A Renovation Wave for Europe

Thursday 15 April 2021

To reach its objectives* contained in the Renovation Wave Communication presented in October 2020, the European Commission is now working towards key action areas:

  • Revision of the Renewable Energy Directive, including strengthening renewable heating & cooling targets (June 2021) 
  • Introduction of minimum energy performance standards and a financing limit to the monthly expenditure of inhabitants.
  • Revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive to extend the requirements scope of public administrations and increase their annual renovation obligations (June 2021) 
  • Strengthening of the Emission Trading Scheme and including emissions from buildings (June 2021)
  • Revision of the Energy Performance Building Directive, in order to promote the decarbonisation of the buildings sector, to deliver on the Renovation Wave targets for 2030 and foster deep renovations. Regarding this revision, the Commission published a Roadmap on 22 February 2021 and aims, following a consultation period, to present a proposal by end 2021.

As part of this renovation Wave, the European Commission launched on 18 January the design phase of  the “New European Bauhaus”, that will lead to the launching of calls for proposals in the Autumn 2021. 

As a reminder, the purpose of this NEB is to create a design movement integrating three dimensions: sustainability (including circularity), quality of experience (including aesthetics) and inclusion (including affordability), “showing that creativity is in finding affordable, inclusive and attractive solutions for our climate challenges”. The NEB will take place in three phases: Design, Delivery and Dissemination, partially operating in parallel. 

The goal of the design phase is to take stock of the existing good ideas and see where and how the New European Bauhaus can accelerate, concretise, and materialise these. The outcome should be a framework including a call for proposals for at least five places where the new Bauhaus concept can be materialised.  In this phase, the project will be in active listening mode by providing special facilitation methods and harvesting tools, to allow each contribution to be readable and to generate ideas and insights. A series of semi-structured interviews with the most advanced thinkers and practitioners will lead to a NEB high-level roundtable, a compass and sounding board for the initiative. As one element of the design phase, the European Commission will launch in spring 2021 the first edition of the NEB prize, to be awarded in summer 2021.

The delivery phase will start by setting up these five pilots, as well as flanking initiatives identified in the design phase. A ‘community of practice’ formed by all the participants of the design phase will monitor the five pilots: all the partners involved in the broader initiatives should be able to learn and benefit from the first experiments.

In the dissemination phase, the NEB will focus on diffusing good ideas and concepts to a broader audience in Europe and beyond. via networking and sharing knowledge between practitioners on the best available methods, solutions, and prototypes. The goal is to help all frontrunners to replicate their experiences across cities and rural areas, to inspire a new generation of architects and designers, and to support the emergence of lead markets for new ways of living in buildings that are in harmony with the natural environment and the climate.

Pierre Lucas
Secretary General

a) Double annual energy renovation rates by 2030 - to result in about 35 million renovated building units,
b) Reduce buildings GHG emissions and energy consumption, specifically heating & cooling, addressing energy poverty and
c) Stimulate the construction sector and the general economy - to create up to 160,000 additional green jobs.

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