Sustainable construction and renovation: The key sector for energy savings


Around 40 percent of our energy consumption is related to buildings. High emissions of greenhouse gases and high costs for heating/cooling are the consequence. That’s no new information for regular readers of this Blog. The all-embracing question is how to overcome these problems with a solution oriented approach.


At a workshop for municipalities and cities, regional and national governments, professionals (craftsmen, architects, organizations for local development, etc.) organized by the Alpine town of the year association and CIPRA International on 17th of October 2014 in Idrija (Slovenia) several questions on sustainable construction and savings have been raised:Foto Anton Zelenc, fototeka Mestnega muzeja Idrija (6)

  • How can a house be built or refurbished in a sustainable way?
  • What kind of general framework needs to be set up by a municipality in order to build with the lowest energy consumption possible?
  • Who needs to be involved in this process?
  • How does successful cooperation within the region work?

One presentation was held by Silvia Rivas (European Commission – Joint Research Centre).The Joint Research centre provides scientific-technical support to the development, implementation and monitoring of the Covenant of Mayors initiatives. She spoke about sustainable energy action plans (SEAP) and the measures in the building sector. Very interesting is, that out of 3815 plans submitted so far, over 40.000 measures were collected that address the buildings equipment/facilities and industry sector. That are twice as many measure compared to the transport sector and about four times more than the “local energy productions” sector.


What I want to emphasise with this example, is that sustainable construction and renovation is a key sector when it comes to energy savings. The findings of the MountEE project and the transparency of the pilot buildings can help regions and municipalities all over Europe to take action in this field.

Please find the slides of the presentations with in-depth information on measures here

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