We fund cooperation projects which deliver visible results attractive for cities and regions across Europe

Despite waves of Euroscepticism, we see a surge in the demand for transnational projects amongst European regions and cities. This is based on a real need to pool and improve existing knowledge in order to tackle complex, joint challenges in the most efficient way.

CEC5 Project


As top energy consumers, buildings offer a big opportunity to cut waste. Public authorities can encourage sustainable construction by building or retrofitting public facilities to make energy-efficient structures as examples for others. The CEC5 project has promoted low-energy development, with a new approach to standardise assessments of each building’s sustainability and pilots to create energy-efficient structures. CEC5 cooperated with a group of transnational projects supported by DG Environment in developing an approach called the Common European Sustainable Building Assessment (CESBA). In tests of the CESBA benchmark and assessment method, public buildings are used as models.

But CESBA is not just for assessing existing buildings: It is tailored to cover the planning phase as well, and it can be extremely useful during building design. In order to show the usefulness of CESBA, and the benefits of using renewable energy and concentrating on efficiency, the project undertook pilot initiatives in each central European partner country. Pilots involved constructing a new building or remodelling an old one to reduce emissions. In Dornbirn Austria, LCT One, a wood hybrid office tower that reduces use of carbon dioxide, has already been constructed. Six more projects were planned in other central European regions. CEC5’s demonstration buildings are open to the public and feature visitor programmes to promote replication of ideas and solutions.

Along with providing a best-practice example, the cleaner buildings provide immediate benefits for local communities. The demonstration buildings are assessed and compared to buildings in other regions and countries with CESBA. Other assessment tools can be harmonised with CESBA, and their indicators are comparable. CESBA can not only be used as a tool but is also an initiative that needs to keep growing. That is why CESBA partners are working on a joint European strategy on sustainable building with a group of transnational experts who can contribute to sustainability and improvement of the places we work and live in.