With the European Green Deal, the European Commission is aiming to be climate-neutral by 2050. The renovation of public and private buildings has been set as a key initiative to drive energy efficiency in the construction sector and help meet this ambitious target.
The objective of the EU’s Renovation Wave strategy, published in October 2020, is to at least double the annual energy renovation rate of residential and non-residential buildings by 2030 to enhance the quality of life for the building users, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create up to 160,000 additional green jobs in the construction sector.
Energy efficiency is absolutely key to achieve this. Most of the EU existing building stock is not energy-efficient. Many buildings still rely on fossil fuels for heating and cooling or use old technologies and underperforming materials. To achieve the goals of the European Green Deal, buildings have to become more energy-efficient, less carbon-intensive over their full lifecycle and more sustainable.
But it’s not just about reducing energy bills and cutting down emissions. Renovation can open up numerous possibilities and generate far-reaching social, environmental and economic benefits. With the same intervention, buildings can be made healthier, greener, smarter, more accessible and more resilient to extreme natural events. The Covid pandemic has further emphasized the importance of the building environment and the need to build “a better normal”, end energy poverty and ensure a recovery that works for everyone.
Regulations and funding schemes to boost energy-efficient building renovations across Europe have been set in place to help countries rebuild their post-pandemic economies. Italy, Greece, and Czech Republic are already in the spotlight, paving the way to a successful renovation program. France has already adopted a progressive set of measures, starting with a ban on rent increase of poorly performing buildings as of 2021, a ban on renting these as of 2023 and an obligation to renovate all worst-performing buildings as of 2028. In the Netherlands, all office buildings will have to have an energy performance certificates (EPC) class C by 2023 and an EPC class A by 2030. The Flanders region of Belgium is also considering policy proposals for a minimum EPC level for non-residential buildings as of 2030 and a minimum EPC level for residential rentals.
When you consider that between 25 and 30% of a building’s energy is lost through its roof, it becomes obvious that any scheme aimed at improving its energy efficiency must focus on this part of the building envelope.
Future readiness, high performance and sustainability are Holcim Group’ top priorities. We offer game-changing roof waterproofing and insulation products that ensure durable, sustainable and long-lasting solutions that are particularly well suited for renovations.
Our EPDM membranes can be installed directly over existing roofing systems, whether it is an existing bituminous roof or other single-ply membranes, avoiding the generation of additional construction waste.
Our range of polyisocyanurate (PIR) insulation, consisting of lightweight rigid insulation panels with excellent thermal properties, does not add much weight to the existing roof, ensures the reduction of energy demand, delivers savings on energy bills and has a low cost of ownership.
We have also co-signed the Renovate Europe Campaign Call for a creation of a "Renovation Fund for All Europeans" and by committing to fostering an open dialogue with architects, building owners and contractors to contribute to building a greener and more resilient Europe.