Across Europe, eight cities have been working with their local Green Building Council, national government and industry as part of BUILD UPON2 to develop and pilot a ‘multi-level energy renovation impact framework’.
This framework is a tool that allows cities to monitor and quantify the real impact of energy renovation. It breaks down the holistic benefits of renovation initiatives into three key areas, or ‘core indicators’, as follows:
Renovating our existing building stock is key to meeting the EU’s 2050 net zero target. Cities are using the framework to measure emissions reductions and energy efficiency improvements brought about by energy renovation, while also taking into account the annual renovation rate and increased use of renewable energy.
Citizens in lower income brackets often live in poorly maintained buildings that cost more to keep warm. This has led the European Commission to prioritise addressing energy poverty in its recent Renovation Wave action plan. The framework allows cities to measure the extent to which renovation work can reduce energy poverty, as well as improve indoor air quality and thermal comfort in buildings.
The creation of jobs and local investment in renovation is another benefit of renovation that cities can measure using the BUILD UPON Framework. This area also extends to education, in the number of building professionals and construction workers upskilling in energy renovation.
By capturing data at a local level, the framework links renovation initiatives to policy and decision-making processes at a local and national level, driving greater investment in city regeneration programmes.
The framework is composed of ‘core’ and non-core indicators. Core indicators must be used by all municipalities and/or central governments using the framework and non-core indicators are optional and can be used where appropriate and where data are available. All these indicators are linked to economic, social and environmental priorities at national and EU level.
In the future, the framework can be used as a blueprint for the implementation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), and by cities signed up to the Covenant of Mayors in their efforts to tackle the decarbonisation of their building stock. It can also be useful for governments worldwide looking for guidance in their national building strategies.
Cities that would like to get involved should contact their national GBCs.