ABRA International Workshop: Building Additions and Energy Efficiency
8-9 February 2018, Brussels, Belgium
On 8 and 9 February 2018, an International Workshop and Capacity Building Event on “Choosing AdoREs to Finance Energy Efficiency Renovations: Making the Business Case for Property Owners” took place in the framework of the ABRACADABRA Project (Horizon 2020) in Brussels, Belgium.
The event brought together a wide range of stakeholders including national and European property owners, real estate sector and building professional representatives, as well as EU institutions, national and local authorities, financing institutions, researchers and practitioners.
Finding solutions to finance energy efficiency renovation in the building stock, in particular for the private residential stock, is one of the biggest challenges to reach EU Climate and Energy objectives. This event aimed at identifying solutions to overcome potential constraints and hurdles of private property owners to engaging in energy efficiency retrofitting of their buildings by exploring the potential advantages of building additions.
The presentation of a number of inspiring cases and two podium discussions were dedicated to discussing the potential and attractiveness of building addition solutions for property owners and share best practices to overcome potential regulatory, societal and technical problems. Based on the assumption that non-energy related benefits can play a key role in the deep renovation of existing buildings, it was presented if, when, where and how a building addition or expansion can increase the real estate value of buildings though energy and architectural transformation, generate additional rental income or bring additional cash flow as a result of property sale. Additionally, Guidelines for Property Owner Associations on how to promote the AdoREs strategy were presented, gathering valuable input from attendees on further development.
On the second day, the Capacity Building event was aimed at demonstrating the benefits of AdoREs using a set of toolkits (technical, financial and regulatory) which are being developed in the framework of the ABRACADABRA project. The case studies presented and tested a social housing building in Belgium and a French privately owned multi-apartment building and the feasibility of using building additions and renewables for energy efficiency retrofitting. Next to that, a presentation was held by a Norwegian architect from OPA Form on building additions in single-family houses.
Property Day 2017 – Judicial Protection of Property Right and Excessive Taxation
20 October 2017, Warsaw, Poland
On 20 October 2017, UIPI celebrated its International Property Day in Warsaw, Poland. Hosted by the Polish Union of Property Owners (PUWN), the event brought together representatives of property owners’ associations from all over Europe.
The International Property Day was initiated by UIPI in the early 2000s, initially in connection with the United Nations Human Rights Day on 10 December to draw attention to the fact that property right is a human right protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Right and the European Convention on Human Rights. While in the past years, the Property Days have addressed a range of topics, this year brought them back to the origins.
The purpose of this year’s celebration was to highlight the importance of one’s right to property and its constitutional guarantees in contemporary Europe in the context of a potential revision of the Polish Constitution. It was also an opportunity to reflect on the how to combine property rights and the principle of equality in modern societies.
The speakers included Dr. Marcin Święcicki, a Member of the Polish Parliament and Former Minister as well as Former Mayor of Warsaw and Prof. Geoffrey Grandjean, Lecturer at the University of Liège in Belgium. They both joined Barbara Grzybowska-Kabańska, the President of the Polish Union of Property Owners, and Stratos Paradias, the President of UIPI in reaffirming that “the Right to one’s Property is a living right that needs to be scrupulously and constitutionally preserved and exercised. It should not be overbalanced by competing rights or disproportionate and ill-conceived attempt to act in the general interest as the European Court of Human Right reminded us in the Hutten-Czapska cases.”
Such a statement is still highly meaningful in Poland where sixty-nine years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the injustices of the past still have not been redressed in Poland as you can read in or Feature Article on Property Restitution in Poland.
UIPI 44th Congress in Berlin on “Smart Homes”
9-10 June 2017, Berlin, Germany
On 9 and 10 June, the International Union of Property Owners (UIPI) organised its 44th bi-annual Congress in Berlin, hosted by Haus und Grund Deutschland, the German association of property owners.
More than one hundred representatives from national and regional associations of property owners in Europe gathered to discuss a subject resolutely turned towards the future: “Smart Homes”, as well as the opportunities and risks related to them.
