Sustainable Construction

Taking sustainability to the next level by sharing expertise and best practice. Promoting energy efficient, low-carbon housing, tackling fuel poverty, and minimising material waste and pollution.

Climate change and environmental degradation are urging action in every sector of society. The built environment accounts for around 40% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.1 Sustainable construction and energy efficient, low-carbon housing will have a significant impact on our future.

Public and social housing providers face an increasing urgency to future-proof their properties. Our tenants are often the hardest hit by rising fuel bills and the most at risk of fuel poverty. Energy efficiency is key to ensuring the best quality of life for current tenants and the next generations.

Sustainable construction challenges

We face numerous challenges. Homes must be environmentally responsible while remaining affordable. Resource-efficiency must be a key factor throughout a building’s lifecycle, from design and construction to operation, maintenance, and deconstruction. In addition, public and social housing providers must strive for sustainability while operating within budget constraints, responding to shortages of housing stock, and considering all the social aspects of the built environment.

Environmentally sustainable, energy efficient housing will have a significant impact on our future.

What do we need?

We can build a better future for all, so we need to get the next generation of buildings right! By learning from each other, public and social housing providers can be leaders in sustainable construction.

We need to act now. Sustainability must be at the centre of our work: prioritising the renovation and repurposing of existing properties; reducing waste; promoting renewable energies; and maximising energy efficiency in our homes. This way, we will be sure to meet the needs of our tenants while safeguarding our future.

Energy efficiency is key to ensuring quality of life for current tenants and future generations.

What is Eurhonet working on?
The Eurhonet Sustainable Construction Topic Group shares expertise and develops best practice for both existing housing stock and new construction. We examine environmental concerns alongside social considerations and economic factors. Key topics include:
  • Designing and building futureproof homes, including modular buildings and off-site manufacturing;
  • Improving our existing housing stock by working on cost-efficient refurbishment methodologies;
  • Reducing energy costs in order to fight fuel poverty by improving energy efficiency and scaling up the use of renewable energy sources;
  • Recycling and reusing materials and resources by focusing on concepts such as deconstruction, recyclability, Design for Disassembly, and the cradle-to-cradle approach.

Upcoming activities

15-16 May 2024: Involving our tenants in Renovation – Lyon, France

Our next meeting will be joint with the Social Integration Topic Group. This meeting will focus on the topic of tenants’ involvement in all phases of a building’s energy renovation. Specific workshops to share the different groups’ points of view will be arranged to focus on the design, construction and operation phases from both construction and social perspectives. To spark off our discussions and group work, we will begin with a study visit to La Confluence: a re-developed area of the city which prioritises the environment and the well-being of residents.

Sustainable Construction Topic Group activities are only open to our members. If you are already a Eurhonet member, you can sign up to upcoming meetings through the Members Only Zone. If you are not yet a member, find out more about joining us.

[1] World Green Building Council, Bringing Embodied Carbon Upfront report (2019)

Topic Group Leader
Johann Christian Plagemann Sustainable Construction Topic Group Leader
Johann Christian Plagemann
GEWOBA, Germany

Sustainable Construction Topic Group Leader