European Commission Consults on Sustainable Buildings Policy

Wednesday 10th July 2013

A public consultation exploring what sustainable buildings policy for Europe should look like in the future has been launched by the European Commission.

The consultation will focus on resources such as materials (including waste), water and embedded energy and aims to address resource use and related environmental impacts throughout the life-cycle of buildings, from the extraction of building materials to demolition and recycling of materials. Residential and non-residential buildings will both be covered.

Stakeholder views will inform a ‘Communication on Sustainable Buildings’ which is expected to be published at the beginning of 2014.

James Drinkwater, Senior Policy Advisor for the Europe Regional Network of the World Green Building Council, said:

“It is incredibly important that the green building movement gets behind this evolution in building policy, and engages with the Commission on what the right strategic direction is going forward. The results of this consultation and subsequent debate will set the direction of travel for EU green building policy for years to come. Our Network will be gathering the expertise of Green Building Council members across the region to inform our response.”

The initiative seeks to raise awareness of and demand for higher environmentally performing buildings among private consumers, developers and public purchasers and to improve knowledge and information regarding resource use and related environmental impacts in relation to buildings in order to support decision making amongst actors in the value chain.

Some of the areas the consultation identified as potential future topics of work include:

  • Establishing and promoting an assessment framework for the environmental performance of buildings, taking into account the building as a system, building components and construction products;
  • Providing information on the environmental performance of buildings to designers, architects, engineers, developers, construction companies, construction product manufacturers, investors, consumers, etc;
  • Establishing comprehensive Green Public Procurement criteria for different categories of buildings and promoting their use;
  • Recommending requirements for the reporting of environmental impacts and resource use of buildings and components to be used at national level;
  • Advising Member States on developing/reforming financial incentives for better environmental performing buildings, including linking to the existing/emerging incentives for energy efficiency;
  • Promoting efficient material management, in particular supporting markets for secondary construction materials;
  • Co-operating with Member States on policies aimed at more intensive use of public buildings.

The consultation closes on 1 October 2013 and can be accessed here.

For further information please see the background document and the consultation questionnaire.

Note: If you are a GBC member and wish to provide input into the Europe Regional Networks’ consultation response, please contact your local GBC for details of how you can get involved.

A public consultation exploring what sustainable buildings policy for Europe should look like in the future has been launched by the European Commission.

The consultation will focus on resources such as materials (including waste), water and embedded energy and aims to address resource use and related environmental impacts throughout the life-cycle of buildings, from the extraction of building materials to demolition and recycling of materials. Residential and non-residential buildings will both be covered.

Stakeholder views will inform a ‘Communication on Sustainable Buildings’ which is expected to be published at the beginning of 2014.

James Drinkwater, Senior Policy Advisor for the Europe Regional Network of the World Green Building Council, said:

“It is incredibly important that the green building movement gets behind this evolution in building policy, and engages with the Commission on what the right strategic direction is going forward. The results of this consultation and subsequent debate will set the direction of travel for EU green building policy for years to come. Our Network will be gathering the expertise of Green Building Council members across the region to inform our response.”

The initiative seeks to raise awareness of and demand for higher environmentally performing buildings among private consumers, developers and public purchasers and to improve knowledge and information regarding resource use and related environmental impacts in relation to buildings in order to support decision making amongst actors in the value chain.

Some of the areas the consultation identified as potential future topics of work include:

  • Establishing and promoting an assessment framework for the environmental performance of buildings, taking into account the building as a system, building components and construction products;
  • Providing information on the environmental performance of buildings to designers, architects, engineers, developers, construction companies, construction product manufacturers, investors, consumers, etc;
  • Establishing comprehensive Green Public Procurement criteria for different categories of buildings and promoting their use;
  • Recommending requirements for the reporting of environmental impacts and resource use of buildings and components to be used at national level;
  • Advising Member States on developing/reforming financial incentives for better environmental performing buildings, including linking to the existing/emerging incentives for energy efficiency;
  • Promoting efficient material management, in particular supporting markets for secondary construction materials;
  • Co-operating with Member States on policies aimed at more intensive use of public buildings.

The consultation closes on 1 October 2013 and can be accessed here.

For further information please see the background document and the consultation questionnaire.

Note: If you are a GBC member and wish to provide input into the Europe Regional Networks’ consultation response, please contact your local GBC for details of how you can get involved.