New technologies are rapidly and radically changing our way of life and work, our access to information and communication. There is hardly any part of our daily life that is not affected. A similar revolution is happening in our homes. These new technologies aim at increasing our security and well-being, they help us to optimise our energy use and live longer in our homes. At least that is what the consumers expect and those are the promises made to them. But these technologies go hand in hand with a certain number of risks, risks that are not negligible and which must be addressed: How to protect users from possible intrusions into the network? What use is made of the data collected on our lifestyle and consumption? Is the consumer sufficiently informed and protected? What are the real savings and costs of these technologies? These questions have been addressed by the various stakeholders, whether they were representatives of the European legislator, producers of these technologies, users, or data protection specialists. The Congress continued the following day with a site visit to an intelligent house prototype at the Technical University of Berlin, as well as a visit to Berlin’s smart quartiers and neighborhoods.
The Vice-President of the European Parliament, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, who opened the official dinner, stressed the importance of European collaboration and mentioned that Europe is at a crucial moment in its history and that the on-going political changes should help to give a new impetus to European integration.
What do owners of smart buildings think?
Ahead of the Congress, the UIPI also conducted a 6-weeks survey among its members to assess the attitude of homeowners and landlords vis-à-vis these technologies, their willingness to install such devices and at what costs and under which conditions they would do so.
UIPI has received nearly 2500 responses from at least 20 countries in Europe, most of them from owner-occupiers. Among the main findings of this survey, it is interesting to note that almost 40% of respondents already use smart technologies at home or in their rented properties, and that an overwhelming majority would be willing to install one or more of these technologies. However, more than half condition the installation to the cost and purpose of the appliance. If the primary reasons for installing smart technologies (for more than 900 respondents, just under a third of them) is to reduce costs, including energy costs, security appliances are on top of the list of equipment our members would like to install. It is also interesting to see that nearly 40% are willing to invest close to 1000 € in these technologies, 20% less than 500 € and 20% are willing to go up to 5000 €. Finally, this study shows that a very large majority of owners are, in one way or another, concerned with the protection and security of their data. However, this whould not stop most of them from installing smart technologies provided they have adequate safeguards in this area.
UIPI Event – Reconciling energy efficiency and housing affordability
30 May 2017, Brussels, Belgium
On 30 May, UIPI and four other pan-European associations representing a large part of the private housing and real estate sector in Europe co-organised a Parliamentary Breakfast on “Reconciling energy efficiency and housing affordability” to discuss the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) provisions currently under revision.
Improving the energy performance of buildings has been identified as key to reaching the EU’s long-term energy and climate targets. As part of the Clean Energy Package, the European Commission presented on 30 November 2016 a proposal to amend the EPBD as well as other pieces of legislation impacting European homes. In collaboration with European Historic Houses Association (EHHA), European Landowners’ Organization (ELO), European Property Federation (EPF) and The European Group of Valuers’ Associations (TEGoVA), UIPI aimed at stimulating the dialogue between the European legislators and stakeholders on this topic.
This event was the occasion to reflect on trade-offs between energy efficiency, electro-mobility renovation and housing affordability together with Paul Hodson, Head of Unit, European Commission DG Energy, and four of the key MEPs on this file, Bendt Bendtsen, the European Parliament’s Rapporteur, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, the Rapporteur for Opinion for the Parliament’s Environmental Committee, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, the Socialist Shadow Rapporteur, and Markus Pieper, Shadow Rapporteur for the Energy Efficiency Directive. Orators also included Kai Warnecke (President of Haus & Grund Deutschland and Vice-President of UIPI), Michael MacBrien (Director General – European Property Federation), Emmanuelle Causse from UIPI and Peter Kouroumbashev MEP (Bulgaria, S&D, member of ITRE).
Dr. Kai H. Warnecke, President of Haus & Grund Deutschland and Vice-President of UIPI, said: “Achieving energy efficiency first will only be feasible with the will of the citizens. The only way to gain social acceptance of direct requirements and additional expenses is by striking the right balance of costs and benefits of specific energy efficiency requirements. In this context, legislators should be cautious not to shift the cost of e-mobility from transport to housing.”
Participants welcomed the balanced approach taken in Bendt Bendtsen’s draft European Parliament Report and in the Council discussions. The European Commission acknowledged that property owners have and are already making efforts to improve the energy performance of their buildings.
