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The GREEAN Network

Governance for Renewable and Efficient Energy in Apartments Network

What is GREEAN

GREEAN is a network of researchers focused on the issues of building governance and energy refurbishment. GREEAN involves academic property lawyers from 7 countries, and the group also includes researchers from other disciplines and representatives of organisations working practically to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy in buildings.

What are we researching

GREEAN members research challenge around building governancTowerBlock2e in multi-owned buildings, given the urgent need to achieve a much higher rate of energy-related refurbishment in the building stock. In other words, we believe the way apartment buildings are owned and managed, and the way decisions are taken by building co-owners, are key factors in determining when and how these buildings get fitted with energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy measures. Across Europe, policy makers are aiming for a smart, integrated, decentralised and decarbonised energy system. More than forty percent of Europeans live in apartments and governance regimes in apartment blocks need to support the integration of these buildings into the new energy system.

Different terms are used to describe co-owners and co-ownership of apartment buildings across Europe: co-proprietaires, condominiums, housing associations, freeholders and leaseholders. These terms reflect real differences in the way ownership of apartments is conceived in law in different countries. And there are also major differences in national laws about how co-owners need to jointly manage their buildings. GREEAN members are interested in these differences in the context of decision-making about building energy improvements. More broadly, the practices of property lawyers, professional managers and building co-owners in managing buildings need to be much better understood if we are to remove barriers to a higher rate of energy refurbishment.