Resource efficiency opportunities in the building sector

Sustainable buildings
2 July 2014


Following the Sustainable Buildings consultation to which Cerame-Unie replied, the European Commission published a Communication Resource Efficiency Opportunities in the building sector on 2 July 2014. The primary objectives of this initiative are to reduce the resource use in new and renovated residential, commercial and public buildings, as well as decrease the environmental impact of buildings over their full lifecycle.


The Communication indicates that recycling/reuse of materials are important processes in order to improve the efficient use of materials and to avoid negative impacts related with virgin material. To increase the use of recycled materials from construction and demolition waste (CDW), a better functioning market for recycled construction materials should be created.


The Commission intends to work on reliable data and to develop a common framework of core indicators, including their methods, focusing on the most relevant aspects of environmental impacts of buildings throughout their life cycle. This framework will cover the following areas:

  •  Total energy use (operational energy and embodied energy);
  •  Material use and the embodied environmental impacts;
  •  Durability of construction products and design for deconstruction;
  •  Management of CDW;
  •  Recycled content in construction products;
  •  Recyclability and reusability of construction products;
  •  Water used by buildings;
  •  Indoor comfort.

The development of this framework should last approximately two years and stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide input on this matter. Furthermore, the framework will be based on existing work, namely the EN 15978 and other voluntary schemes.