EBC-UIPI Event – Energy Efficiency Financing
14 October 2016, Brussels, Belgium
The European Builders Confederation (EBC) and the International Union of Property Owners (UIPI) co-organised the second seminar on financing energy efficiency in private housing. The workshop showed that energy efficiency obligations and alternative measures provide more energy savings than any other policy inst
rument introduced by the Energy Efficiency Directive.
Under Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive, EU Member States should set up energy efficiency obligation schemes. These schemes require energy companies to achieve yearly savings of 1.5% of their annual energy sales to final consumers through measures helping, among other things, final consumers increase the energy performance of their building.EU countries may also implement alternative policy measures (to the energy efficiency obligation schemes) which reduce final energy consumption. These measures can include financial and fiscal incentives as well as training and education, including energy advisory programmes.
Through examples from France, Italy and the United Kingdom, this workshop showed how all these mechanisms can provide a suitable complement to finance and boost energy efficiency renovations in the privately-owned building stock. You can access the presentations below:
Snapshot of Article 7 by Tina FAWCETT
Italian fiscal incentives for energy renovation worksby Gabriella AZZOLINI
Energy efficiency obligation schemes in the UK by Tina FAWCETT
Overview on Article 7 by DG Energyby Lelde KIELA-VILUMSONE
iNSPiRe Workshop for Property Owners
24 June 2016, Madrid, Spain
In the framework of the iNSPiRe EU project, UIPI organised a Workshop for property owners and public procurers in Madrid on 24 June 2016 together with our Spanish member, the Confederation of Spanish Property Chambers (CCPU), the Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and the Madrid public authority Empresa Municipal de Vivienda y Suelo (EMVS).
This workshop brought together property owners’ representatives from all other Europe, technical and decisional experts from the various Spanish Chambers of property owners as well as Madrid property owners and public procurers. The objective was to present the iNSPiRe project and its goals through a presentation of a concrete demo case: the Madrid one (a large scale renovation of a multi-apartment building accomplished within the framework of iNSPiRe). This event was also the occasion to help to overcome the main non-technical barriers to energy efficiency renovation: the financial question, by providing information on how to do a renovation business plan and where to address for technical help and financial support.
It was followed by a site-visit of the demo-case in a suburb of Madrid.
EBC-UIPI Workshop – Retrofitting the private housing stock: Is the Juncker Plan a solution?
18 March 2016, Brussels, Belgium
The European Builders Confederation (EBC) and the International Union of Property Owners (UIPI) co-organised a workshop to learn how the Juncker Plan could be used to boost private investment in “small scale” energy efficiency renovation.
For the first time, European associations of construction SMEs and private property owners joined forces to address the key question of how to finance energy efficiency retrofitting in the largest and most fragmented section of the European building stock: the privately owned residential sector. 75% of the square meters composing the European building stock are in residential buildings. SMEs carry out 70% of their activities in the residential sector. This means that small and medium companies, along with property owners, are the key actors for upscaling energy efficiency in homes.
This seminar was the first one of a series of events. It explored the triggering potential of the European Fund for Strategic Investments to increase renovation in the private housing stock. It brought together more than 140 participants, representing the stakeholders having an interest in energy efficiency in the building sector.
For more information about the event, please click on the links below:
Property Day 2016 – Judicial Protection of Property Right and Excessive Taxation
29-30 January 2016, Athens, Greece
The International Union of Property Owners (UIPI) has held its annual International “Property Day” to discuss the judicial protection of property right and excessive taxation upon real estate.
The UIPI met in Athens, Greece, for its annual International “Property Day” official celebration on 30 January 2016. The event was hosted by the Hellenic Property Federation (POMIDA), and organised next to their annual congress. It brought together more than 400 POMIDA members and representatives from sixteen property owners’ associations across Europe.
The keynote speech was held by the Mayor of Athens, Prof. Giorgios Kaminis, a Law Professor and former Greek Ombudsman. On behalf of Christos Rozakis, the former Vice President of the European Court of Human Rights who joined later that evening, he presented the evolution of the judicial protection of property rights since the adoption of the European Convention of Human Rights. He pointed out that the right to property has grown into one of the most important rights contained in the Convention, judging from the number of appeals submitted to the Court Registry each year. The Mayor of Athens also shared his view on the need to stop the deprivation of properties.
