Sustainable Building Renovation – Forming the Future

Empowering municipal actors to foster and implement sustainable building renovation projects.

Buildings Energy Efficiency Energy Transition and Climate-Neutral Buildings


Project info


Germany, Hungary, Romania

Project duration:

12/22 - 11/24

Target groups:

Local governments, Private sector


471,777.77 €

Contact info


Jurga Tallat-Kelpšaitė

Implementing organisation
  • Energiaklub Climate Policy Institute and Applied Communications Association (Energiaklub)
  • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Agency “Ae3R Ploiesti-Prahova”


As 36 per cent of the CO2 emissions in the European Union (EU) originate from the building sector, it constitutes a key leverage point to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The EU aims at reaching a climate-neutral building stock in 2050. Thus, the EU Renovation Wave and the Circular Economy Action Plan aspire to deliver more sustainable buildings through intensified renovation activities. According to the new EU Energy Efficiency Directive proposal, the public sector needs to ensure that 3 per cent of floor space in public buildings is renovated annually. This also applies to municipal buildings. Hence, efficiency requirements must be included in public procurement procedures as well. However, although public buildings should act as role models for private sector renovations, Germany, Hungary, and Romania can still draw on a lot of untapped potential regarding the average annual renovation rate required by the European Commission.

Building with renewable raw materials, Photo: ©Catharina Niemann


The SURF project contributes to the transformation process of reaching a climate-neutral building sector by stimulating deep and sustainable building renovation at the municipal level and beyond. It focuses on employees working in the municipal building management as they are responsible for the practical implementation of renovations and, thus, are believed to trigger a paradigm shift in sustainable energy renovation from the ground up. SURF brings together 2 to 4 forerunner municipalities in transnational workshops with municipalities from Germany, Hungary, and Romania to learn from their experiences, best practices, and successful concepts. Apart from this peer-to-peer learning approach, the project conducts a circular building training series and provides a practical guideline for green public procurement, a sustainability checklist for renovations as well as fact sheets and materials on an online platform. Moreover, SURF connects municipalities and architects, industrial actors, homeowners’ associations, and housing companies EU-wide through informal online “renovation lunches” and a policy conference. This transnational SURF network fosters and implements sustainable renovations and directs its planning, permitting, and tendering activities towards achieving a climate-neutral building stock.

Last update: July 2024

Success Stories

The Cycle of Life in Buildings

The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tool was introduced to 94 participants, including municipal representatives as well as representatives from politics, science, the private sector, etc. from 12 EU countries and 6 non-EU countries. The LCA-tool allows the assessment of energy use and other environmental impacts associated with all stages of building’s life cycle and not only those related to its operation and maintenance. The aim of the LCA tool is demonstrating environmental impacts of the conservation of a building in contrast to its demolition and new construction.

More about this project