You're visiting the global website of Knauf Insulation

Spanish Presidency urged to seize opportunity to drive ambitious renovation strategy in Europe

By Knauf Insulation
September 21, 2023

Spain, as the current president of the Council of the European Union, holds the keys to make buildings fit for 2050.

Oscar Del Rio, General Manager of Knauf Insulation Iberia, says: “The outcome of domestic politics may still be uncertain at the moment, but on the international stage, Spain holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union until the end of December and its focus must be crystal clear.

“Europe needs to seize the opportunity of the recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) to ensure an approach that will decarbonise its building stock by increasing renovation rates and committing to quality retrofit standards that deliver real performance.”

Oscar Del Rio

Increasing renovation rates

Recent research by the Building Performance Institute (BPIE), supported by Knauf Insulation, found that insulating all Europe’s residential buildings would cut energy demand for space heating by 44%, compared to 2020, making a significant contribution to energy security and the EU’s 2050 climate goals.

Casa Sophia by 100x100 Biopasiva

Knauf Insulation has consistently campaigned to increase annual building renovation rates from 1% to 3% as well as introduce effective renovation requirements that would lead to the renovation needed to transform Europe’s most energy inefficient buildings.

The company has also urged policy makers to introduce ‘one-stop shops’ for renovation to enable building owners to effortlessly navigate the complexity of the retrofit process as well as the implementation of digital technology that reveals real performance savings rather than the theoretical estimates of Energy Performance Certificates.

Oscar says: “Regardless of the political deadlock at home, the core task of the Spanish Presidency should be to bring negotiations to a close on these issues within the EPBD and achieve a historic outcome that accelerates renovation rates and provides a meaningful roadmap to renovate Europe.

Spain’s inefficient buildings

“Spain is an unfortunate example of the need for an ambitious renovation strategy. The built environment is characterised by energy inefficiency and Spain falls far behind the renovation rates of neighbouring France and Portugal.”

According to Spain’s Energy Renovation of the Building Sector strategy, 9.7 million homes or 50% of residential buildings were built before 1980 and an additional one million are described as in a poor or dilapidated condition.

In addition, 81% of existing buildings are in the E, F or G emissions categories and 84.5% are in these categories for energy consumption.

Research by Renovate Europe, which campaigns for ambitious Europe-wide retrofits, found that the renovation rate of buildings in Spain was eight to 10 times lower than the average for neighbouring countries.

“These statistics are a depressing hallmark of a built environment that is in desperate need of transformation,” says Oscar. “We hope that when the political dust settles in Spain, our national policy makers will find the political energy to make a difference.”



Picture above: Casa Sophia is a remarkable biopassive, positive-energy home, certified by Passivhaus. Meticulously selected products including our Mineral Wool insulation solutions adhere to the highest sustainability standards while ensuring minimal impact on its residents.

This Spanish building stands as the culmination of a two-year endeavor, driven by the vision and dedication of the 100x100BioPasiva construction company.