Buildings in the EU consume 40 % of all energy. On the EU policy level, a large share of this potential is being turned into energy savings through the Energy Efficiency of Buildings recast directive (2010) and the Energy Efficiency Directive that is in the political process. The construction sector has an ever-increasing focus on improving the energy performance of both new construction and the existing building stock.
Alongside the energy performance of buildings, sustainable consumption is a highly prioritised issue. EU policy, such as the Construction Products Regulation, Eco Design Directive and Green Public Procurement, along with new sustainability standards for construction (CEN TC 350) works as well as building- and product level third party labels, are all steering the construction industry towards more sustainable production and operations.
The industry is strongly affected by ongoing financial market turbulence in the EU and globally. The outlook for 2012 on the construction market is very challenging from an economic point of view. The economic environment makes it more challenging to introduce new concepts and operational models where building owners are looking very closely at the short term where the money is spent. The economic aspect of sustainability will be crucial over the next few years to come. The positive financial aspects of saving energy and creating jobs through, for example, energy renovations cannot be overstressed in this environment.
The national implementation of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings recast directive will play a decisive role in how the local markets develop vis-a-vis energy renovation and use of ENERGYWISE concepts in construction.
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European Commission: Construction Products Regulation
European Commission: Sustainable and responsible business
European Commission: Green public procurement
European committee for standardization: CEN/TC 350 - Standards
Energy performance of buildings