Skip to main content

Central government buildings

EU countries must comply with an annual rate of renovation of buildings owned and occupied by central government on their territory to upgrade their energy performance.

The Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU) sets out energy savings requirements for central government buildings in all EU countries. In the recast of this directive, the Commission proposed to extend the obligation to renovate 3% of the buildings to all public bodies, at local, regional and national level. The EU countries should renovate the buildings to the new nearly-zero energy building standard. The Commission also proposed to discontinue the possibility of alternative measures.

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (2010/31/EU) as amended by Directive (EU) 2018/844 requires EU countries to develop national long-term renovation strategies, which must include policies and actions to target all public buildings. 

Public buildings and social infrastructure is one of the focus areas of the Renovation Wave strategy. It can spearhead the renovation wave by serving as a role model and reference point for the industrialisation of construction, showing the immediately visible co-benefits to the public.

Central government building renovations

EU countries have prepared public inventories of all central government buildings with a total useful floor area of over 500 m2. On a yearly basis, they are required to renovate at least 3% of the total floor area of buildings owned and occupied by central government.

Public building inventories:

As an alternative to renovation, EU countries may opt for an approach which results in at least an equivalent amount of energy savings. This may include measures such as behavioural changes, for instance, turning off the lights or shutting down equipment when leaving the office, and deep renovations that go beyond minimum energy performance requirements. In this case, the total floor area renovated in central government buildings annually may be less than 3%.

These alternative measures are part of the national energy efficiency action plans. The below lists includes reports submitted by EU countries in 2013 and 2014.