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Energy efficient and sustainable building in municipalities in European mountain (MOUNTEE)

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According to the EPBD all new construction and existing buildings undergoing major renovation will have to meet Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) standards by 2018. For many municipalities the transition to NZEB is a major challenge. Most of them lack know-how, experience and funding. Mountain municipalities face additional challenges: extreme climate, low accessibility, small entities, low population density and brain drain. mountEE gave support to municipalities in three European mountain areas (Scandinavia, Alps, Pyrenees) in order to help them achieve their objectives and transform them into frontrunners. The project involved all the relevant players in the regional actions: politicians, technical and administrative staff at local and regional level, decision makers in funding institutions and key actors in the building chain, from designers to contractors. Essential stakeholders were participating in the consortium. mountEE used existing knowledge to develop regional strategies, financial tools and to support building projects. The knowledge and experience gained was transferred in and beyond the partner regions.


  • Awareness has been raised and decision makers motivated to take action at municipal level and social building with regards to energy efficiency, ecological building and renewable energy: 36 pilot buildings are built or renovated (21 renovation, 15 new construction); 26 experts have exchanged their experiences in the Online-Blog
  • Facilitating change in the building habits by providing tailor-made service packages: 5 Service-Packages have been developed to support municipalities when building in a sustainable manner
  • Anchor a multi-level governance approach in the building sector: 5 co-operation structures among public and private actors are established; 5 strategies for ecological and energy efficient building and renovation and production of renewable energy on site are developed in a participatory way.
  • Encourage the funding of ecological and energy efficient buildings: 21 funding instruments have been evaluated; improvements are proposed and discussed with responsible persons.
  • Knowledge-Transfer to bring the topic to a higher level: over 2200 persons have been trained.

Lessons learned

  • There are still technical and awareness challenges regarding sustainable buildings. But lack of R&D or in general unproven technology is not considered as the main deficit for working with sustainable buildings today. Exchange of information, good local strategy, communication and training on technical knowledge are needed as well. Even regions with experience on energy efficient buildings and integration of renewable energy sources can learn from the exchanges with other regions.
  • Lack of development in Green Procurement for public authorities can be considered as one of the most important barriers for some regions.
  • Each region has its own context: state of the art, stakeholders already involved or potentially to involve, institutional rules, local market for sustainable materials and renewable energies, etc. It doesn’t make sense to duplicate technical tools, regional strategies or financial tools to other regions. They have to be adapted to the local context in cooperation with local institutions involved in the process.

Partners and coordinator

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International Commission for the Protection of the Alps CIPRA
Contact point: 
Wolfgang Pfefferkorn
+423 237 53 53


In brief

19/04/2012 to 19/04/2015
Contract number: 

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