In a world where resources are becoming more and more scarce, the European Union needs to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth by becoming a resource efficient economy.
Buildings use a significant share of our resources in materials, energy, water and land, and at the end of their lives they make up a third of all waste; therefore they play an important part in this transition. If we want the European building sector to become more competitive and more viable in the future, we need to attain higher resource efficiency levels. The potential to make savings in both costs and materials and to reduce the impact on the environment in the buildings sector is an important one.

Resource efficient or sustainable buildings?

In mid 2014, the European Commission published a Communication which focused on resource efficiency opportunities in the building sector (COM 2014/0445). Initially, this communications was due to focus on “sustainable buildings”.  Unfortunately, this was not the case as not only was the title of the final modified, but also the focus of the content which stood squarely in the environmental segment of sustainability. Society and economy appeared, regrettably, to have fallen by the wayside.

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