Energising a new renovation wave


The European Commission aims to renovate 35 million buildings across Europe by 2030. It is a massive task that is in tune with one of our key sustainability strategy goals – Create Better Buildings. We are here to help.

The European Commission has unveiled its plans to at least double the annual rate of renovation in Europe and renovate 35 million buildings by 2030. The target is included in the Renovation Wave strategy, a package of plans designed to drive post-pandemic growth, take climate action and improve living conditions for millions.

Our EU Public Affairs Manager Katarzyna Wardal said: “The Renovation Wave pictures more sustainable, energy efficient, comfortable, healthy buildings by 2030 and beyond.

“This is in tune with Knauf Insulation’s vision for a sustainable future and our goal to Create Better Buildings. We have been campaigning for a strategy such as this for years and we are here to help drive these proposals and make them a reality.”

As buildings are responsible for 36% of Europe’s CO% emissions, the Renovation Wave will contribute significantly to the EU’s ambition to make Europe climate neutral by 2050.

Katarzyna added: “By doubling annual building renovation rates, the strategy will create hundreds of thousands of desperately needed new jobs, seriously tackle the fuel poverty that impacts 34 million Europeans, while focusing on improving Europe’s worst performing buildings from social housing to schools and hospitals.

“In such challenging times, ensuring better buildings has become more important than ever and this strategy offers a positive legacy we can all be proud of.”

The strategy will create new jobs, tackle fuel poverty and improve Europe’s worst performing buildings.
Katarzyna Wardal, EU Public Affairs Manager


How we can help

The strategy proposes better regulations and standards for the energy performance of buildings including mandatory minimum energy performance standards for all types of existing buildings — through a revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive — and the possibility of deep renovation standards and energy audits for non-residential buildings.


We have always campaigned for quality and real performance when it comes to renovation. Renovation must deliver what is promised — buildings that provide a comfortable temperature with low energy bills and low emissions. Setting and ensuring standards that incentivise high standards of renovation is essential. At Knauf Insulation, we offer a full a full range of high performing products and we have the technical insight to ensure these solutions deliver maximum performance. Plus, our Knauf Energy Solutions team has the expertise to ensure every renovation they carry out delivers the energy savings promised.



How we can help

Another important area highlighted by the Renovation Wave is accessible and simpler, clearer European rules for the public funding of renovation particularly for residential and social housing. Other developments include the European Investment Bank’s European Initiative for Building Renovation to align complex finance with portfolios of renovation projects and the possibility of using funding from the EU Emission Trading Scheme for renovation.

We have been campaigning with partner associations for more straightforward European procedures for national renovation programmes. We are here to support policy makers. For example, we have experience of using EU Emission Trading System funds for renovation initiatives in Germany and Czech Republic.



How we can help

The Renovation Wave focuses on reviewing targets for tackling the problem of construction and demolition waste — which accounts for 35% of total waste in Europe — guided by circular economy principles as well as improving understanding of how to make buildings more sustainable through a new tool launched by the European Commission known as Level(s). In addition, the strategy calls for expanding the market for sustainable construction products and services.

In our new sustainability strategy, we are committed to using more recycled content, delivering zero production waste to landfill by 2025 and taking back more construction waste from our customers across Europe and recycling it into new insulation. Long term, we have also committed to achieve zero carbon and have set a 2025 target to reduce the embodied carbon of our products by 15%. We also supported Level(s) — from pilot project to launch — with research from our Experience Center in Slovenia and expertise from our green building teams.

Casalcchia Di Reno

More than 1,700 m2 of our 120 mm SmartWall NC1 has been installed in one of the biggest multi-family renovation projects in Bologna, Italy. The external wall insulation system (ETICS) was installed following a long consultation process involving our Italian team. Our colleagues supported the renovation team from the initial energy design phase and successful applications for renovation tax breaks — thanks to our solutions — to the final finish.

Well-insulated buildings can maintain a comfortable interior
‘Battery’ boost for buildings

New research by the end-use Efficiency Research Group of
the Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy, supported by Knauf Insulation Italy, shows that deep building renovation using high-quality wall and roof insulation can generate energy savings of up to 80%. In addition to dramatically saving emissions, such renovation also converts buildings into giant ‘batteries’ that store comfortable temperatures for several days. This in turn optimises buildings giving them the flexibility to tap into cheaper off-peak energy supplies or renewable energy.



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