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ACE reaction to the adoption by the European Parliament of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive


Today, the European Parliament formally adopted the political agreement reached with the Council of the EU on the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). The Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE) congratulates the Parliament for this historic vote, which paves the way for the implementation of the Directive by Member States.

“I am very glad that the European Parliament and the Council struck a deal on the revision of the EPBD, which was an essential element of the Fit-for-55 Package. The Directive includes important provisions to spur the holistic renovation of the EU building stock and make the places we live in more comfortable, healthy and climate resilient, while actively contributing to reducing environmental damage. The vote of the European Parliament today is, therefore, a very positive signal for the climate, for citizens and for the construction and buildings sector”
, said ACE President Ruth Schagemann.

The ACE considers that the interinstitutional deal struck last December is a balanced compromise between the initial positions of the co-legislators, which will contribute to the decarbonisation of the EU building stock. In particular, the ACE welcomes  the introduction, in the Directive, of a requirement for the calculation of the life-cycle Global Warming Potential (GWP) of new buildings (as of 2028, for all new buildings with a useful floor area larger than 1000 square meters; and as of 2030, for all new buildings). The indicator, which will indicate the building’s overall contribution to emissions that lead to climate change, is a first step towards increased consideration of the whole life-cycle performance of buildings and a circular economy.  The ACE is also pleased to see that requirements for the introduction of minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) have been maintained for the non-residential sector – while co-legislators opted for a more flexible, so called “trajectory” approach for the residential sector. 

The text brings several other improvements, including national building renovation plans, the Renovation Passport, the rolling out of one-stop shops and greater consideration for indoor environmental quality.

Unfortunately, the EPBD lacks clarity when it comes to the Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) as the text leaves flexibility to Member States to choose the distribution of scales at national level, undermining the initial ambition for greater comparability of the reporting metrics across Member States. Most importantly, for EPCs to serve as a tool for quality assurance for building performance, they should require the reconciliation of calculated performance with as-built and operational data. This is essential for EPCs to become a meaningful indicator of likely energy and carbon savings and to form a robust foundation for financial incentives for both retrofit and newbuild.

The Architects’ Council of Europe and its Member Organisations at national level stand ready to assist Member States during the implementation phase of the Directive, to ensure that the Directive supports both the decarbonisation of the EU building stock and empowers the architectural profession to deliver high-quality living environments.

Download the ACE press release.

Credit: Picture of the vote results at the EP, Strasbourg.

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