Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

  • European Commission
  • Programmes
  • Increasing energy performance of existing buildings through process and organisation innovations and creating a market for deep renovation

Specific challenge: The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and the Energy Efficiency Directive contain provisions to increase renovation rates, especially for public buildings. However non-technological barriers hamper the implementation of these provisions and also prevent other market actors in the residential and private sectors from following the example that the public sector is expected to set.

The heterogeneity of the construction industry, the large number of companies and the relative lack of quality standards and inspection protocols and guidelines limit the number and impact of large-scale energy efficiency investments and the effective integration of renewable energies. Many buildings are not commissioned and/or operated properly and energy performance certificates have not yet gained full public acceptance. The pressure to build or renovate towards nearly zero-energy buildings means that the building sector needs to significantly upgrade its working practices.

In addition there is a need to develop a marketplace for deep renovation[1] packages. Currently, there is limited articulated demand from building owners for significant energy performance improvements in existing buildings. Supply side, demand side and public authorities need to cooperate and find solutions that drive compelling offers for building owners, and simultaneously lift as many barriers as possible.

Scope: Proposals should focus on removing market barriers. They should focus on coherent interventions across issues and across actors to drive structural improvement in market conditions (i.e. those able to significantly influence buildings energy use in different sectors including building owners/operators, public authorities, construction and maintenance industry, housing associations, developers, financiers, etc.). All building types may be covered; however the main focus should be on existing buildings, in particular the most inefficient ones, as they represent the largest savings potential. Proposals should create synergies by incorporating at least one of the following three elements:

  • Driving product and process innovation in the construction sector to improve product offerings by creating an early market.

  • Development, testing and/or implementation of regulations; property valuation techniques; decision-making tools for renovation strategies; quality standards; and/or inspection and monitoring mechanisms to bridge the gap between expected and actual energy performance.

  • Enabling conditions to finance deep renovation of buildings (including through process and organisation innovation).

Optional additional activities may include:

  • Support for the implementation of the recast Energy Performance of Buildings Directive in Member States by promoting dialogue and exchange of best practices; complementing activities of the EPBD Concerted Action[2].

  • Support to the implementation of the Energy Efficiency Directive as regards its provisions on 'long-term strategies for mobilising investment in the renovation of the national stock of residential and commercial buildings' (Article 4) and the renovation of central government buildings' (Article 5); complementing activities of the EED Concerted Action[3]. Proposals should not replace activities that are under the responsibility of Member States but add European value to these activities (e.g. exchange of knowledge and experience between organisations from different countries).

  • Methods to increase the share of on-site and nearby-generated renewable energy in order to achieve nearly zero-energy buildings performance levels (or better).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1.5 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: proposals triggering the renovation of existing buildings towards high energy performance, or raising quality and compliance, should result in savings of at least 25 GWh/year per million EUR of EU support. Impacts should also be measured in terms of investment made by stakeholders in sustainable energy; better implementation of energy-efficiency policies; and number of policy makers or building owners/operators influenced.

Type of action: Coordination and Support Actions

[1] Deep (or major) renovation means the renovation of a building where: (a) the total cost of the renovation relating to the building envelope or the technical building systems is higher than 25 % of the value of the building, excluding the value of the land upon which the building is situated; or  (b) more than 25 % of the surface of the building envelope undergoes renovation (Energy Performance of Buildings Directive)



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