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Retrofit project launches across Europe to cut emissions from buildings

After more than a year of preparations, Green Building Councils across Europe have today (1 March) launched the world’s largest collaborative project on building renovation.

The BUILD UPON project, which aims to tackle Europe’s biggest climate challenges in existing buildings, is launching a series of 80 European events to bring together over 1,000 organisations, including governments and local authorities, constructions companies, product manufacturers, energy providers, banks and other financial institutions, and NGOs, in a concerted effort to reduce emissions from buildings, which currently account for 36 per cent of the EU’s total CO2 emissions.

BUILD UPON looks to overcome this challenge by supporting governments, industry and civil society to deliver so called ‘national renovation strategies’ – long-term plans on how they will renovate their nation’s homes and commercial buildings to high standards of energy efficiency. These strategies are required by 30 April 2017 under EU law.

The €2.35 million project, funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, is led by Green Building Councils from 13 countries – Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey, and is supported by the World Green Building Council’s Europe Regional Network. 

Terri Wills, CEO of the World Green Building Council, said:

“Existing buildings are one of Europe’s biggest challenges when it comes to tackling climate change. We can turn that challenge into a solution, but need nothing short of a renovation revolution.

“BUILD UPON will spark that revolution by gathering an unprecedented number of key players including governments, businesses and NGOs, in a collaborative community where they will work together to transform Europe’s existing buildings into green buildings.”

The BUILD UPON project will use two key platforms to aid this collaboration: The RenoWiki – an online portal which allows individuals to upload real-life initiatives on building renovations in Europe in order to share best practice and successful initiatives. To date, there are more than 550 initiatives on the RenoWiki. And, a series of over 80 events in the capital and major cities of the 13 project countries to consult and engage key players in what could be included in their renovation strategies, such as policy measures, finance mechanisms, skills programmes and awareness raising initiatives.

The RenoWiki and a full events programme are available at www.buildupon.eu

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