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EU policy models for reducing whole-life carbon of buildings

Guiding the European building stock on a path to climate neutrality

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of operational energy have been regulated across the EU since the introduction of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

However, the current EPBD does not regulate the full carbon footprint (whole-life carbon) of buildings and disregards embodied carbon emissions in the phases of material production, construction, renovation and demolition.

Addressing the gap in regulation
This project – implemented by Ramboll and KU Leuven and financed by the European Climate Foundation – addresses this gap in regulation by developing a proposal for EU whole-life carbon legislation that will set the European building stock on a path to climate neutrality.

In the context of the EPBD revision, in which whole-life carbon regulation is proposed, this work can contribute to defining the scope, ambition, and timeline for reducing the climate impact of the full building life cycle.

Analysing existing WLC policy models in frontrunning countries:

Download the first report here

This report analyses the existing policy models of five different EU member states decarbonising the building sector beyond operational energy. Such regulation is in force or well-developed in national building- or environmental codes of Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

By downloading this report you will get detailed descriptions of the key features, requirements, advantages, disadvantages and best practices of these national approaches.

Proposing an EU policy model for assessing, reporting and reducing WLC:

Download the second report here

This report builds on the review of national policy models to propose how an EU WLC policy could look like. The proposed model is based on a lifecycle assessment method, a WLC reduction framework, as well as capacity development mechanisms.

Download and read the report to get detailed insights on these policy elements and their features that can serve as a checklist for policymaking. 

Let's get in touch

For specific questions regarding the analysis and report please reach out to our experts: