She also explained the background of the need of this project: Buildings represent about 40% of the EU energy consumption, and 36% of the total CO2 emissions. A major part of these is due to heating and cooling, to maintain comfortable indoor conditions. The EU has committed to meet 20% of all energy demand through the use of renewable energy sources by 2020, and a further target of 100% by 2050 is already underway. Rational use of energy and integration of renewable energy technologies can substantially reduce the conventional energy demand in new and existing buildings and assist the EU in meeting the climate change objectives under the 2015 Paris Agreement. At present, about 35% of the EU’s buildings are over 50 years old and almost 75% of the building stock is energy inefficient but only 0.4-1.2% of the building stock is renovated each year due to slow and costly renovation processes. Systemic approaches for building renovation could address the key challenges facing the construction industry by minimising energy use and material waste, maximising the energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources for heating, cooling, power generation and lighting, and fast and affordable retrofitting through the use of prefabrication.
The interview took place on the 20th of March 2021.