A Whole-Lifecycle approach to the Romanian construction sector: status and barriers in the contextof the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

The revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) brings new provisions on accounting and managing whole-lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions in buildings. This approach, which implies addressing emissions along a building’s entire value chain (from
the production of construction materials to demolition and post-demolition phases) can help increase coordination and grow low-carbon construction industries and had already been applied in several EU Member States before the revision of the EPBD. For countries yet institutionally unfamiliar with the concept of whole-life carbon (WLC), such as Romania, implementing the EPBD provisions on lifecycle emissions will imply a major regulatory overhaul.

In Romania, the major barrier to implementation of a WLC approach to buildings is the diversity and siloed application of existing legislation. Responsibilities are fragmented between multiple competent authorities, with insufficient coordination, as well as a lack of appropriate updating of policies. Existing or new policies could serve as umbrella frameworks, increasing coherence between the regulations, standards and specifications governing the materials production, construction, refurbishment, and demolition phases of buildings. Specific points of entry could be national construction laws, public procurement frameworks, or the transpositions of EU directives on sustainable materials, such as the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation.

To implement WLC and launch a low-emissions construction industry, Romania must overcome other barriers, including the high cost of producing low-carbon construction products, a lack of accessible funding and market creation instruments, low institutional capacity for implementation and cultural barriers including resistance to change driven by a lack of clarity in the benefits associated with green buildings. If these barriers are addressed, Romania’s construction sector, already an important employer and economic contributor, can create additional value by entering the green construction market, which is growing across the EU. Overcoming these barriers will also ensure compliance with the revised EPBD and aligning Romania’s construction legislation with the EU-wide transition to a low-carbon economy.

luciana miu - epg
Luciana Miu, EPG Head of Clean Economy

Luciana Miu is the Head of Clean Economy at Energy Policy Group. She holds a Master’s degree in Sustainable Energy Systems from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in Energy Efficiency of Residential Buildings from the Imperial College London. Before joining EPG, Luciana worked for the UK Parliament and for the British Government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), as well as a consultant for Climate-KIC and London City Hall.

She is passionate about volunteer work, being one of the founding members of European Youth Energy Network and a professional speaker for conferences dedicated to the role of youth in energy transition.

Contact: luciana.miu@enpg.ro

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