80 percent of all Estonian buildings to be renovated by 2050

Apartment buildings in Tallinn.
Apartment buildings in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The government has approved a long-term strategy with the goal to improve conditions in close to 80 percent of Estonian residential and office buildings by 2050.

Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas (Center) said as a member of the European Union, Estonia has made a commitment to developing an efficient and economical energy system.

Aas said: "To achieve these ambitions, the construction sector's potential to be energy efficient carries a lot of weight, which is why most of our existing buildings have to be reconstructed."

The strategy sees around 54 million square meters of property renovated by 2050, with 100,000 detached housed, 14,000 apartment buildings and 27,000 non-residential buildings included. All of these buildings must achieve an energy efficiency class of C, as set by European Union standards.

This, in turn, means a fivefold increase in the yearly average of reconstruction projects.

Aas said: "These goals require large-scale investments. On the one hand, the state could stimulate it, but it is important that building owners would do this on their own initiative and funding mostly."

Aas said there are many concerns regarding renovations: "Unfortunately, not enough attention is turned to making buildings more energy-efficient and sustainable, many property owners lack the resources to take their buildings to a more modern level of energy efficiency and indoor climate."

The strategy also provides possible solutions to cover these concerns, including technological innovation, research and development, raising awareness, and different methods of financing.

Among others, one of the proposed means of financing is to develop additional measures for KredEx, which would allow private partners to be included.

Ivan Sergejev, Head of Sustainable Construction at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, emphasized that implementation of the strategy gives Estonia a chance to create a more efficient and sustainable environment.

Sergejev said: "We want to reach a developed environment that is safer, more economical, more aesthetically pleasing, of higher quality, and most of all - more affordable."


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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