The European Commission (EC) has developed a new strategy focused on energy-efficient buildings and sustainable technologies to help boost the construction and job markets in the European Union.
The action plan will also promote growth for the struggling European economy in general, the EC said in formally announcing the strategy.
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|Building and infrastructure work fell by 17% between January 2008 and April 2012 across the European Union member states.|
“In the current severe economic and social crisis, low-energy buildings are safe and viable investments for society and private investors,” said EC Vice President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship.
Among the program’s main goals: renovation and maintenance of existing building stock.
Tajani said the construction sector, which accounts for more than 10% of employment in the EU, should view energy-efficient buildings as an “opportunity to innovate and attract new talent.”
“New technologies offer a big potential, not only for new houses, but also for renovating millions of existing buildings to make them highly energy-efficient, in line with the EU 2020 objectives.”
The EC said it would organize a “high-level forum” to oversee the implementation of the strategy and recommend any necessary adjustments or initiatives.
The proposed actions include the following, the EC reports.
• Stimulate favorable investment conditions by renovating and maintaining buildings and infrastructure and by promoting financial tools, such as loan guarantees or project bonds.
• Boost innovation and improve labor qualifications and mobility by promoting the sharing of information on employment, curricula and employers’ needs.
• Improve resource efficiency and environmental performance by promoting mutual recognition of sustainable construction systems in the EU.
• Provide standard design codes of practice for construction companies, making it easier for them to work in member states.
• Foster the global position of European construction enterprises to stimulate good practice and sustainable standards.
EC said the 27 member states are in dire need of a construction strategy, due to the region’s financial and economic crisis, the bursting of the housing bubble, and the constant need for skilled laborers in the construction sector.
Building and infrastructure work fell by 17% between January 2008 and April 2012 across the EU-27, the EC reported.