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On Tuesday, May 7, BUILD UP hosted a webinar organised by FEDARENE on ‘Spreading the renovation wave to neglected market players’. The event delved into the role of the EU Peers project in involving society as an asset in the achievement of local authorities’ renovation targets.

The webinar was structured into five sessions. It started with a session by Pierluca Merola, Project Officer from the European Commission – DG ENERGY. Merola gave an overview of the EU legislations on Energy efficiency, highlighting that ‘the Energy Efficiency Directive contains an updated target to 11.9% reduction in primary and final energy consumption, which will help in increasing the annual cumulative energy savings obligation’.  

This was followed by an overview of the EU Peers project, made by Marta Lupattelli, Programme Officer from FEDARENE. Lupattelli explained that the objective of the project is to ‘support the development of IHRS (Integrated Home Renovation Services) to accelerate residential renovation in the EU, by providing a variety of exchange formats at different levels based on members’ needs and supporting emerging One-Stop-Shop initiatives’.

How to better integrate neglected market players

The third panel was given by Suzanne de Cheveigne, Research Director at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). De Cheveigne focused on the importance of strengthening the involvement of ‘vulnerable people’ in the renovation process. She explained that ‘vulnerable people, concerning housing, can belong to very diverse profiles: they can be owners of poor-quality housing with low income, tenants of private or public housing, as well as people that do not have paperwork of their buildings’. Some of the solutions proposed can tackle ‘finance support, step-by-step guidance as well as a combination of varied approaches, which must be tailor-made to the state of the building’.  

In the fourth panel, Alexandra Hamilton, Senior Engineer at Southeast Ireland Energy Agency mentioned that ‘there has been a massive house crisis in Ireland, which brought contractors to switch to a more stable market: the new built market. This led to the development of H4.0E (Interreg North West Europe project Housing 4.0 Energy), meaning small and affordable social housing units, which have a great digital component, including the design, planning, manufacturing, and construction, as well as low carbon solution integrated’.

The final session was presented by Andoni Hidalgo, Director at Euroiker, who explained that ‘two pilots one-stop-shop have been opened in the Basque Country, as part of the OPENGELA project: OTXARKOAGA and TXONTA BARRITZEN. The two pilots have been an invaluable resource in providing full support to users through the whole process of house renovations‘.