EXPERT TALKS is a new initiative from BUILD UP. In the form of face-to-face interviews, experts coming from all around Europe and covering the field of Energy Efficiency in buildings from different perspectives will share their views, experience and expertise with BUILD UP audience. The interview addresses relevant topics linked to the Topic of the Month.
The 10th edition of our Expert talk hosts Adrian Joyce, Secretary General of EuroACE and Campaign Director of the Renovate Europe Campaign, which was initiated by EuroACE in 2011 in order to stop energy waste in buildings.
Its ambition is to reduce the energy demand of the building stock in the EU by 80% by 2050 as compared to 2005.
Adrian starts by highlighting how the Renovate Europe Campaign has changed the perception and awareness of renovation of existing buildings among policy makers. It has also brought more support by reaching 45 partners from 17 member states supporting the Campaign.
Such stronger awareness has been crowned by the publication of the Renovation Wave strategy. Adrian comments that they see it as a step change in policy making for the building sector.
Now it is upon the Member states´ actions, such as coherent policies, long-term renovation strategies and recovery and resilience plans, to reach climate neutrality by 2050. Hence, there is still a lot to do in this decarbonisation process.
Adrian also discusses about carbon revenues which he considers one of the best revenues´ strengths for Member states because it is “free revenue”. Indeed, he think that it is an important potential source for addressing energy waste in buildings and easing the financial burden on Member states.
Adrian wants to draw the distinction between heritage buildings (e.g. monuments, anchors of cultural identity and communities) and historical buildings.
Heritage buildings represents a small percentage of the building stock and they should be treated much more carefully compared to historical buildings. He adds that all building typologies can be addressed by energy renovation programmes. It is therefore important to understand the buildings, what can be achieved in reasonably cost-effective manner and tailor the solution to the building.
In particular, with heritage buildings the first thing to do is to understand the usage patterns and then identify the areas to tackle for energy performance (e.g. insulation and control systems).
For example, he highlights that one of the technical solutions is to reduce and control losses through the fabric.
As it is not possible to cover internal or external walls with insulation, then insulation could be done on the attic space, or under the floors to improve thermal performance and indoor air.
Adrian concludes by emphasising the importance of industrialised renovation kits and minimum energy performance standards.
First, renovation kits, thus industrialised processes, makes construction more attractive to younger people and women and allows to improve safety as most of the work is prefabricated indoors.
Second, he believes that minimum energy performance standards play a huge role in regulating the construction value chain.
Moreover, they would help to set targets and milestones which pave the way for the renovation process between now and 2050, when all the building stock should be efficient and decarbonised.