia, Pesaro, Rome


Rybnik, Ruda Slaska, Gliwice


Valladolid, Zaragoza, Madrid, Sestao


Eskişehir, Sakarya, Gaziantep, Bursa, İzmir


Leeds, Cambridge, Essex, Hammersmith & Fulham (London borough)

Stephen Richardson, Director of Europe Regional Network, World Green Building Council:

Getting all our buildings to net zero is crucial for the EU to reach its goal of climate neutrality by 2050. And there are lots of wider benefits to renovation, such as tackling energy poverty, stimulating local economies and creating jobs, which also make it a key part of the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The BUILD UPON2 project shows that by starting at the local level, cities can be accelerators of the Renovation Wave. The Framework that the GBCs, project partners and cities have developed is a tool that can help cities and local authorities track and optimise their renovation programmes and achieve climate targets. The data that cities are collecting with the BUILD UPON2 Framework can also strengthen the business case to unlock more finance for renovation.

 Ali Grehan, Dublin City Architect

The BUILD UPON Framework allows local authorities to measure and record the impacts of their retrofit projects in a holistic manner, looking at CO2 emissions reductions, but also at the wider impacts, such as the benefits to people’s health and wellbeing and indeed reduction in energy poverty. In future the BUILD UPON Framework will help us in better considering and communicating the multiple benefits of retrofit, which in turn should increase the rate of retrofit.

 Manuel Saravia, Deputy Mayor of Valladolid

The Framework is a useful and necessary tool for following up the positive impacts of building renovation at environmental, social and economic level.

Next steps

Alongside this central Framework, national methodologies for measuring the impact of building renovation have also been developed for Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

In addition, with many cities developing 10-year Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAPs), several pilot cities already involved in BUILD UPON2, including Padova in Italy, are actively looking to integrate the project Framework into their Plans as a way to measure their progress on renovation targets.



For further information contact:

Miles Rowland, Communications and PR Coordinator, BUILD UPON2

Editor’s Notes

The EU Horizon 2020 funded BUILD UPON2 project is empowering cities across Europe to join forces with national governments and industry to decarbonise their existing building stock by 2050.

BUILD UPON2 is working with eight pilot cities and 24 ‘follower cities’ to develop strategies and solutions to deliver the European Commission’s Renovation Wave.

The main focus has been to develop and pilot a ‘multi-level renovation impact framework’. This framework is being used to track and report the diverse range of benefits of building renovation. It features a unique suite of milestones and measurable progress indicators for city renovation strategies including: emissions reductions, increased employment and improved health.

By capturing data at a local level, the framework links renovation to policy and decision-making processes at a national level, driving greater investment in city regeneration programmes and allowing best-practice initiatives to be scaled up and used more widely.

About the World Green Building Council

The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) catalyses the uptake of sustainable built environment for everyone, everywhere.

Transforming the building and construction sector across three strategic areas — climate action, health & wellbeing, and resources & circularity — we are a global action network of more than 70 Green Building Councils around the world.

As members of the UN Global Compact, we work with businesses, organisations and governments to drive the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Through a systems change approach, our network is leading the industry towards a net zero carbon, healthy, equitable and resilient built environment.

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