EU voluntary initiatives to achieve a sustainable building stock

This session presents three different initiatives being developed by the European Commission that all contribute to generating reliable buildings sustainability data. It highlights their contexts, how they can support a growing sustainable building stock, the links between them and how they can support each other.

The first is a digital building logbook. This instrument could help define a building’s storyboard in a number of investor- and consumer-relevant areas, building on commercial as well as residential experiences. Several initiatives have appeared throughout Europe but with limited scope. They are, however, a good base for discussions for better understanding market trends, professional capabilities and policy needs. This would help align EU and national initiatives.

Second is a resource-efficient building framework that provides a common "green" language for the sector. Guidance for key actors will support the mainstream market to improve their sustainability performance. The framework is a comprehensive toolkit for efficient building monitoring, development and operations. Prepared by leading experts, it condenses decades of experience into a practical, relevant and systemised format, allowing beginners and experts to standardise their reporting methodology. When combined with the more common financial reporting, it will provide a robust basis for investment decisions.

Finally, how can property investors benefit from the transparent and cross border tools and platforms initiated by the Commission for benchmarking investments? The work by the Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (EEFIG) stresses the need to give the right financial and energy performance information to investors, at the level of individual buildings. The importance to create uniform market conditions and increase transparency is also identified in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). Voluntary initiatives such as the Building Stock Observatory and the De-risk Energy Efficient Platform (DEEP) will together with the recent overarching CEN-standard on energy performance of buildings provide practical tools to make better informed decisions, and attract private energy efficiency investments in the non-residential property market.