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eu building stock

eu building stock characteristics and quality concerns 1. Size and age of the EU building stock by country The EU is characterised by a rather old building stock, since most of it was built before the 1970s. Following the destruction of the Second World War, Europe rebuilt quickly and inefficiently a large share of the currently standing buildings. The UK is an example of that effort, with 4 million buildings raised between 1945 and 1965. Standardised methods and prefabricated solutions entered the construction market in the 1950s and 1960s, thus reducing the overall cost of construction. The following two charts offer the EU-wide age breakdown of the residential building stock, grouped in Multi Family Houses (MFH) and Single Family Houses (SFH). Evidently, most of the stock is built before 1970, with every year since showing an overall decrease in construction. The construction of MFH has decreased faster than SFH, the latter of which seems to become the preferred construction type over the decades: while there are more MFH then SFH built until 1970, this trend reverses with the number in construction of MFH falling to about half of SFH after 2000. Figure 1 - Building stock breakdown by age (iNSPiRe, 2014) 15% 15% 11% 16% 10% 9% 6% 18% 43% 57% SFH BREAKDOWN BY AGE BANDS up to 1970 1971 - 1980 1981 - 1990 1991 - 2000 post 2000 3.178 Mm2 1.387 Mm2 1.118 Mm2 1.106 Mm2 649 Mm2 MFH BREAKDOWN BY AGE BANDS up to 1970 1971 - 1980 1981 - 1990 1991 - 2000 post 2000 3.831 Mm2 1.070 Mm2 746 Mm2 663 Mm2 388 Mm2 Construction has slowed down consistently across the EU, even though national variations exist: in the three decades between 1970 and 1990, construction peaked in France, Greece, Finland, Malta and Estonia. Spain has two construction peaks, one in the 1970s and one post 2000 and until the 2008 financial crisis. Cyprus also increased its rate of construction after 2000. Denmark, which built a large share of its stock before the 1930s, decreased its rate of new construction after 1980, while a large number of countries (Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania) increased this trend. The countries with the most residential properties are Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK, followed by Poland and the Netherlands. Figure 2 - Building stock breakdown by age and country (iNSPiRe, 2014) SFH AND MFH BREAKDOWN BY COUNTRY AND BY AGE BAND (MM2) 3500 post 2000 (MFH) 3000 1991 - 2000 (MFH) 2500 1981 - 1990 (MFH) 2000 1971 - 1980 (MFH) 1500 up to 1970 (MFH) post 2000 (SFH) 1000 1991 - 2000 (SFH) 500 1981 - 1990 (SFH) 0 1971 - 1980 (SFH) up to 1970 (SFH) Austria Belgium Bulgaria Czech Republic Cyprus Denmark Estonia 2. A deteriorating building stock Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Ireland Italy Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden United Kingdom While the energy performance of new units is improving (read further: The building envelope), there is a large housing stock that was built using older and outdated standards. Keeping in mind that 50% of the standing stock was built up to 1970s, it is easy to realise that most of the currently standing buildings are highly inefficient compared to modern requirements. Moreover, the passage of time has caused a number of problems or has exposed oversights in the construction process, plaguing the current occupiers. The following graph presents the percentages of the total population and the less-well-off members of our societies living in very low quality dwellings. 60 ENERGY PERFORMANCE OF THE HOUSING STOCK ENERGY PERFORMANCE OF THE HOUSING STOCK 61

Figure 3 - Share of population by country living in poor housing conditions (Eurostat, 2014) SHARE OF POPULATION LIVING IN A DWELLING WITH A LEAKING ROOF, DAMP WALLS, FLOORS OR FOUNDATION, OR ROT IN WINDOW FRAMES EU 28 Austria Belgium Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Ireland Italy Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden United Kingdom It is striking that over 20% of the total population in Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Hungary, Portugal and Slovenia live in very poor conditions. The share of population that earn less than 60% of median equivalised income face worse conditions in almost all Member States, with Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania, Lithuania and Croatia presenting the highest inequalities. On the contrary, in Austria, Finland and Sweden there is a relevant balance between the shares of less-well-off people living in low quality households and the total population of energy poor people. 3. Type of tenure by country On the European level, there are about as many people living in Single Family Houses (58%) as in Multi Family Houses (42%). This figure varies significantly across the EU, with residents in the UK and Ireland preferring, by a staggering 84% and 93% rate, to live in Single Family Houses. On the contrary, in Estonia, Spain and Latvia, over 60% of the population live in Multi-Family Housing. Multi-Family Housing is better suited to undergo renovations aiming to eliminate energy poverty because their standardised construction techniques allow for the industrialised roll out of renovations. Single Family Houses, on the other hand, if not identically constructed, increase renovation costs, since tailored design and techniques need to be implemented for each individual building. Figure 4: Shares of population living in SFH and MFH by country (Eurostat, 2014) Total population Population below below 60% 60% of median of median equivalised equivalised income income DISTRIBUTION OF POPULATION BY DEGREE OF URBANISATION, DWELLING % Other TYPE 60 MFH Other MFH SFH SFH 50 % 40 100 30 80 20 60 10 40 0 20 0 Belgium Bulgaria Czech Republic Denmark Germany Estonia Ireland Greece Spain France Croatia Italy Cyprus Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Hungary Malta Netherlands Austria Poland Portugal Romania Slovenia Slovakia Finland Sweden United Kingdom Most Europeans own the property they occupy. Owner-occupancy varies between 52% and 96%, with Germany and Romania defining the lower and higher percentages respectively. The remaining stock is rented either at market prices or at reduced rates (i.e. social housing). Owneroccupied buildings are the most appropriate for retrofit programmes reducing energy poverty because they do not present the issue of split incentives. However, in several countries people in risk of fuel poverty do not own their dwelling and are obliged to rent (see Figure 5). Split incentives are present when the agent paying for renovations is not the one receiving the benefits. Rented properties therefore suffer in this regard, with the biggest share of market price rented properties potentially presenting some conflicts in split incentives. Social housing, on the other hand, with their mandate for providing affordable housing to vulnerable groups, should be the target of renovation programmes that tackle energy poverty and be supported through adequate financing mechanisms. 62 ENERGY PERFORMANCE OF THE HOUSING STOCK ENERGY PERFORMANCE OF THE HOUSING STOCK 63

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Fuel Poverty Strategy publication - South Ayrshire Council
A review of Fuel Poverty and Low Income Housing, 2002
Handbook on Poverty and Inequality - ISBN: 9780821376133
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UK Fuel Poverty Monitor
London’s Poverty Profile 2015
UK Fuel