Habitat for Humanity at the Energy Leaders Summit in Brussels

Together with its partners Habitat for Humanity advocates for more sustainable and energy efficient residential buildings in Europe. The World Green Building Council’s project BUILD UPON aims to support these efforts.

A large percentage of Europeans live in multi-apartment buildings, a lot of which were built with little regard to energy features for decades and sometimes even centuries. This makes heating and other energy-related expenses high and unaffordable for many Europeans. To address this all EU countries have developed national building renovation strategies which aim to mobilize investment in the renovation of national building stocks.

“Build Upon” is the largest practitioner and an advocacy platform for renovation of buildings in Europe. It aims to push for bolder, impactful implementation of these strategies and works to create cross-sector collaboration and partnership of stakeholders.

Over the last year, Habitat for Humanity International has become a regular participant at Build Upon meetings and events, as we find it a useful platform of like-minded organizations, institutions and individuals who advocate, lobby and exchange knowledge on how to address challenges of building renovation in Europe.

With this in mind, REELIH Project Manager Besim Nebiu participated in the last BUILD UPON Leaders’ Summit on 20-21 February 2017 in Brussels. The purpose of the event was to review and adopt a Common Vision & Impact Framework for V3.0 Renovation Strategies that are to be adopted this year. At a previous meeting in Madrid in September, a text of a commonly shared vision was devised, and the participants had the opportunity to reflect and comment on it, as well as to network and exchange lessons and initiatives.

As a housing organization, Habitat for Humanity International’s perspective is that all advocates of building renovation should put citizens and communities at the center of all their activities in order to garner political and financial capital and enable a “renovation revolution in Europe” – a strategic goal that we share with other BUILD UPON participants.

These strategies are critical to cutting Europe’s energy use, reducing the impacts of climate change, and creating buildings that deliver a high quality of life for everyone.

  Besim Nebiu has been with Habitat for Humanity for more than ten years. He is the Project Manager of REELIH. Besim holds a degree in Economics.