EU unveils plans to improve sustainability of buildings

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The European Commission has today adopted new proposals designed to raise the sustainability of new and renovated buildings by increasing resource efficiency and improving information on the environmental performance of buildings.

Under the proposals set out in Communication "Resource efficiency opportunities in the building sector", builders, architects, product manufacturers, or anyone wanting to rent or buy a building will have access to better information about its environmental performance.

The Commission will develop a framework for assessing environmental performance with the aim of providing a tool which can be used across Europe, by both private actors and public authorities. The first set of indicators should be available in two to three years.

Efforts to recycle construction and demolition waste, and to re-use it when constructing new buildings or renovating existing ones, will also be made easier under the plans.

The Commission will boost the market for recycling of construction and demolition waste through more support for research and demonstration projects, and more collaboration with Member States to make recycling more economically attractive.

James Drinkwater, Senior Policy Advisor at World Green Building Council, said: “This Communication represents an important step towards the mainstreaming of sustainable building practices throughout Europe. The process to agree an EU framework of performance indicators will move mainstream dialogue beyond the energy ‘in-use’ phase, which has been the predominant focus in Europe.

“Ultimately, it will provide the foundations for building further supportive public policy for sustainable building across the region and experts across our Network will be working alongside the Commission over the coming years to ensure the framework helps achieve real progress.”

Today’s proposals follow a public consultation on sustainable buildings that took place between July and October 2013, and which WorldGBC responded to here.

The Europe Regional Network of WorldGBC will be organising workshops for GBC members across the region to provide national feedback into the EU framework process. For more information on this topic click here.

News Source : EU unveils plans to improve sustainability of buildings
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