The Renovation Wave was announced as part of the European Green Deal in 2019. The policy area of building renovation is not new in the EU and has historically been tackled by the Energy Performance in Buildings Directive (EPBD, (EU) 2018/844). FIEC lobbied on the last revision of the EPBD and our position from that period can be found here: http://www.fiec.eu/en/positions/position-papers.aspx Renovation of buildings and infrastructure took on even greater importance in the context of the Recovery Plan following the Covid-19 crisis in 2020. This is because renovation work can create jobs, boost the economy and also achieve specific, relevant sustainability goals, such as energy efficiency.
FIEC has some consistent key messages about renovation. Firstly, it needs to be holistic and not only focused on energy efficiency. This means that other problems need to be fixed during renovation (of either buildings or infrastructure), such as structural and accessibility problems and removal of toxic materials. Secondly, approaches to renovation need to remain technology neutral, not prescribed by specific EU regulation. Thirdly, national circumstances need to be taken into account, both those related to climate and those related to national building codes and traditional methods used. Other messages include the need to constantly update skills, in line with innovative, evolving approaches. In conclusion, renovation is likely to remain a key theme for FIEC for the foreseeable future.
On 14 October 2020, the European Commission has published the communication "A Renovation Wave for Europe - greening our buildings, creating jobs, improving lives". You can read FIEC press release here.