National Renovation Strategies to Reduce Energy Poverty in Europe

BUILD UPON, a collaborative project on building renovation with $2 million funding from the EU, moves forward with the announcement of eight pilot cities.
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The World Green Building Council’s European network, in collaboration with eight cities and partners, have launched BUILD UPON2, the next phase of the world’s largest collaborative project on building renovation. Initiated in 2015, the project will be led by a consortium of eight national green building councils, members of the World Green Building Council, working with Buildings Performance Institute Europe and Climate Alliance. The municipal network leads the Covenant of Mayors Office-Europe, representing more than 7,000 local and regional authorities. The overall project consists of four phases.

BUILD UPON includes more than 1,000 organizations throughout 13 countries aiming to design a revolution in building renovation across Europe. This European Union-funded project is set to support cities across the old continent to join forces with national governments and industry to decarbonize their existing building stock by 2050. The project has received nearly $2 million in funding from EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.

Beyond building renovations

The first phase concluded with recommendations that national renovation strategies should focus on facilitating local action to implement national building renovation strategies. Hence, the second phase of the initiative includes eight pilot cities that will implement these activities with Spain’s Green Building Council as lead facilitator:

  • Velika Gorica, Croatia
  • Budaörs, Hungary
  • Dublin
  • Padova, Italy
  • Wroclaw, Poland
  • Madrid
  • Eskişehir, Turkey
  • Leeds, U.K.

These cities will develop and test a multi-level renovation impact framework comprising a suite of milestones and measurable progress indicators, including emissions reductions, increased employment and improved health.

About 10 percent of Europe’s population or some 50 million people are energy poor. Energy poverty is directly connected to low household income, high energy costs and energy-inefficient homes. In addition, it is known to have severe impacts on the health of EU citizens, including an increased number of winter deaths, detrimental effects on mental health, respiratory and circulatory problems. The benefits of deep renovation go beyond increasing indoor comfort and air quality: They also reduce pressure on health care and social services.