When less is more: the new EU Building Stock Observatory

Established in 2016, the EU Building Stock Observatory (BSO) is a web tool that monitors energy performance and decarbonisation-related buildings data for all EU countries.

The previously available database included a large number of highly relevant indicators. However, the perfect ‘virtual’ structure was scarcely populated with actual data – which meant much of the potential for this tool remained unexploited.

The new, improved version of the BSO has fewer indicators but importantly there are no more ‘empty bottles’, which from a user perspective makes it much easier to navigate and use. It now covers only three domains: building stock, renovation rates, and energy consumption. To give an example of the potential use of these data: at Housing Europe we constantly strive to collect data related to the social, cooperative and public housing sector (as in the last edition of our State of Housing in Europe report), and the BSO can help us seeing this information within the broader context of the overall building and residential sector.

Every set of data in the BSO database can be viewed per topic, year and country, or the EU as a whole. Furthermore, in terms of the way data are presented, other tools have been added besides the database – including a data mapper and factsheets. The platform is supposed to be continuously updated. Also, interestingly, there is potential for cooperation with other providers of reliable data to feed into the BSO.

Led by partners Guidehouse, Buildings Performance Institute Europe, EURAC, TU Wien and the Danish Energy Agency , in close coordination with DG ENER and DG DIGIT, the newly launched effort of the BSO Has the ambition to bcome the central hub for European building stock data. Notably, it will contribute to improving transparency on energy efficiency across the EU’s building stock under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive


Written by : Alice Pittini, Housing Europe