The European Union is currently revising the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), as part of a broader overhaul of the EU climate and energy legislation, referred to as the ‘Fit for 55’ package. The principal aim of this package is to deliver on the climate action goal of a minimum 55 % reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, thereby setting the EU on the path towards climate neutrality by 2050. The main objectives of the recast EPBD are to substantially reduce GHG emissions and final energy consumption in the building sector by 2030, and to set a long-term vision for the decarbonisation of the EU building stock by 2050.
The ongoing legislative process aiming to revise this Directive is of utmost importance for the architectural profession. "We have a unique opportunity to make the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive a piece of legislation that supports architectural quality and accountability of the sector, while at the same time includes the necessary mechanisms for consideration of whole life-cycle carbon emissions." stated ACE President, Ruth Schagemann.
'In order to get climate neutral by 2050, we need to rethink the linear economy model of “take, make and waste” and connect our past to the future with the implementation of architectural strategies toward circularity. What we re-use and design with adaptability today will shape a more sustainable andresilient future. Therefore, we call for policy makers to support the highest level of ambition in the EPBD to ensure that circular economy principles are integrated into a strong framework for more holistic consideration of environmental impacts.' stated Carl Bäckstrand ACE Executive Board Member, Coordinator of the Area "Achieving quality for the built environment
"It is crucial that the EPBD introduces carbon assessments throughout the whole life cycle of new and existing buildings. This will enable innovation across the construction and property sector and create a market for high quality, low climate impact design solutions. We have to act now: Politicians on all sides should recognise that an ambitious EPBD can create local jobs in the green economy and improve living conditions for all. " underlined Peter Andreas Sattrup Chair of the ACE Sustainable Architecture Work Group and Head of Sustainability at the Danske Arkitektvirksomheder.
"Businesses need certainty, and a level playing field to invest in EU skills, products, and services to decarbonise the EU building stock. Consumers need protection so that the buildings they live in are healthy, and low-cost to operate, and maintain. That means mandatory Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) to address the market segment with the highest need as well as Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) that reliably show how buildings actually perform. Legislation is a responsible society’s tool to enable functioning market conditions for decarbonisation . It also empowers architects to help re-imagine a net zero carbon future." recalled Judit Kimpian Chair of the ACE Sustainable Architecture Work Group
With the revision of the EPBD, the ACE pursues the following strategic objectives:
- Create sustainable value through high-quality architecture;
- Incorporate a whole life approach in built environment legislation;
- Embed feedback and validation of building performance in use;
- Accelerate and scale up low embodied carbon and deep retrofit;
- Incentivise sustainable finance.
ACE priorities for the revision of the EPBD:
One of the highest priority is to strengthen Energy Performance Certificates so they reflect validated performance. The primary reasons for this is the performance gap, which undermines the confidence in the certificates, as they do not reflect the actual delivered quality of a project – not what materials or products were used in the construction of the building nor how well it was assembled, nor its resilience, not even its intended lifespan.
Download and share the ACE #9 priorities for the revision of the EPBD.