Heritage advocates ‘vigilant’ over revised EU green buildings law
(EurActiv, 28 Apr 2023) A proposed update of the EU’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive could threaten Europe’s cultural heritage, lawmakers and associations have warned, drawing attention to the thousands of unlisted buildings that could fall under the directive’s renovation obligation.
When Europe’s energy crisis peaked in September last year, the lights illuminating the Eiffel Tower in Paris were switched off one hour earlier than usual.
While it probably did not save much energy, the move was highly symbolic and showed even heritage sites could play their part in reducing energy use.
While simple energy-saving measures like these can easily be extended to all French monuments and historical buildings, not all can go the extra mile and launch renovation works to cut their energy consumption permanently.
In fact, doing so may even risk compromising their heritage value, advocates warn.
These fears were addressed in the 2010 version of the EU’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), which included an exception for buildings of architectural or historic interest.
When the directive was again revised in 2018, the exception was repeated, allowing EU countries to exclude cultural or heritage sites from minimum energy performance requirements.
With another revision of the EPBD on the table, heritage advocates are again on high alert.
EurActiv, 28 Apr 2023: Heritage advocates ‘vigilant’ over revised EU green buildings law