Insight

Knauf Insulation’s New Year resolution? The same as every year – create better buildings

By Knauf Insulation
January 13, 2022

The start of any new year is inevitably a time to make new resolutions. But at Knauf Insulation we are different. The company maintains a laser-sharp focus on the same commitment every year — creating better buildings.

But what exactly does this mean? Well, putting energy efficiency first, inspiring more green infrastructure* in urban centres, increasing rates of renovation, ensuring people get the high-quality buildings they deserve and creating buildings that have the lower footprint possible on the environment.

In 2022 Knauf Insulation will continue to work with our partners, the policymakers and key stakeholders to take major steps forward in every one of these areas.

So, how will the company walk the talk in 2022?

Putting quality first

In late 2021, proposals to revise the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive were unveiled by the European Commission featuring plans to introduce new zero emission standards and minimum energy performance standards for buildings.

This is good news because tougher energy standards mean less emissions and better buildings for people.

However, at Knauf Insulation we want to maximise this opportunity. When it comes to the work needed to achieve these standards, we want every renovation project to be defined by the highest possible quality to ensure society gets the buildings it deserves.

This will not be easy, that is why throughout 2022 our public affairs teams will continue to work with policy makers to unlock the financial initiatives and technical assistance such as public and commercial one-stop-shops required to make quality renovation a reality.

Improving quality ensures promises to achieve energy savings are delivered to give us all comfortable, low-environmental impact buildings.

 

Showcasing decarbonisation

The summer of 2021 was defined by an ambitious package of green legislations by the European Commission, known as the ‘Fit for 55’ package, designed to pave the way for Europe to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990.

To leverage the potential of these strategies, we have stepped up our focus on renovation as buildings are responsible for 40% of Europe’s energy consumption and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions.

For instance, one key Commission revision was within the Energy Efficiency Directive which calls for the extension of an annual renovation requirement of 3% of public building floor area that all public buildings — whether owned by an urban, city, municipal, regional or national authority — must be renovated to the highest standards.

Knauf Insulation is working with authorities at every level to encourage them to create public flagships of renovation that highlight best-in-class approaches to climate resilience that resonate with the people who use these buildings. For example, a school that is an outstanding example of energy efficiency as well as a climate action teaching aid with, for instance, green infrastructure, could offer a more enriching educational experience.

 

Unlocking extra renovation funds

The ‘Fit for 55’ package included proposals to channel revenues from the Emissions Trading System to climate action projects, as well as the introduction of a separate trading scheme on fuel for buildings — using half of the revenues from this scheme for low-income households.

Our teams around Europe are working to ensure that energy efficient renovation is on top of public agendas when it comes to the allocation of these funds and that this money is used in a meaningful, effective way such as stepping up technical assistance or developing renovation skills.

The money used to improve the comfort of the 34 million Europeans who cannot afford to keep their homes warm must deliver. That is why deep renovation remains our goal and quality remains our watchword.

 

Decarbonisation that improves lives

In 2021, Knauf Energy Solutions (KES) carried out the biggest mass renovation in retrofit history — 184 homes in the Belgian town of Halle.

This retrofit was another major landmark for the company which has successfully carried out dozens of mass renovations across Europe.

As Knauf Insulation’s leader Dominique Bossan says: “KES demonstrates that a closed system can work if you control every aspect of a renovation. KES guarantees good workmanship, efficient solutions, quality assurance at every stage and most importantly can transparently audit the energy and emission savings achieved before and after a renovation. These aspects make KES a game-changer.”

Now increasing numbers of social housing associations and regional governments are seeking out KES’ expertise because the company can demonstrate what a quality renovation looks like.

The result is that 2022 is shaping up to an exciting year for KES.

 

Inspiring more green infrastructure

There are still two months to enjoy the World Expo in Dubai and to experience our six-metre-high Urbanscape green wall on the Slovenian pavilion.

The pavilion is particularly striking because it gives a glimpse of how urban infrastructure could look in future — green.

In Europe throughout 2022, the Knauf Insulation Green Solutions team will be stepping up its campaigning efforts to introduce more green urban infrastructure into towns and cities.

The team together with the industry association, the European Chapter of the World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN), will continue to highlight the advantages of green infrastructure to absorb greenhouse gases, save energy, boost biodiversity, manage stormwater and reduce air pollution.

The WGIN will also be continuing talks with the European Commission to examine ways of integrating more green roofs and walls into what is known as the New European Bauhaus — a concept designed to make “living spaces more accessible, reimagine sustainable living and make living spaces more sustainable”.

In 2022 the opportunities to create better buildings are more exciting than ever. Knauf Insulation remains committed to making the change that makes a difference For A Better World.

 

*Under "more green infrastructure" we mean further expansion of green areas and making sure that every newly built urban area has green elements implemented such as, for example, green roofs and green walls.