Putting renovation at the heart of the EU building stock transition
Posted on 14.03.2023
by Simon Pezzutto
There are 220 million building units across the European Union. Most of these buildings would benefit from renovation, thereby allowing for greater energy efficiency. Renovating these buildings one by one requires a significant amount of commitment across all EU member states, but is indeed possible - and necessary!
Only 11% of the existing EU building stock undergoes renovation annually, and only 0.2% undergoes deep renovation, which reduces energy consumption by at least 60%. The EU’s Renovation Wave Initiative, which is linked to the European Green Deal, aims to renovate 35 million inefficient buildings by 2030. This considerable goal cannot be achieved without all possible levers for progress ready at our fingertips. One such lever is the use of building and renovation data - the central topic of the BuiltHub project.
It is clear that there are a number of gaps that are likely contributing to the low renovation rate; including an overall lack of building and renovation data, as well as data that is simply incomparable. This includes floor area (gross, net, heated, occupied, etc.), energy (primary, final, delivered, consumption, etc.) and renovation-related data (energy-related, light, deep).
The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre has also indicated a number of barriers that are affecting the EU renovation rate, including:
• a lack of knowing about efficient renovation measures
• a lack of information on the wider benefits
• not enough robust data
The BuiltHub project, specifically through its Platform and commitment to effective data governance and analytics, aims to help to fill that information gap.
The BuiltHub Platform already holds a number of valuable datasets that can help to shape renovation policies and plans by providing data related to carbon dioxide emissions, climate, solar radiation and technical systems for heating and cooling. For a larger picture, platform users can also access a complete analysis of the EU building stock via a dataset provided by the HotMaps project, which includes general information on energy consumption and building demand, as well as more focused data, such as on domestic hot water and thermal transmittancy.
Access to sufficient building and renovation data is just one important lever to ensure a rapid transformation of the EU building stock. Together, in concert with a number of projects and initiatives, we may yet make those necessary gains towards decarbonisation.