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Support for setting up an observatory of the building stock and related policies

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This report sums up the work done in the scope of the Building Stock Observatory project from February 1, 2015 to June 31, 2016.


According to the report, good governance and policy making require monitoring and periodic evaluations of the impact of building policies and strategies. In 2016, most EU legislation on buildings, including the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and the Renewable Energy Sources Directive (RED), are undergoing a review process. With this in mind, the European Commission decided to establish the European Union (EU) Building Stock Observatory to monitor buildings’ energy performance improvement and its impact on the actual energy consumption of the sector in the EU Member States.


The EU Building Stock Observatory was developed by a consortium consisting of BPIE, ECN, Enerdata, Ecofys and SEVEn in cooperation with 20 national partners and a broad range of stakeholders. The key objective was to provide the European Commission with a comprehensive knowledge resource on Europe’s building stock for policy makers, investors, industry stakeholders, energy utilities, local and national authorities as well as researchers, in order to underpin decision-making, financial and long-term strategic support. The purpose of the project was to:


  • Establish a methodological framework for the monitoring of the EU-28 building stock in the context of building energy efficiency policies; including a set of quantitative indicators, guidance for data collection and analysis; as well as strategies to address data gaps;
  • Collect buildings’ statistics in EU-28 and provide a snapshot of the current status of the European building stock’s energy performance;
  • Disseminate the results through a dedicated publicly available portal;
  • Set up a methodology for the continuous monitoring of the building stock and maintain the website as well as other communication tools.

The Observatory aims also to be an important support tool for the Member States reporting to the European Commission as required under the different articles of the EPBD and EED. For example, to update national renovation strategies in 2017 – as required under Art. 4 of the EED – Member States will be able to use the data provided in the Observatory to assess the status of their national building stock.


Furthermore, the following added value of the project was identified:


  • The Observatory will serve as a centralised, official repository of information on Europe’s buildings stock. It will provide information and link different aspects of the building stock characteristics, including typology, technical systems, energy performance, energy needs, as well as living conditions, comfort, indoor air quality, energy poverty and many others. There are over 250 main indicators included in the scope of the Observatory.
  • The Observatory provides a harmonised structure for data collection and reporting across all EU Member States. This structure takes into account existing approaches for data collection at European, national and regional levels (such as: type of indicators collected, taxonomy). In addition, the consortium provided new approaches to tackle data collection e.g. for monitoring renovation activities.
  • The Observatory allows for an easy search of information on Europe’s buildings, until now only available in different sources (i.e. official statistics, research projects/reports, etc.), both at European and national levels. It also presents new data sets (i.e. never published) collected or estimated in the scope of the Building Stock Observatory project.
  • The Observatory targets different audiences and offers different approaches for the dissemination and communication of result.
  • The Observatory uses the information and links the information provided by Concerted Action EPBD (CA EPBD), especially in the context of the implementation of building-related policies at national level (i.e. the Key Implementation Decision).
  • The Observatory provides a comprehensive overview of building-data availability at the European and national levels. On the topic of data gap management (in the scope of the project), the consortium provided recommendations for data collection future approaches.


You can download the report at the link below.