Annual conference: a success also in digital form

The Efficient Buildings Digital Days came to the end. The Mediterranean Wave has just begun

On Thursday 17th of June, the Efficient Buildings Community closed its Digital Days. The event was held online across two weeks, between the 7th and the 17th, and it was organized into three “policy sessions” and six “capacity building workshop”. The Digital Days receive some attention from the audience of Mediterranean Member States and neighboring countries. In the end, more than 200 people registered to the different sessions.

The first policy session opened the series with a lively debate on the future role of the building sector in the post-covid recovery. After the welcome from both the Efficient Buildings Community and the European Commission, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, Ministry for the Environment and Climate Action of Portugal, gave a speech on the strategic dimension of decarbonization in Europe, from the privileged perspective of the Portuguese presidency of the European Council. Two debates followed: the first one about the local and transnational perspective of the energy transition pathway outlined by the Minister; the second one about post-covid recovery with contributions and insights from municipalities, regions and parliaments from different Mediterranean Member States.

On the 8th of June, the second policy session focused on the financial aspect of the recovery. An unprecedented amount of resources is made available from the public sector, but this call for an unprecedented responsibility. As reminded by Mariangiola Fabbri, from the BPIE, the transformation of the building sector requires long-term perspectives that shall be matched with the urgency of the recovery. The following panel highlighted the importance of the local contracting authorities (whose involvement was limited in the development of the national recovery plans) for the implementation of the recovery plans. The final panel opened a lively debate on the need for private finance and on the role of the public sector in stimulating its involvement, from technical assistances to subsidies and from standardization to public-private partnerships.

The third policy session, held on the 9th of June, was devoted to the relationship between the North shore and the South shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Grammenos Mastrojeni from the Union for the Mediterranean opened the session reminding the transboundary environmental risks across the Mediterranean and the need for a coordinated action and knowledge sharing. Then, representatives from local authorities from both North shore and South shore presented their activities in the framework of the Efficient Buildings City Partnership. Finally, during the session the projects Efficient Buildings and meetMED II virtually signed a Memorandum of Understanding in order to find synergies and increase the sharing of knowledge between the two shores.

To put the sharing of knowledge into practice, the Efficient Buildings Community organized a series of six Capacity Building Workshops to showcase the digital solutions developed by the Community. The first one on the 7th presented the integrated tools for the development of Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan within the Covenant of Mayor. The second one on the 8th of June trained participants on STEPPING Simulation Tool and its guidelines for energy performance contracting. The third workshop on the 9th was dedicated to IMPULSE Tool for the prioritization of building renovation and to its management system for the development of renovation strategies. During the second week, the Community organized a workshop on PrioritEE Toolbox, for the prioritization of energy efficiency measures, a workshop on SISMA SET, a tool to calculate the amount of subsides needed to make a project bankable; finally, a workshop on TEESCHOOLS webtool and EduFootprint calculator to support school building owners in planning refurbishment measures.

In the end, the Digital Days shed a light on three relevant political topics and offered practical solutions and concrete examples of how the Mediterranean local authorities can contribute to the common objectives of the policies in these fields. The nine sessions raised the interest of people from both shores of the Mediterranean: a first movement to start the Mediterranean renovation wave of public buildings.

7 JUNE 2021
10:00-12:00
Building strategies in local and regional authorities recovery plans: a major governance challenge

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8 JUNE 2021
10:00-12:00
Recovery funds and financing schemes: from public to private pathways for building energy transition

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9 JUNE 2021
10:00-12:00
Connecting both sides of the Mediterranean: North-South shores dialogue at territorial level

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7 JUNE 2021
14:00-16:00
SECAP and Sustainable Development Goals within the framework of the Covenant of Mayors

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8 June 2021
14:00-16:00
Financial models for Energy Performance Contracting: the STEPPING tools

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9 JUNE 2021
14:00-16:00
Strategic planning of energy renovation of public buildings: the IMPULSE tools

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15 JUNE 2021
10:00-12:00
Prioritize energy efficiency measures in public buildings: the PrioritEE toolbox

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16 JUNE 2021
10:00-12:00
Finding the right incentive: SISMA SET for the bankability of projects

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17 JUNE 2021
10:00-12:00
Energy efficiency in schools’ buildings: tools for energy performance analysis

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