Law 4 / 2007 Regional policies to foster sustainable construction
Topic of the practice
Regional law fostering the creation of a sustainable construction market
Good Practice Information
Sustainable construction solutions need to become mainstream in EU markets. Veneto Region Law 4/2007 effectively addresses this challenge through a combination of supply and demand measures that involve the whole supply chain of construction.
The Regional law 4/2007 promotes and fosters energy sustainable environment through the realisation of private and public constructions with the aim to preserve the environment, territory and the quality of life. The objective of the Law is to embed sustainable construction in the Veneto region. This is done by promoting the sustainability performance of construction simultaneously with the creation of a localised market (a pact signed between construction businesses and trade unions) committed to the growth and development of the sustainable construction sector.
The main aspect of the Law are the following:
(i) THE PRINCIPLES OF SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION PROMOTED: Article 1 of Law 4/2007 defines the concept of 'sustainable' as compliance of design-based construction with the "compatibility of buildings with the environment and improvement of the requirements of quality of life." Article 2 defines the areas of sustainable construction: energy savings; use of renewable forms of energy; rainwater re-use; promotion of the welfare, health and hygiene of the users; avoid polluting materials and components; promote recycling of materials; and promote products manufactured with low energy consumption;
(ii) PROCUREMENT provisions: low-impact features and being considered as “eco-bio”; addressing re-use of materials; traditional products, whose features have to correspond to sustainability specification.
(iii) RANGE of eligible candidates for the competitions: construction companies, architects / designers / engineers, housing cooperatives, private and public bodies involved in construction.
Veneto Region organises open calls, grants (5,000-25,000 EUR) are awarded on a competitive basis. In 2007-2009 3,5 million EUR were dedicated to the winners of these competitions. Each construction project deserves funding support if it satisfies criteria that prove the sustainability of the operation. These criteria are: 1) external environmental quality; 2) resource consumption; 3) environmental weight; 4) indoor environmental quality; 5) service quality; 6) management quality; 7) transports.
Law 4/2007 is easily transferable and adaptable to different types of clusters. For the transfer to happen successfully, a Pact (i.e. a framework agreement between the business sector and trade unions) could be essential to ensure commitment to the law on both sides.
Evidence of success
The key evidence of success is twofold: (i) the number of environmentally performing certified buildings (as per the ITACA protocol) is rising, and (ii) in 2009 the Eco cluster in Treviso comprised of some 475 businesses - including 7000 employees and 30 professional studios. 15 projects have been financed to date. The SMEs production is divided into macro-segments: Builders: 38%; Suppliers: 15%; Implanted: 15%; Professionals and related companies: 22%; Services and institutions: 10%.
However, it is important to recall that Law 4/2007 builds on the cluster development Law 8/2003. Law 8/2003 strengthened the localisation of the construction supply chain, so Law 4/2007 built on the collaboration base that the preceding law had ensured (and keeps ensuring).
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Annex completed on: 08-14-2011