The construction industry is one of the key economic sectors in Europe, but it was hit hard by the financial crisis. In the euro zone, employment in construction declined by a quarter since 2008. These difficult times raise important questions about the future path of the construction industry.
The Sustainable Urban (Re)Construction Briefing argues that renovation is going to play an increasingly important role in the overall construction market – for several reasons. One of them is the urgency of climate change mitigation. Europe has a large stock of buildings, which together contribute more than a third of CO2 emissions in the EU. In order to substantially improve the energy efficiency of the building stock, renovation rates should increase significantly. More generally, given that the renewal rate of the building stock in Europe is quite low (less than 1% per annum in recent years) renovation is essential for achieving society’s economic, environmental and social goals.
The Briefing describes the various aspects of renovation and maintenance activities in the EU, and explores their potential to become the main growth driver for the European construction market.