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Tuesday, 20th February 2018 - 10:23h

Tuesday, 20th February 2018 - 10:23h


House of the Dutch Provinces, Rue de Trèves 59


Relevant EU Actions: In its Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on skills, the EU identifies construction as a sector with high awareness of the importance of skills with focus areas including energy efficiency and digitisation. EU Funding and financing prioritises the shift to a low-carbon and resource-efficient economy with a strong focus on the energy transition in the buildings sector.

The offer of quality job creation and better quality of life in our homes, cities and neighbourhoods will be central in gaining political support for this transition. This one-day conference will give vital pointers and concrete examples on how these EU instruments can help deliver this support.

The PROF/TRAC team have identified the skills gap among NZEB professionals, technical experts, architects and managers involved in nZEB design and construction and are addressing this gap with courses and dissemination of material. This final PROF/TRAC conference, to be held in Brussels on February 20th, will broaden the perspective to address awareness, skills and confidence gaps along the construction supply chain, within our administrations and among our citizens which continue to slow the demand and speed of renovation roll-out across the region. We will also consider the EU strategy to address these gaps with a focus on European Structural and Investment Funds and the skills Agenda, now in the post 2020 programming period which is under preparation.

Availability & access to finance from EU level: Despite a slow start, Housing Europe’s analysis of the use of European Structural and Investment Fund in the current programming period reveals a significant improvement in the availability and take-up of funds compared to the pre-2014 phase. There is a potential €5,15 billion for ‘energy efficiency renovation, €1.44 billion for housing infrastructure on the table and additional potential support under INTERREG and Innovative Urban Actions and the European Social Fund. Rules to combine funds and to blend with loans have been simplified. 31 Projects in 19 Member States (70 % in energy efficiency) have been identified. 

Main Lessons Learned – More skills needed to ensure that EU funding fosters an Integrated, innovative approach to refurbishment and a combination of hard and soft measures: Public support for the energy transition can be assured thought quality assurance in renovation works carried out but also through an holistic approach which involve citizens in the renovation planning, which foster de-centralisation of energy production, consumption and ownership, which create jobs but which most importantly boost local quality of life not only within the building but in the local community. Currently however the confidence among those developing projects to adopt an integrated approach is low, this is linked to the fact that the knowledge on the potential to combine ESF funding with ERDF to achieve this integrated approach is also low. We can build this confidence through increased training for Managing Authorities & beneficiaries in combining social and technical services to achieve this integrated approach, by aligning reporting mechanisms between ERDF & ESF, harmonising rules and providing clear guidance and examples.  

Measures to foster Technological innovation and industrial optimisation at EU level

The market is failing to offer cost-effective zero energy renovation solutions. Analysis of projects aiming at zero energy renovation estimates that 40% of costs savings will come from industrial optimisation of the renovation process and the rest from technological innovation. Lack of risk sharing along the supply chain is one stumbling block. Take for instance the de-link between installers of heating and ventilation systems where for installers deal directly with contractors and are cut off from users concerns. Integrated training such as that developed under PROF /TRAC, Hands-on Market Development Teams & Life Long Learning schemes for NZEB professional can help to address this.

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Huygen Installatie Adviseurs B.V.

Parkweg 22b, Maastricht 6200AM, Netherlands

Tel: +3188 0322222