Practices

OVERVIEW | Building operation: the elusive alignment of research, design and occupants

From January 2021 all new construction in the EU must achieve the nearly-zero energy buildings standard, and existing buildings will have to be renovated at a faster rate. While the carbon emissions from buildings in operation should be...

When Smart Means Dim

An urban district in western Turkey is trialling a smart lighting system in a bid to cut energy bills and be more ecological.   The Yaşamköyü District in Tepebaşı, north-west Turkey has deployed a new intelligent lighting system along four...

Florence: Renaissance and smart future

The Italian city has recently become a model smart city by implementing a broad plan ranging from urban development to mobility and new tourism management   When you hear Uffizi, Accademia and David what do you think about? Florence, for...

OVERVIEW | Decarbonising the non-residential building stock

The building stock in the EU Member States is relatively old, on average 21.6% of the building stock was built before 1945, 45.4% was built before 1969 and 75.4% before 1990. With the exception of Cyprus, Ireland, and Luxembourg, the...

OVERVIEW | How is the EU supporting BIM and ICT development in the buildings sector?

BIM (Building Information Modelling) is the process of creating and managing information digitally across a building life-cycle. This information included in the model is not just the 3D geometrical data such as width, height, and depth,...

ENERFUND – A tool to identify building energy retrofit opportunities

The ENERFUND tool aims to scale up investments in deep renovation of buildings across Europe. Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, it provides key stakeholders such as financing institutions, energy service companies...

EU Building Stock Observatory

In recent years energy efficiency of the building stock has been recognised as a significant route to contribute towards meeting the European Union’s energy targets, by reducing energy demand and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions....

Climate change: trees to the rescue

Bringing nature back into cities can help fight global warming.   Fighting climate change is the challenge of the century. The last UN Environment Emissions Gap Report warned that, in order to ensure global warming stays below 2°C, efforts...

Waste heat from power plants hits home

District heating systems that use industrial waste are increasingly common, which helps the transition to a circular economy.   There is no such thing as a perfect energy efficient process. The second law of thermodynamics states that all...

OVERVIEW | Zero-Energy Buildings: does the definition influence their design and implementation?

In the recast Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD, 2010/31/EU), the term Nearly Zero-Energy Building (commonly abbreviated as NZEB) was introduced and defined as a “building that has a very high energy performance… the nearly...

Discussing Finance - Financing Energy Efficiency in Malta and Italy

The Sustainable Energy Investment Forums are a series of workshops and seminars, organised under a contract managed by the European Commission’s Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME). On 22 November 2018 a ‘Financing Energy Efficiency in Malta...

When citizen engagement makes the difference

Involving citizens is the biggest challenge to finalise large-scale energy efficiency works in neighbourhoods. An emblematic story comes from Valladolid, Spain, where “no, we can’t” has become “yes, we can”   Thirty-one apartment...

Finance and investment challenges presented in the 8th edition of Renovate Europe’s REDay

The Club of Rome’s first report and early whistle-blowers’ calls from the late 1960s on the Earth’s environmental stress, are today backed by concrete facts and data on the need for change. A significant 40 % of energy use relates to...

Are smart cities ready for Europe's new privacy measures?

By providing citizens with a bigger power and control over their personal information, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) represents a challenge to smart cities, which use also personal data to offer intelligent services.  ...

Deep Retrofit Training Programmes by Fit-to-NZEB Ready to Enter the Vocational Education and Training Practice in Europe

The new training programmes on deep energy retrofit developed by the Horizon 2020 project Fit-to-NZEB are uploaded and ready for use by any interested training institution.   This is the major outcome of the first year of the promising EU-...

Financing schemes: the key for successful energy efficiency projects

In the last years, the improvement of energy efficiency in buildings is one of the main topics pursue at European level able to generate economic, social and environmental benefits.   At EU level several directives as EPDB Energy...

Environmental footprint and circularity in the construction sector

While focusing in energy efficiency of buildings, Build UP portal acknowledge the relevance of an integrated approach to the overarching goal of reducing environmental footprint of buildings. The rational and efficient use of materials and...

MORE-CONNECT research project results overview

The H2020 MORE-CONNECT project “Development and advanced prefabrication of innovative, multifunctional building envelope elements for Modular Retrofitting and smart Connections” has been successfully completed. All the project objectives...

From restorative to regenerative sustainability: State of Art and visions for Regenerative Heritage

By Egla Luca, Ivan Sulc and Edeltraud Haselsteiner   Within the COST initiative RESTORE -- Rethinking Sustainability TOwards a Regenerative Economy -- since 2017 a network of researchers and experts have been actively addressing the...

ICAE2018 at San Sebastian (Spain): a bridge between research and design of architectural envelopes

From 20th to 22nd July, San Sebastian, in the north east of Spain, became the set of one of the most interesting and attractive events for those dealing with façade systems and technologies, and in general for those active in the field of...