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Guidance on EU building legislation (GEN – 1153.00)

25 August 2020

2 min read
2020 - Guidance on EU building legislation

Guidance on EU building legislation (GEN – 1153.00)

25 August 2020

2 min read

GEN – 1153.00. The Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE) has published a guidebook outlining the history and past developments leading to todays’ policies together with an outlook on future developments. It represents a valuable introduction to those acquainted and not acquainted with building policies.


BPIE was set up in 2010 to drive towards energy efficient and sustainable building policies. Among its Directors, it numbers Randall Bowie who was the main policy officer driving the development of the first Directive on Energy Performance of Buildings 2002/91/EC between 1996 and 2007 and accompanied the Commission Energy Action Plans at the time.


The 52-page guidebook focuses on the key EU legislation aimed at transforming and decarbonising the European building stock. This includes an overview of:

  • The Clean Energy Package for all Europeans: A comprehensive set of legislation that defines European climate and energy policy beyond 2020. The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) cover the main issues regarding building policies on a European level.
  • The Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) was adopted in March 2020. It includes measures that will help stimulate Europe’s transition towards a circular economy and encompasses the entire life cycle of products and key value chains, including construction and buildings.
  • EU energy product policy (The Energy Labelling and Ecodesign Directives).

The European legislation covers and connects a range of topics to support high performance and decarbonisation of the building stock. These include the calculation of the energy performance of buildings, energy performance certificates, metering of energy consumption and building automation, but also the split-incentive dilemma and the alleviation of energy poverty, which have a clear social impact.

National initiatives

On the BPIE website one finds an overview of/link to the building initiatives in Bulgaria, Germany, Poland and Romania, though the references are in the local languages.

EU Building Stock Observatory (EU BSO)

Within the Guidebook the EU Building Stock Observatory, established in 2016, is mentioned as a source for data on Europe’s building stock. The EU BSO is part of the European Union Open Data Portal (EU ODP) that gives access to open data published by EU institutions and bodies. The EU ODP gathers some 15.000 sets of data, from the transparency register, research projects to statistical data on energy, emissions, and buildings. The information in there is freely accessible.

The detail in the ES BSO varies according to country and not all the tables mentioned are filled with data. However, it gives the best possible approach at present. The Commission uses the data for its EU Building factsheets. While some of the tables are a bit old (2013) some of the issues addressed are interesting such as beside building stock characteristics, energy consumption, technical building systems and certification.

Recommended actions

Members interested in the background to building policies are advised to read the guidebook.

The members may find it useful to check the data in EU Building Stock Observatory to complement internal studies.

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All related documents and articles can be found in the respective sections in the right sidebar.


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