Societal needs are changing faster than the way we are delivering and renovating homes. Housing Europe Members invest €60 billion annually on construction and renovation and, because of their scale, can be a catalyst for innovation. As social, public and cooperative providers, they bring affordability and innovation to those who need it most. Achieving this innovation at the rate & scale required means that closer partnerships with the construction sector is needed.
Much work is required to bring the construction sector onto a more sustainable path. Speaking at a lunch hosted by EBC on the issue their representative listed some of the asks from the perspective of construction SMEs in Europe: the importance to focus on small-scale renovation projects, provide an appropriate framework for recycled materials and reused products, to promote accessible recycling and recovery facilities to enable market conditions, and to upskill and reskill construction workers with regard to digitalisation, circular economy and energy efficiency.
While the challenge is big and competence is limited in the construction sector at EU level, its relevance for the achievement of EU objectives is inescapable.
The new Commission has renamed a unit once again dedicated to Construction and Circular Economy, headed by Fulvia Raffaeli, who describes the construction sector as “an enabler to reach a sustainable built environment and thus of very high importance in the Green Deal discussions”. In turn, social housing has been clearly identified as enablers of the announced policy to increase renovation rates.
This increase in focus from policy makers, has brought into light the fragmentation of voices from within the sector working to influence. On the initiative of building contractors, machinery as well as construction product suppliers (FIEC, CECE and Construction Products Europe) the establishment of a new Construction 2050 alliance is underway to help establish a clearer overview across the value chain of the path to future-fit construction sector and turn this into a stronger counterpart for policy makers. The launch event will be held in the European Parliament on March 17th.
Housing Europe as an influencer at EU level which is also in tune with the needs on the ground has been invited to join the alliance.