CONSTRUCTION SECTOR OUTPUT ROSE
According the figures released by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, the seasonally adjusted construction output rose by 12.4% in the euro area2 (EA17) and by 11.8% in the EU27 in March 2012, compared with the previous month. The highest increases were registered in Germany (+30.7%), while the largest decreases in Romania (-8.8%).
LIVE FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION
EP IMCO Committee considered BIBM inputs to its draft report on Public Procurement
On 21 May 2012, the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee published its draft report on Public Procurement. As the industry expected, the draft bill eliminated the ‘lowest cost” principle and kept the “most economically advantageous” option as the only one criteria. This change ensures that social and environmental indicators will play an important role in future procurements.
Furthermore, the draft report states, that the tenderer has to indicate if it may intend to subcontract to third parties and name the proposed subcontractors. In addition, the paper limit the levels of sub-contracting, no more than three successive levels is allowed.
The draft report was examined by the Council of the EU on 30-31 May 2012. Member States emphasised the need for the
extended use of digitisation and electronic use of procurement procedures, while the large majority of ministers was opposed to the establishment of national authorities that would be in charge of surveying and carrying out procurement procedures.
Please click here to read the IMCO report.
On 22 May 2012, the European Parliament and EU governments found agreement on Infrastructure Project Bonds and agreed to set aside €230 million in guarantees to support the issuance of “project bonds” for EU infrastructure projects. Investment needs for transport, energy and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) infrastructure projects.
MEPs and the Council of the EU want to introduce new risk-sharing instruments during the course of 2012 and 2013, so as to prepare for their wider use under the “Connecting Europe Facility” at the start of the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) in 2014. The idea is to test how the financial markets perceive the initiative and to use the practical experience of the coming 18 months to improve the initiative.
The Parliament’s Budgets Committee approved the outcome of the negotiation on 31 May 2012 and it will be put to a vote in the plenary session in July.
Stakeholder Conference on the Financial Support for Energy Efficiency of Buildings
On 8 May 2012, the European Commission held a Stakeholder Conference on the Financial Support for Energy Efficiency of Buildings. The high level conference invited MEP Claude Turmes (Luxembourg; Greens/European Free Alliance; Industry, Research and Energy Committee) who is the Rapporteur of the Energy Efficiency Directive, Marie Donnelly (Renewables, Research and Innovation, Energy Efficiency, DG Energy, European Commission), Peter Berkowitz (Head of Unit, DG Regional Policy), Cheryl Fisher (Director, European Investment Bank).
The aim of the conference was share views on the current and future role of regulatory framework and EU financing instruments.
The conference material is available here by clicking “Conference material”.
EESC to promote Sustainable Production and Consumption
On 27 April 2012, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) issued its opinion on the new EU policy on Sustainable Production and Consumption. The Committee believes that voluntary measures need to be supplemented by more binding regulatory measures in order to shift to a green economy based on sustainable production and consumption. Therefore, the EESC calls for greener fiscal policies and market based initiatives.
Furthermore, the Committee places the issues in the context of a broader vision and calls for a new economic model. The current model, which is based on a fixation with GDP indicators, doesn’t reflect other important indicators such as human well-being etc. The new economic model has to include additional indicators that measure not just output but also the environmental footprint, human well-being, social equity and prosperity.
NEWS IN BRIEF
- The European Concrete Platform’s answer to the Public Consultation on the Financial Support for Energy Efficiency of Buildings is available in the Members Corner of the BIBM Website, under “Issues” and “Answers to Public Consultations”.
- The European Commission opened a new public consultation on “Industrial Policy communication 2012” which will run until 07 August 2012. The consultation aims at developing new policies to boost the competitiveness of European industry. Answers would serve as an input for the review of the industrial policy communication planned for September 2012. Please click here to read more about the consultation.
- On 24 May 2012 the European Parliament adopted its own initiative report on Resource Efficiency. MEPs voted to phase out landfill waste across the EU by 2020, and therefore called for the revision of the Waste Framework Directive. The report also called on the Commission to modernize the existing Ecodesign Directive, to develop more effective energy efficiency product standards.
Please click here to read the adopted text.
- The euro area (EA17) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 10.9% in March 2012, compared with 10.8% in February, while the EU27 unemployment rate was 10.2% in March 2012, stable compared with February.
- The European Commission issued the flash estimate of the consumer confidence indicator which improved in both the EU (to -19.4 from -20.2 in April 2012) and the euro area (to -19.3 from -19.9 in April 2012).
- According to the figures released by the European Commission, the industrial production decreased by 0.3% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.4% in the EU27.
NATIONAL AWARD WINNERS
Concrete Structure of 2011, Helsinki
The buildings of Housing Corporation Asunto Oy Helsingin Flooranaukio ja Kiinteistö Oy Lontoonkuja form an integral city block with a common courtyard that opens up towards the Toukola shore park on the south side of Lontoonkuja Street.
The redbrick cladding and the openings of the building’s street façades imitate the rationalism of the old industrial buildings of the Arabia area. This is contrasted by the light colour of the courtyard-side façade, which flows in free form bringing light and variety to the deep city block.
The white concrete surfaces of the undulating elements of the internal courtyard are enlivened by a floral motif fabricated in connection with the production of the precast façade and balcony elements. The motif is made from mosaic concrete using waste porcelain from the production process of the Arabia factory. The compatibility of the curved façade elements, the dimensional precision of the parts, the structural details as well as the development of mosaic surfaces have been particularlydemanding. The balcony rear wall and reveal elements are made from form lined pigment-dyed concrete. Brick façades have also been realised through a demanding precast technique. 
Press Release of the Association of Finnish Concrete Industry
5 June 2012
CEPMC CPR working group
6 June 2012
CEPMC Sustainability working group
11 June 2012
CEN-CSN Project Environment
13-14 June 2012
NEPSI Employers and Council meetings
15 June 2012
BIBM Technical Commission
18-21 June 2012
19 June 2012
BIBM Environmental Commission
25 June 2012
Conference on CPR (European Commission)
28 June 2012
European Construction Forum (ECF) meeting
3 July 2012
BIBM Technical Commission
18 September 2012
BIBM Board meeting
19 September 2012
Postponed to 10 October 2012
10 October 2012
Directors meeting and Communication Commission
10-11 October 2012
ECP Promotion Officers Conference