UIPI delegates also met with the President of the Republic of Greece, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who strongly stated that: “The protection of property right is the basis of every democracy”.
UIPI 43rd Congress on Young People entering the housing market
26-27 June 2015 – Oslo, Norway
The International Union of Property Owners (UIPI) held its 43rd Congress in Oslo, Norway from 26 to 27 June 2015. The objective was to discuss the challenges that young people face when accessing the European housing market and promote exchange of ideas and best practice examples aimed to efficiently address this issue in the current economic context.
The Congress, hosted by Huseiernes Landsforbund (HL), the Norwegian homeowners association, brought together more than 150 representatives from national property owners’ organisations, European and national policy-makers, experts from the financial sector and high-profile researchers.
Download the Book and Declaration of Oslo:
Property Day 2014 on the Effectiveness of Private Rental Markets
18 November 2014 – Brussels, Belgium
The UIPI organised its annual Property Day in Brussels on 18th November 2014. The purpose of this year’s event was to take stock of European level developments in relation to private rental markets within the framework of the European Economic Governance and to debate together with European Commission and key stakeholders from the real estate and construction sectors the recent national rental law reforms and rent control trends as well as their potential impact on economic growth.
The key-note speaker was Peter Pontuch, from the European Commission, DG Economic and Financial Affairs who presented an Economic Paper assessing the impact of member states’ private residential sector regulation on house price dynamics. The discussion then focused on recent changes that could jeopardise the positive reform of the rental market in Portugal, the ongoing move toward rent control in France and in Germany as well as their latent repercussions on the aggregate national housing markets, the overall real estate sector and the construction industry.
Property Day 2013 on Excessive Taxation upon Real Estate Property
6 December 2013 – Genoa, Italy
The UIPI met in Genoa, Italy, for the International Property Day 2013 on 6th December. The focus of the 2013 event was to discuss taxation upon real estate property its economic and societal consequences in European countries, in particular in the light of national reforms to face national budget deficits. The event was hosted by the Genoese Association of Property Owners (APE), part of Confedilizia, the Italian property owners association.
At this occasion, the UIPI presented the 2013 edition of the UIPI Comparative Analysis on Property Taxation in Europe. This study examines the wide range of taxes relating to real estate property in twenty-two countries in Europe. Among the conclusions of the report, it appears that taxation of real estate property is the most burdened form of private capital as property ownership is generally easy to establish and identify, and thus difficult to evade. This presentation was followed with an input on the Italian situation by Prof. Gianni Marongiu as well as speeches from representatives from Italian property owners.
Launch of the Landlords in Europe Report
12 November 2013 – Brussels, Belgium
The UIPI launched its “Landlords in Europe” Report on 12 November 2013 in the European Parliament. The launch was hosted by Polish MEP Jan Olbrycht, President of the European Parliament’s URBAN Intergroup and Vice Chair of the European People’s Party in the European Parliament. It brought together more than 50 MEPs, the European Commission as well as representatives from local authorities’ and European stakeholders from the industry and real estate sector.
Find out more about the Report.
42nd UIPI Congress 2013 on Financial Crisis and Real Estate
20-22 September 2013, Lisbon, Portugal
42nd Congress in Lisbon, Portugal to discuss the Financial Crisis and Real Estate. The congress, hosted by the Lisbon Landlords Association (ALP), coincided with the UIPI’s 90th anniversary and the 125th anniversary of the ALP. It brought together more than 200 representatives from property owners’ associations across Europe.
The key note speaker was the world famous economist, Nouriel Roubini, who shared his views on ways out of the crisis and the future of the global and European property markets.
Download the Book_of_Lisbon.2013.
Property Day 2012 on Property Rights
7 December 2012 – London, United Kingdom
The UIPI met in London for its Property Day on 7th December 2012 , hosted by UK member, the National Landlords Association (NLA). The topic of the event was the respect of property rights.
At this occasion, the “UIPI London Declaration” was signed. It recognises that several European countries still suffer from laws which enable the state to arbitrarily remove lawfully-owned property. This contravenes both the Universal Declaration of Human Right and the European Convention on Human Rights. The UIPI is collectively urging member states to enforce these rules and as a consequence, remove any fear of a citizen being unilaterally deprived of their property. This practice is still evident today in several European countries.
Watch the video of the event.