To achieve COP21 targets European building stock must be upgraded

Created: November 25, 2016. Updated: December 13, 2017.

Reaching the Paris climate commitments will demand a fundamental upgrade of the European building stock, says a report by the Building Performance Institute Europe (BPIE).

A successful achievement of the Paris Agreement goals implies low- or no-emissions from the European building stock by 2050, and materials to be used efficiently and with a minimal carbon footprint.

This infers: significantly increasing both depth and rate of energy renovations towards a nearly zero energy level and beyond,

+ that all buildings are smartly integrated in a low-carbon energy system,

+ a more circular economy approach is needed – buildings constructed in a more modular way with low-carbon materials,

+ that sectors such as cement, steel and chemicals deeply decarbonise,

+ a more efficiently distributed and flexible energy system, where buildings serve as connection hubs for electrified vehicles and help to balance decentralised renewable energy sources.

Today, the construction industry is lagging behind other sectors in terms of innovation. Increasing the scale and pace of its transformation would create significant opportunities for Europe – whether in terms of economic growth, employment creation, or emission reductions. In particular, innovations in the construction value chain can boost extensive building improvement work that substantially increases energy efficiency and reduces energy consumption by 75% or more.

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