Home > Publications > Europe's Buildings under the Microscope, 2011

Europe's Buildings under the Microscope 

Country-by-country review of the energy performance of Europe's buildings

As there is a lack of comprehensive data on buildings at European level, BPIE analysed the Europe's building stock (EU 27 as well as Switzerland and Norway) including building characteristics, building codes and other regulatory measures. The collected data allowed to determine the energy and CO2 saving potential of Europe's buildings and to model a variety of scenarios for the systematic renovation of the European building stock till 2050. 

Utilizing the full potential for energy savings within the European building sector can bring significant benefits: boost the ailing European economy and increase our energy security. As the rate of new constructions is quite low, around 1%, the biggest challenge in exploiting this energy saving potential is the systematic renovation of the existing building stock.

 A key obstacle to this challenge is clearly our limited knowledge and understanding of existing buildings. In a huge data collection effort, BPIE compiled and analyzed data from all 27 EU Member States as well as Norway and Switzerland to provide a vital and up-to-date picture of the European building stock and its energy and CO2 savings potential. The data was used to model a variety of scenarios for the systematic renovation of European buildings. The objective is to put European policy making on a more solid basis by providing the statistics for a fact-based discussion on how to leverage the energy saving potential of EU buildings while maximizing environmental, economic, and social benefits. 

The report is of particular importance to the individual Member States as they are implementing the elements of the recast EPBD and EED designed to improve the energy performance of their building stock. It will also guide policy makers at EU level in terms of understanding the current situation and real potential of reaching the desired EU targets, specifically the need to develop: 

•the role of buildings as part of 2050 roadmap, 

•segment-specific buildings policies (public/ commercial/ residential etc.) and more

•knowledge on appropriate degree of refurbishment (cost optimality)

•knowledge on appropriate definition for nZEB. 

Finally, the report is a tool needed by the industry and other relevant bodies to raise the importance of energy efficient renovations and ultimately assist in pushing for higher renovation rates.

The study was launched on October 11 in the context of the Renovate Europe Day, an industry-led initiative calling for a higher percentage of deep renovations up until 2050 (www.renovate-europe.eu). The report provides the analytical basis for a five-year campaign, (“Renovate Europe”), which was kick-started that day and is to be continued at Member State level.